Creative Class Cannibalization

Richey Piiparinen discusses the "Frankenstein effects" of place-making, in which, he argues, the diversity of people and place that attracts the creative class is eventually forced out by those in search of the "highest and best use."

Using as his case studies examples of rampant gentrification, and homogenization, in New York, and demographic data illustrating the decreasing diversity in Portland's inner core over the last decade, Piiparinen decries what he calls the "creative class-ification of the urban environment."    

Central to this process, as Piiparinen describes, is the "contradiction at play in creative class theory; namely, that the preconditions of success: diversity, density, and tolerance, can create for a 'success' that eats diversity and tolerance, particularly in those 'special sauce' dense spots like East Village and downtown Portland that are harmonized to be vessels for new knowledge and thus new economies."

"In fact," says Piiparinen, "it can be argued that such outcomes deaden the long-term growth of cities in that traditional geographic and cultural hearts are being sold for the 'gimme now' gains of taxation on objects from coffee to condos. And really: there is nothing much cool or creative about that. Rather, it's selling your city to the highest bidder. It is mountains turned to coal."

Full Story: The Creative Destruction of Creative Class-ification

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