Blog #4- RBA Outline(Gentrification)


Research question: How have gentrification and its effects manifested themselves in New York City and San Francisco? And how have certain activist efforts and movements within each city attempted to counter such a nuanced, controversial and dual phenomenon(duality)? Are there ways in which each city’s anti-gentrification activist efforts differ in nature and tactics, and are there ways in which each city’s different activist movements perhaps converge and are very similar? Also, how has the nature of anti-gentrification activism/efforts in these cities evolved over time?



Gentrification is an issue of severe import due to the particular nature and acute duality of the phenomenon. There are positive consequences of gentrification, such as its aesthetic improvement/polishing of cities, which have the effects of deluding the untrained eye into predominantly perceiving the narrowly obtained benefits of the phenomenon. However, the process of gentrification causes a myriad of acute negative consequences throughout the city and simultaneously obfuscates such negative consequences through the glistening aesthetics and promises of the new amenities, businesses and improvements, which it brought. (this makes it an issue, which is somewhat difficult to concretely discern, perceive, comprehend and counter) Gentrifications benefits are narrowly allocated, yet its costs amongst certain demographics and groups of residents can be severe and diffuse. In San Francisco and New York, a number of anti-gentrification activist movements and efforts have emerged in an attempt to fight such costs in their neighborhoods.(numerous activist groups-many that are relatively small and diverse-different with each neighborhood so they don’t always form a robust universal movement)



Road map:

  • Introduce the concepts and definition of gentrification
  • Present and introduce a number of scholarly sources and opinions, which discuss gentrification
  • Discuss the immediate and long-term effects of gentrification in New York and San Francisco
    • By doing so, I will demonstrate that gentrification, as supported by data and trends, does clearly result in a myriad of threatening consequences that must be addressed
    • Emphasize that gentrification is an extremely disconcerting reality for many of the local residents of a city and for the character/purpose of the city in general
    • I will interweave such data and concrete facts with some of the scholarly arguments and opinions on gentrification I referred to in the paragraph prior
      • Using certain data and stories to counter some of the scholarly pro-gentrification arguments I will present earlier in the paper. Such data (rent costs, homogenization, displacement, loss of jobs) will underscore how gentrifications costs often outweigh its narrow benefits and thus support some of the anti-gentrification scholarly arguments I refer to earlier on.
    • I will examine anti-gentrification activist efforts and movements in New York and San Francisco
      • Looking at some of the most prominent activist movements and battles against urban development in the mid to late 20th centuries as well as the current movements in each city
      • I will explore how such anti-gentrification activism has potentially evolved throughout time by examining the key anti-gentrification battles and movements throughout these cities histories and comparing them to those of modern day
      • I will explore the similarities of San Francisco and New York activist movements and perhaps some of the differences
        • Why is there not really a universal anti-gentrification movement at the forefront of national dialogue? Movements are very localized and dispersed-are there some discernable differences in the demands of San Francisco activist groups vs. New York activist groups?

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