Culture Clash in Metropolis

Monday, July 28, 2008

White flight is shifting in reverse, as some urban cities are experiencing an increase in white populations. The Wall Street Journal's Conor Dougherty joins Andrew Beveridge, sociology department chair at Queens College, and Lance Freeman, author of There Goes the Hood: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up, to discuss what this trend means for New York.


Andrew Beveridge, Conor Dougherty and Lance Freeman

Comments [20]

Ryan from Manhattan

I think people also need to look at the tax structure in the city, which basically requires you to be either extremely wealthy to afford the burden or very poor and on public welfare of some type. The middle class is being priced out just due to income and property taxes.

Jul. 28 2008 03:10 PM
Rachel from Brooklyn

Willie, besides being rude, you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. First off housing prices worldwide have skyrocketed in the past 10 years, it is not a phenomenon unique to NYC. The easier it is to build and the more units that are available the lower the prices will be. This is simple econ101. The same people who rail against density and new construction are almost always the ones griping for affordable housing.

Jul. 28 2008 02:58 PM
Willie Mays

And if, Rachel, you think market-rate housing is going to solve the affordability crisis in New York, you must have your head miles deep in beach sand. Have you been awake (or in the city) the past ten years and seen what "market-rate" development has done?

Jul. 28 2008 01:09 PM
Willie Mays

Used to live in "Hamilton Heights" - call it Harlem or Washington Heights. Great neighborhood, but in the past year it's been squeezed tremendously by landlords. The neighborhood will flip soon, and Columbia's domination of Northern Manhattan will be complete. Thank you Bloomberg, thank you City Council, for tearing yet another community apart.

And that car service is disgusting. Take the f!cking train you spoiled terrified ex-suburbanites.

Jul. 28 2008 01:03 PM
Stephen from Lower Manhattan

As I mentioned to Brian on the air, there's a lot more to this trend than just reverse white flight. See the rest of it here:

Jul. 28 2008 12:43 PM
Helene Papageorge from Queens

The only "meaningful intergration" that will result from the redevelopment of NYC is the co-habitation of affluent foreign [non-North American] investors and speculators with the new affluent .com/ housing etc. New Yorkers. The middle class had to leave for the suburbs in the "fight or flight" with the economy. So, those of us who are still living here now only see our family members on the holidays if we're lucky

THANKS LOADS Mayor Bloomberg!!!!!!!!
The upshot---the mayor socked away about $4 billion for the City to avoid massive layoffs for City workers in the coming months. Apparently we are in for a helluva time.

Jul. 28 2008 11:36 AM
Robert from NYC

Healthcare, food, and shelter should not be in the unregulated open market.

Jul. 28 2008 11:28 AM
Stephen from Lower Manhattan

It's important to distinguish between "magnet" cities like NYC, Chicago, San Francisco and LA, which have benefited from 15 years of free television publicity (Seinfeld, Friends, ER, Sex & the City, Entourage, etc.) where living costs have become very expensive and secondary cities like Detroit, Philadelphia & Baltimore, where there is more value for poor and middle income people. These secondary cities will see more growth from reverse flight than the "premium" cities.

Jul. 28 2008 11:28 AM
Rachel from Brooklyn

I for one think NYC should also slowly remove public housing and get out of municipal housing, rent regulations, etc. all together so that we can actually get more development in this city that isnt luxury and bring prices down. It is so difficult to get a non-luxury building up in NYC due to all the regulation.

Jul. 28 2008 11:27 AM
eastvillage from nyc

#8 Milkman...the affluent really started appearing in LOE in about 1996 and hasn't abated. The 20somethings are always showing up with their parents in tow helping them move in and, uh, I'm sure paying their rent, which increases rent overall. There are lotsa subsidized white kids out in the city ruining life for the rest of us. They aren't interested in community and they have an enormous sense of entitlement. As for non-crooked jobs making 200K, 100K annually...i don't know. If you find, post it.

Jul. 28 2008 11:26 AM
david from nyc

Change comes when this city is seen as leeaning too much towards minotities and less white so we build luxury highrises to attract whites to the city & move minotities out which in a way they do us a favor because as we move out of the city & across america political & race demografics in the us.

Jul. 28 2008 11:26 AM
Liv from Manhattan

David Hume @ 5. I was going to post a very similar comment!!! Yes. It'strue.

Jul. 28 2008 11:24 AM
Leshka from UES

Two major condo buildings (with units starting at $1 million) are going up at 86th on 3rd and 4th. They were started right before any real talk about developers building low income housing on the same site as the high income housing.

So my husband and I (an interracial, lower-middle class couple) are getting priced out of the neighborhood, when we had a really good deal when we moved in 4 1/2 years ago.

Jul. 28 2008 11:22 AM
World's Toughest Milkman from the_C_train

#3 & #6, Really, when hasn't that been the case.

I need a new career, what are these 200k+ careers?

Jul. 28 2008 11:20 AM
robert from park slope

Prior to the early 1990's, whites viewed suburbs as safe and cities as cesspools of drugs, burgluries, muggings and murder. Now that crime has declined for nearly 15 years, affluent people are more inclined to raise families in the city.

Jul. 28 2008 11:19 AM
eastvillage from nyc

#3 Peter. You're right on. It's not just white. It's the white affluent who've made their money in the bubble or who inherited their money from their boomer parents. The economically affluent are degrading the city: it's rich vanilla.

Jul. 28 2008 11:14 AM
David Hume from Staten Island, NY

New York is going the way of Europe. Place like Paris are very white, and all the minorities live outside of the city. NYC is becoming expensive and exclusive, like many European cities.


Jul. 28 2008 11:13 AM
Stephen from Lower Manhattan

The reverse flight trend will be accelerated by higher gasoline prices. People who moved to ex-urbs and suburbs for cheaper housing will come back as the mortgage crisis displaces many people and high gasoline prices make commuting 30+ miles in each direction prohibitively expensive for many people. Look for rental markets in major metropolitan areas to increase.

For more on this topic, see these postings:

Jul. 28 2008 11:13 AM
Peter from Brooklyn

While white-flight might have begun its reversal, Planned Reduction is alive and well. Insted of racial segregation, New York is becoming more economically segrogated.

Jul. 28 2008 11:10 AM
hjs from 11211

it's good for the environment if more people live in cities. thanks SITC

Jul. 28 2008 11:09 AM

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