Jane Jacobs, Gentrifier?

Prof. Sharon Zukin argues that Jacobs had "a gentrifier’s appreciation of urban authenticity" in her new book, Naked City.

Zukin tackles the issue of gentrification and the people who lay claim to the authenticity of neighborhoods, particularly in New York. She finds no easy answers, but does believe in the quest to preserve authenticity.

In the New York Post: "In the end, New York City development revolves around who successfully claims ownership of a neighborhood. Conflict arises when 'groups representing the opposing visions claim the same space,' Zukin says, especially in 'the conflict over authentic representations of neighborhoods like Red Hook, between old working-class homeowners, public housing project tenants, and gentrifiers.'"

Full Story: Naked City



Can't please everybody

"Jacobs saw harmony where bitter ethnic conflicts once prevailed and seduced her readers with her communitarian vision of an urban village."

If the author sees seduction in Jane Jacob's astute analysis, I think it speaks more to their cinysism than her wishful thinking.

Know your place . . .

. . . you middle-class, recent college grad. It's not in Brooklyn, after all. Heed the new segregationists who, rather than promoting new housing scenarios that foster economic integration are instead telling you that you should be living in your parents basement or borrowing money from them so you can afford a Manhattan apartment.

The irony is that the article is accompanied by a photo of brownstone Brooklyn, which was built for the wealthy 100+ years ago and, arguably, hasn't been much less than middle-class since then.

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