Currently, Professors like Sharon Zukin, Stacey Sutton and other

Currently,
the newest trend in popular cities is the changing and renewing of the lower
income areas. This has become one of the most important development and
societal challenges worldwide. Today, around 54 percent of the world’s
population lives in or around urban areas. Gentrification is becoming a popular
movement in cities all over the world. This term can be defined as the
something that can benefit or ruin the lives of so many different people. In
this essay I will discuss the differences in point of view in the current areas
in the United States that are being affected by this change.

People
in the United States have been studying and researching the topic of
gentrification since the early 1990s. Professors like Sharon Zukin, Stacey
Sutton and other important voices of the current times have many different
opinions on this topic. Gentrification can be defined by Merriam- Webster as “the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of
middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces
poorer residents. (Gentrification, Merriam-Webster). Stacey Sutton gives a more updated
definition of gentrification, she says
that “The term gentrification refers to
processes by which higher income or higher status people relocate to or invest
in low income urban neighbourhoods… in doing so they inflate property values,
displace low income people and fundamentally alter the character and culture of
the neighbourhood. The most kind of adverse of act of gentrification is
displacement.”(Sutton, 2015).
Stacey Sutton sees it as a negative thing, saying that fundamentally
gentrification is a social justice problem. With this being said there are also
other people’s examples of gentrification as a negative change. Based on
this definition by Sutton, it can be seen that the poorer people seem to be
vulnerable to the negative impact of gentrification. For example, they have to
pick up their lives from their normal residential areas to relocate to new
ones, where they have to start a new life or new beginning and where conditions
of living are sometimes worse compared to the communities they once lived in.
Furthermore, as the poorer people have to move to a newer residential area, the
people often have to change their workplaces because they are no longer able to
afford covering the transportation costs, scheduling difficulties, and the cost
of living may increase.

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Another
negative view of gentrification comes from a professor named Sharon Zukin. She
wrote a book using specific examples from New York cities and neighborhoods
within New York that are becoming affected by the changes in culture and the
diversity of those places. She focuses on how New York has an ugly side which
is a result of the people who have more resources coming into the neighborhoods
and stripping the lower-income residents of their lives. Zukin states that “As the influx of upper-income or affluent people
impose their culture on the neighborhood, lower-income residents become economically
and socially marginalized. This can lead to “resentment and community conflict
that feeds racial and class tensions” (Zukin S., 2010). With that being said,
she also draws some attention to the declination of culture consumption. Zukin
brings to life some interesting points about culture. In most cases culture is
a very important part of the history of the cities. Without culture you would
have empty lives. Culture allows you to be expressive and shows the importance
of the city and how the people can be influenced by the upbringing. Ruth
Glass, the British sociologist who first introduced the term in 1964, she
foresaw the events taking place in a big city like London. Her opinion was also
a negative approach on the developments of the times. In her book she wrote “One by one many of the working-class
quarters have been invaded by the middle classes…Once this process of
‘gentrification’ starts in a district, it goes on rapidly until all or most of
the original working class occupiers are displaced, and the whole social
character of the district has changed.” (Ruth G., 1964). This can be seen
in both New York and London. Glass and Zukin saw that these kind of social
effects can’t be measured by numbers but rather by the growing opposition of
gentrification.

People
are affected by this not only financially but physically as well. For example, Rebecca
Solnit said in her article “Death by
gentrification” that gentrification can be fatal. Solnit used a real life
example of a Latino man killed by police just by the way he looked. In her
article she claims that the San Francisco man died because the man was seen as
an “menacing intruder in the place he had spent his whole life. San Francisco
is now a cruel place and a divided one. 83% of California’s homes, and 100% of
San Francisco’s, were unaffordable on a teacher’s salary. Displacement has
contributed to deaths, particularly of the elderly”, (Solnit,2016) wrote
Solnit.

Given
the examples from the professors and journalists we can come to the conclusion
that the “gentrification” is really affecting the people of today. Not only are
the higher income people affected but most importantly the people from the
lower income lives are being turned upside down. Questions have been proposed
of now what? What is going to happen to all the lower income people and
families? Lower income people face many more problems. Since they have a lack
of a place to call home, crime rates are starting to increase. This too will
affect both lower and higher income people. Another problem that can occur is
lack of drive and education in the youth. They are being forced out of
communities and pushed into systems that do not cater to their needs. The urban development is vulnerable to the growing
impact of gentrification. This process of gentrification emerges under the
impact of a few factors to which include economic and social ones and the
process of globalization. This may stimulate consistent changes in urban
development as well. In addition, the process of urban development can
sometimes lead to socioeconomic and demographic changes, provoked by the
gentrification. Gentrification has
becoming an emotionally charged term.