The Instigator
asox44
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
LaL36
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Gentrification in cities

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
asox44
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/8/2017 Category: Economics
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 568 times Debate No: 101799
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

asox44

Con

I believe that gentrification in cities is bad for the community and only drives the working class families out because it increases the cost of living. It solves no problems and only marginalizes people more than they already have been.

Definitions
gentrification-the change in the character of a traditionally working-class area following an influx of new middle-class residents. [1]
(From what I have experienced this usually entails people coming from the suburbs with their money to newly "vogue" city living.)

Working Class- People in this group typically have blue-collar jobs " the kind where you work with your hands " and are paid on an hourly rather than a salaried basis. They also tend to have low levels of education. < $32,500 (2012)

Lower-Middle Class- The article defines this group as "lower-level, white-collar workers": office workers with lower income and little authority. It says most of them have college degrees, but not advanced degrees, and their income ranges from $32,500 to $60,000 ($33,670 to $62,150 in 2015 dollars).

Upper-Middle Class- This group, also called the professional class, fills the upper ranks of offices. Workers in this group often have post-graduate degrees and can earn as much as $150,000 ($155,390 in 2015 dollars).[2]

Percentages of People in these brackets

Working Class- Bottom 32%

Lower-Middle Class- Bottom 31%-Top 43%

Upper-Middle Class- Top 43%- Top 9%
[3]

Both parties provide burden of proof and first round can be acceptance or you can make your argument.
[1]http://chambers.co.uk...
[2]http://www.moneycrashers.com...
[3]http://www.nytimes.com...
LaL36

Pro

Thank you con for instigating and good luck.

I am willing to accept con’s definition of gentrification but I just hope that he understands that is very limited in terms of the scope, purpose, and effects of gentrification. I am deciding to begin arguments this round because I think the pro should usually go first in a debate by making the affirmative case.

Problems

Segregation

Gentrification is a measure that is taken to solve a certain issue. It must be established what the issue at hand is first before analyzing if this is a proper solution. It is very easy to simply characterize the issue as one of poverty but this does not sufficiently address all the issues at hand. The areas that are invested in for gentrification are downtrodden areas. These areas tend to be extremely racially segregated. This is environment is certainly no recipe for success for somebody who grows up in such a neighborhood. There is an example of such a neighborhood in Washington D.C. The issue with such racial segregation is that the poverty is concentrated as well in the area. In addition to that the statistics shows that these areas are far less educated and have an inferior education system [1].

In short, there is a clear negative correlation between racial and income segregation and relative economic mobility.

Crime

The issues certainly do not end there, however. Probably the biggest contributing factor to why these neighborhoods remain downtrodden is crime. People who grow in such neighborhoods have a far higher risk in experiencing crime including violent crime [2]. Most people do not want to open a store or invest their business in an area where there is a larger chance that it will get looted or vandalized and rightly so. Once again, this ensures that downtrodden areas remain downtrodden if productivity cannot function

A Potential Solution

How do you solve a problem of segregation? It should be a foregone conclusion that integration is the solution. The same is true for crime as well. A major part of segregation is investing in removing crime in the areas. If done properly, gentrification has been successful. Take New York City. Crime was significantly reduced in the 1990s due to heavy policing and some demographic changes and this led to an economic boom in the city as well [3].

Mayor Giuliani summed up the policy perfectly explaining “If the neighborhood looks as if someone is watching and maintaining order, it’s far more likely that order will prevail” [4].

Once again, this is true in terms of crime and in terms of economics as well. More people are willing to open businesses and invest in these neighborhoods if they are well maintained. Only under such circumstances can more productivity be created in such neighborhoods.

On to you con!

Sources:

[1]: https://www.brookings.edu...

[2]: http://www.apa.org...

[3]: http://www.nber.org...

[4]: http://nypost.com...

Debate Round No. 1
asox44

Con

Integration can be solved without gentrification. In order to integrate, one group of people does not have be wealthier than the other. The main reason that these areas are not educated is not because of their poverty, but because of bed governance. For example in August 2014 the DC Council approved a zoning change for Wilson HS. [1] This is one of the better public schools in Washington that is not a charter school or a STEM school, [2] and as you can see the zone was changed from the poorer, black neighborhoods to the richer, white ones. [3] Surely the government did not need to do this, or could have prioritized the lower income areas. However, they did not. A better solution to this would be public charter schools, which come from the community, not forces of gentrification. These schools have higher graduation rates for economically disabled minorities than actual public schools, and this task is completed using the resources already available to the city.

If education in lower income communities is prioritized then crime will decline. In 2016, New York city had it's highest graduation rate in city history. [4] Simultaneously, crime rates in New York City decreased drastically. One may say this is because of better police work, but "First-year Police Commissioner James O"Neill and Mayor de Blasio also cited the department"s recent embrace of neighborhood coordination officers who work in local precincts as a factor in the crime reductions." [5] This coordination inside of neighborhoods is the exact opposite of gentrification, working from the inside to make a city more safe and friendly.

I am not saying because people are poor they will be criminals. However, if decent education is not made available to them their options are limited. To quote WEB DuBois ""The function of the university is not simply to teach breadwinning, or to furnish teachers for the public schools, or to be a centre of polite society; it is, above all, to be the organ of that fine adjustment between real life and the growing knowledge of life, and adjustment which forms the secret of civilisation." [6]

[1] https://dme.dc.gov...
[2]https://osse.dc.gov...
[3] http://www.city-data.com...
[4] http://newyork.cbslocal.com...
[5] http://www.nydailynews.com...
[6] https://www.goodreads.com...
LaL36

Pro

Thank you for your response


Problems


Segregation


I proved last round that gentrification is a means of integration in intensely segregated neighborhoods. Con asserted that there are other means for integrating neighborhoods but gave no such method. Given that gentrification is literally integrating the neighborhood I cannot think of any other method of integration than integration itself. Con then points to education and I do not completely disagree with what he was saying. While this may solve a problem of education which I agree is crucial, it does not solve problems within the neighborhood itself because the data stands that these areas remain segregated.


Crime


Con seems to be arguing that a reduction in crime can be attributed to education. I would like to argue on this point. I would actually like to argue the opposite that a reduction of crime leads to better education within the community. Graduation rates are caused due to positive public safety outcomes and lower levels of crime [1]. Now I do agree with con about the importance of education for this issue. But Gentrification invests within the neighborhood as con alludes to as a solution. Deterring crime is just as much of a priority in addition to bringing in more educated people into the communities. Another point for con’s education point is that perhaps that is a solution on an individual level but not for the community level which is what is being dealt with. People do not live their life always solely based on the education they receive but culture in the community. Gentrification combats the culture within a community.


Sources:


[1]: http://criminal-justice.iresearchnet.com...


Debate Round No. 2
asox44

Con

Segregation

Con is correct in that I did not provide example to back up my point. I apologize for that. Now, I would like to argue that integration is possible without gentrification because they are two different things. The term gentrification was first used by British Sociologist Ruth Glass as "One by one, many of the working class quarters have been invaded by the middle class - upper and lower ... Once this process of 'gentrification' starts in a district it goes on rapidly until all or most of the working class occupiers are displaced and the whole social social character of the district is changed." [1] If this understanding stands true, then gentrification solves nothing, and only displaces people. For example, 422 out of almost 1600 San Francisco neighborhoods are at risk of displacement due to gentrification. [2] However, that article does mention that sometimes, specifically in New York, people are less likely to be displaced in gentrifying neighborhoods, resulting in a decrease of poverty in that specific neighborhood. My opponent may want to jump on this and say that this is proof gentrification works, but the article later shows that the neighborhoods near gentrified ones worsen in poverty, which means gentrification only concentrates wealth in a community, in turn not increasing the standard of living or quality of the community as a whole. [2] The better solution is integration. This involves improving a community without taking its identity. Integration is not a slowing of process, but a different approach to it. Instead of changing the demographics of a community completely, for example "In Little Havana [Miami]. . . one developer was trying to re brand it as West Brickell. When you strip that name, you start to take away the identity of the community in order to make a profit. " This is one of the many factors that creates gentrification" [3] said Marta Viciedo, who founded a civic innovation firm that tries to strengthen bonds between people and places. Also, in Wynwood, another neighborhood in Miami, most blue collar Puerto Rican's were pushed out during gentrification. "Almost everyone that used to live here has moved to Orlando," [3] one long-time resident said to filmmakers of award winning documentary Right to Wynwood. Another resident explained how he worked for an art gallery that came due to gentrification, and was told to prevent people that lived in the neighborhood from entering the building. He had lived there since 1964, calling himself a "a pioneer of Wynwood." [3] Integration would not drive people out, but use them as driving instruments to improve the city. The city as a whole would be diversified. Take New York, children "growing up in communities with a broader range of incomes results in them achieving higher incomes in their adult years. And a recent study from NYU"s Furman Center notes that children who lived in public housing within integrated communities experienced higher test scores and income." [3] Also, instead of government working to concentrate wealth in a neighborhood, they should work to bring it to the city. They could upzone, which allows bigger complexes to be built in order to accommodate more people, or reduce red tape to build buildings for work or residence. [3] Integration is a better solution than gentrification because it brings the whole city up, not just an elite few.

Crime

The source that you used to back up your argument "that a reduction of crime leads to better education within the community" says in the first paragraph "there is an overwhelming consensus among public officials, academics, teachers, and parents that postsecondary education is one of the most successful and cost-effective methods of preventing crime." [4] This contradicts your point that preventing crime leads to more education, and compliments my point that more education leads to less crime. Also, one of the main topics of the article is "Education as Crime Prevention" [4], not "Crime Prevention to Increase Education". To reiterate my point in round 2, first education must be prioritized, then crime will decline. Not the other way around.

[1] https://sites.google.com...
[2] http://www.citylab.com...
[3] https://thenewtropic.com...
[4] http://criminal-justice.iresearchnet.com...
LaL36

Pro

Segregation


Quoting a dictionary definition or examining the origins of a term does not accomplish anything when analyzing economic consequences. All that is relevant is the effects and incentives that emerge. Next con proposes integration without gentrification even though I proved in round 1 that gentrification clearly accomplishes this. Con engages in the same method of quoting the dictionary definition of integration and the origins of the terms as opposed to analyzing what methods accomplish this goal. Next con objects to the integration done from gentrification due to the fact that a name was changed in a neighborhood. This connects to my next contention of crime but I will address it here and that is that changing a name really benefits the productivity that can be created in that neighborhood. If I am opening a business there is no way that I am opening up one in Compton, California because of the crime and gangs associated with that neighborhood and I am sure con would have the same reasoning. But even if on paper crime was removed from that neighborhood the association of that city with crime and gangs cannot always be removed because of the legacy. Changing the names would prevent newcomers to this area or people starting businesses from being aware of such a thing. Once again we need to look at the effects of policies not how they will be perceived. A name change is something trivial and while some might be sad about it, the positive effects that emerge should prevail. I agree with pretty much everything that con wrote at the end of his paragraph. It is wrong to put restrictions on businesses or for buildings and I think reducing red tape is a good solution. But gentrification still needs to come first before that can happen.


Crime


Once again, con’s points about education and crime are not necessarily incorrect and I do not completely object to them. However, it simply cannot be denied that crime being reduced is the prerequisite for gentrification. And the biggest testament to that is that the prices increase in the neighborhood! Basic economics dictate that prices do not increase for no reason. Only once crime is decreased to the prices rise. Now, many might argue that price increase on property is not a good thing but this would reflect ignorance on economics. Prices are not inherently good or bad but rather a reflection of how scarce something is [1]. The reason that lower crime neighborhoods are more expensive is because of all the neighborhoods that do have crime. If less crime was more universal prices can then drop. This applies to the example con brought up regarding neighborhoods in New York. Con is correct on this point that I will jump and say this is evidence that gentrification works because it clearly demonstrates that gentrification worked in one neighborhood and that an area without gentrification declined [2]. It would be absurd to suggest that when a neighborhood progresses they should refuse to because they are bringing down the value of the other neighborhood. If we were to apply this principle to economics in general we would be completely stagnated because there would be no way to innovate. For example, the innovation of cell phones makes the sale of home phones decline [3]. This is how a market works; With each innovation, there are impacts. The inventive that is created to the other neighborhoods that con is referring to is that the principles of gentrification should be made in that neighborhood as well. Each neighborhood should be concerned with themselves on an individual level because it is impossible to do so in a completely centralized way. Con ignored the main idea about my point with education and crime. I do not object that in terms of individuals commit less crimes with more education in the long term. My point was that the culture of the community does not always change if the crime is still there. That is why gentrification includes bringing more educated people to the community to change that culture in addition to combating crime. Because if I am an educated man, once again, I cannot open a store in a place where there is very high crime no matter how educated I am. They must work hand in hand and you cannot have one without the other. Education in schools only helps for a new generation not for people who are already criminals. Gentrification does not prevent education it just prioritizes the immediate issue of crime. I was simply giving evidence that it can also positively benefit education as well.


Conclusion


For an economy to prosper we need to allow productive people to be productive and combat any burden to productivity such as crime. I have proven (and con did as well last round) that gentrification when executed properly worked in neighborhoods and neighborhoods that did not have gentrification remained segregated and high crime and even got worse. Of course, this does not mean that there are no other ways of improving a community such as education but when it comes to the overall economy and productivity of the neighborhood gentrification is a means of achieving that. Thank you con for debating and thank you voters for reading.


Sources:


[1]: http://www.investopedia.com...


[2]: http://www.citylab.com...


[3]: http://www.pewresearch.org...



Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by eZminT 8 months ago
eZminT
As a person who lives in Lubbock, I am quite thankful for gentrification--- me and my friends refer to it as "the bubble" - the bubble is the only part of town you want to be in trust me
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by warren42 8 months ago
warren42
asox44LaL36Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: https://www.debate.org/forums/miscellaneous/topic/100846/