Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gentrification in Cabrini Green and the Gold Coast

According to Mirriam-Webster's online dictionary, Gentrification is defined as the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents.

One of the most fitting examples of this occured in Cabrini Green when the new Near North Library was built. When they built the library, they had the idea that they would build it on the border of the "slum" neighborhoods so as to make it as easily and centrally located to both communitites. What ended up happening is once the library went in, the neighborhood started getting less rough and newer buildings started going in to complement the library. Once this happened, property values began to rise and a new group began moving into the area: the middle class. When the property owners realized they could start charging higher rent because of the new, higher income levels, the low income families got driven out of the area, many into lower quality places, because they couldnt afford to live there anymore. This is a prime example of gentrification in Chicago.

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