Gentrification in Baltimore: An alternative model

Gentry map

According to a new article published in Governing Magazine titled “Baltimore Gentrification Maps and Data” The gentrification around the Inner Harbor is creeping toward Oldtown. Surrounded on the South,  East, and West by gentrified neighborhoods  Oldtown is poised to become one of the next neighborhoods to gentrify.

What does this mean for Oldtown? It depends…

According to the article, gentrification brings “significant growth in both home values and educational attainment,” definite positives for any neighborhood. However, gentrification implies the replacement of the current decay with fresh, new wealth — not the elevation of the current neighborhood to amass wealth and achieve ownership and educational goals.

Instead, Ingoma would like to foster a process of Regeneration and Rejuvenation. Rather than allowing the tide of change to sweep the neighborhood clear, we would like to utilize the tide of change to attract investment into rebuilding the economic infrastructure of the neighborhood. This means ensuring that housing is affordable and inclusive, that infrastructure is created to seed new low-cost startup enterprises, and that supports are integrated and enhanced to allow families and individuals living in Oldtown to enhance their education. So, rather than the standard model of investing in condos to attract single, wealthy thirty-somethings or high-end national chains that siphon profits to far-away corporations we must develop models that encourage investors to build quality, affordable family housing and provide capital to low-cost local start-ups who provide goods and services to their own communities. By changing the investment model this way, wealth can be generated to benefit both the developers and investors AND the current residents of Oldtown while simultaneously improving the quality of life.

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