Facing Gentrification



I have discussed gentrification frequently in the past year. The phenomenon was the subject of my technical report regarding Health Impacts of the Superfund Cleanup in the Duwamish Valley in Seattle, and I’ve had many conversations and arguments with various impassioned people regarding recent discussion of the subject on NPR, in the NYT, and in a live talk by Majora Carter at UW (here’s a NYT article addressing Majora’s interesting perspective – and to be even handed, her response in The Slant). Of late, controversy seems to be mounting regarding gentrification: no one debates whether the process occurs – it is just doubted, now, whether it is really a negative thing.

Given my recent debates on the subject, it is not surprising that gentrification sprung to mind as an interesting illustration as I recently reread plateau 7 – “Year Zero: Faciality” in Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand…

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About Jonathan Childers

Following years in urban/environmental planning consultancy and some non-profit international development work, I returned to grad school to pursue transdisciplinary practice, research, and teaching addressing political ecology, urbanism, and wellness. In brief, I am investigating the material and social dynamics that interact to affect community wellbeing and ecological health. Recently, I have been looking at Health Impact Assessment (HIA) as a decision-making tool influencing those dynamics. I led projects for the HIA of the Proposed Cleanup Plan for the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site in Seattle, and I am conducting qualitative analysis of that HIA to complete my MPH in Environmental and Occupational Health. Research for my concurrent PhD in the Built Environment will build on that work, further considering the determinants and production of adaptive capacity, resilience, sustainability, and vitality.

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