Instead they’ve produced a metastasizing cancer by quickening gentrification, eroding the complex fabric of neighborhoods to the status of mere way stations, and advancing a homogenizing tide of bleach wood and incandescent bulbs. Their project aims to remake real estate and its occupants in the face of capital in the “liquid modern” era: frictionless, highly mobile, always and never at home. What a lively waltz! Such a project merrily plunges into the city as a radical, top-down “solution”—which is to say, the gussying-up of a preexisting “solution” (roommates) for a select bunch, a meager Band-Aid for a problem with deep roots in decades of housing policy, disintegrating incomes, and the financialization of real estate. Such muck and mire—the displaced bodies and theft of neglected but occupied residences—vaporizes in a snap! Turns out rethinking housing from the ground up was awfully simple.
The Baffler: The Tragedy of the Commons, March 1, 2018