Building the Kind of Place People Want to Be, Inclusively

[Excerpt from opinion in Maine Press Herald] Portland has become a place where everyone wants to be. People see a lively, quirky, creative place with a bustling food culture and want to live here. I don’t blame them for having the desire – I was born in Maine, and I’ve lived in Portland for the past 22 years. My heart is here, at least for as long as it can afford to be, and I understand the appeal of this amazing city. Who wouldn’t want to be here?

But with the influx of people have come the developers who saw affordable real estate and huge investment opportunities. “Luxury” became the adjective of the decade as high-priced condominiums and apartments began to be built on India Street, Sheridan Street and the very top of Munjoy Hill. These buildings not only did not fit with the character of the city, but also began to slowly price the current residents of Munjoy Hill – those same working-class people, who helped make Portland so appealing – out of their apartments and homes. There is a Top 10 list for that, too – the most gentrified cities in America – but I’m not sure that’s a list we want Portland to be added to.

Full story in Maine's Press Herald (as always, the comments prove instructive):