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After reading the articles and watching the videos write a summary as well as what they all have in common or important facts they covered. word count 400-500. https://ncrc.org/gentrificatio

After reading the articles and watching the videos write a summary as well as what they all have in common or important facts they covered. word count 400-500. https://ncrc.org/gentrificatio

After reading the articles and watching the videos write a summary as well as what they all have in common or important facts they covered. word count 400-500.

Shifting Neighborhoods: Gentrification and Cultural Displacement in American Cities

https://www.kanopy.com/en/oldwestbury/video/143988

“Whose Culture? Whose City?” from The Cultures of Cities (1995)

Sharon Zukin

Editors’ Introduction

Sharon Zukin is a leading urban sociologist in the study of cities and culture. Her 1982 Loft Living, which examined New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, is a landmark study of the intersection of culture and urban development. In it, she carefully presents the complementary and contradictory roles artists, tenants, manufacturers, real estate developers, and city officials play in the transforming of SoHo from a light manufacturing loft district in the 1960s to a trendy, increasingly upscale residential and commercial district. In the reading that follows, Zukin again addresses the interplay of various urban actors around issues of culture, which, she argues, has taken on greater significance in how cities are built and how we experience them.

Indeed, culture is the “motor of economic growth” for cities and forms the basis of what Zukin labels the “symbolic economy.” The symbolic economy is comprised of two parallel production systems: the production of space, in which aesthetic ideals, cultural meanings, and themes are incorporated into the look and feel of buildings, streets, and parks, and the production of symbols, in which more abstract cultural representations influence how particular spaces within cities should preferably be “consumed” or used and by whom. The latter generates a good deal of controversy: as more and more ostensibly “public” spaces become identified (and officially sanctioned) with particular, often commercially generated, themes, we are left to ask “whose culture? whose city?”

We can easily see the symbolic economy at work in urban places such as Boston’s Faneuil Hall, New York’s South Street Seaport, or Baltimore’s Harborplace. Here, cultural themes – mainly gestures toward a romanticized, imaginary past of American industrial growth – are enlisted to define place and, more specifically, what we should do there (shop, eat) and who we should encounter (other shoppers, tourists). Such places, although carefully orchestrated in design and feel, are popular because they offer a respite from the homogeneity and bland uniformity of suburban spaces. Local government officials and business alliances have turned toward manufacturing new consumption spaces of urban diversity (albeit narrowly defined) or showcasing existing ones – ethnic neighborhoods, revitalized historic districts, artist enclaves – as a competitive economic advantage over suburbs and other cities.

Culture, then, is purposefully used by developers and city officials to frame urban space to attract new residential tenants, to entice high-end shoppers, or court tourists and visitors from around the globe. But the fusing of culture and space is not limited to governments, corporations, and the real estate industry. The arguably less powerful inhabitants of the city – the ordinary residents, community associations, and block clubs – use cultural representations, too, to stamp their identity on place and to exert their cultural presence in public spaces. Ethnic festivals and parades mark the city and provide a cultural roadmap to what its spaces mean for certain groups and users. Every summer the city of Toronto hosts Caribana, the largest Caribbean festival in North America. The festival celebrates the vibrant ties of this Canadian city’s large immigrant population to the Caribbean. Brilliantly costumed masqueraders and dozens of trucks carrying live soca, calypso,

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(of art, food, fashion, music, tourism) and the industries that cater to it fuels the city’s symbolic economy, its visible ability to produce both symbols and space.

In recent years, culture has also become a more explicit site of conflicts over social differences and urban fears. Large numbers of new immi- grants and ethnic minorities have put pressure on public institutions, from schools to political parties, to deal with their individual demands. Such high culture institutions as art museums and symphony orchestras have been driven to expand and diver- sify their offerings to appeal to a broader public. These pressures, broadly speaking, are both ethnic and aesthetic. By creating policies and ideologies of “multiculturalism,” they have forced public institutions to change.

On a different level, city boosters increasingly compete for tourist dollars and financial invest- ments by bolstering the city’s image as a center of cultural innovation, including restaurants, avant garde performances, and architectural design. These cultural strategies of redevelopment have

steel pan, reggae, and salsa artists enliven the city’s streets. But the festival is by no means “local”; it attracts over a million participants annually, including hundreds of thousands of tourists, for whom Toronto “means” Caribana.

Finally, Zukin draws our attention to the increasing slippage between public and private spaces within the contemporary city. Historically, urban parks and streets have functioned as spaces where persons from different classes, ethnicities, and walks of life have intermingled and “rubbed elbows.” Although always regulated and controlled, the identity of public spaces was seen as open and never exclusively defined by a single use or specific or preferred set of users. While parents and toddlers may “own” a corner of a city park on warm, sunny days, others – teenagers, lovers, or beer drinkers – lay claim to that same spot at different times of the day. As corporations increasingly sponsor public events and locally financed security forces police streets, the use of public spaces and their intended users are narrowed. Culture again becomes enlisted. Just as symbols, images, and other forms of representations may “define” shopping districts, restaurants, and theme parks, so they work in the (re)definition of public venues. Many urban plazas, waterfronts, and shopping streets have become “managed” by business associations, hence imposing their own identity on supposedly “public” space. The privatization (and militarization) of public space serves to reinforce the fear and conflict “between ‘us’ and ‘them,’ between security guards and criminals, [and] between elites and ethnic groups.”

In addition to Loft Living: Culture and Capital in Urban Change (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982), Sharon Zukin is the author of Landscapes of Power: From Detroit to Disney World (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1991), The Cultures of Cities (from which this selection is excerpted) (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1995), with Michael Sorkin, ed., After the World Trade Center (New York: Routledge, 2002), and Point of Purchase: How Shopping Changed American Culture (New York: Routledge, 2003). She is Broeklundian Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College, CUNY.

Cities are often criticized because they represent the basest instincts of human society. They are built versions of Leviathan and Mammon, mapping the power of the bureaucratic machine or the social pressures of money. We who live in cities like to think of “culture” as the antidote to this crass vision. The Acropolis of the urban art museum or concert hall, the trendy art gallery and café, restaurants that fuse ethnic traditions into culinary logos – cultural activities are supposed to lift us out of the mire of our everyday lives and into the sacred spaces of ritualized pleasures.

Yet culture is also a powerful means of controlling cities. As a source of images and memories, it symbolizes “who belongs” in specific places. As a set of architectural themes, it plays a leading role in urban redevelopment strategies based on historic preservation or local “heritage.” With the dis- appearance of local manufacturing industries and periodic crises in government and finance, culture is more and more the business of cities – the basis of their tourist attractions and their unique, com- petitive edge. The growth of cultural consumption

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about what – and who – should be visible and what should not, on concepts of order and disorder, and on uses of aesthetic power. In this primal sense, the city has always had a symbolic economy. Modern cities also owe their existence to a second, more abstract symbolic economy devised by “place entre- preneurs,” officials and investors whose ability to deal with the symbols of growth yields “real” results in real estate development, new businesses, and jobs.

Related to this entrepreneurial activity is a third, traditional symbolic economy of city advocates and business elites who, through a combination of philanthropy, civic pride, and desire to establish their identity as a patrician class, build the majestic art museums, parks, and architectural complexes that represent a world-class city. What is new about the symbolic economy since the 1970s is its sym- biosis of image and product, the scope and scale of selling images on a national and even a global level, and the role of the symbolic economy in speaking for, or representing, the city.

[ . . . ] The entrepreneurial edge of the economy [has]

shifted toward deal making and selling invest- ments and toward those creative products that could not easily be reproduced elsewhere. Pro- duct design – creating the look of a thing – was said to show economic genius. Hollywood film studios and media empires were bought and sold and bought again. In the 1990s, with the har- nessing of new computer-based technologies to marketing campaigns, the “information superhigh- way” promised to join companies to consumers in a Manichean embrace of technology and entertainment.

[ . . . ] The growth of the symbolic economy in

finance, media, and entertainment may not change the way entrepreneurs do business. But it has already forced the growth of towns and cities, created a vast new work force, and changed the way consumers and employees think. The facilities where these employees work – hotels, restaurants, expanses of new construction and undeveloped land – are more than just workplaces. They reshape geography and ecology; they are places of creation and transformation.

The Disney Company, for example, makes films and distributes them from Hollywood. It runs

fewer critics than multiculturalism. But they often pit the self-interest of real estate developers, politicians, and expansion minded cultural institu- tions against grassroots pressures from local communities.

At the same time, strangers mingling in public space and fears of violent crime have inspired the growth of private police forces, gated and barred communities, and a movement to design public spaces for maximum surveillance. These, too, are a source of contemporary urban culture. If one way of dealing with the material inequalities of city life has been to aestheticize diversity, another way has been to aestheticize fear.

Controlling the various cultures of cities suggests the possibility of controlling all sorts of urban ills, from violence and hate crime to economic decline. That this is an illusion has been amply shown by battles over multiculturalism and its warring factions – ethnic politics and urban riots. Yet the cultural power to create an image, to frame a vision, of the city has become more important as publics have become more mobile and diverse, and traditional institutions – both social classes and political parties – have become less relevant mechanisms of expressing identity. Those who create images stamp a collective identity. Whether they are media corporations like the Disney Company, art museums, or politicians, they are developing new spaces for public cultures. Significant public spaces of the late 19th and early 20th century – such as New York City’s Central Park, the Broadway theater district, and the top of the Empire State Building – have been joined by Disney World, Bryant Park, and the entertaiment-based retail shops of Sony Plaza. By accepting these spaces without questioning their representations of urban life, we risk suc- cumbing to a visually seductive, privatized public culture.

THE SYMBOLIC ECONOMY

[ . . . ] Building a city depends on how people combine the traditional economic factors of land, labor, and capital. But it also depends on how they mani- pulate symbolic languages of exclusion and entitle- ment. The look and feel of cities reflect decisions

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the narrative web spun by the symbolic economy around a specific place relies on a vision of cultural consumption and a social and an ethnic division of labor.

[ . . . ] I see public culture as socially constructed on

the micro-level. It is produced by the many social encounters that make up daily life in the streets, shops, and parks – the spaces in which we experi- ence public life in cities. The right to be in these spaces, to use them in certain ways, to invest them with a sense of our selves and our commun- ities – to claim them as ours and to be claimed in turn by them – make up a constantly changing public culture. People with economic and political power have the greatest opportunity to shape public culture by controlling the building of the city’s public spaces in stone and concrete. Yet public space is inherently democratic. The question of who can occupy public space, and so define an image of the city, is open-ended.

Talking about the cultures of cities in purely visual terms does not do justice to the material practices of politics and economics that create a symbolic economy. But neither does a strictly political- economic approach suggest the subtle powers of visual and spatial strategies of social differentiation. The rise of the cities’ symbolic economy is rooted in two long-term changes – the economic decline of cities compared to suburban and non-urban spaces and the expansion of abstract financial speculation – and in such short-term factors, dating from the 1970s and 1980s, as new mass immigration, the growth of cultural consumption, and the marketing of identity politics. We cannot speak about cities today without understanding how cities use culture as an economic base, how capitalizing on culture spills over into the privatization and militarization of public space, and how the power of culture is related to the aesthetics of fear.

CULTURE AS AN ECONOMIC BASE

[ . . . ] Culture is intertwined with capital and identity in the city’s production systems. From one point of view, cultural institutions establish a competitive advantage over other cities for attracting new

a television channel and sells commercial spinoffs, such as toys, books, and videos, from a national network of stores. Disney is also a real estate developer in Anaheim, Orlando, France, and Japan and the proposed developer of a theme park in Virginia and a hotel and theme park in Times Square. Moreover, as an employer, Disney has redefined work roles. Proposing a model for change in the emerging service economy, Disney has shifted from the white-collar worker to a new chameleon of “flexible” tasks. The planners at its corporate headquarters are “imaginers”; the cos- tumed crowd-handlers at its theme parks are “cast members.” Disney suggests that the symbolic economy is more than just the sum of the services it provides. The symbolic economy unifies mater- ial practices of finance, labor, art, performance, and design.

[ . . . ] The symbolic economy recycles real estate as

it does designer clothes. Visual display matters in American and European cities today, because the identities of places are established by sites of delectation. The sensual display of fruit at an urban farmers’ market or gourmet food store puts a neighborhood “on the map” of visual delights and reclaims it for gentrification. A sidewalk cafe takes back the street from casual workers and homeless people.

[ . . . ] Mass suburbanization since the 1950s has

made it unreasonable to expect that most middle- class men and women will want to live in cities. But developing small places within the city as sites of visual delectation creates urban oases where everyone appears to be middle class. In the fronts of the restaurants or stores, at least, consumers are strolling, looking, eating, drinking, sometimes speaking English and sometimes not. In the back regions, an ethnic division of labor guarantees that immigrant workers are preparing food and clean- ing up. This is not just a game of representations: developing the city’s symbolic economy involves recycling workers, sorting people in housing mar- kets, luring investment, and negotiating political claims for public goods and ethnic promotion. Cities from New York to Los Angeles and Miami seem to thrive by developing small districts around specific themes. Whether it is Times Square or el Calle Ocho, a commercial or an “ethnic” district,

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CULTURE AS A MEANS OF FRAMING SPACE

For several hundred years, visual representations of cities have “sold” urban growth. Images, from early maps to picture postcards, have not simply reflected real city spaces; instead, they have been imaginative reconstructions – from specific points of view – of a city’s monumentality. The develop- ment of visual media in the 20th century made photography and movies the most important cultural means of framing urban space, at least until the 1970s. Since then, as the surrealism of King Kong shifted to that of Blade Runner and redevelop- ment came to focus on consumption activities, the material landscape itself – the buildings, parks, and streets – has become the city’s most import- ant visual representation. Historic preservation has been very important in this representation. Preserving old buildings and small sections of the city re-presents the scarce “monopoly” of the city’s visible past. Such a monopoly has economic value in terms of tourist revenues and property values. Just an image of historic preservation, when taken out of context, has economic value. In Syracuse, New York, a crankshaft taken from a long-gone salt works was mounted as public sculpture to enhance a redevelopment project.

[ . . . ] More common forms of visual re-presentation

in all cities connect cultural activities and populist images in festivals, sports stadiums, and shopping centers. While these may simply be minimized as “loss leaders” supporting new office construction, they should also be understood as producing space for a symbolic economy.

[ . . . ] Linking public culture to commercial cultures

has important implications for social identity and social control. Preserving an ecology of images often takes a connoisseur’s view of the past, re-reading the legible practices of social class discrimina- tion and financial speculation by reshaping the city’s collective memory. Boston’s Faneuil Hall, South Street Seaport in New York, Harborplace in Baltimore, and London’s Tobacco Wharf make the waterfront of older cities into a consumers’ playground, far safer for tourists and cultural consumers than the closed worlds of wholesale fish and vegetable dealers and longshoremen. In such

businesses and corporate elites. Culture suggests the coherence and consistency of a brand name product. Like any commodity, “cultural” landscape has the possibility of generating other commodities.

[ . . . ] In American and European cities during the

1970s, culture became more of an instrument in the entrepreneurial strategies of local governments and business alliances. In the shift to a post- postwar economy, who could build the biggest modern art museum suggested the vitality of the financial sector. Who could turn the waterfront from docklands rubble to parks and marinas suggested the possibilities for expansion of the managerial and professional corps. This was prob- ably as rational a response as any to the unbeatable isolationist challenge of suburban industrial parks and office campuses. The city, such planners and developers as James Rouse believed, would counter the visual homogeneity of the suburbs by playing the card of aesthetic diversity.

[ . . . ] Art museums, boutiques, restaurants, and other

specialized sites of consumption create a social space for the exchange of ideas on which businesses thrive. While these can never be as private as a corporate dining room, urban consumption spaces allow for more social interaction among business elites. They are more democratic, accessible spaces than old-time businessmen’s clubs. They open a window to the city – at least, to a rarified view of the city – and, to the extent they are written up in “lifestyle” magazines and consumer columns of the daily newspapers, they make ordinary people more aware of the elites’ cultural consumption. Through the media, the elites’ cultural preferences change what many ordinary people know about the city.

The high visibility of spokespersons, stars, and stylists for culture industries underlines the “sexy” quality of culture as a motor of economic growth. Not just in New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago, busi- ness leaders in a variety of low-profile, midsize cities are actively involved on the boards of trustees of cultural institutions because they believe that investing in the arts leads to more growth in other areas of the urban economy. They think a tourist economy develops the subjective image of place that “sells” a city to other corporate executives.

[ . . . ]

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just monumentalized by height and facades, or they are given a human face by video artists’ screen installations and public concerts. Every well-designed downtown has a mixed-use shopping center and a nearby artists’ quarter. Sometimes it seems that every derelict factory district or water- front has been converted into one of those sites of visual delectation – a themed shopping space for seasonal produce, cooking equipment, restaurants, art galleries, and an aquarium. Urban redevelopment plans, from Lowell, Massachusetts, to downtown Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, focus on museums. Unsuccessful attempts to use cultural districts or aquariums to stop economic decline in Flint, Michigan and Camden, New Jersey – cities where there is no major employer – only emphasize the appeal of framing a space with a cultural institution when all other strategies of economic development fail.

Artists themselves have become a cultural means of framing space. They confirm the city’s claim of continued cultural hegemony, in contrast to the suburbs and exurbs. Their presence – in studios, lofts, and galleries – puts a neighborhood on the road to gentrification. Ironically, this has happened since artists have become more self- conscious defenders of their own interests as artists and more involved in political organizations. Often they have been co-opted into property redevelop- ment projects as beneficiaries, both developers of an aesthetic mode of producing space (in public art, for example) and investors in a symbolic economy. There are, moreover, special connections between artists and corporate patrons. In such cities as New York and Los Angeles, the presence of artists documents a claim to these cities’ status in the global hierarchy. The display of art, for public improve- ment or private gain, represents an abstraction of economic and social power. Among business elites, those from finance, insurance, and real estate are generally great patrons of both art museums and public art, as if to emphasize their prominence in the city’s symbolic economy.

[ . . . ] So the symbolic economy features two parallel

production systems that are crucial to a city’s material life: the production of space, with its syn- ergy of capital investment and cultural meanings, and the production of symbols, which constructs both a currency of commercial exchange and a

newer cities as Los Angeles or San Antonio, reclaiming the historic core, or the fictitious historic core, of the city for the middle classes puts the pueblo or the Alamo into an entirely different landscape from that of the surrounding inner city. On one level, there is a loss of authenticity, that is compensated for by a re-created historical narrat- ive and a commodification of images; on another, men and women are simply displaced from public spaces they once considered theirs.

[ . . . ] But incorporating new images into visual

representations of the city can be democratic. It can integrate rather than segregate social and ethnic groups, and it can also help negotiate new group identities. In New York City, there is a big annual event organized by Caribbean immigrants, the West Indian-American Day Carnival parade, which is held every Labor Day on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. The parade has been instrumental in creating a pan-Caribbean identity among immigrants from the many small countries of that region. The parade also legitimizes the “gorgeous mosaic” of the ethnic population described by Mayor David N. Dinkins in 1989. The use of Eastern Parkway for a Caribbean festival reflects a geographical redistribution of ethnic groups – the Africanization of Brooklyn, the Caribbeanization of Crown Heights. More problematically, however, this cultural appropriation of public space supports the growing political identity of the Caribbean community and challenges the Lubavitcher Hassidim’s appropriation of the same neighbor- hood. In Pasadena, California, African-American organizations have demanded representation on the nine-person commission that manages the annual Rose Parade, that city’s big New Year’s Day event. These cultural models of inclusion differ from the paradigm of legally imposed racial integration that eliminated segregated festivals and other symbolic activities in the 1950s and 1960s. By giving distinctive cultural groups access to the same public space, they incorporate separate visual images and cultural practices into the same public cultures.

Culture can also be used to frame, and human- ize, the space of real estate development. Cultural producers who supply art (and sell “inter- pretation”) are sought because they legitimize the appropriation of space. Office buildings are not

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