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NGI: Neighborhood Gentrification Index

An analytical measure of yuppification
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The NGI is a quantitive demographic measure of neighborhood utility, in other words usefulness. The main component in the index is the mean ratio of useful shops (hardware, deli) versus useless (expensive boutiques and those mysterious places that don't sell anything not made of gilt, twigs, or oversized candles). Other factors include average SUV density, mean free parking space lifetime (low = high NGI), aromatherapy molecular density, cellphone aggro factor, and fraction of artificial illumination due to clear fairy lights.

It should be added that rmutt has nothing in particular against the gentry (indeed, could be accused of being a member) but would just like to know where to go to get useful stuff versus overpriced coffees and teas.

rmutt, Dec 07 2000

Gentrify San Francisco User Manual http://www.sfbg.com...Features/clean.html
two year old article and it's only gotten worse.. or better if you're into this sort of thing [raisin, Dec 07 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       Not cell phones per se, but what I call "cell phone aggro" which is loud and/or trivial jabber from the next table or the pedestrian behind you.
rmutt, Dec 07 2000

       This is stupid.   

       Gentrification happens before the businesses move in. The way to predict the degree of gentrification is by measuring the number and type of cars parked in the street. As gentrification increases, the number of midrange and expensive cars increases.   

       There's a difference between yuppies and gentry. The gentry are not necessarily rich. They may not make more than $40,000, but the issue is that they are forcing rents up in areas where the homeless and poor reside. They are moving into the very poorest neighborhoods, and converting rentals into condos.
wildgift, May 10 2001

       Mephista speaks of gentry as being "sweet old ladies...who are natives of a place and whose parents and grandparents were natives of the same place."   

       Assuming we are talking about America, where exactly is such a place populated by such people (outside of Massachusettes, perhaps)? Three generations of natives is not the easiest thing to find anywhere in this country, although Gentrification Thinkers think the set-up is as common as dirt.   

       Anti-gentrification rhetoric is filled with patently ridiculous notions of "native," with an added assumption that some people belong in certain places and others do not. For nearly anyone to talk of being a native of any place in America borders on the absurd.   

       It is less important whether you stay or go than whether you can stay or go VOLUNTARILY. If you are forced to leave "involuntarily" (rising rents, i.e.), it doesn't really matter--justice-wise--whether you're a so-called native or not, it sucks nonetheless.   

       Also, I think it is more likely that people stay in pre-gentrified neighborhoods because they can afford them, not out of any particular love for the place. Gentrification thinkers are under the impression that every person in a marginal neighborhood is Jane Jacobs with their hearts breaking because they have to move away from a Place that they have such a connection with.   

       The real motivations come from housing prices. Don't think for a moment that most people who lived in the pre-gentrification Mission District would not have preferred a Twin Peaks apartment for the same price. Just because white hipsters think edgy is cool, there's no reason to think that a mother with three children would think of edgy as anything other then crappy and dangerous.   

       Thinking otherwise depends on the idea of regular ol' working folks aesthetic/philosophical minds being a little too similar to those of the products of post-secondary education.   

       The solution is to get poor folks to own their houses. Then no yuppies can move into an area without the explicit "permission" of at least one so-called Native who's willing to sell.   

       Another solution is for artists to not move into "transitional" neighborhoods. There are so many clear examples of the White Artist Moves In and Is Followed By Yuppie model that it's really high time for artists to start taking responsibility for their actions.   

       It is, anyway, the artists who have the "choice" where to live, not the Soon To Be Displaced.   

       Just a few thoughts.
jsmarler, Jun 01 2001

       I'm confused by the idea that in order for a neighborhood to be gentrified it first has to be slummy or run-down or unsafe. My neighborhood now is being gentrfied at break-neck pace and I don't know anyone who would agree that it was dangerous or downtrodden to begin with. I am a member of my family's 4th generation, having grown up in the same house my grandfather built. Most of my neighbors are (or were) relatives, and most of my cousins and siblings have chosen to stick around if they can afford to. So, it is not the case that we can't afford to go else where, it's quite the opposite. We could easily afford to go elsehwre, but we do have a particular love for our heritage, history and tradition. Without a doubt we would openly welcome new-comers to our neighborhood if they respected and appreciated the love that we natives have. If gentrifiers took the time and made the effort to learn about their new found slice of paradise and really, honestly resepected and appreciated the "native" community I believe they would be welcomed with open arms.
tjcheese, Mar 12 2003


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