A friend of mine recently sent me a quite discouraging article by Andres Duany that appeared in the journal American Enterprise. The short version reads as the title of this post. His title is worse, even more short-sighted and apolitical: “Three cheers for gentrification: It helps revive cities and doesn’t hurt the poor“.
“Those bourgeois elites are just “piggybacking” on positive gentrification. They only do good things for the neighborhood and the community, but it just looks bad “from the outside”. And, new urbanist principles with roots in acultural/acontextual, environmentally-deterministic design will actually help their communities. The form will tell them how to create community/culture. Nostalgia will save us. The gentrifiers/developers are just “community partners” then, right? What other interests could they have? And since we are powerless to stop it, then let them win. Lets just concede. Consensus can be reached. All we need is old-looking neighborhoods with brick buildings. ”