The G-Word

Another of Cleveland’s neighborhoods may be undergoing new development in the near future.  An article in today’s PD reports a group from Florida is able to continue with their plans to redevelop part of the Hough (no relation) neighborhood.

Hearing of plans to revitalize another neighborhood is good.  Especially Hough, with its proximity to some of Cleveland’s already vibrant areas.

But where does the dark side of redevelopment come in?

Is gentrification a benefit to society, or the condemnation and damnation of those poor souls that only got in the way of “progress”?

Ohio City and Tremont, two of my favorites, are both growing and trendy because of their recent redevelopments and, of course, gentrification.  Not quite the Disneyfied gentrification that plagues New York’s Times Square, mind you, but gentrification nonetheless.  And Cleveland has benefited.

But this city, like every city, is made up of people from varied backgrounds.  The art student moving into the city with the recent “youth wave” is no more or less a Clevelander than the young man who grew up inner-city.  So how can our ideas of redevelopment take both into account?

For Cleveland to be truly successful, we need to seek answers that help all of our citizens.  Building an area up only to push out the locals is not an ultimate answer.  Soon enough, they will have nowhere else to go.

As we move forward and look to fix-up more of our neighborhoods, we must remember this.  We should not revitalize them only for the privileged set.  We need to revitalize them for everybody.

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