Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

D.C.'s Neighborhoods are Improved, but Who's Benefiting?

After a decade of phenomenal growth and transformation, a survey of D.C. residents reveals widespread agreement on neighborhood improvement, but also concern that the changes are only benefiting the city's affluent residents.
January 23, 2014, 5am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

A recent Washington Post poll finds mixed views of the impact of redevelopment among the city's residents, reports Marc Fisher. "Across the District, residents see many neighborhoods thriving as they haven’t in decades, but depending on their income and race, Washingtonians often see that boom benefiting different groups. What many residents do agree on is that the city’s mayor and other elected officials have little ability to ensure that the new prosperity will lift all boats."

While many residents view the city government as unable or unwilling to protect vulnerable populations from rising housing prices and cultural transformation, some see an ulterior motive. "Michelle McKenzie, who opened a storefront church that has drawn black congregants in an increasingly white part of town, says the demographic shift is the result of The Plan, a decades-old staple of District folklore — a purported drive by powerful white interests to reclaim the city from its long-standing black majority," writes Fisher. "Some mayors supported The Plan, McKenzie says, and others fought it but without making much difference. 'The Plan is The Plan,' she says."


Full Story:
Published on Saturday, January 18, 2014 in The Washington Post
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email