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Sign of the Times

In 2017, Charleston was rated the "fastest-gentrifying" US city by Realtor magazine. The north end of the peninsula, once home to many black neighborhoods, is now ‘gentrification central’. Main drivers in Charleston include tourism growth, housing demand, and a lack of affordable options, pushing out long-time, mainly low-income and minority, residents. Since the 1990s, the area's demographic makeup has shifted from two-thirds Black to two-thirds White, with a 55% decrease in the Black population.

Locations selected encompass the upper peninsula (gentrification central). The 24” x 24” reflective aluminum signs were mounted alongside current traffic signage in prominent locations to maximize visibility. County traffic counts suggest more than 140,000 commuters were exposed daily over the 10 days.

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I-26e &
Morrison st / e. Bay st.

““…the city began spending on different things, turning away from social programs that help the poor and toward ones that help the rich—namely, subsidizing redevelopment.”"

 

― Peter Moskowitz, How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood

Septima p. Clark pky.
& morrison dr.

“Gentrification is often presented as a sort of corrective to the suburbs: instead of white flight and unsustainable cookie-cutter planning, we get dense, urban, and diverse cityscapes. But gentrification is simply a new form of the same process that created the suburbs; it's the same age-old, racist process of subsidizing and privileging the lives and preferred locales of the wealthy and white over those of poor people of color..”

 

― Peter Moskowitz, How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood

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Septima p. Clark pkwy.
(us 17N) & line St.

“To fight gentrification is to fight American thinking.”

 

― Peter Moskowitz, How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood

Septima p. Clark pky.
& king st.

“When we think of gentrification as some mysterious process, we accept its consequences: the displacement of countless thousands of families, the destruction of cultures, the decreased affordability of life for everyone.”

 

― Peter Moskowitz, How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood

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Cannon St. & Ashley Ave.

“Gentrification, at its deepest level, is really about reorienting the purpose of cities away from being spaces that provide for the poor and middle classes and toward being spaces that generate capital for the rich.”


― Peter Moskowitz, How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood

I-26w & romney st.

"Gentrification is simply a new form of the same process that created the suburbs; it's the same age-old, racist process of subsidizing and privileging the lives and preferred locales of the wealthy and white over those of poor people of color. The seesaw has just tipped in the other direction. Gentrification is not integration but a new form of segregation. The borders around the ghettos have simply been rebuilt.”

 

― Peter Moskowitz, How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood

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I-26e &
Meeting st / downtown

““Gentrification brings money, new people, and renovated real estate to cities, but it also kills them. It takes away the affordability and diversity that are required for unique and challenging culture. It sanitizes.”

 

Peter Moskowitz, How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood

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I-26e &
rutledge ave.

“This is what gentrifiers and gentrification boosters often fail to grasp about gentrification: it's not that most poor people or people of color hate the idea of anyone moving to the city, but that gentrification almost always takes place on top of someone else's loss. Gentrifiers see cities through fresh eyes, unencumbered by mental maps that might suggest something more nefarious than revitalization had happened before their arrival.”

 

Peter Moskowitz, How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood

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