Decipher City spent this weekend branching out into the wide world of audio. Below is our introductory podcast. This first week, we discuss research we’ve put together on gentrification, blight and the concept of a “bad neighborhood.” We speculate on ways to change up the narrative and offer examples and anecdotes from the city of Austin, Texas.
To view accompanying slides and images mentioned in this episode, check out the link below:
*After recording, we noticed a few issues/clerical errors/ points in need to clarification. In the spirit of robust self-critique, they are listed below:
- The sound effects throughout (noise, chatter, the Amber Alert that went off on our phones, the ringing bell) were not intentionally added ambient sounds, but the by-product of our choice to record in a pie shop.
- We know advocate is a loaded word. It shouldn’t be. If there can be bike advocates, there should be equity advocates.
- When we say there is a correlation between, for example, number of point source polluters and the racial composition of a neighborhood, we really should say “a strong visual relationship”. We have performed some statistical analysis on Austin data, but not for the maps discussed in this podcast.
- For more information on blight, see: “Urban Revitalization in the United States,” by Stacey Sutton.
- For those not familiar with the concept of redlining, see: The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, by Richard Rothstein
- The map of land value change was not produced by us but by the incredibly talented John Clary.
- We agree the white lady is definitely talking too much. She will talk less next time.
- We take ironic delight in the fact that we were talking about displacing businesses in a displacing business. This episode was recorded in Dallas’ Deep Ellum neighborhood, a rapidly gentrifying area where expensive one-act stores are rapidly overtaking a commercial composed of formerly gritty bars and music venues.
Image Below: (From left to right and top to bottom) The corner of East 12th Street and Chicon Street in Nov. 2007, April 2009, March 2011, April 2011, April 2013, December 2014, April 2015, December 2016, and July 2017.