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The Daily Planet's Opinion: February 2017
Thursday, 02 February 2017 13:20

Gentrification poses threat to Asheville 

Asheville won a dubious distinction in late January, when it was ranked No. 2 on a list of “The U.S. Cities That Are Gentrifying the Fastest,” which was published by

It is, indeed, a downer — but probably not a surprise — for locals and others who appreciated Asheville’s reputation as a funky, artistic little town to read — in print — that their beloved city is undergoing such a radical transformation, especially compared to other cities.  

In placing second on the list (just behind Charleston, S.C.), Asheville was cited for having reached half of its gentrification  potential. The problem with gentrification is that, often, local residents are displaced by wealthier new residents.

“Back in 2000, Rolling Stone called  Asheville ‘America’s new freak capital,’ attracting an eclectic population of hippies, artists and musicians,” wrote Yuqing Pan, author of the article. “Today, tourists flock to its craft beer breweries, and gated golf communities sell homes for prices as high as $6.5 million — but the quirky, creative characters who once defined the city are vanishing.”

We urge city officials to do all they can to preserve the community’s uniqueness and to curtail changes that could transform Asheville into another Atlanta.



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