The world is in short supply of many things...vision, optimism, and risk-taking being top of the list. This man has all three. The history of architecture and urban planning shows us that the fastest way to bring a decaying area back is to have artists, designers and academics gentrify the neighborhood. (Unfortunately, they are inevitably priced out of the neighborhood they help build by the ultimate outcomes of the resulting rising property values and higher rents.) Consumption-side gentrification theory in urban planning states that unless the creatives/academics 'buy into' a neighborhood's future, it doesn't matter how much money is put into its renovation. They add the 'coolness factor' that is essential for the success of a project like this. Some well-know examples: Laguna Beach, Cincinnati's Mt. Adams, Tribeca, and Minneapolis' North Loop neighborhood, and the Mission District in San Francisco. It's hard to argue with history.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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