On 23 April, a lecture will be held at The Royal Academy of Art on gentrification, housing and the connection with the protests on Labor Day.
When: 23 April 2018
Location: The Royal Academy of Art, Prinsessegracht 4, Den Haag
Affordable housing is being demolished on a large scale. A growing number of people cannot find affordable living space. The city is slowly turning into a space where most people don’t seem to be welcome anymore. Many people find themselves in precarious housing situations; those who aren’t rich are being pushed out to the city’s peripheries or beyond.
This happens in a process that works as a silent killer. Streets and neighbourhoods are filled with pop-up stores where hip entrepreneurs can kick-start their business with relatively low rents. Although this may sound attractive, it only happens in order to financially upgrade a certain street or neighbourhood. Once the neighbourhood is attractive enough for investors, low-income housing will be replaced with unaffordable homes and exclusive businesses. The local residents will be driven out of their neighbourhood; what remains is generic elitism. Because of this process, known as gentrification, rents rise dramatically while people’s incomes remain the same. This increases the gap between the rich and the poor. Small shops and socially accessible spaces will also disappear to give way to exclusive shops, hotels and cupcake shops. If we don’t stop this process, the city will be turned into a playground reserved only for the rich. The city should not be an instrument for endless profit making, but a place where people should feel free and where everybody should be able to maximally develop themselves.
Some people will talk about gentrification, the battle against it and the upcoming 1st of May demonstration in The Hague on this theme.
Original call can be found here.