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What the Gentrification Debate Always Leaves Out

Armchair urbanists look at price-gouged coastal cities forgetting that many inner-cities lack development.

Illustration by Tyler Hoehne

We hear so much about exploding housing prices and class tensions in gentrifying neighborhoods like Brooklyn and San Francisco that it’s easy to imagine that’s the new normal for American cities. But we don’t hear nearly as much about the near east side of Akron, Ohio, or west Louisville, Kentucky—neighborhoods that are poor, have been for a long time, and, for the most part, just getting poorer and emptier. The sad fact is, the average urban neighborhood in America is much more like east Akron than northeast Brooklyn.

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