Lights Out for Gentrification?


Looting and violence in the US means a lack of safety: something Jane Jacobs said was “the bedrock attribute of a successful city.” Is this sending more people away from cities, faster?

Kay S. Hymowitz discusses life in Brooklyn’s Park Slope, social network theory, the future of cities and gentrification, and more with Charles F. McElwee, assistant editor of City Journal. Hymowitz is the William E. Simon Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. She writes extensively on childhood, family issues, poverty, and cultural change in America.

“I think it’s lights out for gentrification. We may still see young, college-educated strivers moving to cities to start their careers, but more established professional workers will shun public transportation, demand more telecommuting, and make their escape to the suburbs. A lot of what made urban living so appealing for that group—the indie theaters, restaurants, and cafés—will not be coming back. Gentrifiers were able to take safety, a degree of cleanliness, and lively street life for granted. All of that is now in doubt.”

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