interesting take on the "gentrification apartment" aesthetic and its place in discourse. it brings up a key point (accessibility/affordability should trump aesthetic), but, imo, erroneously assumes critics can't differentiate correlation from causation…
we know these apartments are cheap to build; it's how they're erected so quickly. what this article ignores is, at least in places like my hometown, the CONTEXT in which they are constructed, and the ensuing cultural association with the aesthetic
in cleveland, this style of architecture is usually seen:

-in areas recieving huge booms of development around hospitals and universities, the last debt-driven profit centers for hungry capitalists, as poor neighborhoods see groceries/other businesses close and move towards them
-in the middle of areas w/ decaying housing, with the express intent of attracting ""new"" renters. this seems to be an "if you build it, they will come" non-solution to fixing neighborhoods in disrepair - with local govt usually complicit or even subsidizing construction
ultimately, it is where these apartments are built and where they are not that determines the cultural standing of their aesthetic here in the midwest. their construction often seems cynical, with complete disengagement from the communities that desperately need to be served.
cleveland DOES have an equivalent to the "culture preserving" stealth gentrification mentioned in the article - the "upscale warehouse" aesthetic apt that has priced people out of downtown. i agree w/ the author that they pose a threat that the privileged can aesthetically ignore
the article touches upon EVERY point i mentioned - and then seems to argue that they create unfair bias against a style of architecture that can do much good.

i won't argue against its potential for good. i DO argue that we don't get to decide whether that bias is unfair.
aesthetic lives in and serves culture. it cannot escape associations that emerge, because /it is not greater than them/

we don't get to pick which ones should go away. even if some of them should (propaganda), we stand to erase the experiences of real, often disadvantaged people
this is a major issue that i think goes unaddressed in leftism on the whole. addressing it is paramount to leftism's cultural success. i am not a scholar, or an architect, so i don't often speak up about it. but we don't get to choose our cultural rules of engagement.
what the article claims as "aesthetic posturing" is often times a real acknowledgment of the place this aesthetic has found in culture - often among the poor, and not overnight, or for lack of reason. if we need aesthetic guidance, they're the ones we ought to be talking with.
an addendum: i've done more reading, and it seems like the author is primarily writing from the perspective of huge cities like nyc, sf, la, etc. where rent is out of control and nimbys are keeping more housing from being built. obv a far cry from where i live.
i can't speak for those places, but if it results in actual more affordable housing, i'm all for it.

but i still largely stand by this thread, because hey, we in languishing cities are people too, and the grievances we have which contribute to this cultural image are legitimate
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