Be Careful What You Wish For

Many cities see the attraction of tech jobs as the key to their socioeconomic success. There is truth in this, but for cities that have experienced considerable success, do the drawbacks outweigh the benefits? Zef Hemel, Amsterdam’s former chief planner, suggests that his city, and others in similar positions, should recognize the disparity in influence between long...

Date

July 13, 2016

Many cities see the attraction of tech jobs as the key to their socioeconomic success. There is truth in this, but for cities that have experienced considerable success, do the drawbacks outweigh the benefits? Zef Hemel, Amsterdam’s former chief planner, suggests that his city, and others in similar positions, should recognize the disparity in influence between long term, and often marginalized, residents and the new, often wealthy, residents and businesses that follow. Instead of fanning the flames of gentrification, an inclusive approach to urban economic development, where techies are encouraged to be social entrepreneurs, coupled with an emphasis on maintaining social housing, could be the path to sustained community success.