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View Diary: The Plutocratization of Cities (51 comments)

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  •  What should also be mentioned... (14+ / 0-) that once the rich have pushed everyone else out of the hearts of those "world class cities", what's left will be dead and lifeless.

    They're not going to be walking around those neighborhoods on a daily basis and supporting local merchants.  Most of the time, they're too busy flitting between multiple houses to do that -- and when they are at home, they'll probably be sending the servants out to do the shopping...and not necessarily in the local neighborhood.

    And when life in those cities fizzles out, the rich will be wondering what happened.

    (I've seen some of this in play in Rome, where wealthy people have bought vacation homes in certain neighborhoods, and the shops started closing.  The problem is that those homes sit empty 80 to 90% of the time, and that's absolutely destructive to a neighborhood.)

    Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

    by TexasTom on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 01:48:00 PM PDT

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    •  There's already a growth in the grocery (5+ / 0-)

      delivery business....I guess it's just too fucking irritating to mix with the lowlifes at the grocery stores, so why not just order things up on line and have them delivered?

      To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

      by dizzydean on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 01:50:20 PM PDT

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    •  See Belgravia London for a current example. (4+ / 0-)

      Manhattan for a near future one.

      "Don't be defeatist, dear. It's very middle class." - Violet Crawley

      by nightsweat on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 02:11:28 PM PDT

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      •  Knightsbridge too. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dizzydean, JVolvo, Dave925

        There's a pretty good article about that in Vanity Fair here.
        One of the best observations:

        The really curious aspect of One Hyde Park can be appreciated only at night. Walk past the complex then and you notice nearly every window is dark. As John Arlidge wrote in The Sunday Times, “It’s dark. Not just a bit dark—darker, say, than the surrounding buildings—but black dark. Only the odd light is on. . . . Seems like nobody’s home.”

        That’s not because the apartments haven’t sold. London land-registry records say that 76 had been by January 2013 for a total of $2.7 billion—but, of these, only 12 were registered in the names of warm-blooded humans, including Christian Candy, in a sixth-floor penthouse. The remaining 64 are held in the names of unfamiliar corporations: three based in London; one, called One Unique L.L.C., in California; and one, Smooth E Co., in Thailand. The other 59—with such names as Giant Bloom International Limited, Rose of Sharon 7 Limited, and Stag Holdings Limited—belong to corporations registered in well-known offshore tax havens, such as the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Liechtenstein, and the Isle of Man.

        From this we can conclude at least two things with certainty about the tenants of One Hyde Park: they are extremely wealthy, and most of them don’t want you to know who they are and how they got their money (emphasis mine).

        You..ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes. -Mother Jones

        by northsylvania on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 07:21:59 AM PDT

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    •  See downtown LA (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Or better yet read Mike Davis.

    •  Heard the same about London (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      northsylvania, dizzydean, Dave925

      Many "trendy" neighborhoods where the houses are all empty most of the time. In the meantime there's a shortage of affordable housing for people with actual jobs.

      OTOH, anyone ever consider... all we'd have to do with those gated communities is wait for everyone to get home at night. Then we swipe the gate key, run concertina wire along the wall, shut off the power, and set a rotating guard.

      Problem solved.

      Not sure, but I think that's why walled cities went out of favor in the first place.

      Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

      by Pariah Dog on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 06:27:48 AM PDT

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