New documentary explores history of gentrification and its presence in LA

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 11, 2017 and has been updated with the most recent information.

As development in Los Angeles brings money and glassy towers to Los Angeles, debates about gentrification follow. The process is often portrayed as revitalization, but, as many have seen firsthand throughout Los Angeles, it always seems to bring with it waves of displacement.

A new documentary from KCETLink Media Group, called City Rising, goes deep into the topic of gentrification, looking at its origins in discriminatory housing laws and practices, its manifestations in six California communities—including Boyle Heights, Long Beach, and South Central—and its possible solutions.

“Although a hot-button issue today, gentrification is nothing new,” Juan Devis, chief creative officer atKCETLink Media Group, said in a statement. “Years of discriminatory housing laws continue as the rights to property, home and community are taking center stage in a local as well as global debate.”

Within the first 15 minutes, City Rising touches on race covenants implemented in the early 20th century, disinvestment in public housing during the Reagan era, and the bailout of the big banks in the 2000s. It connects the dots between all three and the current, wholly unaffordable housing market.

City Rising airs tonight on KCET. It will be released online on the same day as six 15-minute “webisodes.” It’s definitely worth watching.

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