Working Class and Gentrification

Topics: Working class, Real estate, Harlem Pages: 4 (1447 words) Published: May 9, 2011
Gentrification, a silent and gradual process that can change a neighborhood completely has displaced a vast amount of people within different areas. What is gentrification exactly? The classic scenario of gentrification is when low working class neighborhoods are transformed into a more attractable and expensive place more suitable for middle class families; a drastic change in standard living. Gentrification has been occurring all throughout the world and has been spreading rapidly, leaving many people without a home. Gentrification has happened since ancient times; in Britain in the third century large villas were being replaced by small shops. Gentry a word derived from genterise an old French word that means “gentle birth.” From Manhattan’s Lower East Side now to Harlem, many places have and are undergoing gentrification. Gentrification has its positives and its negatives which are beneficial to both sides, the old and the new residents. Do the pros outweigh the cons, are the old lower class residents being purposely moved out of an area in order to make a more prosperous? According to several articles and perspectives it all depends in which eyes we view gentrification from either the old residents who feel that the cons and greater than the pros or the view of the homeowner and the government whose intentions are to better the area and make living conditions better. In my opinion gentrification is beneficial in the greater sense that it is helping many people and the neighborhood grow by creating new and better opportunities that were not offered before.

Gentrification in Harlem has transformed a slummed abandoned neighborhood into a tourist attractive Mecca. The heart of Manhattan once was surrounded by large empty lots and vacant building. After World War II drugs, crimes, and poverty increased significantly in Harlem. Harlem was known as an unsafe area at this point. Today it has beautiful brownstone building, lavish condos, life and culture, and the...

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