Yuppie recruitment is taught in economic development courses as a preferred method of revitalizing a struggling urban neighborhood. How do you get yuppies to move into a crappy neighborhood? One method is to bring in artists. Yuppies like being able to say they do interesting things. Living in a community with a robust art community is one such way. From an urban planner's standpoint one method of attracting yuppies to a place isn't to recruit the yuppies but to recruit artists. Find a non-profit and some funding to revitalize some derelict warehouse and turn it into artist studio/living space and you're on your way. What do artists like? Cheap rent. What do yuppies like? Artists. From the urban planner's standpoint it's a win-win. You attract much needed capital to the neighborhood and you can say you did it by supporting struggling artists. Then you can tell yuppie people (women) that you worked hard to redevelop an old warehouse because you believe in the power of art. Let's be honest, urban planners are generally yuppies too. It works well and its not hurting anyone. But it isn't helping everyone, either.
It isn't attracting new people to the city. It's attracting people that were already city-bound. How do you get the masses to move back to cities? How do you get the masses to "go green"? The answer is getting away from high social ideas and moving to more practical ones. I don't want to see another commercial that says my energy efficient window helps save the planet. I want to see commercials that say my dryer will save you an ass-load of money. That will speak to the American people far more than global warming ever will. The answer isn't all of us uniting around a campfire and vowing to become better citizens of the planet. The answer is in the economics. Green has to be re-branded and re-priced to become appealing to everyone or the difference it makes will be negligible. Well my social rant is over, time for a latte.
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