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Gentrification: A Result of Redlining or a Byproduct of Development?

Cameron Schuster

The documentary 'My Brooklyn' tells the story of the forces reshaping director Kelly Anderson's neighborhood. "The Fulton Mall, is the third most profitable shopping area in New York City yet it is maligned for its inability to appeal to the affluent residents who have come to live around it." What's happening there is happening all over the country and directly impacts social issues. Learn more:

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  • Erik Tilkemeier

    Gentrification is the result of bad development. Socially responsible development moves the community forward, rather than moving one community out to replace it with a more "desirable" one. GOOD development resolves community issues, for ALL community members.

    I am concerned that gentrification is going to leave us with culturally devoid, uninteresting, boring places. Cities were built on grit, struggle, conflict, and even corruption. San Francisco, for instance, was not founded on high tech corporations and unaffordable real estate, it was forged by risk taking, rough shod, gold seekers. What happens when that character disappears?

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      I agree. Really sad how culturally devoid cities become bec of gentrification. Wondering what neighborhoods you see changing and if there's anything people can do to force out developers?

  • Liz Dwyer

    Thanks for sharing this, Cameron. The question the documentary asks, "who has a right to live in cities and determine their future?" is something that we need to collectively take a hard look at in our personal lives. Many of us live in communities that are either gentrified or going through intense gentrification, and we have to ask ourselves whether we justify it, and thus participate in it, by telling ourselves that the community is getting nicer--or there are nicer shops around--and everybody wants nice things. The dark side of it is the question, nicer for who?

    • Cameron Schuster

      I agree, the debate usually centers around those very concepts of nicer, safer, better. Like you said, nicer for who, better for who, safer for who? Chances are that the ethnic populations being displaced by gentrification wanted all those things as well, but are somehow not worthy of them until outside economic interests say so. Elderly people enjoy being robbed, and children enjoy playgrounds filled with crack vials, thank you gentrification for showing us another option. The debate is almost futile because in the end the people at the center of the debate are simply removed and not addressed at all. I really appreciated the in depth investigation of how the downtown Brooklyn project unfolded. Similar to the Brooklyn yards project that was fought for almost ten years it is clear that when developers, policy makers, and politicians have an agenda the democratic process is almost completely disregarded. As an added point, I grew up in Fort Greene of the 80's and the community I grew up in had a huge hand in shaping my outlook on society and social justice. The gentrified Fort Green of today makes my head and my heart hurt.