You are both misreading the situation. White people don't move into poor neighborhoods out of any malicious lack of empathy for the locals. They move into poor neighborhoods because they can't afford to live in wealthy ones. The phenomenon is economic.
And on the whole, the gentrification of the inner cities has been a good trend. Populations concentrated in the cities, using public transportation, and living in multi-dwelling buildings, is more sustainable environmentally than the 20th century model of suburban sprawl.
Gentrified neighborhoods have a better mix of incomes and cultures, more types of commerce, more art galleries, all those good things that make a community healthy.
The problem is not gentrification in general, but lack of housing in particular. There's not enough of it, and rents are too high. That is a challenge for city governments, and it has to be met. But to some extent gentrification will alleviate that problem as well. When new condominium towers are built, for example, they take pressure off the competition for existing housing. If a new condo goes into default, it can be converted to subsidized housing.
Posted on July 2nd, 2012 12:58am