Monday, February 2, 2009

MIS - Valerie Figlmiller

My MIS for this week's readings is from "Better Together." It is on page 42, and it states...

"This is one of the ironies of investing in social capital...improvements that help bring members of a community together sometimes also disrupt or sever old ties."

I chose this particular sentence, because I never realized this point before. It's difficult to help lower-income communities that are packed in together mainly due to the issue of space. If a poorer community has high-rise apartments that fit a lot of people in a small location at one time, then it is quite the challenge to make the community more beneficial. When you build houses and parks and other public areas, it decreases the amount of room left over for all those people to live. Also, when you improve a neighborhood, a lot of costs go up, such as in grocery stores or rent. A lot of the lower-income families simply cannot afford to live there anymore and are essentially forced out. Thus, the neighborhood will most likely become a middle-class community with new people. The lower-income people are then "in a pickle." While they would love to stay in their hometown, it is just not realistic anymore. Although I think it is fantastic that people are really trying to help out neighborhoods and invest in social capital, it is just too bad that it doesn't always work out, and sometimes creates an even worse situation than it had to begin with. How frustrating!

1 comment:

  1. I almost chose this MIS too. While I didn't find it exactly surprising, I had never really thought about it before. It seems like neighborhood improvement is a double-edged sword: on one hand, you feel safer and more wealthy socially, but if the improvements continue, you lose your neighborhood and eventually your home.