Comment 70591

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted October 14, 2011 at 20:50:18 in reply to Comment 70587

As the person who first used the term "zero-sum-game", I must point out that it had a bit of context. Simply shifting demographics around, with no mobility between them, is the very definition of a zero-sum-game. That doesn't mean that all demographic shifts are, but that aspect of them tends to be. This is blatantly obvious when you look at the racial aspects of gentrification - just because an area becomes whiter on average doesn't mean a single individual does (or even can).

As for the commercial development issue, it's worth noting that the commercial requirements for a low-income neighbourhood and a high-income neighbourhood are very different. There is very little market for Locke Street/Westdale-style boutiques in the North End. They don't sell anything poor people need, nor is anything they do sell particularly affordable to most. Even if the same stores remain, there's a strong possibility of rising prices or shifting selections in such an environment, and that's going to affect people.

As for the value of anecdotal evidence, it's pretty much essential when studying communities. You can gather all the data you want, but it'll always be subject to the biases of your own model and collection methods. There's undoubtedly issues with anecdotal resources as well, but they're not resolved by rejecting them entirely. Social sciences just can't be easily quantified by numerical models.

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