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Climate Gentrification - another regurgitated and irresponsibly coined term

Ines Hegedus-Garcia

I was recently interviewed by The Biscayne Times about "Climate Gentrification".  I was asked by the author, Dave Villano, if I was aware of any developers or speculators that have targeted the areas of Little Haiti, Allapattah and other urban areas of Miami, specifically because of elevation.  This was my response:

I find the concept of "climate gentrification" to be an irresponsible assessment by social scientists that have not taken the time to visit the areas, know our communities and understand the hyper-local market.  What is happening in the areas in question, like Little Haiti, Allapattah and other urban areas of Miami is simple gentrification that is not associated with higher elevations.  The affordability factor is what is most attractive about these areas which bring forth developers, speculators and investors.  

It is our responsibility to not turn a blind eye to climate change and resiliency should be a part of our conversation, as well as bringing responsible change to these changing communities. However, coining terms for the sake of media attention, in my opinion, is shameful.

Many agree that "climate gentrification" is simply sensational reporting and regurgitation of national news.  Please read Dave's article in The Biscayne Times and pay special attention to the different opinions, like that of Robert Butsche, former FIU communications professor: 

Robert Gutsche, a former FIU communications professor now at Lancaster University in the UK, has studied and published on the interface of national and local news media in the coverage of climate change in Miami. He says the climate gentrification story has followed a predictable pattern here, with the local news outlets conceding their reportorial authority and embracing the more superficial, sensational reporting of the national press.

“It should be the opposite, with local reporters taking the lead, digging deeper,” says Gutsche. He calls Miami’s local reporting on climate issues a “regurgitation of national news.”

Thank you Dave for the article and let's be responsible about changes in our city without sensationalizing the truth.

And finally, take a look at this video from The Real Deal - "Miami Developers and Brokers on Sea Level Rise"

Image courtesy of: Miami Herald Archives - Water topped the banks of the Miami River during Hurricane Irma and flooded parts of Brickell Avenue. Water also washed over adjacent seawalls.

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