Essay On Gentrification

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Yordanos Gebrekidan Urban Politics Government Term Paper 4.6.2014 Gentrification in the Washington Metropolitan Area Of the many problems affecting urban communities, both locally and abroad, there is one issue in particular, that has been victimizing the impoverished within urban communities for nearly a century; that would be the problem of gentrification. Gentrification is a word used to describe the process by which urban communities are coerced into adopting improvements respective to housing, businesses, and general presentation. Usually hidden behind less abrasive, or less stigmatized terms such as; “urban renewal” or “community revitalization” what the process of gentrification attempts to do, is remove all undesirable elements from a particular community or neighborhood, in favor of commercial and residential enhancements designed to improve both the function and aesthetic appeal of that particular community. The purpose of this paper is to make the reader aware about the significance of process of gentrification and its underlying impact over the community and the community participation. The problem however, with these “renewal projects” is that the implemented changes are never usually intended to benefit the long time inhabitants of these communities, these changes are intended usually, to push out the element of poverty that exists in many of these communities (which is a direct result of decades of neglect) in exchange for the opportunity to cater to a more affluent (usually less “ethnic”) demographic. In laymen’s terms, city planners, elected officials, prospective businesses, and even law enforcement, all converge for the purpose of removing poor people from an area by simply making it too pleasant and by exten... ... middle of paper ... ...r of inequality in America, with so much poverty located within such a close proximity to the White House. That being said, gentrification efforts in DC appear to be focused on removing poor people, or at the very least, the visual image of crime, poverty, and corruption as it relates to the most powerful city in the country. Community activist groups have tried time and time again to stop gentrification from affecting their community, but often times, to no avail. What is truly sad is that while this cycle is continually perpetuated as a matter of “haves versus have nots” the way in which this system seems to always disproportionately marginalize one race of people in favor of another, does raise the question as to whether or not gentrification was orchestrated to operate in such a manner; and if so, what are the affected groups going to do about it.

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