How Authenticity and Gentrification Destroys Communities
“Gentrification, at its deepest level, is really about reorienting the purpose of cities away from being spaces that provide for the poor and middle classes and toward being spaces that generate capital for the rich.” ― Peter Moskowitz
Neighbourhoods gentrified by profit driven developers, chain stores grabbing plots of land in every trendy part of the city. Authenticity, a basic desire of the individual, is being replicated by city planners down to smart looking vintage chain stores determined to be the most authentic second hand something in town, to the redevelopment of whole neighborhoods into painted versions of what heartfelt authenticity is supposed to look like.
Authenticity is becoming harder for us to figure out.
Automatization is what you might expect of a well developed consumer society. Decisions about how we do things, how we live, and what we want to do to keep busy at the weekends can all be drilled down into an App that we keep on our smartphones.
We have accepted automatization as a way of life; Smartphone Apps that claim to carry out tasks that were previously the work of our brain power, algorithms that follow our internet movements and serve up juicy advertising that looks right up our street.
Now, we can search for an apartment, and have the description and price saved into an app, which will later remind us to check it out. Our decision making process is being hijacked, and we are sublimily told “not to worry, we’ve got you”, by the big online vendors.
Most of these automatic processes are still being tweaked and perfected to work accurately. The common business process is to send a product into the world and see what type of feedback the paying customers send back. We used to call this type of feedback a complaint about faulty goods, today, it’s an accepted way of developing a product.
Recently in my own neighborhood in Berlin, city developers and the local council used exactly this method of placing the product, and finding out what the locals had to say in the…