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Diversity in Tarrant County


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#1 jsfslls

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Posted 25 June 2015 - 11:40 PM

Recent article talks about how population shifts from 2010-2014 in tarrant county had the largest gains for Black & Hispanic communities.

 

The issue of sustaining diversity in Tarrant County, especially in Fort Worth, is one I follow closely. I feel like the best cities to live in are those that show many different colors and cultures, but once a city becomes extremely popular and pressure starts to force housing prices further and further up resulting in minority communities present in the area that can't afford the higher costs finding larger and more affordable housing in a neighboring city like Arlington, how will we keep our diversity?  I think it could be fair to say that the greatest gain in the study comes from Arlington, which I'm not sure those in charge in Arlington really know how to deal with the large amount of diversity that has occurred over the past decades, but hopefully they will understand to accept and not reject it. A bit of a result of this is the state of Southeast Fort Worth, as well as the Como neighborhood. For years, Southeast Fort Worth was neglected, resulting in a economically deficient area that offered no promise to the mostly low income minority communities living there and the driving away of minority families in the middle class or above to the suburbs, especially Arlington.

However, so far, it seems like we're doing a bit of a better job at working to preserve this diversity over Dallas (not that it's a competition). Thanks to effective action, economic opportunities are coming to Southeast Fort Worth, as well as renovation in the Evans-Rosedale Area promoting the black american influence in the Historic Southside, and the renovations of the public housing process that involves the decentralization of public housing and more placements among environments that promote economic stability and success, like the renovation of Hunter Plaza. The Riverside Arts District will hopefully work to increase the value of the northeast area, but still keep it affordable for a mixed income area, of which is mostly Hispanic, and has one of the only neighborhoods of Asian populations I've seen in Fort Worth.

 

But going into the future, as many areas in Fort Worth start to increase in value, it'll be interesting to see how diversity may change and whether or not Fort Worth will work to keep it, or simply gentrify.

 

http://www.star-tele...le25512223.html



#2 johnfwd

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 06:25 AM

Good thought piece.  I may take slight exception to your choice of wording in the last sentence, the phrase "or simply gentrify."  I don't believe gentrification and diversity are necessarily mutually exclusive, though I realize that gentrification is a sensitive issue when practiced to subtly (deliberately?) shift neighborhood patterns away from racial/ethnic diversity.  Without being in obvious violation of fair housing and other anti-discrimination laws.

 

Gentrification itself is an urban renewal concept involving the gradual improvement in the housing and commercial buildings in a neighborhood.  As I learned the concept, it commences when a lone property owner bravely faces the issue of expending costs to rehabilitate his property when doing so is not economically feasible on account of low market values overall in the area.  But for a variety of reasons, other area property owners eventually hop on the rehabilitation bandwagon.  This may be strictly an economic development phenomenon without racial or ethnic motivations (though, I suppose, such motivations may be an underlying factor, if not a principal reason for gentrification).  Gentrification may or may not be a racially/ethnically neutral phenomenon.

 

This is a complex issue involving academic arguments over whether it's really income class rather than racial or ethnic diversity that is the driving force behind major shifts in the demographic characteristics of a particular neighborhood or community.  I don't know the answer.  But In Fort Worth, when I read articles about the need for affordable housing, for example, I am more apt to think in terms of people with low incomes rather than of having a particular demographic characteristic.  But that's my perspective.



#3 jsfslls

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Posted 26 June 2015 - 05:23 PM

Absolutely. When we think of lower income housing, we shouldn't automatically equate that to minority communities. But looking at it from the other side, I think it might be fair to say that a majority of lower income individuals or families in a somewhat close proximity to the downtown core in Fort Worth is of a minority.

And yes, the term gentrification is essentially the improvement of the neighborhood, but we know of many instances where it has taken away diversity from the area, and if unregulated, can result in even a larger wage gap between the wealthier, mostly caucasian individuals in the urban core, and the low income, mostly minority individuals in the immediate surrounding environment. San Francisco seems like a perfect example of this, extending gentrification all the way to Oakland, an area that has one of the highest crime rates in the country, but also has a large black american population. 

I do believe it is income class that determines the change in a neighborhood, but when it is closely correlated with racial makeup in downtown, urban areas like Fort Worth & Dallas, I think it becomes a balance that usually results in a renovated neighborhood with a completely new racial makeup.

I guess the question is how do we increase the value of areas around Fort Worth without losing the blend of cultures we have at the moment? I guess one solution would be that the renovations of neighborhoods could attract more upper and middle class minority individuals/families, especially if they focus on maintaining an environment that supports mixed income environments.



#4 cjyoung

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 04:57 PM

There is plenty of affordable housing in Fort Worth. I think the focus needs to be on increasing/developing our employer base.






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