So they closed your favorite dive bar and put in a Lululemon in the name of “urban renewal.” Gentrification affects us all, especially when we enjoy all-day $5 PBR-and-a-shot specials or, y’know, affordable housing.
On the flip side, blight is real, and American cities are recognizing how much value they’ve been ignoring in empty paved lots, in abandoned buildings, and in decrepit post-industrial spaces. Done right, urban renewal allows a city to claim more of its potential, without scrambling neighborhoods along the way.
As urban cores grow, major projects are transforming cities large and small -- think old warehouses getting overhauled in Phoenix, or the former home of the Magic now housing Orlando’s creative class. It’s partly why some small and mid-sized cities are fast becoming great destinations to visit and live, while other US neighborhoods are about to grow like weeds, changing how you travel around America.