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Unsettling the City: Urban Land and the Politics of Propert

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Catherine Coulter

on 16 December 2013

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Transcript of Unsettling the City: Urban Land and the Politics of Propert

Unsettling the City: Urban Land and the Politics of Property
design by Dóri Sirály for Prezi
Blomley's Proposed Solution
“Local control over housing and communities is needed: not by outsiders looking to maximize profits, but by the people who live there.”

-Advocates collective ownership over urban land as a means to legitimating residents claims to the development occurring in their area.



The Ownership Model
Owning property = owner has all the rights.
Owners free to use property as they wish.
Relies on absolute and definite spaces
Private ownership: fosters valued behaviors such as; responsible citizens, political participation, and economic entrepreneurship
Owners choose how they want to use or profit from their land.
Defining the Problem
"The moral vision is clear; moving people involuntarily from their homes or neighborhoods is wrong.”
Key Stakeholders
Assembling Evidence
-
Property and People
-property establishes how we assign order to the world, categorizing and coding spaces and people according to their relationship to property

-access to property is an important predictor of one's position within a social hierarchy, affecting class, race, and gender relations

Woodward's Department Store
Portside Park
94 acres of undeveloped land designated to be used as a seaport center, which would include a cruise ship facility, a hotel, and a casino

Activists who opposed Gentrification:
feared that neighboring hotels would evict current residents and instead re-rent units to service workers employed by seaport
development would make it a much more expensive area to live in.
felt they had a special claim over the park

Those who wanted gentrification complained the park was ugly, abandoned, and a waste of space
Proposed development would increase tourism and revenue.


Proponents of Gentrification Argue...
-Clean up of area will result in:
New houses
New residents
New businesses
More attractive

-Those who oppose gentrification oppose progress

-Choosing to not renew the area will detract from the potential of outside investment from businesses/developers etc.

-Crime rate should decrease
Opponents of Gentrification Argue...
"To Whom do things belong?"
The texts highlights the issue of gentrification in several areas, specifically throughout the Vancouver area.

What is gentrification?

Gentrification: Gentrification is the restoration and renovation of a poverty-ridden, urban areas by middle and upper class citizens.
Gentrification holds both good and bad qualities for urban areas, and we discuss the issues at length.
Private Property Owners
Low Income Families/Individuals
State/Federal Government
Entrepreneurs/Business Owners
Local/Community Businesses
Outside Entrepreneurs/ Business Owners

Example: Downtown East-side of Vancouver


Pre-gentrification: An area in Vancouver formally known for poverty, crime, and drugs
In the process of gentrification: The downtown east-side of Vancouver has been a prime area for capital investment; in terms of real estate

People in the community felt the store was a shared community building
felt they were entitled to decide how it would be used.
Activists camped outside the store and painted its windows with claims like “home sweet home”.
Some people could not understand why non-owners could claim that property; few of them actually owned property in the Downtown East-side.
Alternatives to Gentrification

“Equitable development is an approach to creating healthy, vibrant, communities of opportunity. Equitable outcomes come about when smart, intentional strategies are put in place to ensure that low-income communities and communities of color participate in and benefit from decisions that shape their neighborhoods and regions.”
http://www.policylink.org/site/pp.aspx?section=Using%20the%20Toolkit&c=lkIXLbMNJrE&b=5136575
Equitable Development
Equitable Development Tools
CDCs with resident shareholders
Resident owned CDFIS
Employer assisted housing
Just cause eviction controls
Living wage provisions
Rent control
Select the Criteria
a. Does the crime rate decrease in these areas?
b. Is there profound urban growth and development?
c. Is it fair and equitable to displace residents?
d. Is it efficient to displace residents?
e. Is it efficient to keep residents in original neighborhood?
f. Is it fair and equitable to not do anything about failing neighborhoods/businesses?

Project the Outcomes
If we gentrify:
Attracts outside businesses
Higher tax revenue due to a higher value of land

If we do not gentrify:
The Neighborhood and it’s culture remains intact
No displacement for residents

Gentrification seen as class warfare, the extermination and erasure of the marginalized.
an unjustified invasion of viable, working-class neighborhoods.

See property as “a vector of exclusion and displacement that threatens a valuable collective property relationship.”

Marginalizes people with lower socioeconomic status into moving constantly from area to area
need to live somewhere affordable
gentrification is eradicating affordable living areas

Gentrification destroys the communal spirit of neighborhoods and threatens heritage within certain neighborhoods.

Gentrification in the United States
Established in cities where poverty and crime rates were high

How did it begin?
Manufacturing economies turned to post-industrial service economies after WW2
This created higher-paying jobs and more opportunities for people in central city-areas
Cities like Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, St.Louis, and Washington D.C. were seriously affected
Why does it happen so much?
Excess of deteriorated housing in central city areas and immense growth in professional jobs located in these central areas.
Market offers almost no protection to vulnerable tenants and there is not much state intervention and regulation.

" A building is never just a building."
Closer to Home
Norfolk Va, St’ Pauls Quadrant

Proposed Plan
Full transcript