The New Coney Island - Brooklyn's Times Square by the Sea

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Slate - Bill De Blasio Supports Real Estate Development—As He Should

Excerpt -

For some, however, Mr. de Blasio's support for new high-rise towers—even with more affordable housing—is dissonant with his campaign's theme of easing income inequality. As a City Council member in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, Mr. de Blasio was a strong supporter of the three major Bloomberg-backed development projects, including the project known as Atlantic Yards, which critics say has hastened gentrification and helped deepen the economic divide in that area.

You can start to get into very complicated neighborhood-level discussions of amenities and spillovers and the difference between gentrification and displacement and all the rest, but I really think it's important to start at the simplest level. If you have a city whose geographical boundaries aren't expanding, and that city is located in a country whose population is growing, and that city is also a global destination in a world whose population is growing, and if quality of life in that city is improving in terms of safer streets and better transportation and schools, then there are really only two things that can happen. One thing that can happen is that the quantity of physical structures inside the boundaries of that city can increase, in order to accommodate the increasing number of people who would like to live there. The other is that the fixed pool of physical structures inside the boundaries of that city can all get bought up by the richest people around. 

There's no other way around it.

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