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gentrification


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The rebuilding, renewing, and rehabilitation of depressed areas of the inner city as more affluent families seek to live near to the city centre, trading space and quiet for access to the goods and services of the city centre. (Bourne (2000) PHG 24, 153 does not like the term gentrification; ‘it is both pompous and now irrelevant. Even “social upgrading” invokes a sense of class-based superiority.’)

S. Zukin (1991) describes gentrification as dominated by signature spaces and lifestyles and new middle-class taste formations that get rid of vernacular traditions. Rofe (2004) J. Austral. Geogr. Studs 42, 2 writes that gentrification provides a cleaner and more positive identity. Walks and Maaranen (2008) Urb. Geog. 29, 4 demonstrate that gentrification is followed by declining, rather than improving, levels of social mix, ethnic diversity, and immigrant concentration within affected neighbourhoods: ‘at the same time, gentrification is implicated in the growth of neighborhood income polarization and inequality.’ See Latham (2003) Urban Studies 40, 9 on multiculturalism and gentrification.

Lees (2000) PHG 24 and D. Ley (1996) both identify three distinct geographies of gentrification. Lees describes them as international, intra-national, and citywide; while Ley uses international, intra-metropolitan, and urban neighbourhood/intra-urban. Smith (2002) Antipode 34, 3 claims that gentrification, ‘which initially emerged as a sporadic, quaint and local anomaly in the housing markets of some command-centre cities, is now thoroughly generalized as an urban strategy that takes over from liberal urban policy’. See Phillips (2004) PHG 28, 1 on rural gentrification.


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