Clean Up Jamaica Queens:
Why is it, when the subject of gentrification is brought up, people immediately think that white people are invading to take over (and push others out) and put in fancy coffee shops, wine bars, nice sit-down restaurants, upscale retail stores, while property values go up, like those are such a horrible thing for a community. But when other ethnic groups come into a community (and take over say Pakistani people and Middle Eastern people in parts of Jamaica) and crappy retail and low class food places appear, one family homes are torn down to put up cheap low class three story apartment building to house 20 families, yards are cemented over, trees cut down, illegal curb cut and illegal parking pads appear, garbage cans overflowing with no lids and all kinds of garbage and litter are dumped everywhere, then this is considered “diverse and vibrant” from the powers to be?
Ask most people (of any ethnic group) and more than likely they will go with the former, gentrification. Because gentrification improves a neighborhood, standards go up, a better selection of stores and restaurants, a clean environment, pride in a community where people care. I mean who in their right mind wants to live in filth, garbage and high crime where you watch the value of your home drop?
All communities want to better themselves, at least I hope so, even Jamaica, but to do that, if you cannot get your shit together like Jamaica, then it is time for gentrification. Jamaica has had decades to improve themselves on their own and they have failed miserably. Quality of life in Jamaica has just gotten worse, so now it is time for gentrification.
Sure some people will get pushed out, just like so many people over the ages have been pushed out of areas when change comes, that is the way of the world. But the benefits of gentrification certainly outweigh any negative as some people being pushed out. Take Jamaica for instance, if gentrification starts to take place, yes, some people will definitely have to look elsewhere, especially renters, but many who get pushed out are the same ones who are causing the issues in Jamaica, the ones who toss their garbage and litter anywhere they want. But most people benefit, especially the home owners and in the case of Jamaica, black home owners, who will finally see the value of their home increase as opposed to decrease.
A lot of the gentrification we have seen over the past decade or so did not come about naturally, but through massive upzoning, and happened in neighborhoods that really didn't need all that much "cleaning up". Greenpoint, Hunters Point? Their only crimes were that they were low-density communities on the waterfront. For someplace like Jamaica, though, I concur with Joe's assessment that some gentrification would be welcome.