Monday, July 14, 2008

Gentrification is Dead: a proposition


As you are aware, the current global economic crisis, and the accompanying housing crash, have led to significant changes in the market for housing and the development of land. As such, the economic outlook, particularly for the housing market, is drastically different today than it was just a few short years ago.

The economic cycle of gentrification, against which many organizations and individuals have struggled for years, is primarily defined by the ability of developers and speculators to buy land for cheap in low-income communities, displace the residents, and then flip the property for big profits. The recent collapse of the housing market severely compromises the ability of developers and speculators to continue this path (at least for now).

The movement must constantly assess the economic and social conditions on the ground and adjust our strategies and tactics accordingly.

Consequently, Take Back the Land, a project of the Center for Pan-African Development, propositions that the recent economic cycle of gentrification is effectively over. In the attached position paper, Gentrification is Dead, we define gentrification, identifying the elements and characteristics therein, and then lay out an argument as to why those elements and characteristics are no longer actively in existence.  In addition, we attempt to identify what economic cycles might follow gentrification and how our strategies and tactics must change in order to meet the challenges of the new economic cycle.

This proposition is not intended to answer all questions or issue orders from the top. Instead, it is an attempt to begin an honest assessment of material conditions on the ground and shape appropriate responses to those conditions. As such, please forward this widely and discuss rigorously.

The piece can also be found, in its entirety, at:


Max Rameau
Take Back the Land
a project of the Center for Pan-African Development


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