I was recently rewatching an epside of Eddie Huang’s old travel show on YouTube where he travels to New York City. In the first part of the episode, he travels to the Bronx where he heavily explores the theme of gentrification.
As I’m moving to New York after graduation, it got me thinking about gentrification. I can’t help but feel a hint of guilt, “Am I gentrifying New York? Am I part of the problem?”
Here are a few thoughts on gentrification:
- Gentrification originally had a negative connotation for me. But as I’m fleshing out my thoughts, it’s not inherently bad. Gentrification brings prosperity and opportunity to communities that maybe weren’t as well off before.
- As a twenty something tech worker, my demographic is the poster child for gentrification: young, high income, and location agnostic.
- This is a huge generalization, but at least from my experience, when it comes to tech workers, I feel like there’s an indifference to the community they live in. They are optimizing to live in the best possible place and as soon as the place starts to decline, they leave.
- Perhaps gentrification is just the natural evolution of things?
- I constantly see gentrification applied to cities like San Francisco, New York, and Austin. Cities with character that were already somewhat wealthy. But wasn’t every poor city that transformed itself gentrified? Does gentrification not apply to cities like Shenzhen, Singapore, or Kigali?
- How can culturally rich cities progress forward without losing its character?
- From my view, there’s a symbiotic relationship when it comes the cities one lives in. Like any healthy relationship there needs to be some give and take whether that means volunteering my time, getting to know my neighbours, etc.