How do Artists Co-relate with Urban Development ?

According to the article in New York Times “Follow the Drips of Paint”, one sure-shot way to develop real estate is to follow the artists. The artists who move to affordable yet marginal neighbourhoods transform them in positive ways and then watch property value increase as expensive condos emerge.  The group that Richard Florida calls the “Creative Class,” is drawn to the aura that accompanies artists and artistic production, will pay top prices for these renovated apartments that inevitably will displace those artists who actually made the area desirable to them in the first place. However, as these groups move in the artists are pushed towards faraway places from urban centers, cities lose some of their much valued diversity of age, class and race, as well as their cultural vitality.

For instance; SoHo in New York City, originally a site of small industry, became a haven for artistic production when manufacturing left the city. It was then transformed into a gallery district, but not for long. When artists began to cohabitate these spaces, they also began to negotiate with the city to rezone the buildings as live/work space. Once this was accomplished, it was easy for developers to come in and renovate these properties. Now, few artists can afford SoHo. No longer a site of production, it has become all about shopping.

More Information: urbangateway.org

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