Gentrification In The Economy

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The research done in the analysis of Sunset Park’s future in the modern economy ultimately leads back to a conversation about gentrification. The word gentrification has become a loaded term, synonymous with the displacement of the people most vulnerable in society—the undereducated, impoverished working class that is typically composed of immigrants; however, gentrification is akin to improvement. It is undeniable that these underserved communities need help, but talks of neighborhood “improvement,” “investment,” “revitalization,” “renewal,” and “economic development” are stymied by the taboo of gentrification. Gentrification at its simplest comes down to who is investing in a neighborhood. Yet, this process is not simple and is interwoven
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Real estate companies such as Jamestown Properties and Acumen Capital Properties have poured millions of capital to redesign old, industrial buildings to attract tenants and obtain profit. Richard Florida explains the role of private firms as economic organizers from his own personal experience in New Jersey, where his father worked in an eyeglass factory. During this time, companies matched people to work and employment was even handed down from generation to generation. It is no different today, one’s place of employment influences where they want to live. Convenience from the workplace is everything. However, Florida believes that the shifting tides toward a knowledge-based economy is due to the surging “creative class.” These are not just lawyers and doctors, but includes artists like musicians and writers. There is a creative aspect to all the products which we consume and the call for creativity and differentiation is the progenitor to innovation. Instead of companies dictating people’s lives, people are now directing companies as entrepreneurship is continuing to diversify across all fields, not just technology. He goes on to explain that what attracts people to places is largely the type of scene present such as a vibrant music scene and as a topic of discussion, the “hipster” scene. These social organizations are geographically based and what is presented is a catch-22 dilemma—did the real estate developers create the environment for hipsters to multiply and thrive or did hipsters push out the previous community for their desire for inauthentic urban

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