Gentrification, Displacement, and Neighborhood Revitalization

By J. John Palen; Bruce London | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THIRTEEN
Through the Glass Darkly: Gentrification, Revitalization, and the Neighborhood

J. JOHN PALEN AND BRUCE LONDON

Ideally, the concluding remarks for an anthology such as this should integrate the diverse findings of the works represented by highlighting new insights into the subject gained through the collected evidence presented in the volume. Presumably, this knowledge may then be used to predict future developments and guide the formulation of policy. Such an ideal, however, assumes that more agreement than disagreement will be found. This is not necessarily so with the present study of gentrification and revitalization. Our knowledge of the causal processes involved is still imperfect and our ability to make reasoned judgements about future developments and trends is thus limited.


EXTENT OF REVITALIZATION

Our final comments properly begin therefore with some caveats. For example, the popular press has a tendency to discuss gentrification as if it is an irresistable new wave that will wash over neighborhood after neighborhood (see, for example, and article by David Blum, in Newsweek, January 3 1983). This will not necessarily occur. Middle- and upper-class revitalization is still a risk-taking enterprise involving substantial investment. This investment includes large amounts of time and energy as well as money. Only a limited proportion of the population is able to make such an investment and, of course, not all who are able are so inclined. Not

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