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American Futures

Gentrification 'Without the Negative' in Columbus, Ohio

Nov 10, 2014 | 3 videos
Video by The Atlantic

Nearly a quarter of the homes in the Franklinton neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio are vacant. In 2011, an arts group moved into an abandoned factory in the area to create 400 West Rich Street, a community that now leases space to woodworkers, performance artists, a coffee shop, painters, sculptors, and others.

This short documentary considers the artists who work in 400 West Rich Street, why the space attracted them, and what it means for revitalization of the neighborhood. "We have the opportunity to do what people would call gentrification, only without the negative component of it…the displacement of an existing population," says Jim Sweeney, director of the Franklinton Development Asssociation. "The existing population is gone already. They went decades ago."

This documentary is the first of three produced for American Futures, an ongoing reporting project from James Fallows, Deborah Fallows, and John Tierney.

Author: The Editors

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Portraits of change and resilience in American communities