By Jason Wyman
Everything is in transition: our earth, our neighborhoods, our bodies. In fact, Heraclitus said, “Change is the only constant in life.” Adolescents especially know this truth because their bodies rapidly develop between the ages of 10 and 19. According to the World Health Organization, it is second only to infancy in terms of physiological growth.
Adolescence isn’t the only space of rapid development. Neighborhoods, especially neighborhoods in metropolitan areas, area also experiencing incredible transition. In San Francisco, the cost of living has increased dramatically, and it is forcing out families, elders, and lower income individuals all across the city. As an example, artists and long-standing community members Rene Yanez and Yolanda Lopez were evicted in fall 2013 from their home of over 35 years.
While their contributions to the vibrancy and vitality of their neighborhood and community are invaluable and are what draws people from elsewhere to the neighborhood, it is not valued in the same way as land and property. So when people who can afford higher rents move into a neighborhood, the people that have called that neighborhood home for decades are pushed out.
This rapid transition, whether in adolescence or neighborhoods, calls into question: Where does one belong?