In the latest issue of FQ: we profile the people who believe you should Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything (BANANA). These radicals are keeping the neighborhood funky and driving the housing prices way up.
Gentrification takes many forms. Restrictive zoning can force a neighborhood to remain physically the same, but it won’t hold prices static. Rehabbers will snap up formerly affordable units to meet the demand for high-end housing.
What might look like an activist stand against profit-seeking developers is really just a culture war against younger, often poorer renters who’ve become an inconvenience in the search for easy parking.
We watch as good liberals fight against “developer shills.” We listen as longtime residents tell us — with great passion — of the environmental calamity that is sure to result from a six-story building. But we should consider that the alternative to increased urbanization of our cities is more sprawl and longer commutes.
People need homes. Those homes will be built somewhere. If we believe our most progressive cities are where good things can still happen, we should welcome more neighbors to enjoy in that progress. Talk to your friends about zoning. Fighting back against the status quo begins on your own block.
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