There Goes the 'Hood: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up
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There Goes the 'Hood analyzes the experience of gentrification for residents of two predominantly black New York City neighbourhoods. It thereby adds an important yet often overlooked perspective to debates on gentrification - the residents of formerly disinvested neighbourhoods themselves. Their perspectives suggest that neither gentrification is neither entirely threatening or redemptive for urban neighbourhoods. Rather, it can both offer a better life and threaten long-established communities. While residents appreciate the opportunities, they resent that it often takes full-scale gentrification to make their neighbourhoods nice. The concluding chapters of the book suggest ways for limiting the negative aspects of gentrification and new ways of thinking about gentrification and the inner city.
Revitalizing America's Cities: Neighborhood Reinvestment and Displacement. Albany: SUNY Press. Seale, Clive. 1999. The Quality of Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Shiller, Robert J. 2005. Irrational Exuberance, 2nd ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Shipp, E. R. 1990. Fort Greene's Black Renaissance. American Visions 5(1): 30-34. Slater, Tom. 2004. North American Gentrification? Revanchist and Emancipatory Perspectives Explored. Environment and Planning
sentiment was most often expressed in Harlem, which has seen an influx of national chain stores that clearly are not indigenous to the community. Clinton Hill, in contrast, has not experienced such as influx, although nearby downtown Brooklyn has. This is a complaint hardly confined to gentrifying neighborhoods, as communities across the country have bemoaned the loss of the mom and pop stores while voting with their feet and patronizing the nearest Wal-Mart. Despite these fears about the
to become an upscale neighborhood and follow the paths of other gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhoods like Park Slope or Boerum Hill. Thus the fear expressed by many residents is of losing the community they knowone that is accessible (or at least part of it) to a broad range of classes. Although those fortunate enough to own their homes, have rentregulated apartments, or a relationship with a landlord who does not charge what the market will bear can take advantage of the improvements under way in
residents of Clinton Hill, including those not personally threatened with displacement, described the changes taking place with a tinge of anxiety. As Clinton Hill becomes more expensive, its character will surely change. Had programs been in place like inclusionary zoning or TIF, resources would be available to subsidize housing in Clinton Hill. These funds would have been available to produce affordable housing or provide subsidies to residents in the form of a voucher. The risk of Clinton
Community mobilization might also help dampen some of the conflicts over norms between the gentry and longer term residents that I chronicled elsewhere in this book. In chapter 4 I described a block association meeting where newcomers complained to the police about young adults and adolescents congregating on the corner. The block association was just getting off the ground, and there appeared to be no one representing the teenaged loiterers, not even their parents. If the police do "encourage"