commented on The Suburbs: Blight Without Beauty
@4 Beautifully put. Yes, my mom lived near Wonderland Mall in Livonia for a time after the building was abandoned. The worst thing about it was the eyesore of a parking lot and the kind of things abandoned parking lots tend to facilitate.
@8 Yeah, it's totally a sensationalist lede, but it seems to be a reference to Spike Lee's statement cited in the body of the article. And he's not wrong. The creative class moves into a place, opportunistic developers take notice, and they end up fancying up the neighborhood right out from underneath themselves. After they've been displaced, it becomes apparent that they've been used to shoulder out the previous residents and up the property value for the next wave of wealthier inhabitants. This is observable in many cities, including our own. So while they're not in themselves a problem, they are a precursor to an unfortunate turn of events. I'll always welcome their appearance in whatever neighborhood I live with secret dismay.
@10 I love what you had to say, but have an issue with your first paragraph. There's a problem, I think, when we value a city of restored, architecturally significant mini-museums over the people who could be inhabiting them. Yes, we need to preserve the past--partly because the stuff we tend to build today is hideous, disposable garbage--but also for the sake of historical preservation. But we also need to keep in mind that a city lives through those who live in it and we can't allow the richest among us to dictate who's valuable enough to keep around and who is not. We need to strike a balance.