Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Neighborhood change/gentrification

Amazon headquarters, Seattle

The fourth phase of the new headquarters that Vulcan is building for is seen at an unveiling on March 22, 2011 in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood. Elliot Suhr/

When I write about "gentrification" I make the point that the issue is really about neighborhood change, and that the "new people" are different from the "old people" and that these differences aren't always economic or racial, but can include differences in educational attainment, where you work, etc.

The South Lake Union neighborhood in Seattle is in a long term redevelopment process, not unlike the old urban renewal ideals but with better design, initiated by co-founder of Microsoft Paul Allen, and his Vulcan Realty Group. See "Vulcan completes most of new Amazon headquarters: Developer touts plan for taller buildings elsewhere in South Lake Union" from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The streetcar initiative in Seattle was pushed forward to support the intensification of this neighborhood. (South Lake Union streetcar case study, Reconnecting America.)

Apparently, not everyone is with the program, according to this piece, "Hey, ‘Am-hole!’ South Lake Union calls out Amazon employees," from the SPI, which describes and pictures a flyer posted around the neighborhood, with criticism of the behavior of workers from's headquarters complex--illustrating the complexity of thinking about and dealing with neighborhood change.
amhole, protest flyer against Amazon workers, Seattle
Photo via reddit user istrebitjel.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home