A recent New York Observer article interviewed Jonathan Bowles, director of the Center for Urban Future, about how the economy will affect gentrification, and while the article deals with New York, it's still a good read. And Bowles repeats the long-standing theory about neighborhood development: When the economy tanks, it's the neighborhoods just on the cusp of change that get hit first and hardest. Bowles from the Q and A article: "It’s the neighborhoods and developments that are further away from transit that will suffer, neighborhoods where the schools aren’t as good, that haven’t yet developed a lot of amenities." And Bowles on the possible uptick in crime in NYC neighborhoods: " I think that the investments that people have made in communities, buying homes and apartments, may negate some of that. People are very concerned and very active in their neighborhoods, and they may not let that kind of disinvestment occur, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a slight uptick in crime, although I am not predicting a doomsday scenario like the late 1980s or early 1990s." [NY Observer]
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