Wednesday, November 15, 2006

City as a Commodity

For the past several months working as a Real Estate, I have come to realize how important the home can be to a family or individual. It is not only shelter, but also a definition of that person considering its architectural characteristics and especially its location. My company focuses on the satisfaction of the customer’s want and/or need. Most of the time customers demand that location become a part of their equation when finding their dream house. This concept of residential “location” has been turned into a commodity as pointed out by Jane Jacobs in her book, The Death and Life of the Great American Cities.
The focus of many architects or city designers in not based on the needs of the already established population. Their goals have turned toward the needs and wants of a new wealthier consumer population moving into the cities. As Jacobs explain the streets and areas of the city have become “successful”. She states, “ We are accustomed to thinking of streets, or neighborhoods of streets as divided into functional uses—entertainment, offices, residents, shopping or the like. And so they are, but only to a degree if they maintain their success” (245). There is no focus on improving on the people who live there now. It is on the focus in on the new improvements coming into the city. The city has turned into a commodity to become successful in the arena of the new population.
By turning the city into a commodity and attracting a different class of people to the city, it only creates more problems, and it is not a cure. The commodity is very harmful to established people in the city. The people of Baltimore can be easily placed aside to make room for bigger and better apartments, shopping, and entertainment for the new population moving. The city of Baltimore should first focus on its own internal problems before electing new populations in.