MyPE is aware that the upgrade of areas such as Central and Richmond Hill will bring the fear of ‘gentrification’ and the possibility of displacing people who can ill afford to travel into the inner city daily in order to work.
As the ‘change agent’ tasked with managing the upgrade we though that maybe the clever people at the Mandela Bay Development Agency would benefit from this TED Talk by Liz Ogbu who is an architect working on spatial justice.
Liz Ogbu is an architect who works on spatial justice: the idea that justice has a geography and that the equitable distribution of resources and services is a human right. In San Francisco, she’s questioning the all too familiar story of gentrification: that poor people will be pushed out by development and progress. “Why is it that we treat culture erasure and economic displacement as inevitable?” she asks, calling on developers, architects and policymakers to instead “make a commitment to build people’s capacity to stay in their homes, to stay in their communities, to stay where they feel whole.”
From the talk:
“First — we cannot create cities for everyone unless we’re first willing to listen to everyone. Not just about what they hope to see built in the future but also about what has been lost or unfulfilled. Second — healing is not just for “those people.” For those of us with privilege, we have to have a reckoning with our own guilt, discomfort and complicity. As non-profit leader Anne Marks once observed, “Hurt people hurt people; healed people heal people.” And third — healing is not about the erasure of pain. We often have a tendency to want to put a clean slate over our pain, much like that asphalt on the soil in Bayview Hunters Point. But it doesn’t work that way. Healing is about acknowledging pain and making peace with it.”