“I have a friend who jokes (?) about how this neighborhood is full of yuppie scum like us now.” –From the Denver-based blog, Bird Wanna Whistle
On the walk home I noticed some signs plastered to a dumpster, “Stop Gentrification.” I’ve seen them before and have always intended to explore the topic a little more.
In 2007, a New York Times writer identified gentrification as a leading leitmotif among writers and scholars studying the reshaping of Manhattan. The title of the article was Gentrification as Benign Ethnic Cleansing.
Gentrification, however, is nothing new. In fact, it’s ancient, although the term, derived from words like gentlemen and gentry, was not coined until the 1960s. In a 1998 editorial cartoon the Washington Post’s Tom Toles shed this light:
Gentrification in Oklahoma City: Examining Urban Revitalization in Middle America
It’s 2011, and with Census data now more available, I wonder if we’ll begin to hear more about gentrification in Oklahoma City. Last month, at the Association of American Geographers’ annual meeting in Seattle, Clint Petty of the University of North Texas presented a paper, Gentrification in Oklahoma City: Examining Urban Revitalization in Middle America. I’ve emailed the author for more information. In the meantime, Here is the abstract:
“Gentrification applies not only to the largest and oldest cities; it is a multi-scalar phenomenon playing out in smaller and less prominent settings as well. This study examines temporal changes in property values, demographic characteristics, and types of businesses in the central Oklahoma City area. A major urban revitalization project which began there in 1993 created strong gentrification characteristics near the renewal’s epicenter, the Bricktown entertainment district. Data suggests that several specific neighborhoods in the surrounding area exhibited a rise in property values, an improvement in educational attainment rates, and a shift toward cosmopolitan retail activity. While it is evident that Bricktown has been transformed, the socio-economic traits of surrounding neighborhoods have been altered by the ripple effects of urban renewal.”
In April, Clybourne Park won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for drama. The play by Bruce Norris is about race relations and the impact of modern gentrification on one Chicago neighborhood.