Home » Poetry » THE VICIOUS CYCLE OF GENTRIFICATION (from the “Urban Fortresses” series)

THE VICIOUS CYCLE OF GENTRIFICATION (from the “Urban Fortresses” series)

Picket line outside of Columbia College Chicago. Photo credit: Keith M. Kelley

The cycle starts with systemic neglect.

Without economic development,

communities become irrelevant,

and their residents command no respect.

Next comes the decay the experts call, “blight:”

broken windows prove dilapidation,

litter strewn about- with trash cans in sight.

and bespeak of residents’ frustration.

Then comes the, “urban redevelopment:”

the first wave of hipsters, and artist types,

the, “I don’t see colors, just people” types,

who raise up property values and rents.

But neighborhoods’ hipness, like new toys… fades

to blue lights and sirens’ harsh serenades.


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