jueves, agosto 04, 2011

¡Es la clase media!

La foto es de Caracas pero podría representar a muchas otras ciudades en el planeta. Acabo de leer un artículo de Joel Kotkin en la revista Metropolis que es un tremendo llamado de atención para los fanáticos de los proyectos faraónicos de regeneración de ciudades. El mensaje de fondo es es que las ciudades están dejando de ser espacios de integración social para convertirse en una colección de guetos y exclusión, con una creciente brecha entre ricos y pobres.

As the middle class has decamped, central London has become more stratified. Residents and workers there and in the West End account for some of the most concentrated wealth on the planet. At the same time, prospects for London’s middle class have weakened, with many fleeing to the suburbs or even leaving the country. (Britain remains a large exporter of educated workers to the rest of the world.) The major issue here is the high cost of housing. Even in its poorest neighborhoods, London now ranks as one of the most unaffordable places for middle-income people to buy a home. 
Still, life is much tougher for the city’s poor, many of whom live less than an hour’s walk from the wealthiest neighborhoods. Take a stroll just a mile or two from the Thames and you enter a very different London. It is here where you’ll see why the financial capital of the European Union also has the highest incidence of child poverty in Great Britain (more even than in the beleaguered North East). Thirty-six percent of children in London live in poverty, a figure that rises to more than one-half when the city’s housing costs are factored in.

Necesitamos ciudades que sean diversas y lo suficientemente accesibles para el desarrollo de una clase media y una clase trabajadora que pueda convivir -y expresarse- en armonía. Como comenté en mi charla de marzo en Pamplona, no son los edificios sino las personas.

Given these global realities, it might be time for our urban boosters to curb their enthusiasm for the “luxury city” and refocus on how to meet the aspirations of their middle- and working-class residents. If they don’t, lack of opportunity will drive more and more of this crucial aspirational class farther and farther away, mostly to smaller citiesand suburbs that still offer “an inventory of the possible.”

3 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

Muy buena nota. Permitame sumar elementos al debate. No son los edificios, sino la sociedad. Las ciudades ordenadas por los individuos y el sector privado tienden a la estratificación social, como función de la maximización del valor del suelo. La sociedad, que se rige por leyes votadas por sus representantes, puede regular la lógica del valor del suelo en función de sus propios intereses como conjunto, buscando ciudades mas cohesionadas. Un saludo y gracias por la nota. @Urbanabanana

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