Join us for a reading by Matthew Schuerman, author of Newcomers: Gentrification and Its Discontents at City Lit Books on Thursday, December 12th, 2019 at 5:30 PM.
If you wish to join us for the event please RSVP HERE.
Newcomers: Gentrification and Its Discontents by Matthew Scheurman explores the complexities of community development, explaining how a well-intentioned phenomenon has turned into one of the most vexing social problems of our time. He focuses on three locales—Brownstone Brooklyn, Chicago’s Near North Side, and San Francisco’s Mission District—but the stories he tells resonate throughout the country.
Join Metropolitan Planning Council and City Lit for a conversation exploring the parallels of the changing Chicago neighborhoods of Cabrini Green and Logan Square. The author, Matthew Schuerman, will be joined in conversation with Lissette Castañeda, Interim Executive Director of LUCHA, a local affordable housing advocacy organization. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.
As millions of Americans moved to the suburbs after World War II, a smaller number stayed behind, enchanted by the vibrancy and diversity of city life. Largely white and well-off, these “pioneers” self-consciously crafted their ideal neighborhoods. They formed community groups, organized house tours, and lobbied city officials to promote their cause. Eventually, the back-to-the-city movement caught on to such a degree that these pioneers have, in some cases, pushed out the people and the places that made cities diverse and vibrant in the first place.
Through intimate accounts of the central figures of the movement, as well as detailed explorations of policy decisions, Newcomers reinvigorates the debate over gentrification’s pros and cons with objectivity, grace, and wit. Gentrification, Schuerman argues, is not primarily a cause of urban ills, but a symptom of something larger: the transition from a manufacturing economy to an information-based one. Real estate developers and marketers were quick to take advantage of the phenomenon, while local and national leaders failed to treat it seriously—even when a handful of activists attempted to warn the nation as far back as the 1970s of the dangers of “reinvestment.” Newcomers will leave readers with a deeper appreciation of the roots of gentrification, the misunderstandings that have accompanied its rise, and the urgency needed to address residential displacement today.
“Required reading for mayors, housing experts and advocates, neighborhood activists, developers, and urbanites of all stripes.” - Richard Florida, author of The New Urban Crisis
Matthew L. Schuerman was born and raised in Chicago and has spent most of his life in cities since then. His coverage of urban issues has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Observer, and The Village Voice, as well as on NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.” He is currently a senior editor at WNYC public radio in New York, where his projects have won numerous honors, including a prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and received a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.