By now the script for the process of gentrification is fairly recognizable throughout American cities: Wealthy residents move into (or return to) inner-city neighborhoods to be close to various urban amenities and eventually displace long-time residents who are unable to pay rising property costs (such as increased taxes and so on). The process is so well known that in fact it even served as one of the themes of the recent movie, "Barbershop 2." Of course, debates continue to swirl around questions about the number of people actually displaced as a result of gentrification, with certain scholars claiming that relatively few longtime residents are priced out of their neighborhoods and still others claiming that certain aspects of gentrification are essentially a form of “war” against low-income persons, particularly persons of color. In a recent article in a prominent urban studies journal, Professor Lance Freeman of Columbia University offered his own findings from a national study which notes that comparatively few low-income residents are forced from their home as a result of gentrification. Regardless of this important study, the topic continues to be one that has galvanized community groups, tenants’ rights associations, and other organizations in cities across the United States.
The first link will take visitors to an insightful news piece from this Tuesday’s USA Today that talks about the results of this recent study examining the effects of gentrification. The second link leads to a news story from the Columbia Spectator that discusses the recent request from Columbia University to expand its property holdings through the process of eminent domain. The third link leads to a news story from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that discusses how one African-American community in Fort Lauderdale is coping with the process of gentrification. The fourth link leads to the well-developed Tenant Net website, where visitors can learn about tenant resources in New York City and other places around the United States. The fifth link leads to a fine audio feature from the Tavis Smiley show that affords some insight into the ongoing debates about gentrification in Chicago’s famed Bronzeville neighborhood on the city’s South Side. The final link leads to the website for the PBS program “Flag Wars”, which offers a multimedia portrait of gentrification in a neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio.
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