Hip and Harmonious Living: Race and class implications of new revitalization efforts on urban America
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This paper explores the Cool Cities phenomenon, a new revitalization effort in which cities aim to attract young professionals. Richard Florida explains that this emerging "creative class" is the key to bringing cities back to life. This plan, however, fails to encompass the class and race issues existing in cities today. According to MacLeod the cycle of class regeneration will continue keeping the poor, poor and allowing the rich to get richer. Bourdieu also adds that because the population already living in cities lacks the cultural capital, they are unable to jump from one class to the next. Their theories assume that adding the creative class, a mostly white middle- to upper-class group of young people, will only perpetuate the problems of the urban poor. However Florida and many urban planners feel that the creative class may be able to break this cycle in dying urban cores. The creative class is an accepting group of new thinkers. Their ability to accept people different from themselves will lead to more diverse living conditions within cities. They hold the responsibility of organizing the community to help end gentrification. The creative class in turn will help rebuild the tax base in these areas by owning and restoring homes in older urban neighborhoods. Their taste in food, music and recreation will attract more businesses and create parks and other facilities for recreation further helping the whole community.