View all Articles
Commentary By Stephen Eide

After Gentrification

Cities Housing

What becomes of cities when the yuppies flee?

Gentrification is the urban policy most closely associated with the neoliberal era. Though reports of neoliberalism’s death are greatly exaggerated, there is no question that policies such as free trade, deregulation, entitlement reform, and foreign intervention are now more on the defensive than 20 years ago. Gentrification may be vulnerable, too. Certainly, fertility decline and remote work pose threats to it. The smaller family sizes that have become normal in 21st-century America mean fewer potential urban professionals in the college-to-city pipeline. Those currents will be yet further stemmed by the increased share of white collar jobs done via Zoom

Gentrification is, at core, an economic strategy. It aims at increasing the number of middle- and upper-middle-class people living in urban cores. There always were, and always will be, young adults who want to live in cities. Gentrifiers differ from Patti Smith types, because they’re respectable and promise quantifiable gains to the urban economy such as higher real estate valuations. They moved into housing previously occupied by people with lower incomes.

Continue reading the entire piece here at The American Mind


Stephen Eide is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and contributing editor of City Journal.

Photo by Lady-Photo/iStock