Is gentrification necessary?

Pros and Cons of gentrification in a way that addresses all perspectives. Perspective and objectivity can drive the argument of half empty or half full? Therefore, perspective affects our everyday interactions. Gentrification or modernization of a neighborhood has a very significant impact in many communities of New York City, and many other American cities. However, gentrification halts cities completely excluding suburban areas and other nonsense areas.

Gentrification does indeed expel the current residents of an area; the results are not generally “evil”, but rather show the improvement of an area with potential. Gentrification is the necessary act of modernization of an area that when done correctly can have all parties involved content.

The modernization of an area such as the Meatpacking district represents a different perspective on the effects of gentrification. Gentrification, or the process by which wealthy people move into the neighborhood bringing prices high for everything, and everyone. Hence, “Gentrification is a general term for the arrival of wealthier people in an existing urban district, a related increase in rents and property values, and changes in the district’s character and culture. The term is often used negatively, suggesting the displacement of poor communities by rich outsiders. But the effects of gentrification are complex and contradictory, and its real impact varies (B. Grant)”.  

Gentrification and Prosperity

The wealth of NYCConsidering how gentrification is often associated with growth, and prosperity within a community. With new stores, businesses, homes, and new residents, any community thrives and modernizes. However, the reality behind the modernization of many communities dates back to the 1800s. As New York City expanded from downtown resulting in the influx of immigrants, and others in early America. The rapid growth and development of New York City influenced how communities were affected by the displacement of low-income families with wealthy and often pretentious residents.

New York City had become attractive to wealthy people looking to live in the sky capers overseeing the city. Once downtown peaked in population in the 1800s, people moved upward, many with wealth influencing the communities in the process. “But for many neighborhoods, gentrification represents a much-needed investment. Gentrification is necessary and welcome by many poor communities. 

“Residents welcome the resurrection and revival of neglected and disinvested areas. Community leaders desire capital investments, leading to better services, jobs, thriving businesses, and other components of a healthy, vibrant neighborhood. As one resident of West Baltimore put it: ‘How can we get some gentrification in our community? (Van Tol, 2019).” Gentrification done ethically, and morally can be effective. For instance, when the people displaced are compensated, and relocated one can argue for the expansion of neighborhood gentrification in New York City, and the five boroughs.  

Gentrification of New York City

Pros and Cons of Gentrification

The suburbs and other places outside the city have lower costs of living, and potentially a calm way of life. Places such as Wappinger falls NY, and other places are one hour and a half away from NYC. If well-compensated people can avoid the negative effects of Gentrification. For example, walking through New York illustrates how the cost of living has significantly increased. However, gentrification is not entirely responsible for the increase in the cost of leaving. Inflation and other governing factors also play a role in the hardships. 

One factor that may not be solved with financial compensation is the emotional attachment and roots of the families leaving there. As a result, families that can no longer afford to live where they grew up and expanded for generations, sadly are forced out. That problem can be solved by constructing a twin neighborhood in a different location less costly and moving the people there with a hefty compensation. NYC real estate is one of the most expensive in the world with apartments valued at 100s of millions.

The wealth of NYC

Most recently the, “Most expensive Manhattan home for sale for $229.5 million. (Casey 2021).” That is only one example. To successfully gentrify the upper west side, or east side to build luxury apartments near the river would not take a substantial amount to effectively move the people with hefty compensations. When you are selling apartments for 200 million dollars, just apartments!

Most expensive Manhattan home for sale for $229.5 million

Gentrification improves New York’s everyday life. Oftentimes it is extremely difficult to afford even a cup of coffee at your local Mom and Pop’s coffee shops, or high-end Starbucks shops. But the benefits are arguably necessary. There are numerous benefits of gentrification. Gentrification makes NYC modern and attracts revenue from tourism. According to NY Focus “Tourism in New York generated $19.3 billion in tax revenues in 2019”. That revenue is then injected back into the community. The community has a rebirth, there is more security, there is an influx of wealth, and the community grows and modernizes.

When not done correctly gentrification can lead to many injustices. Many argue that the wealth and influence of revenue went to the pockets of the new shops, the new luxury brand stores. Therefore, the people that lived in those communities who were entitled to the benefits of such, were completely left out of the decision and Landscaping and improvement in the community.

Wealthy members of other communities moved in, purchased apartment buildings, and compressed, and expelled everyone else who was not fluent enough to keep up with the changes. Greed and prejudiced behavior can make gentrification the worst nightmare for any resident.  

Although their leases prevent rent from increasing, everything else becomes extremely expensive, no one can afford the new prices of regular goods. businesses increase prices however rather than your neighborhood mom-and-pop stores now; big companies take over those businesses. They adapt to the new customer base with deep pockets willing to pay for a $5 cup of coffee.

Conclusion

Ultimately, It may not have been the case in NYC where gentrification has been done effectively. Relocating the people comfortably, paying a reasonable compensation, and considering it as a financial investment, if morality does not apply to the decision-maker. Gentrification is a good way of improving a community, growing the population, creating business, and attracting tourism, wealth, and most importantly jobs. 

Gentrification can be detached from the current perspective of income inequality. The displacement of poor people by wealthy people pushes out the locals through wealth inequality. Gentrification can be defined in two ways, “the process whereby the character of a poor urban area is changed by wealthier people moving in, improving housing, and attracting new businesses, typically displacing current inhabitants in the process”. But gentrification can also be defined as, “an area undergoing rapid gentrification, the process of making someone or something more refined, polite, or respectable. ‘soccer has undergone gentrification”. Thus, the conclusion demonstrates the need for gentrification, when done correctly, in NYC and the boroughs.

References

Baca, A., Finio, N., Myers, R., & Fee, K. (2019, August 6). Gentrification is beneficial on average, studies say. That doesn’t mean it’s not painful for some. Greater Greater Washington. Retrieved May 12, 2022, from https://ggwash.org/view/73267/on-average-gentrification-helps-people-but-that-doesnt-mean-its-not-painful-for-some

  • Pain in the way of emotional connection. An understandable connection with the place that had seen many generations pass. But ultimately Baca, A., Finio, N., Myers, R., & Fee, K. argue for it(2019, August 6).

Casey, B. (2021, July 29). Inside NYC’s insane $229.5 million penthouse in ‘toothpick’ building — the most expensive listing in Manhattan – realestate.com.au. Real estate. Retrieved May 12, 2022, from https://www.realestate.com.au/news/inside-nycs-insane-2295-million-penthouse-in-toothpick-building-the-most-expensive-listing-in-manhattan/

  • Casey tours inside the $229 million dollar luxury apartment in NYC. Occupying a very small space of NYC real estate, this signifies the wealth that comes from the NYC land.

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF VISITORS IN NEW YORK. (n.d.). Empire State Development. Retrieved May 12, 2022, from https://esd.ny.gov/sites/default/files/NYC-2019-NYS-Tourism-Economic-Impact.pdf

  • NYC produces billions in revenue from the money visitors bring to the city. According to the ECONOMIC IMPACT OF VISITORS IN NEW YORK, the more NYC has to offer the more visitors will come. 

Van Tol, J. (2019, April 8). Perspective | Yes, you can gentrify a neighborhood without pushing out poor people. The Washington Post. Retrieved May 12, 2022, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/04/08/yes-you-can-gentrify-neighborhood-without-pushing-out-poor-people/

  • The washing post takes aim at the benefits of gentrification when done effectively. Gentrification can improve a neighborhood, and a city.  
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