Limits to Gentrification 2

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 3:55 PM / 5:35 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Washington 5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Organizers: David Lukens
Chairs: Mark Davidson


Since Neil Smith’s (1996) observation that gentrification was no longer limited to urban centers or particular geographic regions of the globe, the concept has continued to be stretched analytically and geographically (Lees et al 2016). Gentrification is now used to describe nearly any phenomenon that can be demonstrated to be driven by a “rent gap” (Smith 1979) and/or any process that results in “a progressively more affluent” user (Hackworth 2002), residential or commercial (Zukin et al. 2009).This expansion has faced increasing criticism. Maloutas (2012) argued that the concept’s application outside of its original geographical and politico-economic contexts has resulted in a “conceptual decoupling”. As a result, historical and political contexts from cities like London and New York are brought to bear on significantly different urban settings. Other scholars have claimed that the gentrification concept often fails to explain urban change in certain types of cities, and particularly those in the Global South where informality plays an important role (Ghertner, 2014). Additionally, the contextual decoupling of gentrification can therefore potentially reinforce hegemonic Western urban epistemologies, raising critical questions about the erasure or ignorance of local understandings of urban transformation and class change (Smart and Smart, 2017). For gentrification to remain an important concept, urban scholars must therefore critically reflect on the conceptual utility of gentrification and assess its ability to provide insight into the complexities of contemporary housing markets.

This session will therefore examine the following issues:
- the empirical and theoretical of limits of gentrification
- the analytical challenges caused by the concept’s expansive geographical application
- the relationship between gentrification, displacement and context
- the explanatory potential of gentrification in relation to middle-class renting and new urban residential mobilities
- mutations in the forms and outcomes of gentrification
- gentrification and housing markets since the 2008 financial crisis
- the ability of gentrification scholarship to inform contemporary urban polices
- the politics of gentrification scholarship


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Meric Kirmizi*, Ondokuz Mayis University, A Neighbourhood Commons Proposition based on A Comparison of The Gentrification Processes in the Global North, South and Japan 20 3:55 PM
Presenter Michael Koscielniak*, University of Michigan, Michael Borsellino, University of Michigan, Backfill to the City Movement: Dirt, Demolition, and Accumulation-by-Destruction in Detroit, MI 20 4:15 PM
Presenter Yongshen Liu*, City University of Hong Kong, Revisit China's Neoliberal Urbanism beyond the Political-economic Perspective: An Ethnographic Research on a University Town in Guangzhou 20 4:35 PM
Presenter Nicholas Finio*, University of Maryland, Elijah Knaap, Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California Riverside, Gentrification with a white picket fence: neighborhood upgrading in US suburbs 20 4:55 PM
Discussant Mark Davidson Clark University 20 5:15 PM

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