If you grow up in the city you will notice a lot of changes happening around you as you get older. Buildings get torn down and others will be built up in their place. Your favorite movie theater will become a gas station will become a parking lot. The grocery store will be replaced by a restaurant or a condo. The streets might deteriorate and crime might move in, or it could go the other way around. You never really know what to expect when you live in the same place for long enough. Many people will pretend that how things are when they were young will continue to be that way for a long time to come and maybe in small communities that is more likely. Though when you live in a major city change is bound to happen especially if you start to receive an influx in people. When you have people who would typically move to the suburbs when they start to have children, now wanting to move into the city, its not just car seats that you need to contend with, but thousands of new faces vying for your neighborhood.
The San Francisco Bay Area is very familiar with this. Over the past decade the technological sector has really exploded and the influx of new workers migrating to the west coast has seen a sudden rise in the need for affordable housing. At first the city itself was the epicenter of relocation, though after a while most people ended up pricing themselves out of their homes. Moving across the bay into Oakland and Berkeley has resulted in soaring housing prices and a complete change in the demographic. The positives for this are some reductions in crime in certain neighborhoods as well as more housing being built to accommodate. The downside is the loss of familiarity and community as families who have lived there for decades are forced out by increasing costs of living. This displacement has rubbed many the wrong way as it seems like a temporary situation that once the tech bubble bursts, most that have moved in will move out and with it, take their businesses and money elsewhere. Leaving in their wake a shadow skeleton of what once was. This is why its important to continue to develop new housing and to do so in an affordable way, that way it insures that there will be less displacement all the while being able to continue expanding.
It’s a difficult line to walk, between gentrification and honoring communities. We all want a nice place to live in a location that is charming and appeals to our needs and desires. Its unfortunate when the cost of that comes with another family having to move from their familiar stomping grounds, or when those around you are forced into paying more per month for bills because the landlords are taking advantage of this new interest. In situations like these, its best to do your part in finding an area that is both affordable and has what you are looking for, while also honoring those around you who have built it up to the place it is that attracted you.