denote the socio-cultural changes in an
area resulting from wealthier people buying housing property in a
less prosperous community. Consequent to gentrification, the
average income increases and average family size decreases in the
community, which may result in the informal economic eviction of
the lower-income residents, because of increased rents, house
prices, and property taxes. This type of population change reduces
industrial land use
when it is redeveloped
for commerce and housing. In addition, new businesses, catering to
a more affluent and sophisticated base of consumers, tend to move
into formerly blighted areas, further increasing the appeal to more
affluent migrants and decreasing the accessibility to less wealthy
Urban gentrification occasionally changes the culturally
heterogeneous character of a community to a more economically
homogeneous community that some describe as having a suburban
character. This process is sometimes made feasible by
government-sponsored private real estate investment repairing the
, via deferred
taxes, mortgages for poor and for first-time house buyers, and
financial incentives for the owners of decayed rental housing. Once
in place, these economic
actions tend to reduce local property crime,
increase property values
increase tax revenues, and increase the social acceptance of gay
people and racial and ethnic minorities.
Political action, to either promote or oppose the gentrification,
is often the community’s response against unintended economic
eviction effected with rising rents that make continued residence
in their dwellings unfeasible. The rise in property values causes
based on property values
to increase; resident owners unable to pay the taxes are forced to
sell their dwellings and move to a cheaper community.
Origin and etymology
Gentrification has happened since ancient times; in Britain large
villas were replacing small shops by the third century. The word
is of much later origin. It derives from
, which is derived from the
Old French word genterise
denoting “of gentle birth” (14th
c.) and “people of gentle birth” (16th c.); which in England
denoted the highest social class below the nobility
. In 1964 the British sociologist Ruth Glass
coined the term “gentrification” to denote the influx of
middle-class people to cities and neighborhoods, displacing the
lower-class worker residents; the
example was London, and its
working-class districts such as Islington:
In the US, the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
report Health Effects of
defines the real
concept of gentrification
transformation of neighborhoods from low value to high value. This
change has the potential to cause displacement of long-time
residents and businesses . . . when long-time or original
neighborhood residents move from a gentrified area because of
higher rents, mortgages, and property taxes. Gentrification is a
housing, economic, and health issue that affects a community’s
history and culture and reduces social
. It often shifts a neighborhood’s characteristics (e.g.
racial–ethnic composition and household income), by adding new
stores and resources in previously run-down neighborhoods.”
In the Brookings Institution report Dealing with Neighborhood
Change: A Primer on Gentrification and Policy Choices
Maureen Kennedy and Paul Leonard say that "the term
'gentrification' is both imprecise and quite politically charged",
suggesting its redefinition as "the process by which higher income
households displace lower income residents of a neighborhood,
changing the essential character and flavor of that neighborhood",
so distinguishing it from the different socio-economic process of
“neighborhood (or urban) revitalization”, although the terms are
sometimes used interchangeably.
Two discrete, sociologic theories explain and justify
gentrification as an economic process (production
-side theory) and as a social
theory) that occurs when the suburban
tire of the automobile-dependent
style of life; thus,
professionals, empty nest
parents, and recent university graduates perceive the
attractiveness of the city
—earlier abandoned during white
—especially if the poor community possesses a transport hub
and its architecture sustains
traffic that allows the
proper human relations impeded by (sub)urban sprawl.
theory of urban gentrification derives
from the work of Professor Neil
, explaining gentrification as an economic
process consequent to the fluctuating
relationships among capital
investments and the production of urban
space. Low rents in the city’s periphery, during the two decades
after the Second World War
provoked continuous diversions of city housing capital for the
development of suburbs
and rural areas. That
spending of city money on suburbs then devalued
inner-city capital property, provoked
the economic abandonment of the city in favor of peripheral rural
property, consequently, the low price of inner-city land, relative
to the high price of rural land. From this derives the Rent-gap
describing the disparity between "the actual
capitalized ground rent (land price) of a plot of land given its
present use, and the potential ground rent that might be gleaned
under a 'higher and better' use".
The rent gap is fundamental to explaining gentrification as an
economic process. When the gap is sufficiently wide, real estate developers
, and other people with vested interests
in the development of land perceive the potential profit
to be derived from re-investing in
inner-city properties and redeveloping them for new tenants. Such
redevelopment effectively closes the rent gap, leading to higher
rents, mortgages, and lease rates affordable by the new tenants,
but not by the original working-poor tenants.
Furthermore, the de-industrialization
of a city reduces the
number of blue-collar
jobs available to
the urban working class
investment capital needed to physically maintain the houses and
buildings of the city. De-industrialization is often integral to
the growth of a divided white
collar employment tertiary sector of industry
some of whom take the professional
jobs that follow the spatial
centralization of capital—i.e. corporations
’ requiring that employees live near
their workplace to reduce corporate decision-making time .
District.jpg|thumb|right|Gentrification in the
US: The North Loop neighborhood, Minneapolis, Minn., is the “Warehouse District” of
condominia for artists and
theory of urban gentrification posits
that the “socio-cultural characteristics and motives” of the
gentrifiers are most important to understanding the gentrification
of the post-industrial city
—characterised by an
"employment profile focused on advanced services ... [a] profile
that is materialized in a downtown skyline of office towers, arts
and leisure sites, and political institutions. Its middle-class
ambiance may be reflected in a distinctive politics, charged with a
responsible social ethos ... the demand for more amenities, for
greater beauty and a better quality of life in the arrangement of
As such, David Ley posits a rehabilitated post-industrial city
influenced by a "new middle class
containing a cultural sub-class denominated as a creative class
of artists, teachers, and
cultural administrators. They are the first-stage gentrifiers
economically preparing the inner city for gentrification—by
introducing to the city the rich bourgeois
politics characterised by diminished
public funding for housing affordable to middle- and low-income
residents, draconian residency laws against the homeless and the
poor displaced when "artists move into otherwise undesirable
buildings, [and] usually make significant improvements to their
spaces, and their surrounding areas. Everyone benefits from these
tenuous and uneasy ... arrangements. Then, landlords becoming aware
that they are sitting on gold mines, rush to cash in".
To wit, sociologist Sharon Zukin
reports the economic realities of the “artist loft” real estate
business in Manhattan, when the owners of the building where she
resided converted it to a "co-op"
administration in 1979, and she "bade good-bye to the
manufacturers, an artist, and several residents who could not
afford the market prices at which our lofts were sold".
event, rich lawyers and accountants, retail business people and
investment bankers replaced the suburban “starving artist” bohemian “first-stage gentrifiers” who initiated
the gentrification of Hell's Kitchen, in mid-town New York City, Harlem, Washington
Heights, Astoria, and areas
Professor Smith and Marxist sociologists explain gentrification as
economic process; Ley
explains gentrification as a natural outgrowth of increased
professional employment in the central business district
and the creative sub-class’s predilection for city living. "Liberal
Ideology and the Post-Industrial City" (1980) describes and
deconstructs the TEAM committee’s effort to rendering Vancouver,
BC, Canada, a "livable city". The investigators Rose, Beauregard,
Mullins, Moore et al.
, who base themselves upon Ley’s
ideas, posit that "gentrifiers and their social and cultural
characteristics [are] of crucial importance for an understanding of
gentrification"—theoretical work Chris Hamnet criticized as
insufficiently comprehensive, for not incorporating the "supply of
dwellings and the role of developers [and] speculators in the
Gentrification is integral to the new
of centralized, high-level services work—the "new urban
economic core of banking
activities that come to replace the older, typically manufacturing
-oriented, core" that displaces
middle-class retail businesses so they might be "replaced by
upmarket boutiques and restaurants catering to new high-income
urban élites". In the context of globalization
, the city’s importance is
determined by its ability to function as a discrete socio-economic
entity, given the lesser import of national borders, resulting in
de-industrialized global cities
To wit, the American urban theorist John
’s seven-part theory posits a bifurcated service industry
in world cities
, composed of "a high percentage of
professionals specialized in control functions and ... a vast army
of low-skilled workers engaged in ... personal services ... [that]
cater to the privileged classes, for those whose sake the world
city primarily exists". The final three hypotheses detail (i) the
labourers needed to support the privileged classes, (ii) the class
and caste conflict consequent to the city’s inability to support
the poor people who are the service class, and (iii) the world city
as a function of social class
struggle—matters expanded by
Saskia Sassen et al.
world city’s inherent socio-economic inequality illustrates the
causes of gentrification, reported in "Where Did They Go? The
Decline of Middle-Income Neighborhoods in Metropolitan America"
(2006) demonstrating geographical segregation
in US cities, wherein middle-income (middle class) neighborhoods
decline, while poor neighborhoods and rich neighborhoods remain
In US cities, the suburban gentrifiers often resemble the populace
who earlier abandoned the city in their white flight
, thus gentrification is merely
reverse white flight from culturally barren suburbia to the
culturally fertile city. The consumption-side theory of
gentrification requires the existence of a service sector
economic class of
university-educated adults (aged 25–45) with much disposable income
who live near their jobs in the city. This economic class was
realised when most Western economies metamorphosed from manufacturing
to post-industrial service economies
, which, analogously,
created many low-wage, low-skill service jobs (retail sales clerks,
waitresses, janitors, et al.
) replacing the factory jobs
exported via urban de-industrialization.
In turn, that depletes the supply of affordable housing for the
original, low-wage (working poor) residents, thus, the ghetto
generations of a poor family residing in the same house or
apartment, because the young—who might have become economically
emancipated upon graduating from high school—cannot be independent
because “the market” offers only luxury condominia
, not apartments, (cf. the Freeter
Gentrification-increased property values are a positive economic
development for cities when tax revenues increase consequent to
increased property values; yet property owners experience that as
increased property taxes
. In turn,
increased taxes force the original long-term property owners to
either pay and stay (via higher rents for their tenants) or to sell
and leave the gentry’s community. Like-wise, the rises hurt the
original working poor residents, usually renters, who, in due
course, are economically evicted via increased rents. In gentrified
communities without strong rent-control laws, the working poor are
evicted when they cannot afford gentry rents.
Resultantly, such economically-limited people usually oppose
gentrification, because it destroys “the community” that first
attracted the gentrifiers to the city—despite the gentry’s
claims of “improving the city” via
gentrification. Recent research demonstrates gentrification’s
negative consequences upon voting (democratic political
participation), wherein fewer people vote in gentrified communities
in US and Canadian cities.
The suburban middle-class
not occupy a “new” city neighborhood en masse
(usually) begin urban gentrification
“first-stage gentrifiers”, economically- and socially-marginal
“trend setters” (aka "urban pioneers", a term of racist
connotation). Sociologically, these people usually are young, have
low incomes, despite possessing the cultural capital
(education and a job),
characteristic of the suburban bourgeois
. They often reside in communal
(room-mate) households, and so are more tolerant of the
suburban-perceived evils of the city—crime, poor schools,
insufficient public services, few shops, and the presence of
non-white people—that dissuade suburban middle-class families from
living in the city.
The gentrification of a city community proceeds when the number of
trend-setters multiplies to the degree that business re-investment
reappears as the social amenities the bourgeoisie values—bars,
restaurants, and commercial art galleries. The renewed business
attracts other people of like socio-economic outlook, and
investment capital follows, thus increasing local property values.
Once the pioneer business entrepreneurs haven taken the financial
risk out of the gentrified city community, timid investors and
residents flow (invest) to the “new” city neighborhood.
Upon full gentrification, the “first-stage gentrifiers” are
(informally) economically evicted from their old, but
“now-fashionable” urban neighborhood, via higher rents, mortgages,
et cetera. In due cultural course, as “urban pioneers” they move
the appropriately poor, adjacent community now ready
for their first-stage gentrification. This sector model
of urban residential
succession—neighborhoods trickling from the first to the next
socio-economic class, from the wealthiest residents who are
linearly moving out from the central business district
reverse, but the "invasion–succession" process of urban residential
succession proceeds in like fashion.
gentrification does not require these intermediary steps, but urban
residential succession greatly facilitates it, as in the London
Docklands, and other CBD-adjacent urban renewal
projects, and the comprehensive public-housing redevelopment of the
Cabrini-Green ghetto in Chicago, Illinois,
in the US, wherein government and large private developers invested
in poor communities with capital sufficient to forgo the
intermediate stages of gentrification; thus a Community Development
Corporation successfully stabilised an urban neighborhood so
that the middle class desired to live there. Some examples are
Massachusetts, the Near South Side, Chicago, and Harlem, New York City, and, in Europe, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, Altona, Hamburg,
Ferencváros, Budapest, and Islington, London.
Impact on artist colonies
In the course of gentrification, an artist
in the city is transformed from a poor to a rich
neighborhood when artists and sub-culture aficionados (e.g.
, et al.) live in poor neighborhoods of
devalued real estate
, because of the low
rents, central locale in the city proper, and "gritty" cultural
“sense of authenticity”, of being true to life. As the bohemian
character of the community grows, it
appeals "not only to committed participants, but also to sporadic
consumers" who eventually economically push out the earlier arrival
sub-culture aficionados. Hence gentrification’s economic eviction of
hippies from the East Village, Manhattan, New York City, in the 1960s:
the 1960s and 1970s, Manhattan lofts
in SoHo were
converted en masse into housing for artists and hippies,
and then their sub-culture followers. As the price of
living—and consequent social status—in those neighborhoods rose,
the artists moved to Park Slope, Brooklyn and Hoboken, New Jersey, and Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
The areas from where gentrification is
evicting hipsters run the BMT Canarsie
( ) and IND Crosstown
( ) of the New York City
system, for being near Williamsburg. Adjacent hipster
enclaves include neighboring Bushwick and Flatbush although these
neighborhoods are also seeing higher rents. Like gentrification
occurred throughout the 1990s and 2000s in the East Village and the
Lower East Side of New York City, economically pushing out theatres
and performance-art spaces such as Collective:Unconscious, Surf Reality, House of Candles, Piano's (Theater), and The Present Company.
Manuel Castells's seminal work about
gay men as "gentrifiers" in San Francisco, California, shows that "many gays were single men,
did not have to raise a family, were young, and connected to a
relatively prosperous service economy" is a pattern replicated in
other North American cities.
An illustration of this
sociologic phenomenon is the film Quinceañera
(2006), directed by
Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, containing a thematic
sub-plot about the gentrification of the protagonists’ inner-city
The documentary Flag Wars
directed by Linda Goode Bryant, shows the social, class, and gender
tensions in the Silk Stocking neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio,
between an urban African-American community and the mostly white
gays and lesbians moving in to the neighborhood, whom the original
residents accused of gentrification and racism. In turn, the new
residents accused the community of homophobia
. In 2006, in Washington, D.C., a religious
congregation in the black Shaw neighborhood opposed the granting of a liquor license to a gay
bar that was to open across the street from the church.
The bar was successfully opened and has since been replaced by
another gay bar at the same location.
Gay people are not always the gentrifiers: real estate valuation
trends can push out poor gay people, as in the Polk District in San
Francisco; radical queer
activists saw the
value of a poor neighborhood as refuge for the economically,
sexually, and socially marginal.
To counter the gentrification of their mixed-populace communities,
residents formally organized
themselves to develop the necessary socio-political strategies
required to retain local affordable housing; many such
organizations arose in the 1960s, and used the pragmatic
tactics advocated by the late Saul Alinsky
(1909–72). In the late 1960s, the
Chicago street gang — who
were politically active in the then-Puerto Rican neighborhood of
— practiced the
direct-action techniques of sit-in protests and occupying vacant
community lands. In Miami, Florida, the Liberty City community organization “Take Back
the Land” seized empty lands and built the Umoja Village shantytown for the community’s homeless people in
Like-wise, other communities established
that include the residents in actively developing
Direct action and sabotage
When wealthy people move into low-income, working class
neighborhoods, class conflict results — sometimes manifested as
“direct action and sabotage”, ranging from vandalism
of and arson
against the properties of the gentrifiers. In the late 1990s,
during the dot-com boom, the
gentrification of the working class Mission District, San Francisco,
California, provoked the community’s establishing of the
“Mission Yuppie Eradication Project” political action group who
(allegedly) destroyed property as part of their strategy against
local gentrification; their destructive politics drew hostile
responses from the San
Francisco Police Department, local real estate interests, and
from “work-within-the-system” affordable housing
The gentrification of a mixed-income community raises housing affordability
to the fore of the
community’s politics. Cities, municipalities, and counties have
countered gentrification with inclusionary zoning
apportionment of some new housing for the community’s original low-
and moderate-income residents. Because inclusionary zoning
is a new social
concept, there are few reports qualifying
its effective or ineffective limitation of gentrification. In Los
Angeles, California, inclusionary zoning apparently accelerated
gentrification, as older, unprofitable buildings were razed and
replaced with mostly high-rent housing, and a small percentage of
affordable housing; the net result was less affordable
Besides the informal, economic eviction
the community’s poorer residents, another detrimental aspect of
gentrification is its negative economic impact upon the community’s
commerce. Often, a neighborhood in mid-gentrification has
marketable artist colony cachet
that renders it popular,
because of its nightlife, light industry, and arts-and-crafts
businesses. In the event, the (ex-suburban) new-resident gentry
complain to local government about the
artist-colony “noise”, pressuring the authorities to impose
financially-onerous noise-limitation requirements that eventually
(and informally) evict said urban pioneer businesses. In New Zealand, this practice is called reverse sensitivity, a novel approach
whereby the local gentry use land-use zones
to identify feasible “reverse sensitivity” matters, i.e.
“noisy neighbors” who then must meet zoning requirements mitigating
their noise, or leave.
Community land trusts
Because land speculation
tends to raise
property values, removing real estate (houses, buildings, land)
from the open market stabilises property values, and thereby
prevents the economic eviction of the community’s poorer residents.
The most common, formal legal
mechanism for such
stability is the community land
; moreover, many inclusionary zoning
place the "inclusionary" housing units in a land trust
In jurisdictions where local or national government has these
powers, there may be rent control
regulations. Rent control restricts the rent that can be charged,
so that incumbent tenants are not forced out by rising rents. If
applicable to private landlords it is a disincentive to speculating
with property values and reduces the incidence of dwellings left
empty (and limiting availability of housing for new residents). If
the law does not restrict the rent charged for dwellings that come
onto the rental market (formerly owner-occupied or new build),
rents in an area can still increase. The cities of
southwestern Santa Monica and eastern West Hollywood in California, USA gentrified despite rent control.
Occasionally, a housing black market
develops, wherein landlords withdraw houses and apartments from the
market, making them available only upon payment of additional
, fees, or bribes—thus
undermining the rent control law. Many such laws allow "vacancy
decontrol", releasing a dwelling from rent control upon the
tenant’s leaving—resulting in steady losses of rent-controlled
housing, ultimately rendering rent control laws ineffective in
communities with a high rate of resident turnover. In other cases
owned by local
authorities may be sold to
and then sold on. Vacancy decontrol encourages
landlords to find ways of shortening their residents' tenure, most
aggressively through landlord
. To strengthen the rent control laws of New York
City, USA, housing advocates active in rent control in New York
attempting to repeal the vacancy decontrol clauses of rent control
laws. Massachusetts, USA abolished rent control in 1994; afterwards,
rents rose, accelerating the pace of Boston city’s
gentrification; however, the laws protected few apartments, and
confounding factors, such as a strong economy, had already been
raising housing and rental prices.
In Loft Living
(1989), sociologist Sharon
reports an apparently contradictory "Artistic Mode of
Production", wherein patrician
capitalists seek to
increase the property values (i.e. gentrify) city communities by
economically recruiting and retaining artists to reside in, and
commercially occupy, the industrial
buildings (usually) converted into an “artist’s loft complex”.
First renting to urban pioneer “poor artists” develops the marketable
artist colony cachet
appeals to suburban gentry
seeking to buy a
city dwelling; the gentrification imparts a commercially
“hip” ambience to the surrounding
community; in the event, property values rise.
Worldwide, cities with blighted communities effected public policy using this economic development model in poor
neighborhoods; in the UK, the governments of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Liverpool, via their regional development agencies,
and in partnerships with private real estate speculators, attempted to artificially stimulate
gentrification as urban
renewal. In the US, the Jackson City, Michigan, city council re-developed a closed
nineteenth-century state prison
building-complex with affordable
housing in the jail-house proper, and artist-loft spaces in the
other buildings of the complex.
Economically, US municipal governments use
tax increment financing
(TIF) to rehabilitate decayed city communities with real estate
development partnerships, between the municipal governments and
partnerships and non-profit organizations, and so offer
mortgages to artists who buy property and
reside in neighborhoods being gentrified, e.g. the Paducah
Artist Relocation Program of Paducah,
Per the TIF economic development
infrastructure improvements, public subsidies to private business,
and consequent high property values, should encourage additional
private real estate investment to the once-blighted
urban community. The government
re-activates the economy of the poor community with a TIF program
that rehabilitates the infrastructure
of the neighborhoods being gentrified; resultantly, property values
and property tax revenues would rise. Moreover, for a fixed number
of years, all of the TIF program-generated increased tax-revenues
are paid to the TIF program-administration agency; to be spent only
for improving the gentrified TIF district, and usually paid to the
private real estate developer (a TIF program partner) responsible
Consequences of gentrification
- The original owners of property in the community, but not
tenants, profit from rising housing prices.
- Owners, not renters, stabilise the community, reducing the
frequency of residents leaving .
- Fewer vacant and abandoned houses and apartments .
- Less crime when vacant properties are unavailable to drug
dealers and homeless people .
- Increased rent and property value make maintenance
- Unless legally controlled, the increase in rents and
concomitant reduction of stock of affordable housing causes residents to
leave the community or become homeless
- Increased rents reduce the community’s stock of affordable housing, so displacing the
- Local businesses supplying low-price goods to the original
populace close as their clientèle leaves .
- There may be social class tensions
and conflict between the original residents and the gentrifiers
Trastevere, Rome, Italy
Trastevere is rione XIII of Rome, on the west bank of
the River Tiber, south of Vatican City; the Trastevere name derives from the
Latin expression trans Tiberim (“beyond the
Thanks to its partial isolation "beyond the Tiber"
and to its multi-cultural populace, the Trasteverini developed a
discrete culture since the Roman era
1744, Pope Benedict XIV
recast the rioni
demarcating Trastevere’s modern borders.
Contemporary Trastevere retains its character with its narrow
cobblestone streets lined with mediæval houses, attracting
tourists, artists, expatriates, and celebrities. In the 1960s and
the 1970s, the American composers Frederic Rzewski and Richard
Teitelbaum, of the group Musica
(1966), lived in Via della Luce; and film
director Sergio Leone is from Viale Glorioso. The institutional
residents include the John Cabot
University, the Pratt Institute School of
Architecture, the American
Academy, the Thomas More College of Liberal
Arts, and the University of
Waterloo School of Architecture.
Inner London, England, United Kingdom
Gentrification is not a new phenomenon in Britain; in ancient Rome
the shop-free forum was developed
during the Roman Republican
and in second- and third-century cities in Roman Britain
there is evidence of small shops
being replaced by large villas
College London academic Loretta Lees
reported that much of inner-city London was
undergoing “super-gentrification”, where “a new group of
super-wealthy professionals, working in the City of
London, is slowly imposing its mark on this Inner London
housing market, in a way that differentiates it, and them, from
traditional gentrifiers, and from the traditional urban upper
Super-gentrification is quite different from the
classical version of gentrification. It’s of a higher
economic order; you need a much higher salary and bonuses to live
in Barnsbury" (some two miles north of central London).
Barnsbury was built around 1820, as a middle-class suburb
after the Second World War
people moved to the suburbs. The upper and middle classes were
fleeing from the working class
residents of London; the modern railroad allowed it. At war’s end,
the great housing demand rendered Barnsbury the place of cheap
housing, where most people shared accommodation
. In the late 1950s and early
1960s, people moving into the area had to finance house renovations
with their money, because banks rarely financed loans for
Barnsbury. Moreover, the rehabilitating spark was The 1959
Housing Purchase and Housing Act
, investing £100 million to
rehabilitating old properties and infrastructure
. Resultantly, the
principal population influx occurred between 1961 and 1975; the UK
Census reports that "between the years of 1961 and 1981, owner-occupation increased from 7 to 19 per cent,
furnished rentals declined from 14 to 7 per cent, and unfurnished
rentals declined from 61 to 6 per cent"; another example of urban
gentrification is the super-gentrification, in the 1990s, of the
neighbouring working-class London
Borough of Islington, where Prime minister
Tony Blair moved upon his election in
Park Slope, New York City, United States
Slope, Brooklyn neighborhood, located between Sunset Park
and Downtown Brooklyn, was built at the end of the nineteenth
century, for the wealthy, who commuted
to work over the (then-newly built) Brooklyn Bridge.
In the first decades of the twentieth
century, the wealthy moved farther from the city, and working class
people began to move in to reside. When the Great Depression
(1929) occurred, the Park
Slope neighborhood became a residential community for the extremely
poor; most landlords allowed their housing properties to progress
from disrepair to decrepitude.
1950s and the 1960s, the US middle and upper classes moved yet
farther from New York
City, because of the suburbanisation the federal government made
feasible with new roadways and mortgage
programs, restricted to white people (cf. white flight).
In 1966, the “Park Slope
Betterment Committee” formed, and began buying and advertising
houses to people whom they thought would be interested. In the
mid-1970s, the middle class began returning to Park Slope, via
gentrification; by the mid-1980s, most of the housing had been
rehabilitated beyond the means of the original residents, by the
mid-1990s the adjacent communities had been gentrified.
Darien Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Gentrification Amid Urban Decline: Strategies for America's
, by Michael Lang, reports the process and impact
(social, economic, cultural) of gentrification upon the “Darien
Street” community of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, an alley in the
neighborhood. Darien Street was a “back street”, because
it did not (and does not) connect to any of the city’s main
arteries, and it was unpaved for most of its existence.
In its early days, Darien Street housed only Italian families,
however, after the Second World War
(1939–45), when the municipal government spoke of building a
cross-town highway, the families moved out. In Darien Street, most
of the houses date from 1885 (built for the artisans and craftsmen
who worked and lived in the area), but, when the Italian Americans
moved out, the community’s low-rent houses went to poor Black
American families. Moreover, by the early 1970s, blighted
Darien Street was at its lowest point
as a community, because the houses held little property value
, many were abandoned, having
broken heaters and collapsed roofs, et cetera. Furthermore, the
houses were very small—approximately wide and deep, each had three
one-room stories, and the largest yard was deep. Despite the decay,
Darien Street remained charmed with European echoes, each house was
to the street’s community character; children were safe, there was
no car traffic. The closeness of the houses generated a
closely-knit community located just to the south of the city center
, an inexpensive residential
neighborhood a short distance from the city-life amenities of
Philadelphia; the city government did not hesitate to rehabilitate
The gentrification began in 1977, the first house rehabilitated was
a corner property that a school teacher re-modelled and occupied.
The next years featured (mostly) white middle-class men moving into
the abandoned houses; the first displacement of original Darien
Street residents occurred in 1979. Two years later, five of seven
families had been economically evicted with inflated housing
prices; the two remaining families were renters, expecting eventual
displacement. In five years, from 1977 to 1982, the gentrification
of Darien Street reduced the original population from seven Black
American households and one white household, to two Black
households and eleven white households. The average rent increased
488 per cent—from $85 to $500 a month; by 1981, a house bought for
$5,000 sold for $35,000. Of the five Black households displaced,
three found better houses within two blocks of their original
residence, one family left Pennsylvania, and one family moved into
a public housing
five blocks from Darien Street. The benefits of the Darien Street
gentrification included increased property tax revenues and
better-quality housing. The principal detriment was residential
displacement via higher priced housing.
The phenomenon called syrjäytyneiden akanvirta (stream
of the marginalized)
, has begun at wider range in the
beginning of 2000s, when living costs in larger growth center
cities have grown. The social support isn't large enough to live in
bigger cities when housing costs rise because housing situation is
hard in the cities. Marginalized people have also many problems in
living, so there is a constant fear of eviction from
municipality-owned public housing
People who are poor and suffer from many problems of controlling
their lives, move out to cheap private-owned housing very far away,
where living is cheap. There are a number of businessmen, who buy
old school buildings and renovate them to housing. The businessmen
then offer these apartments as "a place of last resort" for
"difficult" cases, that municipalities are reluctant to take into
public housing apartments. Even the most marginalized people are
welcomed to this kind of housing.
following municipalities have acknowledged the migration: Ilomantsi, Luhanka, Puolanka and Rääkkylä.
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