June 27, 2006

Gentrification. Turning Your Block's Crack House into a Home.

New York City is becoming a city of the filthy rich, being waited upon by the poor. A recent study by the Brookings Institution, shows the startling changes that occured in major American metropolitan areas from 1970 - 2000.

Middle income neighborhoods only comprise about 41 percent of metropolitan areas, as compared to 58 percent in 1970, a drop that is larger than the drop in middle income families, from 28 to 22 percent. Currently, only 23 percent of city neighborhoods have "middle-income profiles," as compared to 45 percent in 1970. Importantly, lower-income families are more likely to live in economically homogeneous neighborhoods; 37 percent of lower income families live in middle income neighborhoods, compared to 55 percent in 1970.

In other words, gentrification is turning life in the city into a dichotomy of rich and poor. Period. Anything in between will be pushed out or live check-to-check. Immigration may even be skewing the numbers, adding to the middle-income column: "Moreover, strong immigration to New York City during this period may have helped replenish its stock of moderate-income families and neighborhoods."

As New York City becomes a conglomerate of rich and poor neighborhoods, private sector investment, local access to public services, and household mobility will become integral issues. So far, the city has responded by
raising rents for rent stabilized apartments. This comes after an NYU study demonstrated that middle income apartments dropped by more than 20 percent from 2002 - 2005. Not a good trend. Take a look above. The darker neighborhoods may not be so dark soon. At least they have a Starbuck's.

WAR: The World is a Ghetto
RUN-DMC: Back From Hell


Anonymous dp said...

when the Mayor of NYC handed the city over to the wealthy real estate developers I didn't pay too much attention. 9/11 had just happened and the city needed an influx of capital for redevelopment. In only a few short years I have been priced out of the city that I work and live in. I am forced to commute from the equally expensive suburbs. NYC is now a playground for the rich where the poor are the people working inside the concession stands. At least the middle class get to operate the rides.

11:10 AM  

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