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Good Neighbors: Gentrifying Diversity in…

Good Neighbors: Gentrifying Diversity in Boston's South End

by Sylvie Tissot

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Good Neighbors was a very hard book to read. It was painful to read about the uprooting of working class, poor and ethnic communities who became unable to afford the skyrocketing rents and escalating real estate prices caused by gentrification in Boston's Sound End. The strength of Good Neighbors lies in Tissots ability to show us how gentrification is not just an economic process but a social one too; a process where the wealthy transforms these neighborhoods in their own image with elite values through neighborhood and condo associations and ties to policymakers in City Hall. Although many of the wealthy elite speak about the importance of diversity, in reality, the working class is no longer welcome, is formally marginalized and economically shut out. The process is almost 100% complete except that there is a large, very well-know homeless shelter that has a lease through 2068. An article was published in the Boston Globe several weeks ago that described how the staff of the shelter were distributing cookies and hired a security guard for their new neighbors to calm their fears about living so close to the homeless. An energetic discussion ensued in the Boston Globe comments section about why the shelter felt the need, and if it was right, to kowtow to the new residents fears. Good Neighbors then is a timely, essential work that highlights who suffers and what we have lost in our urban communities. Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to review this book for an honest opinion. ( )
  Karen59 | May 26, 2015 |
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