One of the biggest debates that rise when talking urban development is gentrification, and for decades, this term has been given an inevitable evil connotation that comes with neighborhood development. Today I read an article from www.citylab.com that talked about how in Golden Belt, a neighborhood located in Durham North Carolina, the effects of gentrification were hoping to be countered by the preservation of the city’s iconic structures to maintain the local identity and one of the most negative aspects of it, the rapid increase in real estate prices that push locals out of their own neighborhoods.
The article goes on and on on how some scholars agree that the strict preservation laws approved by the neighborhood officials will work to slow down gentrification, one that is already being seen a mile away in the downtown are and that wont take much longer to arrive; other scholars agree that there isn’t any correlation between historic preservation and gentrification and that this is just a failed attempt to tackle a very important and complex issue in development.
The truth is that increasing the difficulty on which developers creat new projects will surely slow down development but it might slow down the neighborhoods improvement as well and might just destroy the possibilities of it evolving into something safer and overall better for its residents.
Gentrification will always be a complex issue, neighborhoods can become better but people will be driven to it, people will want to work, live and play there and real estate prices will always be a factor of supply and demand, the more people that want to be there, the higher the prices. Maybe, to allow more development that follow some guidelines that respect the local identity and urban icons will help to keep supply up, prices down and the identity of the neighborhood as intact as possible and the implementation of diversified developments that offer all kinds of real estate with the addition of a high supply of affordable housing will aid to keep the original tenants in their hometown. Its not about slowing down development, its about creating neighborhoods for all, not just the rich, not just the poor, diversified neighborhoods.