There’s a growing debate about whether gentrification is a good thing.

Follow the links in this story for a rapid immersion in the debate.

In part, the idea is that the group dubbed the creative classes by author Richard Florida, who move into and revive declining city areas, are soon priced out of the communities that they help to create by rising rents.

Florida himself has conceded that his plan for fostering creative cities has not lived up to its promise.

For the academically minded, the paper Why is Gentrification a Problem?, (1mb PDF download) by Stephen Sheppard, professor of economics at Williams College, takes a rigourous look at the factors involved.

Some argue that art and artists are being unfairly blamed for the ills of gentrification, while The New Yorker sticks up for gentrification, saying it isn’t all that bad.

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