Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Opinion: Dallas neighborhoods are divided by class, but we already knew that
How accurate do you perceive this report to be?
DALLAS Here’s my question to all you sharp Realtors: Does this piece by The Atlantic Cities tell us anything we don’t already know?
Through much of the piece, I was reading sentence after sentence and saying to myself “OK, and … ?” I was looking for a conclusion that was new and eye-opening, something enlightening. I didn’t get one.
You might be able to draw a parallel between the recovery of the Dallas housing market and the purple blobs on the above map. I would say that we’re seeing much of Dallas’ growth in the northern suburbs, parts of the White Rock Lake area, and the ritzier neighborhoods of Oak Cliff. The story does mention Oak Cliff as an island of wealth in an otherwise economically depressed area, but even Oak Cliff has so many varied neighborhoods that the story loses real local perspective, and even neglects to mention Kessler Park altogether.
There is mention of the new West Dallas development, Trinity Groves, but it’s a superficial glazing-over of the project and it’s broader influence on surrounding residential neighborhoods like La Bajada.
The truth is that we’ve been talking about this class divide, which is better referred to as an income divide, for years. In fact, the editorial board of The Dallas Morning News started a project about five years ago called “Bridging Dallas’ North-South Gap.” The project has helped bring new light to neighborhoods facing institutional neglect. It puts a face, not numbers, on the divide.
In that way, I think that while this Atlantic Cities piece might be informative to a broader, national audience, all it gives North Texans is a map showing class divisions that aren’t practical (since when is an everyday scribe in the same class as a lawyer or doctor?).
What do you think?
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