Why Does Gentrification Occur?
Why does gentrification occur in major cities all across the globe?
This is a great question. Although this article will primarily focus on the negative effects of gentrification and its displacement of "mom and pop" small businesses which has plagued my home of New York City over the past 25 years or so, gentrification is a global epidemic that has occurred in major cities all over the world.
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Over gentrification has certainly become an ever-growing problem in numerous major cities, not only in the United States. Despite such United States major cities leading the way as New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Miami, Memphis, and Houston, the gentrification problem has reached major cities worldwide.
We have delved into this situation and have discovered that over gentrification currently is happening in worldwide cities such as London (in fact, where the problem may even be worse than New York City), Vancouver British Columbia, Canada, (where we have testimony for), Capetown South Africa, and Barcelona Spain.
These are only but a few that I have mentioned.
Here is what one of our anonymous commenters living in Vancouver wrote:
"Kaju, I live on the exact opposite end of the continent from you and in one of (if not THE) most un-affordable places in Canada. Everyone wants to "retire" here as our weather is temperate, but this means retirees across the country have pushed houses prices to insane levels. A complete tear-down rotted house located in proximity to downtown will fetch nearly $1-million and that's for a TEAR DOWN.
Wages have not kept up at all. The national Cost of Inflation averages at 2.5% per year (keep in mind, that's based on a national average, so if you live in the MOST expensive part of the country, your 'average' would be significantly higher), so if you're not earning a wage increase of at least 2.5% per year, you're falling further and further behind. My employer has afforded me wage increases of 0%, 0%, and 2% over 3 years. They actually negotiated a wage increase last year based on something absurd that equated to a whopping $0.13/hour and our union touted that as a "good thing".
Our fuel prices are the highest in the country. Groceries are obscenely priced compared to elsewhere. My kids play sports (hockey) and that's a $1500/year expense + gear + tournament travel, so triple that price for an exact number.
People live paycheque to paycheque with zero savings. The debt ratio in our area is astonishing. My wife's cousin posted an excited message on Facebook where she mentioned she now knows after meeting with a financial planner the exact YEAR and MONTH they will get out of debt - the scary part is that's 8 years out...
Businesses are going bankrupt all over and NOBODY can have a small business in the downtown core and survive. The commercial rents are the highest in the country! Added to that are the business and property taxes that the cities levy and that breaks most. Just yesterday in the news a 'famous' local chocolate company in Vancouver has had to close for those exact reasons. But that said, there's a Starbucks around the corner (if not on EVERY corner)."
That's why there's Trouble in the Village.
We are living in very dangerous times where for the past 10-15 years affordable living has become an ever greater challenge in major cities, where starting and thriving in a startup brick and mortar business such as a storefront on the street of a decent neighborhood has all but become virtually impossible.
Let's analyze this current epidemic and rationalize why does gentrification occur.
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Mom and Pops Pushed Out By the Oligarchs
Due to skyrocketing rents and real estate, the "mom and pop shops" are being pushed out by the only entities that could afford to pay such astronomical real estate prices: the large chain conglomerates and the oligarchs.
The major cities of the United States have long been taken over by the Wal-Marts, the Duane Reades, and Starbucks.
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Over gentrification - by definition the process of renovating deteriorated urban neighborhoods by means of the influx of more affluent residents, thus forcing relocation of current, established residents and businesses to move and seek lower cost housing and stores - has become a global problem in so many major cities.
Such over gentrification has been taken to new heights in recent years particularly in New York City and in London.
However since I live in the great and diverse metropolis of New York City, let me take this opportunity to express to you first hand the problems we have been facing - and the Great Project I'm currently involved with that is raising awareness .
Trouble in Greenwich Village NYC Answers Why Does Gentrification Occur
There's trouble in The Village in NYC.
My dear friends, in New York City's once epicenter and sanctuary for the Arts Greenwich Village - the historic place that brought us Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Judy Collins, Andy Warhol, Jack Kerouac, Richard Pryor, Lady Gaga, Lenny Bruce, and Stonewall - this over gentrification problem has been taken to new dizzying heights, and it is not good.
I'm proud to say I've not only built the website, but have become an integral part of the project team of the director of this award winning documentary film that premiered in NYC for two shows daily from October 19-25, 2018.
The Lost Village: An Award Winning Documentary On Why Does Gentrification Occur
Director Roger Paradisio has created the Award Winning ground breaking documentary called "The Lost Village" the first film exposing how large private education institutions such as New York University (NYU) has become the largest real estate companies in the Big Apple.
Through tuition gouging, NYU has made higher education practically unaffordable and have degraded the quality of life of the students. This example answers the question why does gentrification occur.
This is a provocative film about how The Village is losing its historic character.
In this film for the first time ever, Paradiso exposes among many things the hidden "secrets" behind some long-known truths about these large education institutions - such institutions that exist all over the country - and furthermore provides proof how NYU's vast majority of students have had to resort to "turning tricks" such as prostitution to earn enough money to afford to pay the astronomical tuition.
It costs $36,664 per one undergraduate semester for each NYU student including all direct and indirect expenses. That’s per semester! Considering there are 8 semesters in a 4-year undergraduate education that would be a total cost of $293,312 for a Bachelor’s degree!
Other secrets Paradiso covers in the film the oligarchs don't want you to know:
The film has already won several notable Outstanding Film Awards including
Making It a Town Hall
After each film showing, there was a special Q&A "Town Hall" style session with a panel of experts who discussed the vital issues addressed in the film. Everyone in the audience was invited to participate, and each 30 minute panel discussion was aired on Facebook Live.
Kaju was the moderator during some of the sessions.
After watching the film and listening to the panelists, Villagers who attended were free to audition for a role in the sequel, and a video clip will was made available.
Why Does Gentrification Occur? Watch this Great Film
"The Lost Village" premiered at the Cinema Village Theater in NYC for two viewings daily (2:45 pm and 6:45 pm) from Friday October 19-25, 2018.
This award-winning documentary on why does gentrification occur is now on DVD.
Please contact me directly if you would like additional information or leave a comment below.