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JAMAICA PLAIN

Community meeting to focus on the effects of gentrification

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May 11, 2008

Most neighborhoods dream of having the problems this park-rich community will examine next weekend: How to keep gentrification within bounds.

In what is billed as a community summit, the JP Neighborhood Development Corporation hopes to capture current neighbors' visions and hopes for the area. The group also will serve up education about the perils of widening income inequality and look at how to stop the cycle of gentrification-disinvestment-revitalization that seems to recur every generation or so.

"We hope to talk across the lines that divide Jamaica Plain," said spokesman Chris Ney. "How has JP changed? What kind of community do we want?"

To help in the process, the development corporation has invited researchers from Oakland, Calif., and Chicago who have studied the questions of equitable development and affordable housing, Ney said. Other topics in the all-day working session include youth leadership, business diversity, the foreclosure crisis, crossing race and class divides to improve schools, and "smart growth."

The free meeting, which includes meals and child care, will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday in English High School at 144 McBride St. To register, call 617-522-2424 or visit jpndc.org.

ANDREAE DOWNS

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