When he asked me what I did, I replied I looked at ways in which we could, as a community, make sounder infrastructure decisions.
‘Then, what are you are doing about gentrification?’
It wasn’t an idle question. He was poor, with infrequent, casual and poorly paid employment. His partner earned the minimum wage. They had moved many times as the affordable accommodation they found was ‘upgraded’ and they could no longer afford it.
Gentrification is happening all over the world. We call it progress. But is it? How much of what we call progress is actually only making the world better for the well-off? And by this, I mean us! In a world of increasing inequality, this kind of ‘progress’ could actually be considered to be regress from the perspective of overall community wellbeing.
Is it not time to reconsider what we mean by progress, and, indeed, to rethink the entire purpose of infrastructure?