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Can Cities Revive Without Going Bland?

The merits and demerits of gentrification have been discussed ad nauseam over the years, but the conversation is especially interesting now that urban living has worked its way into the mainstream. Richey Piiparinen at New Geography ponders if reviving cities can manage to hang on to what made their hip 'hoods cool in the first place: urban grit, a diverse mix of residents, and interesting businesses, among other features. It's hard to deny that the "creative class-ification" of cities has yielded almost suburban levels of sameness in many of America's urban districts. It's a delicate balance indeed. [New Geography]