"The ballet of the good city sidewalk never repeats itself from place to place, and in any one place is always replete with new improvisations.” So said Jane Jacobs, urban studies expert, and influencer of many current modes of thinking on urban development. But has gentrification, as we know it, been able to achieve her high ideal? Gentrification has many supporters and just as many detractors; some say change is necessary and that gentrification, as an agent of that change, is here to stay. Others worry that gentrification eliminates social and income diversity, driving out small businesses and lower-income people from their well-established communities. Either way, it's a hot topic as cities in North America take on the challenge of restoration and renewal.
The Agenda looked at both sides of the debate with: Sharon Zukin, Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College; Christopher Leinburger, Research Professor of Real Estate at the George Washington University School of Business; Martine August, University of Toronto Department of Geography and Program in Planning; Diane Dyson, Director of Research and Public Policy at WoodGreen Community Services and Kyle Rae, former city counsellor and urban development consultant.
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