petej + gentrification   84

Mansplaining the city - Curbed
The irony is shattering. A group of very white, very loud men have confirmed that they are, indeed, the problem when it comes to our cities, and now the conversation about how to fix them is mostly being conducted by very white, very loud men—who happen to be very active on social media.
cities  development  gentrification  men  inequality  SanFrancisco  LosAngeles  architecture  gender  diversity  policy  planning  sexism  exclusion 
august 2017 by petej
How yuppies hacked the hacker ethos – Brett Scott – Aeon
"I’m going to stake a claim on the word though, and state that the true hacker spirit does not reside at Google, guided by profit targets. The hacker impulse should not just be about redesigning products, or creating ‘solutions’. A hack stripped of anti-conventional intent is not a hack at all. It’s just a piece of business innovation.

The un-gentrified spirit of hacking should be a commons accessible to all. This spirit can be seen in the marginal cracks all around us. It’s in the emergent forms of peer production and DIY culture, in maker-spaces and urban farms. We see it in the expansion of ‘open’ scenes, from open hardware to open biotech, and in the intrigue around 3D printers as a way to extend open-source designs into the realm of manufacture. In a world with increasingly large and unaccountable economic institutions, we need these everyday forms of resistance. Hacking, in my world, is a route to escaping the shackles of the profit-fetish, not a route to profit."
culture  hacking  hackers  technology  SiliconValley  entrepreneurs  solutionism  gentrification 
august 2015 by petej
Is Foxtons the estate agent London deserves? | Andy Beckett | Business | The Guardian
"The swaggering success of Foxtons is partly a product of the double standards many of us have about property: complaining and worrying about the cost of it, while wanting to make as much as possible from it ourselves. The company is also a reflection of the modern British economy: short-term in its priorities, sometimes vibrant, London-dominated, property-skewed, socially divisive. The estate agent’s fortunes have become symbolic. Last month, the day the Conservative general election victory was announced, and with it the demise of Labour’s plans to increase taxes on properties worth more than £2m, it was widely noted by despairing leftwingers, as well as excited business reporters, that the Foxtons share price had leapt 12%."
UK  housing  property  markets  crisis  prices  estateAgents  Foxtons  Brixton  London  gentrification  competition  business  homeOwnership  hypocrisy  dctagged  dc:creator=BeckettAndy 
june 2015 by petej
San Francisco Repurposes Old for the Future -
"At a glance, you can miss some of the tech incubators among the fleabag hotels and strip joints hanging on in SoMa, the swiftly gentrifying neighborhood South of Market. They’ve painted the facades of former industrial supply shops and garages black or gray and added frosted windows. On ritzy Alamo Square, high atop the city, a few of the so-called Painted Ladies that tourists and postcard illustrators love — colorful Victorian mansions — have been outfitted with bespoke bars, game rooms, conference centers and Japanese teahouses. The vibe mixes ashram, frat house and high-end brothel."
cities  gentrification  SanFrancisco  startups  culture  housing  affordability  prices 
june 2014 by petej
These Hilarious Stock Images Hint at London's Depressing Future | VICE United States
" But when you get to this picture, you begin to wonder if Getty's pictorial analysis of modern London is actually pretty bang on the money. You wonder if maybe, just maybe, Boris has won. And his dream of a London where floppy haired wankers in three-piece suits bomb through the city on rented bikes like capitalist horsemen of the apocalypse has in fact become the defining image of this great city.

Maybe that London spirit of old—the spirit of Michael Caine, "Mad" Frankie Frasier, Barbara Windsor ,and Crazy Titch—has finally been eroded to a distant cliche by Boris' new Londoners. The people who see the city as a kind of shit platform game where getting from one restaurant to another involves avoiding beggers. A platform game where a Boris bike is a power-up that allows you to plough through the streets and all their filth to get to the next 38th-floor pho joint."
London  photographs  media  press  images  GettyImages  ideology  gentrification 
april 2014 by petej
Inside The Barista Class - The Awl
"Grabbing a croissant and an americano every morning from the same group of downwardly mobile performer-bohemians is the perfect test case for the creative class’s ideal of semi-anonymous community. After a while working these jobs, answering the same class-baiting questions day after day, it starts to feel more like playing a set piece than anything else."
coffee  culture  baristas  work  labour  Brooklyn  gentrification  fashion  subcultures  youth 
march 2014 by petej
Rebecca Solnit · Diary: Get Off the Bus · LRB 20 February 2014
"One of the curious things about the crisis in San Francisco – precipitated by a huge influx of well-paid tech workers driving up housing costs and causing evictions, gentrification and cultural change – is that they seem unable to understand why many locals don’t love them. They’re convinced that they are members of the tribe. Their confusion may issue from Silicon Valley’s own favourite stories about itself. These days in TED talks and tech-world conversation, commerce is described as art and as revolution and huge corporations are portrayed as agents of the counterculture.

That may actually have been the case, briefly, in the popular tech Genesis story according to which Apple emerged from a garage somewhere at the south end of the San Francisco Peninsula, not yet known as Silicon Valley. But Google set itself up with the help of a $4.5 million dollar government subsidy, and Apple became a giant corporation that begat multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns and overseas sweatshops and the rest that you already know. Facebook, Google, eBay and Yahoo (though not Apple) belong to the conservative anti-environmental political action committee Alec (the American Legislative Exchange Council).

The story Silicon Valley less often tells about itself has to do with dollar signs and weapons systems. The industry came out of military contracting, and its alliance with the Pentagon has never ended. The valley’s first major firm, Hewlett-Packard, was a military contractor. One of its co-founders, David Packard, was an undersecretary of defence in the Nixon administration; his signal contribution as a civil servant was a paper about overriding the laws preventing the imposition of martial law. Many defence contractors have flourished in Silicon Valley in the decades since: weapons contractors United Technologies and Lockheed Martin, as well as sundry makers of drone, satellite and spying equipment and military robotics. Silicon Valley made technology for the military, and the military sponsored research that benefited Silicon Valley. The first supercomputer, made by New York’s Remington Rand, was for nuclear weapons research at the Bay Area’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

The internet itself, people sometimes remember, was created by the military, and publicly funded research has done a lot to make the hardware, the software and the vast private fortunes possible. Which you wouldn’t know from the hyperlibertarian language of the tech world’s kings. Even the mildest of them, Bill Gates, said in 1998: ‘There isn’t an industry in America that is more creative, more alive and more competitive. And the amazing thing is that all this happened without any government involvement.’ The current lords talk of various kinds of secession, quite literally at the Seasteading Institute, an organisation that’s looking into building artificial islands outside all national laws and regulations. And taxes. Let someone else subsidise all that research."
SanFrancisco  SiliconValley  Google  buses  activism  gentrification  cities  housing  culture  ideology  libertarianism  military  LRB  dctagged  dc:creator=SolnitRebecca 
february 2014 by petej
Some thoughts on creativity, hipsters and gentrification: a hasty reply to Aleks Eror | the shape of utopia to come
"But ‘creatives’ can also resist. Those at the bottom of the creative class can realise that their true class allegiance isn’t with the other creatives, but with the working class, refugees, the poor, the dispossessed, the exploited, the excluded. Hamburg might offer some hope here – there, ‘creative’ areas fight (often literally) to prevent their gentrification (and link that struggle to other struggles – the struggle for alternative spaces, for migrant rights, etc). Artists organise alongside squatters and the poor to prevent capitalists hoovering up the profits from their hard work.

In the UK, sadly, ‘creatives’ (myself included,) seem all-too happy to follow Eror – to shrug their shoulders and complain ‘but I’m losing out too, it’s not my fault! I like poor people and black people! I don’t mean to force them out!’.

Capitalism, quite simply, doesn’t give a fuck."
housing  gentrification  artists  creativity  capitalism  creatives  subcultures  culture 
february 2014 by petej
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