It's hard to have a conversation about gentrification, with all the baggage around the word. As long as many argue that any level of gentrification is to be absolutely avoided, positive and responsible change remains virtually impossible. Recently urbanist Richard Florida joined others in suggesting we need a new word to replace gentrification, asking "if all economic development and neighbourhood revitalization is gentrification, how do we grow and improve our urban areas?"
Sustainable urban planning, with walkable streets and neighbourhoods, with architecturally pleasing buildings that prioritize liveability, should not be the property of only the wealthy and the middle class. Overall, having liveable neighbourhoods and buildings for people of all incomes serves as a source of pride for the city as a whole.
Buying a property in a neighbourhood that is in the early stages of such a process is generally considered one of the best ways to build equity in terms of real estate investments. The media constantly runs stories along these lines. Unfortunately however, they couldn't possibly be further from the truth.