Also known as gentrification, the overwhelming demand for young, white, creative millennials for homes in the “it” cities of our country today have drastically driven up real estate prices for homes and apartments in the urban centers. Once thought of as a good idea for cities needing to attract more technological professionals and those with computer science degrees, this exodus trend hasn’t boded well for the original inhabitants of the city unable to keep up with rising costs.
A man by the name of Richard Florida was one of the driving people behind this millennial shift back in 2002 when he advised mayors, town board members, and other types of city planners to cater to the up-and-coming generation of techies. Real estate developers began building out complexes that prioritized pool and gym access to everything else. Florida even published his best-selling book “The Rise of the Creative Class” in 2002, arguing that cities needed to save themselves from post-industrial ruin by attracting the best young talent out there today.
Somewhere along the way, however, Florida realized that these very workers he wanted brought in were essentially eating these cities alive. Places like New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Austin are jammed packed with this unbearable creative class. In turn, huge populations of mostly blue-collar and poor, minority residents have been pushed from their homes.
“I think to be honest, I and others didn’t realize the contradictory effect,” stated Florida this past Tuesday. He realizes how that these individuals have driven living costs to such heights that low-income and oftentimes middle-income households are being forced elsewhere. It’s a damaging lash-back effect that may be bringing in new city residents, but is also kicking out twice as many at the same time. Today, there’s an urban crisis, and Florida isn’t so sure what we should do to remediate it.