Friday, January 10, 2014

Gentrification of Work in the City

How Jane Jacobs helped push employment away from the urban core at Pacific Standard magazine.

Theme: Producer city versus consumer city.

Subject Article: "The Art of Gentrification."

Other Links: 1. "Outgrowing Jane Jacobs and Her New York."
2. "Jane Jacobs, Andy Warhol, and the Kind of Problem a Community Is."
3. "We're Not in New York Anymore."
4. "Triumph of the Entrepreneurial City."
5. "Find a New City."

Postscript: The reintroduction of the producer city to San Francisco has upset the apple cart:

Nearly five decades after the Summer of Love transformed San Francisco into the epicenter of the hippie movement, a new generation is redefining this city's culture again. No longer content to live and work in the quiet suburbs of Palo Alto and Menlo Park 30 miles south, thousands of young tech workers are migrating to the city, seeking a more urban, multicultural lifestyle. They are bringing with them a stampede of tech companies and venture capitalists, and inevitably attracting some homegrown resentment for jacking up housing costs and gentrifying once gritty neighborhoods.

The tension is between workers enjoying the wages of a global labor market and the creative class that inherited the city from manufacturing. Forgotten, as usual, are residents who were unable to change with the times. Gone are the days when higher wages meant an exit from the city. The geography of aspiration has switched from suburb to downtown. This puts tech workers at odds with artists, the economically dislocated, and firms seeking a CBD address. As artists displaced the blue collar, the white collar now displaces the creative class and the ghost of Jane Jacobs is very angry.

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