San Francisco

Be Careful What You Wish For

Many cities see the attraction of tech jobs as the key to their socioeconomic success. There is truth in this, but for cities that have experienced considerable success, do the drawbacks outweigh the benefits? Zef Hemel, Amsterdam’s former chief planner, suggests that his city, and others in similar positions, should recognize the disparity in influence between long term, and often marginalized, residents and the new, often wealthy, residents and businesses that follow. Instead of fanning the flames of gentrification, an inclusive approach to urban economic development, where techies are encouraged to be social entrepreneurs, coupled with an emphasis on maintaining social housing, could be the path to sustained community success.

Mitchell Reardon

Mitchell Reardon is the TH!NK by IBI blog curator, a land use planner and urban experimenter. His interdisciplinary work centres on people and how they live, work and move through the city. Mitchell is enjoying life in Vancouver, after 6 years of living and working in Stockholm, Sweden. Catch up with him on Twitter: @MitchellReardon

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