Gentrification is a term that is now a reality in our societies. It was once used in the year 1964 but in the 1990s, it was experienced in intense measures. The meaning of the word gentrification is one that comes with shock. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, it is where a trend in an area changes and starts affecting the environs of the region. It is a situation whereby the wealthy notice an area where there is potential for growth and so they choose to move in and live in the region as well as invest in it.
The truth about this is that many people who suffer. It is also true to say that there are developments that are made, however, making developments at the expense of a society does not sound like such a humane way of bringing up cities and developing the regions with great potential. Gentrification has two sides, it has the positive and the negative and whereas the two seem to balance, change is what unites them and in this writing, we will look at Bushwick, Brooklyn.
As a people of a region co-exist, they build structures that are subsidiary and if anyone brings up a structure that is for commercial use, it is normally small, not so advanced, or costly. Some reasons for this could be the likes of their friendship with the neighbors, familiarity, and maintaining the status of the area. This result to a synchronizing of the residents where not everyone is a stranger to the other, the community is compact resulting to a kind of understanding and cohesiveness.
On the other hand, the gentrification of Brooklyn has resulted to a large number of people moving out. That is because of the improved infrastructure in terms of housing and the likes. With new people coming to occupy Brooklyn, there are new investments. They are the likes of high-end apartments, restaurants, green markets and so on. That makes it difficult for the previous residents to continue living there because of the high cost of living and maintenance. If they cannot cope up with the new conditions, they would have to move out and look for a cheaper place to live in.
Secondly, because of the cohesiveness mentioned above, an area that has not experienced gentrification is mostly culturally distinctive. Such areas usually have a culture that characterizes them leading to a certain mentality in the region. Such cultures would be detrimental or efficient but there is a uniqueness developed. With the imposition of gentrification, there is a culture loss.
The erosion comes because those who were responsible for the developing of the culture cannot sustain themselves in the same place and so they opt to move out. With their exit is the introduction of new people who are not the same. In most cases, the people who come to occupy the region are not from the same area and so the culture is not necessarily duplicated. It is the fragmentation of the different cultures that results to a mix up and a loss of collective identity. It is possible that a new culture would be born but as much as it would take a long time, there is the reality that a great percentage of the new residents are occupied by work hence minimal time to unofficially interact and birth a new culture.
As we still consider the different effects of gentrification, we can notice that not all are negative, some are positive while others are the contrary. For example, in an area, there can be many cases of violence and crime. In this same area, the effects of low exposure and the laziness without challenge that exists, many people prefer to take commodities without working for them. That results to robberies, drug abuse, kidnappings, murders and so on. Surprisingly, the people from that area view this as a norm and they all seem to wait for the day that they too will become victims
Looking at gentrification in the same town, we see a dynamic change in the behavioral pattern. That is because as wealthier people gain access to the region, they seek to protect and guard their properties and with that, they make sure that there are police officers posted in the area. Better still, they advocate for the building of more police posts and that results in patrols, arrests, and creation of crime response awareness. That then leads to a direct reduction in crime for those who try to fight back, but for those who either do not the move out or change to something that can give them a substantial legal income. As a result, there is a reduction in the crime rate of a region just as recorded in Brooklyn.
Gentrification is a tool for change and change, as we know it is a constant in life. Sometimes areas are gentrified on purpose while others are due to circumstances. The government or firms can trigger purposed gentrification. This is where the government or a firm seeks to eradicate an area or utilize its resources, with that they are forced to clear the area’s present occupants or improve them. Circumstantial gentrification is on the other side done when a region like an urban area is congested and now there is need for people to be relocated. This is circumstantial because the area presently occupied cannot support more occupants and so the only choice is to seek to develop another area.
Many people have been affected by gentrification and while some have been affected positively, others have been negatively affected (Lees, 2008). Those who have been affected negatively have seen their homes locked, children murdered or even being homeless (Fensterstock, 2013). Some of those that have been affected positively have born some fruit. Such would be the likes of getting new jobs, making new friends, and getting new ideas.
The crosscutting factor here is change. As circumstances and situations come, they often change the environment if not the person. Our attitudes towards this are what matter. It is what dictates whether there is going to be positive or negative response. For example, some people have faced gentrification but responded negatively by saying that the government is evicting them; some have said that they do not care about them and so on and so forth. On the contrary, some individuals have seen this as an opportunity for growth and adjusting their lives’ standards. If one can see things in positive light, then that alone is enough to motivate them to do more and to conquer. The conquering that they first have to do is of self before they conquer their surroundings, otherwise, the effects on the outside will soon affect them.
With this in mind, there is an inevitability we can all expect; governments strive to maximize on utilizing the resources that they have at their disposal. Some of these resources are not human resources but most of them are natural or even man made like roads and buildings. Such cannot be achieved if there is no synchrony between them and so that synchrony can only be created if there is a positive response to change. The change that we experience can at times affect us directly however we must not.
Fensterstock, A. (2013). Art on the block: Tracking the New York art world from Soho to the
Bowery, Bushwick and beyond.
Lees, L., Slater, T., & Wyly, E. K. (2008). Gentrification. New York: Routledge/Taylor &
Merriam-Webster, Inc. (1984). Webster’s new dictionary of synonyms: A dictionary of
discriminated synonyms with antonyms and analogous and contrasted words.