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Bring the artists, students, and gays

Most realtors will tell you that urban renewal (and gentrification) follow a pattern: first come the artists, then the students, then the gays, then the Gap. How can we speed up that process and attract these groups to these ailing cities?

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Most realtors will tell you that urban renewal (and gentrification) follow a pattern: first come the artists, then the students, then the gays, then the Gap.

Perhaps we speed up that process and by offering these marginalized groups artist coops and grants, lower rents, and gay-friendly legislation.

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Reminds me of the notion behind Richard Florida's Creative Class: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_class He's collected a number of case studies on this and has comprehensive thoughts on the subject.

Theres a great bit Colbert does before he interviews Florida about the "Bohemian-Gay Index." http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/183125/july-16-2007/richard-florida
Behind the hilarity of the exchange there is a lot of truth behind it, as other post-ers have attested to. The reason why this "Creative Class" come to a new area is the availability of cheap rent and the extra leeway they tend to get from the authorities (or in other words, a certain laxness in regulation common to underdeveloped areas).

I agree with Maria, certain programs or initiatives geared towards the creative class is a very effective tool to jump start development. But maybe instead of speeding up the process of gentrification, we slow it down? What if we can really encourage the creative class to take root so that when the Gap and Starbucks finally comes, the local fashion designer or cafe owner will still have their clientele.
(btw, I LOVE the photo of the street art!)

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