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Jamaica Plain
4 Mar 2014
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My interest in gentrification goes back about 11 years. At that time, I had just moved to the Jamaica Plain (JP) neighborhood of Boston. I was then an art student in search of affordable housing in a vital and diverse urban neighborhoods with a lot of artists. 

JP has followed the way of the Mission or Divisadero (NoPa) in SF, Williamsburg/Greenpoint/Bushwick and soon Clinton Hill/Bed Stuy, and so many other neighborhoods in American cities.

Is gentrification all bad? Certainly not. If gentrifiers and community residents can work together to make their neighborhoods viable for lower- and middle- class folks as well as the gentry, then quality of life can improve for all. 

A strong sense of identity, grassroots organizing, and demanding to be part of the political process and city planning/rezoning is what will keeps cities vital. If the community can't meet these demands, you will have Disneyfication (as in parts of Manhattan), or you will live in a place of two cities-- typically very poor people of color and very rich white folks.  

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