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Gentrification in San Francisco and Washington D.C.

This presentation illustrates distinct differences and similarities in how gentrification takes shape and how.

Jessica Hernandez

on 18 March 2014

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Transcript of Gentrification in San Francisco and Washington D.C.

Small businesses and Non-Profits are disappearing

Rent and evictions both increasing

Middle class ($80-150,000) needs to work 3+ full time jobs to live in SF
The Future of SF
As the more conservative upper-class starts to replace the lower and middle-class citizens who are generally more liberal, the city will become less liberal and more conservative

SF natives displaced to:
Surrounding cities, like Oakland and Daily City.

Stopping of Tech shuttles by protesters

Stopping of MUNI buses by protestors

Coalitions and petitions formed against housing developments
Where is this happening?
Neighborhoods that are close to South Bay
Noe Valley
Proposals for development


Those who like the change and creative innovation

Gentrification in SF Mission District
Who is this happening to?
“Latinos, who once accounted for nearly half of the Mission's population, now make up just over a third, according to the most recent census data”


"The median income of a white household, $102,245, is more than twice that of a Hispanic household"

"San Francisco Tenants Union estimates that no-fault evictions displaced nearly 1,400 renters in 2013."

Clean Up the Plaza
13,000 + citizens signed petition against the conditions of the 16th St. Bart Station

16th St. BART station has increased crime rates
“you are more likely to be stabbed here than in any other place in San Francisco.”

Petition has increased police surveillance, who are seen as protectors of the gentrifier's
Google provides free MUNI transportation for low income youth for 2 years.

Total of $6.8 million
Examining Urban Renewal
in San Francisco and Washington D.C.


Reversing Suburbanization
Property and
Contesting Gentrification
“Property, or ‘property relations’ are fundamental social relations in which the relations between people are expressed in the relation between people and things." (Encyclopedia of Marxism)
Population Displacement

Home-ownership vs. Renters
Appeal of the city, proximity to workplaces
Developing new urban spaces under the banner of urban renewal
Yuppies, trust-fund babies

Historical Drivers
“Suburbanization describes growth of areas on the fringes of major cities” (Boundless).

Push Factors
Pull Factors
Urban Sprawl

D.C. Overview
The transition from homeowners to renters creating demand for new housing forms.
Investors and developers capitalizing on these needs
Contested changes in terms of city planning and gentrifying neighborhoods
14th Street
On a 1-mile stretch over
1,200 condos
100,000 square feet
of retail space in 9 months
Development Net Worth:
$525 million
H Street
“This process was imposed on us, and now it's driving us out of here,” said Pamela Johnson, who owns a small storefront building.
Giving Voice to Gentrification
“...that the financial health of original residents in gentrifying neighborhoods seems to be increasing, as compared to original residents in non-gentrifying, low-priced neighborhoods.” (NPR 2014).
What happens when white affluence moves back to the city?
What role does access to monetary capital influence these dynamics?

How does gentrification displace existing communities and to what extent is there detriment or benefit to them?
“Gentrification is the process by which poor and working class neighborhoods in the inner city are
via an influx of private capital and middle-class homebuyers and renters - neighborhoods that had previously experienced disinvestment and middle-class exodus” (Smith 30)
“...population becomes centralized, as does capital, and heavily centralized populations are what cities are all about” (Merrifield 36)
“...journeying on thoroughfares lined on both sides by an unbroken series of shops, concealing the grimy misery that lurks behind” (Merrifield 36).
Framing Gentrification
new capital investment
replacing stores
altering the "identity" of a place
population displacement
changes in urban activity spaces
rent and property ownership increase
2004 2013
2004 2013
2004 2013
2011 2013
city planning decisions without resident input
why are stylized lamposts, artistic sidewalks and dog parks a good use of public funds?
“Albert Hopkins Jr., a property owner in Ward 8, said romanticizing the past was misguided. ‘Were we happy that we were 90 percent black?” he said. “No. It was nothing to light a bonfire over, because we were 90 percent black without resources.
"that's nobody Mr. Mayor,
nobody at all"
better schools
better parks
reduced crime
job opportunities
Washington D.C.
Mt. Pleasant
offers crystallized portrait of gentrification's influence
twice gentrified
renegotiates existing neighborhood identities
poor housing market and volatile capital interest rates
commodifying ethnic identities as storefronts and tourism
chocolate city?
“'There are different types of people here, but that doesn’t water down the chocolate,'” (Washington City Paper)
- Long history of new groups
replacing old

-75,000 new residents over last decade

-1,500 new housing units being built each year

-Latinos dominated the mission after the whites moved
to suburbia“the Mission went from one-tenth Latino in 1950 to nearly half Latino by 1970.”

-"American cities are looking more and more like European ones, with inner cities becoming rich while poorer people migrate to the outer-ring suburbs."

Ellis Act:
Allows landlord to remove all
tenants and re-purpose or sell

1948 Urban Renewal Act:
Provided federal funding to
clear out slums and support
urban renewal projects

1) 2011- Tax breaks for tech companies (like Twitter) to settle in downtown SF, SOMA (South of Market)

2) January- The mayor announces his plan to reform the Ellis Act and a housing plan to include 30,000 new homes by 2020.
- 1/3 of housing will be affordable

3) Other cities and towns have restricted denser housing, where SF has allowed development to occur.
SF has highest income in USA

Median monthly rent increasing
3x more than national average

Tech start-ups offer average salary
of $105,000

Clean Up The Plaza - Clean Up The Plaza. (n.d.). Clean Up The Plaza. Retrieved February 20, 2014, from http://cleanuptheplaza.com/index.html

Corbyn, Zoë. "Is San Francisco losing its soul?" The Observer. 23 Feb. 2014. Guardian News and Media. 6 Mar. 2014 <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/23/is-san-francisco-losing-its-soul>.

Edwards, Jim. "This Map Suggests Gentrification In San Francisco Is Caused By Childless Tech Workers And Their Company Buses." Business Insider. 29 Jan. 2014. Business Insider, Inc. 5 Mar. 2014 <http://www.businessinsider.com/map-shows-gentrification-in-san-francisco-by-childlesstech-workers-2014-1>.

"Google Sets Example By Trying To Offset Perils Of SF Gentrification." TechCrunch. 5 Mar. 2014 <http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/28/hyperlocal-philanthropy/>.

Hartman, Chester. "City for sale : the transformation of San Francisco / Chester Hartman, with Sarah Carnochan." University of California Press (2002). Print.

Jones, S. (n.d.). San Francisco Bay Guardian. Controversial housing proposal at 16th and Mission follows calls to "Clean up the Plaza". Retrieved February 20, 2014, from http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2014/02/19/controversial-housing-proposal-16th-and-mission-follows-calls-clean-plaza

Mack, H. (n.d.). KQED. KQED News Fix. Retrieved February 20, 2014, from http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2014/01/02/anti-gentrification-protest-san-francisco-mission/

Pensador, R. (n.d.). Daily Kos. The SF Mission District: Standing Up Against Gentrification And Evictions. Retrieved February 20, 2014, from http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/13/1246883/-The-SF-Mission-District-This-is-How-You-Fight-Back-Against-Corporate-Raiders#

"Salon." Saloncom RSS. 6 Mar. 2014 <http://www.salon.com/2014/02/16/san_franciscos_rightward_turn_why_it_may_no_longer_be_americas_iconic_liberal_city/>.

Scott, C. (2013, March 6). The Continuing Evolution of 24th Street: Centuries of Change. - Page 1. Retrieved February 20, 2014, from http://www.sfweekly.com/2013-03-06/news/the-continuing-evolution-of-24th-street/

"SFGate Blog." SFGate Blog. 5 Mar. 2014 <http://blog.sfgate.com/stew/2014/03/03/you-know-your-neighborhood-is-being-gentrified-when/#20919101=19>.

Shin, A. (2013, July 21). Gentrification in overdrive on 14th Street [Electronic version]. The Washington Post.

Tavernise, S. (2011, July 18). A Population Changes, Uneasily [Electronic version]. The New York Times.

"The New Republic." New Republic. 6 Mar. 2014 <http://www.newrepublic.com/article/112886/san-franciscos-gentrification-problem-isnt-gentrification>.

Montagne, R. (Narrator), Laura Sullivan (Writer). (2014, January 24). Gentrification May Actually be Boon to Longtime Residents (Radio Broadcast). Washington D.C. National Public Radio.

Wieners, B. (n.d.). Gentrifying Valencia.FoundSF RSS. Retrieved February 20, 2014, from http://foundsf.org/index.php?title=Gentrifying_Valencia

Merrifield, A. (n.d.). Metromarxism (p. 36). London: Houtledge.

The Housing Question. In Encyclopedia of Marxism. Retrieved from: http://www.marxists.org/encyclopedia/terms/p/r.htm#property
McDonalds- Summer 2013
McDonalds- NOW (months later)
Can you see it?
Tech Shuttles
Tech workers live in SF and
commute to work via shuttle

35,000+ people daily

Conveniently placed in areas with food, however not childcare

Gentrifiers= childless tech workers

Shuttle buses aid gentrification
1. Shuttle stops
areas of increased
property values
2. Shuttle stops
3. Shuttle Stops
Childcare services
SF referenc
Shuttle stop across from one of my jobs
Case Study- 24th and Mission
Full transcript