(n) gentrification: the restoration of run-down urban areas by the middle class (resulting in the displacement of low-income residents)

Développements à Griffintown - Montréal
Image: Développements à Griffintown, Montréal | Axel Drainville (-AX-) | 2012


As rent-gap theory would predict, one of the most visible changes the gentrification process brings is to the infrastructure of a neighborhood. Typically, areas to be gentrified are deteriorated and old, though structurally sound, and often have some obscure amenity such as a historical significance that attracts the potential gentrifiers.[17] Gentry purchase and restore these houses, mostly for single-family homes. Another phenomenon is “loft conversion,” which rehabilitates mixed-use areas, often abandoned industrial buildings or run-down apartment buildings to housing for the incoming gentrifiers.[17] While this upgrade of housing value is the superficial keynote to the gentrification process, there are a greater number of less-visible shifts the gentry bring with them into their new neighborhoods (wikipedia).

gentrification02Image: Momento (01), Montréal | Naccarato | 2011

Positive Negative
Higher incentive for property owners to increase/improve housing Displacement through rent/price increases
Reduction in crime Secondary psychological costs of displacement
Stabilization of declining areas Community resentment and conflict
Increased property values Loss of affordable housing
Increased consumer purchasing power at local businesses Unsustainable speculative property price increases
Reduced vacancy rates Homelessness
Increased local fiscal revenues Greater take of local spending through lobbying/articulacy
Encouragement and increased viability of further development Commercial/industrial displacement
Reduced strain on local infrastructure and services Increased cost and changes to local services
Reduction of suburban sprawl Displacement and housing demand pressures on surrounding poor areas
Increased social mix Loss of social diversity (from socially disparate to rich ghettos)
Rehabilitation of property both with and without state sponsorship Under occupancy and population loss of gentrified areas
Source: Loretta Lees, Tom Slater, and Elvin Wyly, Genrification Reader, p. 196. © 2008 Routledge.; Rowland Atkinson and Gary Bridge, eds., Gentrification in a Global Context: the New Urban Colonialism, p. 5. © 2005 Routledge.

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