Artists and Economic Development

thoughtfodderI ran across an interesting article the other day. It’s from Bloomberg Businessweek and is called Bohemian Today, High-Rent Tomorrow. It discusses the phenomenon of artists moving into low-rent districts, fixing them up and making them cool, which then leads to more economic development, which then makes the districts high-rent, forcing out the artists who brought them back to life.

I’ve seen this written about many times and I’m not sure why more communities aren’t fostering this for economic development. Maybe if it’s forced … “Say, you, there, artist! Move into this crappy neighborhood and fix it up so we can make a buck!” … it won’t work the same way. At the very least, if communities could provide encouragement when artists adopt a place, perhaps these economic revivals would happen more frequently.

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