Killing the Authenticity You Love

The search for authenticity lead Generation Xers to move into gritty, urban environments that their overwhelming numbers managed to kill, says Adam Mayer in a review of Sharon Zukin's book Naked City.

Mayer outlines the central puzzle of gentrification: is it really a bad thing to make neighborhoods wealthier and less crime-ridden?

He writes, "Certainly, a lower crime rate is better for quality of life but an increased cost of living is no good for the middle and working classes. At one point in her book, Zukin discusses Union Square Park and its affiliation with the local ‘Business Improvement District' (BID). Union Square Park is in reality a privately run zone masquerading as public space. Is this where are cities are headed? Is this good or bad? A libertarian would say fine but a socialist would probably cry foul."

Regardless of the rightness of "gentrification", those seeking authenticity are left with the problem that they end up killing what they love.

Full Story: Pondering Urban Authenticity: A look at the new book “Naked City"

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