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Berlin's Gentrification Row: Locals Rage Against Rising Rents - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
Berlin's Kreuzberg and Neukölln districts were once known for cheap rents and diversity. But their edgy urban charm has attracted both affluent residents and international investors, jacking up rents in the process. Now long-time locals are fighting to keep their flats.

Above the gritty caverns and stale air of the Hermannplatz subway station, thousands of Berliners came together last Saturday in the city's Neukölln district in a gesture of solidarity. Middle-aged parents pushed baby strollers alongside leather-clad adolescents with colorful hair, protesting what they all see as the systematic displacement of the city's lower (and even middle) class residents.

"A lot of people showed up from very different backgrounds," said local resident Lisa Wendt, an active member of her local "Kiez Initiative," or neighborhood association. The 26-year-old helped organize the demonstration, which she claimed attracted around 6,000 protesters -- although police put the figure at 2,500. "People joined in along the way too. Clearly this is an issue that affects everybody," she told SPIEGEL ONLINE.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 9th, 2011 at 01:15:09 PM EST
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Off beat idea:  the Market Rate property value difference between pre-edgy urban charm and now is a hard measurement of the value of diversity, and what I'm going to call, the Creative Class.  

It's also a nice, pure, example of Economic Parasitism since the owners of the properties did bugger-all to earn the increase in Rent.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Sep 10th, 2011 at 11:46:19 AM EST
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