Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Luxury cities: New York and San Francisco

Rincon Hill: 64 stories of luxury condos

The Revolt Against Urban Gentry
by Joel Kotkin

The imminent departure of New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his replacement by leftist Bill DeBlasio represents an urban uprising against the Bloombergian “luxury city” and the growing income inequality it represents. Bloomberg epitomized an approach that sought to cater to the rich—most prominently Wall Street—as a means to both finance development growth and collect enough shekels to pay for services needed by the poor... 

similar argument was made recently about California by an urban liberal (and former Oakland Mayor) Jerry Brown, who claimed the state’s highest-in-the-nation poverty rate reflected its “incredible attractiveness"...The revolt against this mentality surfaced first in New York perhaps because the gaps there are so extreme. Wall Streeters partied under Bloomberg, but not everyone fared so well...

San Franciscans turned down a new luxury condo development along their waterfront in large part because it was perceived as yet another intrusion of the ultra-rich. Even as the city enjoys its most recent tech bubble, resentment grows between the tech elites, including those traveling on private buses to Silicon Valley, and ordinary San Franciscans struggling to cope with soaring housing costs...

Read the whole thing here.

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