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Volume 70, Issue 130, Friday, April 15, 2005


Friday Forum: Urban blight or city lights?

Are Houstonians willing to trade their rich past for shiny new apartments?

The sprawl of inner-loop housing developments gives many a chance to live closer to the big city, but for some it's happening right in their own historic backyard.

Lofts paint grim picture of tomorrow: one without a sense of history

"And to your left you will see some lovely apartment complexes dating back to 2005. These are some of the oldest buildings in the city and have withstood the tests of time for 15 years." Sound absurd? Well, with the way Houston is headed, this may not be such an extreme prediction. As Urban Lofts Townhomes moves in, many of our oldest neighborhoods are being torn down so businessman can live closer to the office and barflies can live closer to the downtown scene. -- Dusti Rhodes

Gentrification can breathe new life into forgotten historical landmarks 

Gentrification is the phenomenon by which inner cities are developed. This trend shortens commute times, decreases the use of fuel, stimulates public transportation development and overall allows the revitalization of city areas that would otherwise be left to rot. In addition, it can -- and should -- lead to a safeguarding and restoration of landmarks. In some cases, the opposite is true, but if no such development took place, the landmarks would have been lost due to lack of upkeep. -- Giugi Carminati

Bland, homogenized housing is quickly replacing our city's history

Preservation of Houston's historic communities is our only chance at preventing our city from becoming a completely soulless urban monstrosity. What some call the "revitalization" of poor and crime-ridden neighborhoods, I see as the criminal destruction of a precious heritage. True revitalization should come in the form of working with current residents to restore old buildings, as well as supporting the arts and businesses of those communities. The beauty that can be found already far exceeds the cardboard uniformity that developers wish to impose. -- Summer Dawn Gorbea

Houston's past clutters the way for a more habitable city life

If the new growth in the inner loop can provide affordable, quality homes for those it may displace, then I see no problem with it. This fruitless idea of holding on to some mythical past that is dear to only a few is ridiculous. It just impedes the progress of making Houston a city people can live and breathe in, instead of a cluster of headache-inducing highways. -- David Salinas

College students will benefit the most from new developments 

This sudden burst of urban development is by far a positive for students who attend this university. With safer areas in which to choose more suitable accommodations, students no longer have to settle for high-risk areas that are in ample supply on the "wrong side" of Scott Street. Also, students who would rather not live on campus because of what Residential Housing Association has, or doesn't have, to offer can now choose to reside a little closer than their 75-minute commutes from the Woodlands or Katy. -- Lucas Mireles

Community involvement lets heritage, development compromise

Gentrification has viable pros and cons, but ultimately, it is up to the communities facing the challenges. A community can come together to decide what is best for them and take appropriate action from there. Whether they decide to seek out developers and work out a deal or unite, as the Third Ward community did, and present a strong front that will keep developers out should be their call. History and progress can and should coexist. -- Sarah Morgan

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