“But when we talk about gentrification we generally mean something else. We mean a rate of change that is not natural — most likely we would consider it to be too fast, in that it pushes long-term residents from their neighborhoods.”
Gentrification is defined by change in distribution of residents in community and neighborhood after urban renewal. It always refers to change in an urban community lifestyle and an increasing share of wealthier residents and increasing property values.
I never heard about this term and didn’t realize that this also happens at my hometown before I read the news from Seattle times and Ladd’s chapter four to six.
Urban renewal is always due to significant change in social and political environment. Germany is a very good example for showing political impacts on urban planning. After reunion of East and West Germany, there were a lot of constructions happening within the country, especially in Berlin. Berlin was divided into two parts. Reconstructions became very critical in East Berlin. The new large federal government needed to find a place to fit with in Berlin and the debates about the urban planning never ended. Unlike many typical American cities, Berlin’s planning process was “much too bound to the past ” and “obsessed with the period around 1900”. The trace of its heavy history is noticeable inside the city.
Capitol Hills in Seattle is a good example of urban renewal due to economical changes. The new communities attract more wealthier residents and the old residents experience the change and its impacts. “Gentrification has already turned Ballard and Belltown into upscale playgrounds. But for some, the eradication of Capitol Hill’s iconoclastic identity invokes the most sadness and anger.” The old community used to have high density of gay people and now this number drops significantly. Same sex people starts to move out or limited their activities inside the community. The iconic culture and value of this community are missing but the conflicts keep emerging.