Every movement must engage, without fear of the results, in regular and rigorous re-assessments of assumptions, strategies, tactics and objective material conditions, including those of the prevailing economic data and cycles. The failure to engage in such analysis will result in a static fight against a dynamic enemy, a formula guaranteed to fail.
This proposition- that the economic cycle of gentrification is over and, therefore, we must shift our strategies and tactics to fight the next economic cycleis not intended as a definitive piece to be wholly accepted or entirely rejected. Nor, due to the nature of local real estate markets, will this piece apply to every region in the US, as there are some areas where the possibilities of gentrification remain strong, including well known places, such as New Orleans, and lessor known markets, such as small cities in the Carolinas. Rather, this is an attempt to identify a prevailing, if not obvious, economic trend, thereby initiating a movement wide assessment of the conditions under which we engage in our work.
This piece seeks to accomplish four objectives:
- first, define gentrification, including the elements required and their relationship to one another;
- second, articulate, in the context of the definition and elements, why the economic cycle of gentrification is effectively over;
- third, hypothesize what economic cycles might follow that of gentrification; and
- fourth, propose strategic and tactical shifts to improve living conditions and grow power in impacted communities