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ARoutledge Sertes
Edited by An thonyOruma nd Zac haryNea l, Univcrsiry of ll lin cis, Ch icago
Th is Ser ies br in gs or igin al per spect ives on key to pies in ur ban research to today's students
in a series of short accessible texts, guided read ers, a mi pract ical ha ndbooks. Each volume
exa mines howlon g-sta nd ing ur ba n phe nome na conunue to be relevant in an inc reas ingly
urban and global world, and In dot nqso.con nect s t he best new schol arship wit h the wIder
concerns of students seeking t o understa nd lif e in t he twent y-first century metr opolis.
Books in the Series:
Common Ground ;Readings, Reflecti ons, and NeurFrontie rs edited by Anthon y Orum and
Zacha ry Nea l
The Urban lnstincr by Nan Ellin
,1lso of Interestfrom Rou tledge
Gentrification by Lo rett a Lees, Tom Slat er, and Elvin \ \ 'yty
The Cent rifica tion Rpad prf' ditPfl hy Loret ta Tom Slater. and Elvin Wyly
City lif e jr om Jakartrl to Dakar:Monements .n ti ll"Crossroads byAbdou\ la liq Simone
Foudil!s:Democrucy and Distlnction in t he Gourmet Poodscape by Josee Johnston a nd
Shyon Baumann
Brandingte o York: Howa City i n Crisis WasSol d t o the Wor ld by .\l iriam Gr eenberg
TheGlobal Mchitect by Donald McNeill
Housing Policy in tileUnited States, Second Edit ion by Alex E Schwartz
The Gentrification Debates
Edited by Iaponica Brown-Saracino
Loyola University Chicago

270MadisonAve, :-lewYorl ,:-N 100113
Simu ltaneously published in the UK
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Print ed and bound in the Uni ted States of America onacld free paper by
Sher iddLl Booh. I" t:.
Table of Contents
Series Foreword
Acknowledge ments
Overview:The Gentr ifica tion Deba tes
All rights reserved. No pa rt of this book maybe repri nt ed or rep rod uce d or
ut illsedln anyformor byauy elecccotc.mechanrcat or other means.
now kU(M'1\ or he reat rer mwn red , mdudmgphotocopvmg und reco rding,
or in anyinformation storagecr remeval sysjem. without permlsston
in writingfrom the publis he rs.
Tr adt' m OTk ]1.1>11""" Prod n et or n"l'or31t' namt'S bt'
or reglsrered trad emarks, and are use d onl v fori dentification a nd
explana tion w'tth outlntent to infringe.
l.ibmry ofCOlltFSS Catalogillgill Publicafi oll Data
The gt1ltr lflra lkm debates rledhed by] Iapenlra Brown-Saraclnn
p. em. - (!\.[erropolis an d mode m life)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
- [3, 97fl--O-415--1l0164- 5 (h3rdhad,: Ik. ..r)
ISB:-J, 10: 0--415--80 164-8 (h bk)
ISl}:.l-13; 97ll--O-415--1l0W5-2 <phk. : alk. paper )
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307.3' 416-----<l c22
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1. Aspect s of Change 19
RuTHGu ss
2. AShor t llistory of Gent rifica tion 31
3. Gentrifica tion as Market and Place 37
SHAROK Z\ll\lt\
4 Super-geut rtflca uuu: The Cas e of Brooklyn Heights, NewYerk City 45
5 Globallsa tlon and.the New Urban Colonialis m 51
6. Toward a Theory of Gentr ificati on: A Back t o the City Movement by Capital,
not People 71

7. Th e City as a Growt h Machi ne
8. Int rodu cti on"Restruc t ur ing and Dislocat ions
19. Cons umption an d Culture
20. Social Preservati onists and the Ques t for Authentic Commun ity
II'. I'Ot'I "ICABROWl"-SAR>,cn',-o
9. Building the frontier Myth
10. from Arts Product ion to Housi ng Market
11. f orging the Link bet wee n Culture and Real Est ate: Urban Policy and Real
Estat e Development .
120 Estat e Agents as Interpreters of Econ om ic an d Cultural Cap ital: The
Gent rification Premium in the Sydney Housing Mark et
13. Tourism Gentrifica tio n: The Cas e of' New Orleans'Vieux Carre
(French Quarter)
KEviN FO.x.GurHAAl
14. Th e Creation of a "Loft Lifestyle"
15. livi ng Like an Artist
Hi . Rethi nking Gemrifica t ion: Beyond t he Uneven Devel opme nt of Mar xist
Urban Th eory
17. Th e Dilemma of Raci al Differen ce
18 Urban Spac e ami Homosexualit y:The Example of the Marais, Park'
Gay Ghetto
21. The Hidd en Dimen sion s of Culture and Class: Philadelphia
P,\UL R. LEVY ,\ND Ro"lAN A. CYB[lM"Sl-.1'
22. Socia l Displacement in a Rcnovanng Neighbo rhoode Commercial Distr ict:
M ICHAEL cnere-orr
2.3. The New Urba n Ren ewal , Part 2: Public Housing Reforms
24. Centnfl cat lon, In trame tropol ira n Migrat ion. and the Polit ics of Place
GI NA ;"!. PfRH
25. Aveng ingViolence with Violence
26. l\'eip;hbor ho od Effects in a Changtng Hood
l-' ,'I.; (; E FREE.\ l ...-';
27. Building the Creat ive Community
Conclusion: WhyWe Deba te
Copyright Acknowled gements
Series Foreword
Overview: The Genulflcat tou Deba tes
JA!'O!':ICAIl Rov.'N SAR'\CI!':O
1. "Inn cducuu u: Aspects of Cha nge," London.Aspects of Chang e. London:
Cent re for Urban Studi es: xxiv-xxv i; xxx-xco., R. 1964.
Thh 1964 tis.",')' by Hi,tll G[l/,sfint introduced IIw tenn Nlf, enrri[u:wi(JIl"uJ/(!
Inflguraled the inqntr tesand ttmlitions that thishuok rlonlTl'wnts.
her i mpression o[ Lon don'sgeflt ri jical wlI and expl oressome of Its or igin s, while also
offeringpredictionsabout gentri/lcation'sfutureinLondonandothercities.
2. "A Short Histor y of Gentr ificat ion" from TheXew Urban Frontier. New'r ork;
Rou tl edge: 34--10. 31
S!>ItTII. N. 1998.
This saocnon from the second cnapterotgeographer S ou Smit h'sbook,TheNew
Urban Frontier, prOlJides ashortot'erviewofa numberof historical urban changes and
processes toot theaurhor suggestsareclosely relatedro u:hut manyof us would term
''grJllTifimtion''tr:JfUlY. r,IWdoing, tlle.' election
cerilml chumaeri'lirs ,
3. "Gentr ification as Market and Place,"from"Gent rification and Cuisine" in
Landscapes ofPower. Berkeley: University of California Press: 187-195, 37
Drawingjrom thesociol ogisl Sharon Zukin'schapt er;"Gentriftcatton and Cuisi ne,"
6. "Toward a Theor y of Gent rificat ion: A Back to the Cit y Movement by Capi ta l,
not Peopl e,"lo urnol ofthe American Planning Associat ion. A's (4): 538--547. 71
svrm. N. 1979.
This urtide.publishcd by .\ 'ei/ Smit h in 1979in rhelourna l of tbe American Planning
Associat ion . argues t hat it is not consume r preferences; such as gentrifiers:apprcciat ion
f or IIrlxm li[e, but, ins tead, /Jwperty lfUlrkets.S jff.ijirally, using
Phil m/elphill W; ucnse, Smilh suggl!C>1St lull g"mrijkllti ofl oCClln in pref 'iou:;ly
areas in which a substant ialgapexists beru-een current property values and pot entl ul
ground. rent values, maUng tirespace ripefo r reinvest ment.
9 "Bu ildingt he Front ier Myth ," from "Introduction" in TheNeurlhhan Frontier.
New Ycr k: Routledge: 12-1 8. 113
,Veil Smith's"Building the Frontie r Myth,"from the in traduc tion to his bookThe New
Urba n Fron tier, underlines tl w impurt ujwlwt 1r" idellti[w.Hl::iperv<l.\ive ideolog ies
about the uh :entn!icm loTJ. Gernrtfteanon. Smi t h is part und pured of
a broad mOI'ement to reclai m the central city from poorand working claH resident s to
serve the mtcross of the mi ddle classan d economi cand political elites:
7 "Th e City as a Growth Ma chine," Urban Fortunes: The Polir k al Economy Of
Place. Ber keley: Univer sit y of CaIiforni a Pre ss: So-S2 a nd 62- 7.J., 87
MOLOTCH, H. 191:l7
"The cuyasGrowth Machine, ..aselectionfrom mebook Urban Fort unes by Jolin Logan
and noney MokJrch, proposes tnat coalitions of ecrors, including, but not limited to,
politicians, aaciopen, unilJ(;rsity ojfi cials, and newspaper editors, work togetncrto ensure
tireredcudopment ofsome urlnm areas . Their scholarship suggeusthm gentrifi cati on
is not ha ppenstanc e but thea, instead.elites uiorl. togethe rto ensure its andsuccess.
8. "Introd uction: Resrructuring and Dlskx-at ions," TheNI!I!.' (Hid the
RnnakingofrlwCr-mraICiIY. Oxford: Oxford Unlvershy Pre ss: 1-11 . 103
L.E;Y, [).>.VTO. 1996
ln this seiectionfrom the introduction. to hi s /xIOI.:, The New Middle ditss arul the-
Remaking of t he Centra l City. David Leyargues Ihlll lhe mtddle cluss'chungtngcuuurul
and political orientation plays-a cl'ntral role tn gemrlfiClltlonandtherefore in the
displacement of longtimevancouverresidents.Leysuggests thaithe "new middleclass, ..
values diuersixyand omaannbu u nof urban life and that these rJalues inform their
participation i n t he transformati on ofmany cemral cuv neighborhoods.
10. "FromArt s Producti on t o Ho usi n g Mar ket," in Lo}1 Liv ing: Culture and Capital
in Urban Change. Balt im ore: John s I lopk ins University Pr ess: 112-121. 119 C>
ZUKlJI: , S. 1982.
Th is sclectio nfrom Sharo n Zukm's pionccringbootc on t he gentrifica tion of New York
City, Loft Living; Cultu re and Capit al in Urban Change, documents howcouliii(J/ls uf
art ists, preserv atio n groUp5and city politicians ensured the comenio n.o[ Manhatt an
imlw>triul t o rf'_,ide/ltial Will Sl' ecificrd ly, Ihef<.'-\ II)Tevf<rd" how
(I set 0[1ll1 0r:; wit h sft'mingly ilivergt'nt 'Wt'r/:;Wlrlorie /he eity-[rom Im iIt :;'
need[or studio space and ae sthetic appreciation for Wft buildings to poliririans' iffons
to spu r economic deuetopment by prorJidi ng arts subs idi eS--<:oincided to create a
market for the gentrification ofMannatuvi loft s.
11. "For ging th e link bet ween Cu lt ure and Heal Esta te: Urban Policy and Real
Estat e Developmen t," in "Developing the East Village," Selling the Lowe r
East Sille: Real Est (ue, Cldt w e ami Res ist ance inNf'w York CiIY . '\1in nl"apolis:
Uniwrsity ofl\l ill nesota Press;
\ IRtF. C. 2000
j AJ>Or.: 1CABll.owr.:-SAIl.AClr.:O
5, "Globalieation and the New Urban Colo nialism," in Gentrificat ion in a Global
Context:TheNeurUrban Colmlialism.Atkin.son, It. &Bridg e, G., ed s.
Londous. New'rork: Rou tl edge: 1-1 2.
ATt-1NSON, R, & BRIDGE, G 200-t
In this selectionfrom t h ei ntroduction t o the irbook, Gentri fication in a Globa l Context.
Roumd wut Gary Rridge lake i.. 1,\ UC wi th till' 'lOtion-first
gentri fimti(!rl in gl(J/1iI1 d d t' s in the Unued Sime s lind
Europe, s'uch as Nf!J.lJ York lindLendon. Druu-ing on exampl esfrom tcholurshtp by II
numbe r of researchers, Atkins on and Brid;;:e skrJIrh an imaf{eofa pervasive
gentrification that tom:hes nea rly every corner ofthegioJJe, from worldfi nancial
cenor storura l and post.communist cuios: 10 wh at ext ent, their essay asks ,
is t hc gemrifi cano n process Ruth Classidcmificd in London the same one thutshapes
post-cokmial cities and rural areas todayand wlult is the relationship between
con iemnomry gcmrijk flt son fl lld glo/!Illizat iOTl ?
4 "Super-gemnftcatlorrThe Case of Brooklyn Height s, NewYork Ctty" Urban
Studies . 40 (I2) : 2487-2492.
LEES, L. 2003.
This sell'cii()n[rum WI lIrt idt' by Loreun Lees, origiuIIlly publi:;hed ill i he j IJur nal UrlJan
Studies, relin on llllt ufr0 m .VewYork City'sBrooklyn Heights to poseuueatons a bout
theparametersofour concept ofgemrtftcarton. Spec ifiCally, docu me nt ing t he
in- movement a/increas ingly weaJthy ne wcomers to Brooklyn Heights and traci ng the
repeat ed upecali ng ofa single BrooklynHcightspropcrty, Lees proposes t hat the
neighbourhood i s undergoing "super-gentrificatton?[res encourages t he
reatk.rto considert he im plicat ionsof the w:lvl.UJCed genlTl[im tirNlo[ places like
RJ()ol:lyll Heiglus for fJI u tl efi nitilm flfltllulden tulldingofgemrifinuion
jlll/JIWlf'11 in her wokLaw.!scapt:'s of Power, l hh seteaton ouuines Zukin's defi niti on
ofgemnftcatton and maps t he relationships shefi nds bet ween gentrification and
broadersocialchange processes. Drawi ng on vivid examplesfr om places such as
\Janhattan and Philadel phia, she outlines the roles ofsocial policies and sccoat
economic andcult urnl processes i n spu rringandshapinggentri fica ti on.
I S, "Living Like ana rust,' NooBohemi a:Artand Commerce in t he PostIndus trial
d...... City. NewYork Rout ledge: 99- 106; 115-122. 185 , R. 2005.
13. "t ouri sm Gent ri fica ti on:The Case of New Orlecns'VicuxCar re (French Qua r ter ],"
Urban St udies, 42 (7): 10'-J9- 1l 1l ; 1114- 1115. 145
GoTHAM, K. E200 5
Drawingon fieldwork in Nao Orleans'VicuxceroorFrench Quarter.sociotagist Kooin
Fox Gothamarguesthat individual, middleclass in-momsdo not always characterize
gentrification.Insteud,at least in thecaseofthePrencn Quarter, Gotham argues tlull
Imsineues, .ljlecifi wUy largecorporations, driuegemrifiw tUl!I
Rxpandingematraditionapparent in snaronZukin'. Loft Livin g, sociologist Christopher
M eld. es.aydetail.howa t'arietyoffactors, inc/ruling,but not limitcdto,gemrifers'
appreciationfor urban "grit,"developen ' marketingeffort.,housingpreservation policies
and politicians'crime reductionstrategies, conspired toensuretilegentrlficationof
Newl'ork's RR'l\'iUage. Presenting I,irli d exumples of life in thegentrifyingLow,:,r
R,NSirle, Meleoffersa compellingaccoumofrh'Nlivenl!filf.lOTs thu: informrlw
contours cflocat gerurtficancn.
12. "Est at eAgents as In terpreters or Economi c and Cul tural Capita l: The
Gen tri icati on Premium in the Sydney IlousingMarket ," Internat ional
Journa l ofUrban and Regiona l Research 25: 87- 9G.
BIUDGE, G. 200l .
In thisselcctionfroman articlepubt isncat n thclnt ernationalJoumal of Urban and
Rural Research Gar)'Bridge demonstrateshowAustralianrealestateagentsfamiliarize
themselveswithgentrifiers tastes toensure that specificplacesand properties aJI IIea!
tot hem and. are:5l,Il ,comrihtue tothegelltriflmlinn 0[ certain ' wighborhood s.
Rrulge arguesfur theimporw1/('eof clI/ww/ tastes i n Ill'rermining U'/lirhpropn til" lUul
placesappeal to gentrifi ers.Hisesmyalsodemonstrate. the power ofa serof(/ctorlY--Too/
estateagents-who comciously.eek rcensureredevelopment
22 1
IJrawinf{onfieldwork in Chicaf{o's WickerPark. t hisexcerptfromllichardlJ.oyds
Nco-Bohe mia:Art and Commerce in the Post -Industrial Cirvexamines the appeal of
urbangrit and tnepresence of other artistsforyoungChi cagoartists in searchof
affordablehotd ng. He alsodemonunues'lOW, in tum, these artistsand the spacesthat
dwy creaud .frmn coffeeshop,1t art galleries.encouraged tlwin-mooemerucf lucer
Wfwesuf morellffl ll. l'nIgmwlfi rn , liS well ronune rciuiinceument in IIw neighlxlfJuxJt !.
18. "Urban Space and I Iom os exuahry: The Examp le of t he Marais, Par is' Gay
Gh ett o," Urban Studies4 1 (9): I 73g..1750.
SIBAUS, M. 2004.
WhileMoniaueTaywrs essaydemonstrates howgemrifiers'racial idcmuies can inform
theirparticipation ill gentrification, thisselectiollfromMiclwelSibalis"'Urban Space
and Homo sexualit y: The Example ofthe Mara, PH is' ('.ay Ghett o: /evl'/llsJww.wJ;rwl
identities lJelpl'(l inform IlIeeslljb/Mlment 0//1gtq .1II111eellda!Jeinu ParisrWig/lhlJrhool1.
111 so d(Jillg,like Tuylur WidRose,Sil.mli:; dwwmlrures flled usereilltiom/up between
gentrifiers'demographiccharacteristicsand reaaenao t andfimmcial choices. In turn.
he provides clJidellCe of how sucn characteristics Inform thagcntrificationprocess.
17. '111e Dilemma of Radal Differ en ce," Harlem: Bet ween Heauen and Hell.
Mlnneapclls; Unlverslt yof Mlnnesota Press: 57-61; 68- 75.
M. 2002
MOl/it lUI!'Illylor's "TIle Dilemma uf Rlldlll niffenm'-'l!"f rmn herblJlJkHar 11"111: Bet ween
Heaven and Hell, cJwllenges the prelJflilingviewofthegrntrifin us u'hile, highly
educated,and TelatilJelyajJluent. Taylorsupports herargument with 1J!l'id depletion.
oftheexptanas onsthat middle classAfrican-Americansprovidefor theirdecision to
mOIJCto'vewl'ork's gentrifyingHarlem neighborhood.
19. "Consu mption and Culture," Gentrification and the Middle Classes.i\l der shot:
Asbga re Publish ing: 106-13G.
BUTLER. T.1997.
In thisselcctioniromntsbook. Gent rificat ion andtheMfddle cr esses. Tvn Buuer
demonstrates thediversity ofe xptanationsgelltrifiersprolJide for theirengagement ill
gent rification, rangingfr omadesiTe toliuein a particularlJ peof llO/Ile,to minlrnize
(heircommute,ellm pmfitb y purch(I.\i"g in u genrTifyiTig fleighlx)rJw(xl.m;fi IU1ily w
reside iTT(/cosmopolitan neighborhood.Aiia resulr,hepre.ent. anargumentaboUl the
cenrralrole0fgentrifiers'characteristics,rwed. ,and tauesj n gentrification.
16. "Ret hin king Gentri fica tion: Bey ond the Un even Devel op ment or Mar xist
Ur ba n Theory," Environment and Plan ning D: Society andSpace, I: 57- 69.
Thi. selectionfr om DamarisRose'sarticl e, "Rethi nki ng cemns canon: Beyond t he Uneven
Development of MCll'xist Urban Theory,"argues that gentrijiarswedemographically
diverse. Specifically, Rosecrguoethat our concept oftnogentrifier should be expanaca to
include thosesuchassingie mothers who l1UIy themselvesbe at riskof displacement as
gentrification odoances.
"The Creat ion of a 'Loft Lifes tyle;" LOf t Lil' ing: Culture and Cap ital in Urban
Cha nge, Balt imore:Johns Ho pk ins Universit y Pres s; 56- 70.
ZUKl N, 5. 1982.
This sciectionfrom Sharon Zukin'sbookLoft Living draws the readersaucnuonto the
beliefsand attitudes of the middleclassartists who purchasedand transformed.\'eu'
l'ork /nib and, in sodoing. helped tofu elManllattan'sgerltrificatioll.7..ukin demonstrates
tlIeII fI/ll'l d uf certainueuhcticjeuturesforartisL", Sl jC II as (J/ Il'!! sl'are.light. ami (I wnse
of In l/ti llg,she relJt'als wml' "f tlwjorres lfull encourage indilJiduals'
participationin gentrificatio1/and that. in turn, help to inf orm whichpl aceiigemrify.
JAPOl\"[(".ABil OW1\" , SARACl KO
J 14.
In thisselcctionfrom Derek /fyras The New Ur ban Renewal;The Economic
Trans fonnat lon uf Ha rlem and Bron zeville, tlJertlitlmr(hwn 011 rJ().J(IcollecterJ in New
Harlem(l J/{) Chicago's RronZl'lJille-iU:o ",(lomi rwtely Africun-Americnn
neighbomoods exper iencing gemrtf t catton-sto present an argume nt abo ut t he fucurs
thatinfluencegentrificalion's outcomes, Hyrasugg:ests that municipal level factors, such
asthe structure and tonorof cisvgovernment , shapegcnmficati onand help to det ermine
piace-specific consequencesfor longt ime reside nts.
24. "Gen triflcatin n, ln t ramet ropolit an Migra t ion, and t he Polit ics ot Place," Ttc
Nea r Nonhu-est Side Story:Migration, Di splaceme nt , and Puer to Riccm Families.
Berkeley:The Unlversl ty of Callfomla Press; 127- 130; 142- 152. 319
PERU . G ,;>'f , 200-1
Tmucingon rlU1(1 collected (/iraugll fi eldlJ.Jork in agerllrlh 'IFlg C/licugo neig hbothood,
Gina Pt'rez cousfor pt Jor (/fId u'(lrking rim s wI/rw residents.
She de mo nstrat es how neighborhoodyouth.and community organizations negotiate
gentriftca rums daily cha/ wngeS,fro m harassme m bystore clerks and poUceofficers to
the lossofhousing.
20. "Social Preservationi st s and t he Que st for Authentic Community," Cityand
Community3(2}: 135 - H i . 2b t
This sereatonfr om m y essay, ' soctat Preservationistsan d theQrlesr for Authentic
Community; 'drawsfrom myfw ldwork i n twoge ntrifymgChic ago neighborhoods an d
twogentrifying NewHnglan d t owns t oarguethat gcmrifurs varygreat ly in t heir at titudr:s
towurd gemrificauon and longtimeresidents. as well as in iheir pract ices..4mong the
orient at ions to gelltrificatwn and longtime residencs th at myfiel dwork uncolJerr.d
wlulilterm "!>fleiHl preservcuion":t /ll<dt'.,ireofsomege'ltrifit'l." who tell(! to be highly
edll cr,led rmd mobile, topreservethe rlistinctiurl oft!"dr ptuce ofresidence
byworki ng 10 preoemt he displacement of longt ime reside nts with If hom thy associate
"authentic" community,
IArol'lc:\ BllOWN-SARACIJl:O
21. "The Hidden Dlmenslons of Culture an d Class: Phila de lp hia," Ba ck 10 the
City:Issues inNrJip,hborhood Renovation, Laska, S.B., & Spain, Do, eds. New
York: Pergamon Pre ss: 138- 139; 113 - 153. 285
LEVY, P.R. & Ci"BRlWKSY, R A. 1980.
This selecti on from an essayby Pau I Levy and Roma n Cybriwsk}'. originally pu blis hed in
a1980alUho/(}gyongemrification, drawsondatafromagent ri[yingPhiiade lphia
neighborhood to exploregerurificauons implicat ionsf or longtime residents.Tnov
suggest tna. 011 theonehand.genuuicauon has the potential to reduce longtime
residents :social isolat ion from t he diyofu'hlch they area port.Hoeoeoer: on the 0 ther hand .
t lley cau tiollthat many longtime tesidents.for whom di splucemenr is irltn'it r,ble, will
1wllefi lj rom this re(!lIJ.t'tfisolati vnjvr on ly u short ume. Further more . t/ }t;y r/wt
l'ulmrur lVnflkts between longtime (lndnew mid slage
gent rifi cat ion.
22. "Social Displacement In a Renovating Neigh borhood' s Commercial Distr ict :
Atlanta," Backto theCity :lssu es in NeiKhborhood Renol'ation, Laska, S.H.. &
Spai n. D., eels. New'rork. Pergamon Press; 201-206; 20G-2ID. 29;;
CllERNOFF, 1980
Asin tnoseieaion by Lw y a nd Cybri wsky, this excerpifromMlchaei Cnomoffs essay on
an Atl anta neighborhood's gentrificauon.suggests t hat genmfi cauons consequences are
nor limi ted t o phys ical displaceme nt.He poin ts to Ihe practical and psychol ogical
ufu loss ufloud IKJUwr and influencefo r lrmgt il/It' rt'SirlenJs as gellJrifwl"S
("vme to dominate ne ighlJorh(J()(lirmillltivns mill politics
23. "The New Urb an Rene wal. Part 2: Public Housing Reform s," TheNewUrban
Renewal:TheEconomic Transformation of Harlem and Bronzevilk. Chicago:
Uni vcrslty of Ch icago l'rcss:1l3-9b; 100 -105. 305
HvPA, D. 2008.
25. "Aveng ingviolence wtth Violence." Black an t he Block . Chicago: Unive rsity of
Chi cago Press: 286-291.
PATIl UO, M. 2008.
.\-fary Pattillo's ':-lrJCnging Violencc with Violence: from herbaok, Black on the Block,
reveals intra-racial class confl ict t hat c/mracterizes daily l(fe in a predominately
Afr ican- Amer ica n rwigll bur/wmi expt>riencing W I influx (J f (lfJ7l1e'lt. Afr ican- AmeriCiUl
neucomer s.PauUlo's rill! dlll a demonimue IJre(!t ,ily tensionsand f (JIlflirrs Ilml
cnaraaertze the neighborhood, asiceuas the workt hmlocal tnstuuuons perfo rm to
ensure rhat mone ighborhood meels gentriftcrs' noeasand tastes.
zs. "Neighborhood Effect s in a Cha nging Hood," There Goes the 'Hood:Views of
Gentrifi cation/ rom the Ground Up.Philadelphia: Temple University Press:
] 44- 154.
I'REEW.JI:, L. 200G.
Rdying on dasagamered in NUl'l orkCity, thisselection irom LanceFrwmansThere
Goes the 'Hood.vleweof Cencrfi cat ionfromthe Ground Up. examinesgcntrificutions
custSIUU!b'3,wfitsfur longtime Preemun arglle5tl ullgelltriji m tirJ/l(1J (!'y
wnrfit some10l1gtIme residerus. pri fl/(Hily /.IS a result of mitfdle wc!al
networks and successjUl advocacyf or the improvement oflocal institutions anti
27. "Building the Crea tive Commun ity," TheRise oftheCreative.Class .
New York: Basic Boo ks: 21:13- 291; 293- 297.
FLoRI DA, R. 2002.
'1h isselect ion from Richard Fiorida's infl ue nt ial book,The Rise oft hc Crrot iwO ass,
suggests thateities and toll' nscan takesteps to encourage the in-mov em ent ofcreati ve
professio nal s who va![(,among other place attribu tes. diwrsiry, Cltimral attracti ons,
and onuloor recreational amenities The presenceojtlusrlass;Flcrida can. if!
IUrll , help lrJ l'fI,urea mllnidpa!ity\ eco,wmkreviwUwtiordw,wjiting the IOl'lll tux
bm;f! untl strerJgtherJin8!ot'lI[imtiwtlum
28. Conc1usion:\VhyWe Debate
Copyright Acknowledgements
The Gemrtftcation Debates, edit ed by Iapon tca Brown-Saraclnu
This seri es brings origina l perspect ives on keytopics in ur ban research to today's students
in a series of short accessible texts, guided readers, a nd practical ha ndbo oks. Each volume
examines how long-standingurban phenom ena cont inue to be relevant in an increasingly
urban and glohal world. and in doing so, con nec ts t he bes t newscholarship with t he wider
concerns of st ud ents to underst an d life in t he twenty-flrst cen tury metropolis.
In t hi s add it ion to th e series, Ia ponlca Brown -Saracino add resses one of the most
fundame nt a l changes modern cities ha ve expe rienced : Gentrfflca t lon . Gentrlflcauon
typically refers to t he influx of economi c capit al into previously poor or working class
ne ighb or ho ods t hat is driven by commercial investor s and new, a ffluent residen ts. The
influx of capital, new residents and businesses drives and reflects a br oader series of
changes in th e physical, pol it ical, socialand cultural terr ain of th e neighborhood, resulting
in longtime resident s' di splacement. But <1 0 th e new residents actually help to improve
the overallIlfe uf a place, by bringing in 1II00e wealt h, or do they simply undermine it,
by drivilll{out the older, poorer residents? This is one of several importa nt debates tha t
motivate t he new scholarship on t he changing charact er of cities and towns t oday In t his
timely and singular book, Iapomca Brown-Saracino Introduces readers to t he key debate s
about gen trifica tion and docs so in a wayt hat illuminates different point s of vtow whllc
also prompti ng new qu est ions for both students and scho lars. Though muc h of the work
on gent rification has been filt ered th rough th e lens of polit ical econo my. t his book attends
to this perspecti ve while also int roducing a new and powe rful voice to the litera ture t hat
reveals t ill' consequences of th e meanings people ass ign to themselves and to the places
in whic h th ey live.
Anthony Drum
Zacha ry Neal
Seri es Editors
Jextend since re tha nk s to my se ries cdit ors,An thonyOrum and zacha ry Neal, as wei l as t o
myRout ledge cdilor. Steve Runcr. Jtha nk focyan d Zakfirst and f orcmos t f or encou raging
me to " Tile th is hook. which. as they predicted. proved to he a c:hallm gi ng and rewa rdin g
t"ntit-a vor. 1a lo,() tha nk my t-.; litOls fO! the ir p ractica l a nd in lellK: tllil l SUP I)(Hl lhlOlIghll ll l
the wrlrlng and ed hlng pr ocess. Thanks are al so d ue to Leah Babb- RlN:'ufd d for her ed ho-
rial assistance.
This book has benefited from feedback from a variety of sources, Including from my
ser ies ed itors, several reviewers. Brooke Brown-Saracino . Lida Maxwel l and }oo. Norman.
I than k my editors for securing helpfu l revews, and the revi ew ers for thei r time and
t houghtfuJ suggestions. Special ap precia t ion is reserved for Jon Norman who offe red Ire-
mendoualy prod uctive an d insightful suggest ions d uri ng t he revision process.
I 0\\'1:" a d ebt of glill ilullt"to Corey Fit-Id s tha t I for m a gellt riflt:a tiull rea d-
illg group wh ne I wa s wr iti ng sec t ion Introd ucnocs, I offer many t hanks 10 the graduate
st udents from Loyola University Chicago an d Nort hwestern Universit y who compos ed
the group. Toget her we read man yofthe sel ections incl ud ed in this boo k, an d th e grou ps
insights a bou t the gcntnfx a uo n lil crat ureand anecd otes from their own field Sites hel ped
shape not onlyth is book's content. bu tmythinkinga bou t gentr ification.
Ofcourse. t his book wou ld not have been feasible without theintellectuals upport and
Irom my reachers and me ntors first lea r ne-dabout and
stu d ied gt'!l ll ifiCitlio ll. <l It' !l XI ma n y ind ivid uals to thank hel l:", h ut I u\\' t'
appreciat ion to those whu have guided my sudv o f gen u lflcatlnn. Including, bu t nol lim-
it ed to, Mary Pat t illo, Albert IIunte r,! Jenry Binford, we nd vc rtswo td. and RickFant asia.
Dur ing the cour se of writ ing and resea rch. I benefited fro m t he suppo rt of Loyola
University Chicago's Depa rt ment of Soci ology, as well as from t he a ssistance of severa l
graduate students: Davi d One. Ccsrnea ttu mpf. Dara Lewis, and Todd Fui st. 'lodd deserves
spec ial tha nks fnr hi s effor t to tr ack down the rights hold ers for the excerpts
included lnrl re hou k.
La st bu t far frum lea st, I rese rv e special t ha nks and a pprecla rlon for my part ne r. Lida
Maxwel l, who patl endy endured my alt emattng bouts orwrner's bloc k and furIous wor k,
and, as always, re adily offered her su gges ti ons an d ln sigh ts.
Overview: The Gentrification Debates
I ca nnot recal l the first time rbar l hea rdt he I I:'l IU iun " f fnwe v.,-.I du remember
\\' hensumeunefm. tdt'fined the t:um:tc'pt fur Jill". f was a w llege sophomore, en rolled in an
urban soci ology cou rse. Manyof th e Ideas, processes, ar. d hlsrcnes we stu died fascinated
me, but the prof essor s description of gentrificat ion particularly in trig ued me.
As he explainedit -or, mor e accura tely, as l recall him explaining i! a dozen or so years
ago-genu ification is characterized by the movement of creative pr ofessionals. such as
art ists and wri t ers, a nd.later. of membe rs of rhe mid dle r lass, suc h as educators and
bankers, 10 cent ral cily nl"igbhmhl ltKis in sea rch of affolt tilhle in close prox imity
10museu ms , music venu es, and other cu ltu ral aur acr lons that they value The y move imu
jew-rent areas populated by wo rklng class Individuals who are oh m member s of wh it e
ethnic or racial minority groups. Someti mes these In-movers purchase homes that they
renovate or res tore to sa t isfythei r needs an d t astes. In other instances t hey rent
Whet her they buy or ren t, a vari et y of factor s drew them to certain central city neigh-
borhood s. In some Instances, my professor suggested. indi vidual or corpora te real es tate
investors enCDura ge t he In-movement of fhl"gen try hy refur bis hing buildings and mar-
keti ng them 10 the middle rla s. .. (Had:worlh 2002). In 01111:'1 Insta nces local government
encourages ti ll! gen u ili a! Li un ofeconumic al lyd epressed neigbbuchoods through a va rlety
ot rnet hods Includin g, but not limi ted t o, tax Incent ives, pouctng str ategies ai med at creat-
Inga hos pita ble environment for newcomers, an d the sale of city-owned property (Mele
2000. Badyina & Golubchikov 2005, lI yr a 20081. In addition. in some pe riods, t he 'federal
government provided ta x brea ks for t he res tora t ion of historic homes in certain designated
a rea s (e.g., Gale 19f10). tn st tll ot her Gl M-S, it is newspa pe ra rt icles (Ilrown-Sarilcino& Rum pf
20011 ), word of mouth, UI the establtsluuem uf bus itlt'sses Qllt' rillg 10 the gentryt ha t attract
the middl e cla ss to anarea (Zukin 1990, Ley 1996, Dee ller 2007, Zukin et al. 2009).As anillus -
tr a tlon of the latt er Influence, In the MWljOYI [III neig hborhood of Po rt land , Ma ine where
f am currently conduct ing fieldwork, many les bia n and bisexual womenreport t hat th e
pr esence of a queer-friend lycoffee shop encouraged their relocation to the neighbor hood.
which had previousl y been h om e tu while working class indi viduals. as wei! as Sudanese
a nd Somali immigrants (on Port land's gent rfflca t lon see !-el:' s 2003, 200G).
Itl:"ganl le"- ,, 01 rent.the gt' Tl liy 's In-movement , combin ed wit h
the buosterlsru uf cit y officials a nd private Invesun s, is uf treruendous conseque nc e. Loca l
bu sin esses Inc reasingly ca ter to Ihe Hentr y's t astes (lJl:"en er 2007, Zulin et aL2(09). Fur
instance, a bar begins selling Belgian beer and the corner grocery adds orga nic milk to
its inventory. Cha ins, such as Starbucks or thc Gap, may also move to th e ncighbo rho od
and, in tu rn, serve as a sym bol of neigh bo rhood change t hat encourages t he furth er in-
movement oft hl"gen try. Prope rt yownere rero gnize t har gt'll l rifit-rs are able In lJ<l y hig her
rems audbome pi lees rba n mos t o t the ue lghborhoods longu meres itlt'll b call affurd, and
as a res ult rent and properl yval ues Incr ease, Local prop ert y taxes ns e cuncomitarul y, As a
resu lt of mounttng housing COSIS, ma ny longt ime res idents must lea ve Insea rch of afford-
ab le housing- th us dis rupt ing soc ial an d familial tra dit ions and netwo rks, Displacement
is a part icu lar t hrea t for mcmbcrs of soc ial groups th at. in t he aggregate, lend 10 have
fewer economic resou rces. such as African -Americans an d Latinos. single parents. and
Ihe drlet ly (l lm ig 19fi.l, Ikmdi 1991, perez20(0).
ie, not t he ooly che ll- nge that 1or18lilllt' Ito:o;illelll s Iace .
Cul tural, socia l and pohucal changes surface in gt>ntrificalion's earlysrages (sl'eQay 1979,
Kerstein 1990). For Instan ce. In an effort to srav in bus ines s t he corner store must either
cater to newcomers-t estes (hence t he organic"milk) or lose its leas e. In t he event that u
closes. anot hcrbus incss - perh aps a yoga st udi o or en upscale bistro c-wih take its place.
Such changes may al ienate or our-price longti me patrons. an d, even more presslngfy,
longtime resi dent s who wor ked in the corner store 1000e their jobs and pa rt of th ei r eodal
nes wurk when it ckl'lt"S. l, poliucians. obs er ving Sitch t't:unomil and
gra ph.., changes, of tell ca ter to the needs anti Interests uf ne waffluen t res klems who have
finand al resou rces to support th elr carnpalgns and wh o will shou ld gen ntncanon con-
tin ue. compose rhetr constnuencv (Shaw 2005, Wyly & Ham me l 2005). As a result, man y
lon g-umcrs fee l that their needs a re ignored or even subvert ed a nd local pohncal forums
ar:d some s treet interact ions bec ome ac rimon ious (Zukin 1987J.
As longtime residents leave th e nei ghborhood in search of afforda ble howing and
work uppcUlunitit"i, new, more a ffluen t res jden rs-cjawyees. ductors, invt"itl1lt"Jlt bank -
ers. t' lc.-ldl et hdr place.Even tuajl y, sume of the artists and w.ilt'. !> who olten cutupose
gm trifK:.u lon' s ffrst wav e face their own displacement (Oa, 1979, Kersl ein 1990) an d as
gelll rlfica t ion advances nel Rhborhocxl ins titutions, incl uding schools, churches , and
libraries. adj usl to accommodat e new, more af fiuenl residt.'flts. Thes e Ins lilul ior..s also
rccci \e an infIu.'( of resou rces that newcomers plOvide or demand, In many ruses, in a
decade or less, the neighborhood appe ar to be completelyuansformed. I\ ot only do
new peo ple popu late it , hut a comhina l ion of inft ast ruClurnl improvemf'nls, nf'Whu<;i-
Ilt':>ses <lllti refurbb hel1hOllies lIan. s rorm its a ppea ran ce. IIi ghend ca lll tall' Iht'plaL't'of
oltll' r nu.x1t:'ls on Ill'ighoorhooos uet>ts, new st OJl'a\\nings apJ't'" dr in thl' comllll' n:la l dis-
Ulel, and homes recei vl' upda ted po rches , windows , and coa ts uf pa llll . The loca l libt ary
brnnch may expand Its se lecl ion and the cit y ma y clear streets of snow more frequ ently
than thcy did in the past Newcomers and cit y officials freq uc ntl yrepor t that th c neighbor
hood is safer and cleaner t han it has been in decades.
Wh en myprofessor offered th e above des eri ption . hewas likely thinking ofthe gent rify-
ing plaft' .'! tha I ma ny srhola l's a neljOlll nali"ts wri te a h lLl t, s urh as I\ ew Ymk's <1 ret>llwirh
Village or ;\1:uaL". !f u\\!"ver , I flllllld mywlf thinking of the slIlalilowll ill
Mallsadlusl' t ls \\ ht're I spt' ll t l tluch uf myc hildhuod. At th e tilllt', mo st scholars regaroetl
gent rification as an urban process an d did not thi nkof ru ral areas as beinr:susc epllble to
the economic, demogmphic, and aesthetic tr ansformat ions th a t characterize I;cntrifica
Yet , to me, t he change process t ha t I had \\itnesscd inmyrural homet o\\n seemed to
par all el tha t of the cen tral cit yn eighhorhoods myprofess or descrihed.
As I have written elsewhere ta rown-seractno znosi. In th e ea rly 1980s my parems were
amo ng awa ve otyoung proress rcnats who, at tracted by Inexpens ive housi ng costs. a rural
landscape , and burgconing professiona l and economic opport unities in regional popula-
nonccntcrs. rclocetcd 10 hill towns in wes tern Massachusetts. As a chil d, myneighbors
incl uded dai ry a nd catt le farmers . factory wor kers, tru ck dri vers. a nd mech an ics born
and rais ed in town.However. ot her nelg hbors we remore like my paren ts. Th ese incl uded
ne wcomers who commuted SOUtil io proft'SsionaJ post s in Nort hampton or. 10 t he north.
In Brattlebor o, Ver mont, and college ed ucat ed back-to-the-landers who relied on t heir
acreage orcr earrveskil ls t o sup port the mselves through ventures05 uch as orga nic farming.
wooving .sterytel llng . writing, or woodworking. Myparents often ret ur ned fromthe an nu al
I cwn Mee ting . hel d In t he small town hall on th e 10lVTl Common , with tales of confl ict
between newand kmgti me residents thai paralle led t he ac ri mony mypro fessor des cribed
between urba n gentr lfiersen d long-timers.In myhometown , conflict frequentlycentered
on ne wcomer s' fmeree t in lan d conservarlon, Iurt hey worr ledthat wt t bout conservauon
de velopers would repl ace dair yfarms with hjgh-end cc ndomlnlumunits, de"uuying na t-
ural landscapes and t he town's ru ral characte r. For their pan, ma ny longt ime resid ents
resent ed newcomers' Increasi ng poli tical power an d feared that they would lose control
of their land th rough zoning res t riet ioos and ot hcr poli cy cha nges for wh ich newcomers
advo cated, Over time, pr operty val ues an d t axes rose, and so me longtime res idents wer e
displaced. Othe rs sold acr eage t o pay their mort gage Of ras es. t hus toetngland on wh ich
theydepe nded for their liWInlOud , and new, expe nvive hom es appea red in what had nnre
been pasture or woodl ot , transfurmlng rheland sca pt'.
As a college student , in my mi nd the tra nsfo rmat ion of my rural hometown seemed
par al lel 10 myprof essor' sdescript lon of ur ban gent rtnca ncri, Was u poss ible, I wondered.
for gentrification to occur in a rural e rcct wcs it ap proprta re ro use the ter m "gent rifica -
non' to descri be the econ omic upscaling and displacement that l ha d witn essed in my
..mall homet own! Might changes in a sma ll sown pa rallel the trans fc rma-
tion ofr mal lIIinuis (Salamun 2003),\Ow' bO JJlll in (Macgnogol-z005l, or We.'!1VOl h hire {Smit h
& Phillips 2002)? Do "OUle sllla Il IO\\ 1l politkdl officials t'll lu u. agt> gt-nu lfica tlon, as many
argllt:' to bt:' tI:e l-,lS.t:' in urhm nd ghbo rhoods (Sha w 20OS, \ \')-Iy & lI ammel 2005)? DOt'Il
trans form village commercial cent ers In t he same man ner as thos e In the
cemral cily(Zukinet al 2009)?
Mter some thought. I worked up t he cournge to pose thes e
Was gent rificat ion a purel yuroon process , I as ked?My pto fessor sa idth at most define gen-
trifirat ion tiS an urba n Ifowt' Wl , he thai ht"SIlPPost'd thai it could occur
outs ide o rthe ('t' ntr-dIc ily.To h is kIlowledge, few hall wrill ell a bUllt t h a nd hl' emXluragt'li
lIle to pun.ue t ht' q ul"S lioll of whe thergt'lItllflt:"dtioll occu .s in rural areas by stud ri nglll r
homet own.
The q uestion Ihat fIrst emctgLodin my undergraduate class Informed a broad er sc i of
qucs tions about gen trificat ion t hat 1con tinue to pursuc. After writinga senior thesis bas ed
on a st udy of my hometown , I cond m.1cd a compa rative et hnography offour communi -
ties experiencing an influx of highly res ident illlly mohile. an d relatively affitl-
elll newcomer s:t wo rentra l cit yChk <lgn neighhurhuorb , a small, coastal lolll ist lown in
l\lassachusetl s. and a ru ral fan ning CUlIllllllll ily illl\-Iain t' (Hw wn-Sarad no 1999, 2004,
2006,2007. 2009). l nt he end, 1regard as a commun ity chan gt' process thai
occu rs most frequemly in Ihe centra l ci ty, bm that is not specific t o th at comeXL Man y
scholars agree (see Parsons 19!1O, Phill ips 2U04, Smit h !Ie Holt 2005, Smith & Phillips 2001),
but ethers call fur a uarrcwer defl nhluu.Insho r t, wh hout meaning to, IllyIlia ugu ral suclo-
Jogtcat research forced me to di rectly consider one otthe debates t hat colort he gent rifica-
tionliterature namel y,bowto define genmncntcnand 5pedfyits geogra phic pa ramerers.
In other words. it p ushed me to conside r the question of whether gen t rifica tion isa str ictly
ur ba n process,
11lil> bouk is nul aboutt he differences be tween ur ba n and sma ll t own gen t rifica tion,
bUIit Isabou t the soi l above exactl yho w bTl J<ld sbeukl mr r defl-
nlticn of genmncanon bet what are gemnncauons basic dlal aetel htics? \\' lla l al e the
stakes of broadening ou r Image of gentrtncanoc to include the transforma tion o f II UIl -
u rba n ercas. or of incl udi ng addit iona l cases that dep art in ot her ways from tt l' d escrip-
t ion my professor oIfered? for Instance, what arethe implications f or our und erstand ing
of th e -gent ri f er" of acknowledgtng that some neigh borh oods are not first gent rified by
the while a rtists ant cent ral 10 many images of gentrifica ti on (Taylor 2002 , l'attillo
2oo7. l lyra2008if
Another student in my undergr..d uate urban sociolUID' may have been less
int rigued by t he quest ion of wh et her gentrifica tion is a st rictl y ur ban process. and mo re
interested in documenting t he freq ue ncy with whi ch it occurs in African-American or
Latin o wocking class ne ighborhoo ds. Some migh t have visited the prof essor's offi ce to ask
if the displacement of long time residen t s is inevit able, Still others mi ght have wa nted to
knowit the genrrifleraw ho engage in gen trificat ion ate responsible fOTth e p rocess, or if it
i!> sUpl'tnlt"ll by cit yor narional policies (e.g., Had wOIth 2002 , Hyrn ZOOB) , In cu mu-
lath't"\yIll yIellc wsrude n ts mi gh t have Interrogated and d eba ted manyot me facers
desc ri ption our proressc r offer ed,
Students are not the on ly individuals to pose suc h ques tions. Since Ruth Glass first
comod t he term "gen trification" in 196....scholars in a varie ty of disc iplines have st udied
and writt en abou t the pro cess. Forinstance, theyha ve deba t ed whethe r a return of pcople
or of capit al m th e ce ntra l d ry d rivee gen trifica tion. the since rity of some gen trifJers' taste
and wh ether rbe econornic revi tallza rinn t har gen tri fica tion typ ically p m-
d uo 's UUIwe4;hs the huma n cost uf longtime resklents' d lsplacemen t.
Indeed, scbolarsht p on gemrt rtca uon is expansive and much of it is deflned byd ebal e
andde liberat ion a bout Its manyfacets. l lowever. perhaps as a reaction t o t he brea d th and
diversity of J::ent Tifica tion scholan; hip, too oft en a sinljle booko r anicle proffers a na rrow
pe rsp ective on the proc ess, genernll y by taki ng oce side or anot her in the gentrificati on
deba.tes. Spe cifica lly, wh en aut hor3 devote att ent ion to deba te over gent ri fication, Ihey
typi(:ally a ({end In a singl!!a lr,8 IIf di sagreemen t: uf whe ther gen trifica tion's
ht-l1r fil.!i flll-d u' mlrltl lf" d <l Ss and for moon eco nomies OlLlwt'igh its (:m l'l for longt 11Ilt' If"'i i
(e,g" Sl'eSmilh& Williams 1986, Lee!> et a!. 200B), In Rulan tl Alkl mon's ler ms, ,,
etyuf Individuals and gro ups have "spa rred " over whether gen trlt1caliun h a "savior" OT
"des troyer of cent ra l ci ty, 'ita lity" (2003: 2343),
For instance, in their 1!:l86gentrification anthology, Neil Smit h and Peler Williamsdrnw
the reader's attention t o th e debate between t hose who rega rd gen tr iti cmion a5 a har-
binger of 11 des ira hle ur ba n renais.'iilnce and those who \ iew it as an inst m ment ofurhan
re;tm ct ming tha t ha.. negi'ltive ronsC(}I1enres for poor <lndworki ng rl ass I'e:\id el\ t,s (l 9f\ (j.
12), This is a n en or muusl y ilHpnr tali t dd liltl', h ut at this da le il Is a ll tu
suggeStl ha l ll is lil e only issue \\'or thy of att entiun, for, as this buok aTHul's , sd LUlars' pe r-
spectlves onthisdeba te a re Informed bya broad er set of ooO\'e rsation s and d isaJ:: reements
about 5Cvcra l fac ets of gen trifi eati an,'
In th is sense, this hook is differen t than th ose tha t have come be f or e. Most cent rally,
11 r J1(:nura ges to consider a numbe r Ii cldl<lt es alx uu gt'llt rifirp.t inn and in so doin g
dra ws ou r att en ti on to a vari ety uf Ihill killg abou t the and o f approach-
inKt he stud y of f;entri fyinRpl ace s, r unhermore.n challenges the d ominant incl ination
among gen tr ifica tion schola rs t o att end narro wly to debates su rr oundi ng t he relation ship
between pol iti cal -economy and gentri ficati on, spccifically t u bowolrrcs' in t erest s are p ri
oriti zcd overa nd atxlVet hos cw; th less ccono micorp olit icalcapi tal and howt hisineq uality,
in tu m, i:\ reprod uc ed in and marks urhan IIH'::\ and landscapes.' While the pol itical -
economic approach raises a set of u ndeniably pert inent q ues tions to which th is book
devotes a great deal of att ention, pa rt il:uhu ly abo ut relat ion to broader
co nntcc bet ween rhose who posses s econcmtc resourres and thuse whu d u not . stcgular
de votion to this approach runs the rlsk of focu slnJ:: our anenno n on a limited n umber
of gentrifi cat ion's facets. Spec ifically, it attends to the role of coalrttons o f eli tes (Logan &I
Molot ch 1987) and the broa d econ omic and poli tical shifts tha t hel p ena ble gentrifica tion
att he cost of at tentjon to n umerous c rbe rfecetscf gentrifica t ion that are centra l to the lives
of social actors im'(!lvpd in t ile p mress a nd 10 t he idiosyr.cralic wa r-; in which genm fica -
I iun un folds in dist inct place s. Fol i IlSta ns-e. slngular auerulon t o hnwgemrfflcat iun rr plO-
duces and exte nds economic Inequalntes dl srracts us frum a sene, of t1d MII:'S abo ut ho w
longtt me residents respond to gen t rifica t ion (Maro n 2007. Partlljc 20(17, Brown-Saraci no
2009), gentrifiers ' understanding of their role in the proc ess (Caulfield 19!:l8, Taylor 2002.
Pattillo 2007. l:llOwn -Saracino ZIX)<JI , and the everyday. focal dectston-making processe s
that contri bu te to the economic. political. social. a nd cu ltural cha racteris tics of gentrify-
lng places (e.g., Bet aucu r 2002. Ma rtin 2007),
Furt hermore, lo su ggt"St that ther e is" cIt-1J<! te--t ha t theonl yq ues-
tion or d ebate worth y of attention b be twee n thosewhcregard the PlOl'ess a s a har blnger
of renaissance and those wh o \1C1..... It as a destructive extension of b road er economic and
political shifts (Smith 1986, Slater 2006 , Lees et alZOO8)- is t o den vmanygravareas wi thin
the lit era ture and the overlap between these two dominant posit ions. Most pressi ngly, it
runs t he ri sk of po sitionir:g a rgu me nts tha t d o not neatly ad here to a politica l -econ omy
perspective as st raw men. by prese nt ing t hem as fall ing in t he gen trifica ti on-as-
IPIIai, o;.a nce ca mp. Gt'lIrrifirl Jt ilm n "lmlr.;t' 'l:pl ur C!i a hi oad v'ar ier:yof ,Jels pective:o; 011
gen trifica t ion and dOUIIlJelltS ho w a plelh ul" Ihr po lit ical-t:'(:oll-
om y framewor k 10 a ll emph asis o n i lle im pa rl of t ile cult ura l of lhe -new midd le
cla ss {ca ul fie ld 199" , Ley 1996, 2003, Bu t ler 1991)- emerged from a series of conversa-
ti ons between schola rs wit h op pos ing:viewpo int s.
\\hy attend tomulli ple deba tes about gen trifica lion ra t he r Ihnn the single and unde-
niably important q uestion of g:cn t ritlca tion's cost s and be nef it s t ha t other s attend to?
more than one alea of d i:\agree mrnt cha rat:teri zt!St he literat ure and . for Ihis
a llend ing to the full ra nge of gen tl i liea tiun a more uJ lIIpr ehensive on'r-
v'iew uf liuw t he p rocess anti schola rship on it hav e uevl' lopetl over four and a ha lf decades,
In t hi s sense, this book provides a more complet e overvIewof t he ftenea loRYoft he gentri-
ficati on lit erature and enoo uraRe s t he rea der to develop an unct' ersta ndinKof how severaI
areas of debate infoTm one another , as well as th e broad aforemen tioned debate about
gentr ificat ion's oosts and benefits. Second, scholar s do nol just debut e gent ri ficat ion whe n
they challenge one another aho ut how to define the p rocess, ex plain gen trificat ion's ori -
gins and limi ts, or f"xplicale it s uute Oll1l"s. Tiley Invoke and deba te a series of t f"rms
and concep ts th at s(:hola rsin a valielyof diSl.:iplilll"S rt:'lyoll, FOI wh t'Il we l!iscus s
how we should dt:>fiue t he "geu nffl er'' we are n ul jus t dehat ing the role and characteri s-
ti cs of a set of ac tors involved in gent rifica tion, but a bo wha t we mean when we ref er In
someone as "mi ddle cla ss" and how t o underst and the relationship between trait s such as
race, income, and gend er, and ideology and behavior. In short, debates abo ut gent rifica-
tion evoke a plethora of br oad qucs t ions t hate reworrhyofour atte nt ion a nd t hat , in turn,
inform the waywe th ink about gentr ification, as we ll as abo u t a n umber of othe r dimen-
shms of our socia l worl d. Thus, by int roducing readers to a number ofi nt ell ect uaJ tr ad i-
t ions to which the gen tri ficat ion deba tes rela te, tbls bun k pro vides tools ot inquhythat
can be applied nul onl y to gen trifica tion but t o a host of ot her sorla l phenomena as well.
Finall y, byout lining a vanerv or perspe cnves on gent ri ficat ion ami mapping their rela tion-
ships to one anot her I an ticipat e that t his book will encourage further inq uiries into the
p rocess: t ha t it will ans wer ques t ions about gentrificati on while also invit ing debat e and
newlines of study. In shor t, t ouowtnga long tradi tion in t he social sci ences. t his boo k t race s
how schola rs have questioned domi nant gent rifica t ion research par adi gms in hopes of
opeutugup newll nes of d ebat e and inquir y, It is myg oa l t ha t, as a resu lt, it will encou rage
readers to add thei r own voices to the conversat ions that inf orm uur unde rsta nd ing of
gentrification and anu mber of rela ted conc epts and processes.
As t his book's ti t le, which borrows from a p hr ase that the geographer Neil Smi th used
in a 1986 essay, suggests, The Gentrificati on Debates is cent ered on fou r key areas of di s-
agreement in the gent rification lit era tu re.' The se include d ebates a bou t I ) how to define
a nd recognize gen t rificat ion, 2) how, where, and wh en gentrificati on occu rs, 3) gent nfiers'
cha racter ist ics and moti vatio ns for engaging in t he process , and 4) gent riflcat ion's ou t-
comes and conseq ue nces.
Each of t he book's fou r sec tions includes excerpts from articles a nd boo k chapters that
provide varying persp ecti ves on t hese debates. Cumul atively, they provide a comp rehen-
sive -if not exha ustrve-coverotcw of more th an four de cade s of gen tr ificat ion scholar-
ship and orient us toward ongoing debates.' On th e one hand , in keeping wi th t he poli tical
economy persp ecti ve. t he book's selections documen t theinfl uenceoft he marke t and state
and of the gentry's economic int erests in gen tri ficati on. However, on the other han d, it also
atten ds t o t he meani ngs residen ts a s ~ i g n til gentrifying places and int eractional dynamics
of a variety of actors engaged in the process. It Is my h upe tha t the book will spar k furt her
debat e and discuss ion. both in t he cla ssroo m and be yond . Such debate is productive in the
sense thant str engt hens scholarship on gent rification. as wenas our readi ng of the literature
by cha llenging assu mptions and con tinually renewing our view of the p rocess and related
concepts, More generally, deba te Isvaluabl e beca use it calls forus to engage with a set of key
questi ons about a pr ocess tha t has become fundament al t o many cit ies across t he globe .
Whet her gen trification di splaced you fmm your childhood home, or, con versely, ensured
ti mt your famil y proflled Irom rislng horne values, orwhet he rcoverage ofthe process simply
fills the pages of your local paper, it is likely that genutncaucn bas Influent.. red either you r
life or the lives of many around you Th us, comprehensive knowledge of gemrmcarton is
paramou nt not onlyfor an und erst and ing of contem por ary citi es. but also if we wish to be
Infor med and engaged member s of a world in which gen trification is increasingly perva-
sive-at least, as the second section of th is book considers. in cert ain contexts (Smi th 2002.
Atkinson & Bridge 2005). The next pa ragra phs provide a brief over view oftheconcep ts and
ques tions cent ral to the ho ok's readi ngs, as well as t o t he deba tes of which they are a par t.
H1w l is Gf'llIrijim tion?The first sec no u ofthe book presen ts severa l influentia l essays
on how gentrification should be defined and how we can re cognize it when we see it. It
incl udes se minal rea dtn gs. such as Ruth Gla ss' 1964 essay tn rroduct ng t herenna nd ide nt i-
fying the process. It also Includes readings that po se questions suc h aswhe rherg ent rfflca-
ti on ca n occur out side of u rban areas.wh ether it sh ou ld be identified b ythe cha ract er ist ics
oti n-movers or of longtime res iden ts, and wh ethe r we sh ould cat egorize it by a set of out -
comes , such as rising prop er t y values or d isplacement. or by a set of causes, suc h as some
gcntrifiers' appr eciation for social diversity or desir e to live nca r th eir pl ace of wor k, or
gove rnment policies des igned to encourage de velopers' lnvest rnent in gentri fying neigh-
borhoods. The in t rod uct ion to t he first secti on pos es a set of q uest ions about gent ri fica-
t ion's ce ntral dertnrn g cna racten sucs, as well as about how gemrlflcation is di fferent t ha n
other forms of redevelopm ent. The readings also provide guidepost s for recognizing
gentrificati on by out lining the cha nges one can expect to observe in a place undergoing
How, Wl1ere and When Does Gentrification Occur? The book's second secti on
presents readings offering contrasting pe rspec t ives on t he f actors t hat prod uce gen-
tri fication. Rea dings incl ud e t hose that argue tha t gent rificat ion is a product of mar ket
condit ions. that suggest that nati onal, stat e. andlocal government poltcl es Iactlnare gen-
trificat ion. and. finally, argumen ts abo ut how gen tr iflers' t ast es and need shel p to produce
gentrifica t ion,
Together the rea dings re present two si des of a centr a Idebate in the gentr ificat ion litera -
t ur e abou t the relati ve import of oroauatonesa conswnption factors for producing gen-
t rificati on (see Smit h & Williams 1906, Zukin 19fi7). In so doing, it reviews an un de rlyin g
debare abon r culture's mle in gentrificati on, namelyabout whether genr rifiers' tas tes and
bel iefs dri ve gentrlflca t ion or whethe r, un ce gentrtflcat ion isu nd erwa y, culturalobjeer s are
manipulated to appeal t o gemrfners (Griswold 1986). It also presents di verse res ponses to
questions abou t why some places gentr ifywhile others do not , as we ll as about why some
gen trify before others.
'rhts sccnon the refore push es tho rea de r to consi de r arguments about t he economic and
poli tica l fac tors t hat facilitat e gentrifica tion. suc h as housingma rkets and cit y poli cies, as
we ll as argu ments about the cultural ta stes and mea nings th at en rOlu <l ge t he gent ry's par -
t lci pa non in the p rocess and th at help to de ter url ne whew th eymove. For instance, t he
essays provide at lea st two ex planations -e-el t he r compet Ing or compllmentar y, dependi ng
on your perspecti ve-for why pe ople like rny pa rent smoved ba ck- to- th e-land in the 1970s
and 1980s. Production explana t ions sugges t tha t t he decline of Ind ustry and t he ri se of t he
professiona l-manag erial class enabled college educate d indi viduals to move away from
cities that onc e were mau ufactming and em ployme nt centers (Eh renr eich & Ehrenreich
1979). In additi on, they mig ht cont end t hat risi ng housing coots in Northeaster n metrop-
olises and the concomitant failure of th e New England family farm encouraged you ng
couples' mo vement lO the coun ny . where land and homes Well" relati vely ine xpensi ve.
In contrast , sup ply sid e explanations suggest t hat the above shift s cannot alone accoun t
for whysnme you ng profess iona ls moved to rural hill towns, while man yot he rs prefe rred
central city ne ighbor hoods. They would ur ge us to ta ke my pa re nt s' leftist poli t ics. part icu-
larlythci r envi ronmen t ali sm and appreciation for rurallands cape, into accou nt .
WhoAreGentri fiersand whyDo They EngageinGentriftcat ionITh ethird sect ion includes
semina l readi ngs t hat portray gent rlfjers as whi te, mi dd le cla ss "pioneers" who take plea -
sur e in ta mi ng t he ur ba n front ier (Spa in 1993, Sm ith 1996). However, it de pa r ts from
most sum ma ries of the genmn canon urerature b y present ing readings that com plica t e
ou r dominant ima ge of gent rifier s. Specifica lly. it hi ghligh ts gem nfl ers' demograp hic
diversity, a s well a s the variety of att itudes toward gent rifica tion tha t they art iculate
Readings also present dlverse explana t luns for gentrfflers' morl va tinns [0.. part iclpa ring in
t he proc ess, from a desire for econo mi c gain and to "save" the ce ntral city from bli ght, to
appreciat ion for diversity and a distas te for subur bia. In sum, this section provides read-
ers wit h a n understanding of gent rifiers' dem ographic and ideological dfver sitv, as well as
wit h a set of gui ding questi on s wit h wh ich t o consider the relatio nshi p bet ween gent ri-
tiers' personal traits and the ir a pproaches to gentrificat ion.
In shor t, the th ird sect ion asks t he reader to consider ho w he or she would respond to
a ce nt ral set of qu est ions about how to define and identify the gentrlfler. Speci fically, it
asks; ar e genutn ers marked by a set of sha red demogra phic tr ait.'>, a common ldeolog fcal
orientat ion t o place an d gent rlflcat lon, or by th e intentions behind their part icipat ion in
gent rification?
What aretheOutcomesand Consequencesotcenmticononrnvefinal section provides
an overview of the outcomes and consequences of gentr ificat ion, from readings t hat
document the physical displacement of poor an d working cla ss longt ime resldenrs a nd
first-wave gen rrifiers, t o th ose t ha t poin t to t heir "social displacement" (Chernoff 1984). It
includes recen t scholarship that argues t hat gent rificatiun is less detri mental t o longti me
residents than previous work suggest ed te.g., Freeman & Bracont 2002, 200-1), as well as
criticisms of such scholarship (e.g., Newma n &Wy!yZ006, Slater 2006).
The diversit yofto pics, per spectives, a nd cases inclu ded in t his book are one ind icati on
of th e shee r volume of gentrificat ion scholarship. Academics in a varicryoffi elds-c-includ-
Ing. but not limited to. sociology. anth ropology, political science. plann ing. moon stud-
ies, pe r f ormanc e st udies. and Afrlra n-Arner lca n srudles -c-have written on
thetuph-, as have many journ alists (see Bwwn-Saracino &Rum pf 2008). The breadt h an d
diverslty of the ll terat ure presen ted a challenge when it came to select ing voices and per-
spe ctives fori nclu slonin the book, fornosin glereader can include all exemplary scholar -
ship. nor represent ever yfacet of gent rificat ion resea rch.
In the en d, I ch ose to include excerp ts from a rt icles and cha pters t hat marked key
tu rn ing points in gent rifica tion scholarshi p. stimulat ed debat e, or spurred new li nes of
inq uir y an d disagreement. The work of a fewkey t hink ers. spec lflcally Sha ron Zukin and
Neil Smith, whose scholarship has had dispropor t ionat e influence on key li nes of de bate,
appear mo re t ha n once in the reader. However, while the book cont ains essays by lead-
ing genmfl cation scholars, it also includ es excerpts from publicat ions that emerged from
doctoral dt sserta tions and master's theses. In short , excerpts were select ed becau se they
influenced debate end/ or represe nt key perspectives on a var iety of issues of import for.
gcnt rjfication scho lars. Refer ences t o additional micro-debat es and resources appear
t hroughout the book, in my introd uct ions to t he sect ions, as well as in t he select ions t hat
compose each sect ion, and I encourage reader s to cont inu e th eir leading and discussion,
as well as to un derta ke t heir own stud ies of gent rlflca t ion
It is my hop e that Tile Gentrification Debates will provide readers with t he comblna-
tion of resources t ha t spurred my initi al Int erest in gent rification. Specifically, th e book is
designed to partner a clear set of terms and concepts cent ral t o gent rifica tion wit h expo -
sure t o the debates that hel ped form them. I expe ct t hat together t hes e two elements will
encour age the reader to trace the development of the gent ntlceuon lit eratur e. as well as
t o interr ogate and even cha llenge central terms and concepts. After all. the book reminds
us th at gentrlflca tlon scholarship, like auy other li ne of inquiry, has room for new voices.
per specti ves. and lines uf debat e.
I. On rur at gentrification see, among others, Parsons lY80, 1'hillips 2004, Smrth ge Itoll 2005, Smith & PhillipS
2001. Mafg , egor 2005.
Smit h and Williams att end to several facets of thi s debate, such as ques tions about whether prod uction
or consumption factors produce gentrtaca non. but t hey frame such questions as subsets of ' he broade r.
single debate outlined above. In contrast. this booksuggests tha t numerous debates color endstructure the
literature, four of which this text highlights.
3, As th is bllOk while the poll tical economy l' e, st" 'Clivl' h nf'g reat value and is lndlsputably the
prevailing framework for thinking about gentrif. cat ion, it is not the only available framework
4. To be spectnc. Smt Ih refers t o " lhegenntacanon debate" (1966: 3. emphasis lidded) as does Atkinson In a
2(JOJ essay, Seediscussion above on the limits of atteudlug to a single debat e about gentrifi cation .
For a comprehens ive overviewof the genuusccuon Ii terature eeeteeeet at. (2008 & forthcoming).
VVhat is Gentrification?
Definitions and Key Concepts
A few years ago an undergradua te in my Race ami Place seminar ra ised his hand aft er
0 1\ 1 first cla ssroom d iscussion of gen tr lflca t lnn. "I think that my homet ow n is gen tr ttying,"
he sald, providing a brief descrfptluu of the small Mklwestern city in which he gil,,\\, up.
"Before toda y l dldn't knowwhat to call it, but I' m prett y sure that it is gentrifying,' Afew
mont hs later he wrote a pa per docu menting how the in-movement of affluent newcom-
ers, encouraged by the gentrification of neighboring cities, local land usc policies, and
readil y availa ble mortgages, contr ibut ed to the tr ansformatio n of the social, economic ,
and physical cha racteristics of his cirv.
As t his anec dote sug geo;;ls, ma ny have all image, however vague, of gent rification, One
ma y not kno w the word for gen u mcauon or haw devoted thought 10nsdefin it ion , but
manynonet he less possess an intuitive sense of what gentrffk at ion is (Becker 1998).whyts
t hi s the ca se? It may b e th e result of t h e ubiqui t y of med ia coverage on gentrif ication , or th e
sheer n um be r of t hose who , like my student, ha ve firsthand experience wit h the process
(sec Lees et al. 2008).
Indeed, you and your classmates may alrea dy have diff erent und ers tandin gs of gentrifi-
cation . As a result, when you stop to th ink abo ut how you woul d define ge ntrification and
di scuss t his with at hers, you mayfind t haty our clas smates' defini tions ar e quit e di stinct from
your own. For ins tance, in a class you may ha ve viewed the documentar y Flag \1'fl rs, which
profiles the movement , buoyed by rea lt ors, of whit e, middle class gav men int o a predomi -
natelyworking c1ass,African-American ne ighborhood in Colu mbus, Ohio. As aresult , at th e
cen ter of your image of gentr ificati on are dilapi dated Victorian h ou ses r estor ed to opulence
by gcntrtncrs armed wit h their own labor , an d tast e for his tor ical authen-
ticit y,You might "unpack"th is image to realize th at , in your mind, gentriflratton ent ails th e
dis placement of lifelong res ide nts by gern rtflers who do nut sha re long- timers' racia l or d <1 SS
klentlty.Youm ight abo reco gni ze that you regard till' restorat ion of older homes as a deflning
characteris tic of gentrification and that you believe that gentrification is fueled n ot only by
hi diridual reQ9J@tors, but also by:government offlcla ls, such as th ose who pa ss an d enforce
ordinanccs the t require h om eowners to meet the cos tly standards of official his toric dis tricts
and wh o threat en to close long-t imers' ins tit ution s for failing 10meet new zoning stan da rds.
However. ifyou were t o ask another what her image of gent rificat ion is she might men"
t ion Sha ron Zukin's pi on eering boo k o n t he p rocess, Loft Living, wh ich cent ers on middle
cl ass a rt ists and professiona ls who pur chase d space in New York industr ial buil dings in
t ill' 1970s ami transformed them lnro stu dios and homes, and. as a result, hel ped spur
loca l economic, social, and cultu ral transfor ma tion. Comparing your images. you realize
t hat Zukin's case d oes not include th e Victorians or Immediate di splacement of longt lrne
res idents so cent ral t o your notion of gen tr ifica tion. Ins tea d, it emphasizes th e displace-
ment. faci litated in part bychanges th at city officials mad e to zon ing laws, afligh t ind ustr y,
neighbor hood sho ps, and squatt ers.
Some one else might volun teer t hat the term "gcn trlflcat fon" makes him thi nk of t he
sma ll New England fishing village where his gra ndpa rents live. You find yours elf a rguing
about whet her the resturati olL oflli neteenTh-c ell turyvillage homes b y mkklle class new-
comers ami the displaceme n t of fishermen and th eir families const itutes gentr lflca t ton
Soon your q uest ions expand: Can gent rificat ion occur outside of the cit y?Mus t it include
the displaceme nt of longtim e res idents? If displacement is a defi ning charact er isti c of
gentrification, should we term a revi tali zati on process "gen trifica tion" if the displa ced
are ligh t manufact ur ing conc ern s, st ore owne rs, and sq uatt ers, ra t her th an rent ers or
In short, desp ite rhe fact that, upon reflect ion, you ma y rea lize t hat you ha ve been
exposed to genulflcatlun th rough firsthand expe rience, t he rned la, or in school, youma y
be uncert ain abou t how to defi ne the process, as well as about how to reconcil e t he con-
cep ts central to you r image of gent ri flcatlon wit h those of your class ma t es.
lt may eithcr ealm or conc ern you t o kno w t hat d espit e t hei r general ag reemen t about
gentr ifica tion's defi ning tr aits, expert s engage in similar deba tes about how to def ine the
p rocess. In one period debat e about how ro defi ne gent rifica t ion was so heig hte ned that
Damar is Rose called for scholars to embrace vde flnlt lnnal cha os" (1984; see a1,;(1Atkin son
2003, Crie kengen & Dol y 2003), a rgui ng t hat t his "chaos" most accura tely ca pt ur es the
com plexities of an evolving and somewha t idiosyncratic proce ss. In re sponse, other s lob-
bied for retr eat from this "chaos"-c-calling for agre eme nt about gen tr ificat ion's central
t rai ts (Zukin 1987, Smit h 1996).
Per haps as a resul t of such calls, after decades of scholarship resear chers have come to
some agree me nt about gentrification's centra l charact eristics.As th e readings in this sec -
ti on demonstrate, whi le scholars acknowledge rhat gemriftcati on va ries by t ime, place, and
stage of gentrificat ion (Clay 1979, Kerstein l 990j, fUIthe 1II0st part they concur that alllong
gent rificat ion's defining tr ait s ar e an mnuxor capital and resulta nt displacement, and t he
tra nsformati on ofl ocal "social cha ra ct er" (Glass 1964: xx), cul ture, amenities, and physical
infrastructure (Warde 1991 , Atkinson 2003). Mo st also agree that governmen t polici es and
brood econ omic and demographic shi fts-such as ban ks' liberal lending prac t ices in the
lat e twen tieth and earlytwen ty-first centuries, t he transforma tion of man y Nort hAmerican
and western European ind ustri al cit ies int o ser vice-economy hubs , and t he matur at ion of
t he bab y-boomgene rati on ill t he 1970s and 19ROs-facil itate gentrifica t ion.
Like many othe r schola rs, tit",anth ropologis t Gina Perez ot ter s a stra ightforward defin i-
tion of gen trifica ti on, d escribingit as :
an economic and social processwherebyprivate capi tal (real estate flrms, developers) and indi-
vidual homeowners and renters reinvest in fiscallyneglected neighborh oods through housing
rehabill tauon. lort conve rsfons, and the const ructlun of t WIVhousing> uroo n 1
gentnficat ion is a gradual process-occurringnne bu ilding or blockat <I time, slowly recm rfiguring
t henelghborhood landscape of consumpt ion and residence b) displacing poor and working-
class residents una ble to afford to live in 'revitalized' neighborhoods with rising rents, property
taxes, and newbusinesses catering to an upscale clientele,
(200-1: 139)
Thi s definiti on capt ures man y o f t he charac te rist ics that sc hola rs agree defi ne gentrifica-
t ion: an tnfluxof capital andresul tant social, econom ic, cultu ral. and physical transforma-
t ion and d isp lacement (see Atkinson 2003) .
If there is genera l agree ment among scholars about t hese defining trait s, wha t Is there
left to debate abou u'Iuvar ylngd egrees th e authors in t his sect ion provide defi niti ons and
descriptions of gentrification t hat overlap wi th r erea's.uowever, each author emph asizes
dist inct elements ofP erez's defi niti on. For ins ta nc e, some stress the displace me nt of poo r
and wor king-class residents, while ot hers devote grea ter att ention to the t ra nsformatinn
of housingstock. Underl ying debate about how t o define gen triflca tl on are a few pr essing
questions. As this sec t ion d et ail s, first an d foremo st is t he question of whet her to de flne
gentr ifica tion by outc umes. oreveryday d l'!!a.Ster.Asec ond relate d qucstloni"s
about which of genul flcations ca uses, ou tcomes, or di me nsions typify the process.Athird
ques tion involves where gentrification takes place.ln the process of posing and answer-
ing these q uest ions scholars argue about which cases of revital ization should be d eemed
"gen t rificatio n: whi le simultaneous ly pushi ng each ot her to const ruct d efinitions t hat
acknowledge gentrificat ion's va riabjlity-c-i.e, the fact t hat its p recise charac t eristics and
dynamics vary, to an extent, hy ti me, place, and stage ofgen triflcati oll (Clay 1979, Kerst el n
In t he following pa ges, I first ou tline a keyd isagreement relat ed to gen trificati on's defi -
ni t ion and parameters: the q uest ion d iscussed abo ve of whether we sho uld define gen-
trificat ion by its causes , ou tcomes, or the charac te r of the proce ss. Second, I outl ine how
debates about when gentrification began, wh ere it occu rs, and what its oute r limits arc
revea l u nderlying disag reemen t abou t t his same defin iti onal prob lem, spec ifica lly about
whet her to define gen t rfflcat ion by it s ca us es, out comes, or the dail y interacti ons and
chotres t hat characterize t he PWl:l;' SS.
Ceue ra lly speaking. must scholars' definiti ons of gentri fication center un gentrifi-
cat ion's out come s or cons eq uences, rat her tha n on its causes or on the charac ter of t he
proc ess- its everyda yma nifesta ti ons and progress (seeBrown -saracrnozccsj .Specifically,
cs an essay in t his sect ion try. Neil Smit h suggests, schola rs a nd ot he rs emphasize eco-
nomic revitali zat ion, t ransformat ion of the built environment, and displace ment as key
slgniflers of t beprccess, Why do man y defin it ions hinge on gent rification's ou tcomes?As
this book's fou rt h sec t ion reveals, scholars debat e face ts of gent rific.atioll 's out comes and
cOII,.;eYUl;' nces, such as di splacement ra tes .1lowever. there is greater collective agreement
abou t gen trification's outcomes t han abo ut its causes an d 1beli eve tha t this Iswhy many
def initi ons emp hasize econom ic revitalizat ion, aest het ic cha nge, and di splac eme nt .
Most of t he readings in this section q uest ion t his general consensus on t he centralitvof
ou tcomes to ou r definition of gen trificat ion byfo cusing inst ead on gentrificat ion's causes.
Specifica lly, in the read ings t hat follow you will find th at ever y aut hor either implicitl y or
explicitl y a tt ends to genrrlficarion's (:r:lf/sesand manyre gard these as cent ral to the defi-
nition of gen rrlfkat lon th at t hey pr op ose. The authors' att ent ion tu ca usa t ion is nelrher
re prese ntative of the bro ader litera ture nor happenst ance. Rather, it is a product of the fact
t ha t wit hin tln- l ite rat ur e thei e i'l IJILJ ch deba t e a bout gent rification's sou rce s, II l1d
thls bouk is orgaulaecl aruuud areas ofcotilenlion, essays debating gen utncauous CCluses
are th us disproportiona telyce ntra l to The Gentrificat ion Debat es.
That said, while many of the aut hors d: the ess ays in this section emphasize causa l fac-
tors in t heir definitions, t hey disagree about which causal factors arc foundational to gcn-
tn ticat ion. Por ins ta nce, in the essay in which she coined t he t erm "gentr ificat ion" Ruth
Gla ss ex plicitly Jinks gent rificat ion to the res tora t ionof historic ho mes. Like Sh a ron Zukin,
wh ose essay, "C,t'll u ifica uon it .o; ;\liukl:'t a nd Place" offers ils OW II definition of gentrtfka -
tkm, su ggesrs tha t shif ling ideological or ient ations 10 t he cit y enco u raged middle
class jndlv kiuals to invest in central cit y properties t hat a previous generauon had deval-
ued, According to this arg ument, if me city had remained un desira ble in the eyes of the
middle cl ass. homeowners would not have taken advantage of polit ical and eco nomic
shif ts th a to pcncd t hc ccnt ral ci tyt o them. l hus, scholars likeZukina nd Glass ho ld gentri-
liers' cult ural valuation of t he centra l cit y as an impor t ant component of ou r concept of
gent rfficet jon
III cont rast, urhe t s cne demographic t rend s, such CIS the ri 'iing of mar rted
WOOlt'1t in t he wor kforce In the secon d half oCthe twenti et h cent ury as co ntr ibuting Iac-
tors (see xta ruk usen L981, Bondi 1991, Warde 1991), Three of th is secrton's aut ho rs, Neil
Smith, Sharon 7.ukin and Rut h Glass, tumto deindustriali2at ion as we ll as soc ial policies
th at st ripped cit ies of eco nomic and tntrastructural reso urces in th e middl e of t he twcn-
tieth century as enablin g conditions for gentrificat ion. In th eir view, such cha nge and
policies reduced CI"Iltral ci ty proper ty values a nd, in tu m , invited the speculation a nd
investmen t t ha t ch a ra cte rtee, ge rmffl catlon. In t urn, Neil Smit h rt>g<l . d<; what he tI:' l ill S
a "revanchlst" a pproach to ur ban po licy, which punishes or seek s 10 ta ke re ven ge on the
city's poor res ide nts (1996: 43-4 4), as a key conmbuung facto r, and conceives of t hrs
reva nch lsmas pa rt of an effort to rest rucrure t hecit vtn benefit t he eli te. Likewi se, Shar on
Zu kin writesth at "gen1rifica1ion pe rsist s as a collective dfort t o appropna te the cent er for
eleme nt s of a new ur ban middle class" 1199 1: 187),
The next sect ion of the boo k ";11 a tt end mor e cl osely to such ra usal argu For
now. suffi ce it to ""' y that many scholars include cau sal fact ors, or ollP kind o r a nnrber, in
analyses of'gemrfflcat lon, Ihere is di s-
agr t't!lllt' nt a buuIgell t rifica tlon's ca ust'S,as well as a deart h of a t lonlO Ihe pruct' sst"'S or
eVl:'rydayeha racteristlcs of J:ten rrifiea rlon (Brown -saraci no 2009), when It comes to defin-
ing gent rification many scho lars em phasize the outcomes of t he pro cess, That i!>, man y
mOlC agrcc abou t genlrification', oUlcomes Ihan aLouf iu and , for thh
reason , common defi nitions lend 10 hinge on th at which gentrificat ion prod uces, such a s
and rda tn1 of a place 's f'C:onomic, !'iodal. and physit'".al
As l:I side 1I0le, as you rt'CI d sec tion you may Iealil e t hat wit h few except iollS th e
a uthor s do nut explicit ly att end 10 the everyday process of Rentr lflcat lon, fo r t he most
part, t heir conce ptua lizations do not hinRe on da ily e, 'idence of Rentri flca tion's proJ:t ress:
th e SOUll d of hammers and saws as workmcn refurbish houscs, t he ind ividual s sented
at a new coffee shop or bistro , campaign poste rs for a progcntrifica tion mayoral cand i-
da te that color shop wi ndo.....s, or terse wor ds be twee n ncigh bors wh o come from dist inct
PCIlliornic hllr kgrnulJ(h . Wbil:h llf t bese 1"II:' IIlent s, YOll lllight your sdf, mi ght nnt' rPIl-
!'i llna bly expect tu (jllli in tIIust gentr ifying places an d hu..... ce ntral should t he y be IUUllt
concept ua llzation of the
The disagreement I have out lined rhus far- about whet her genrrtnc atron i s cha racter-
ized byits outcomes, causes, or t he cha rac ter of the process- directly addresses the ques-
t ion of how to define the process. However, manyother schola rs app roach t his q uestion
ll:' 'i'l rurcctl y, For inst ance, ten sion nbout bow to defi ne gcntrifica tion isa pparenr messaya
in rhls sectlon that cons ider when gentrifica tion began, wbere it occurs. and howtn rf>Cog
1IUt- it soute r limi ts.
Nea rly all of the essllys in t hi.s cIJnsid t"1 the q uestion or when gentrifica tion
Wha l does t he q uesttcu uf when gen trification began haveto do wn hdenntn gt he
rermr rn short, scholar s tell ortgtn stones a bout gentr tflca tion as a way of arguing that cer -
tain charact eristi cs of the process-t hose present in its ea rliest history- should be con-
sidered its defi ning charaet eristi cs, l n add ition, they reveal varying opinions abo ut the
cent raliryof gent rificat ion's causes and ou tcomes to th e def init ion.
\ ta ny trace gentr ificat ion 10 t he per iod just be fore 1964 when Rurh (Jla,,"! coined rbe
term in t he uu rcducuon 10 a hoo l 011 Lo ndo n. nt he rs, like geographer S t"i l
Smith, in an e ssay in t his sect ion, sug gest that we can trace ns roots to t he century before
Glass first wrot e of genrriflca tjon (see also Clark 2005), Spedi1cally, in hi s"Short History of
Oenmrtcenon," Smit h suggests t hat "somet hing more akin t o cont emporary gent rffka-
t iro made an appearance in the middle of the ni neteenth century" (1996: 35---36), t hen
known as "embourgecisement" (Smi t h 19'J6: see also Gaillard 1977, Harvey 1985. Engels
1975: 71).
In her eve y describing Lo ndon's gentriflca t tnn Ruth Gla..... Id.. nt ifles an Ideology tha t
embr aced urba n living for the middle cla ss-in her terms, "a swi tch from suburban to
urban aspna uons" (1964 : xxxi}--as a def1nln Rcharact eri stic. As a result, she arg\.lcsJbat
urban fund ed slum clea rance and infrnstruetural transfer-
rra uons as the construcuon of tnters tatc highwa)'Sthrouih working
(1964: xviiI, bur. like Gina Per ez {2oon , she regards uma-n
renewal ilself. Thus,amhorSsurn-,i"
Glass andPerez -disagree wit h Smit h,Theyrio not hplieve t ha t "geuetncaucn" is t espon-
sfble for t he tra nsf or ma t ion of t, ll uf t he neighborhood s frum which poo r a nd workin g
d a..... residents haw bee n displaced to suit t he needs an d tas tes or rne middl e cla ss. Why
do th ey drsagreet On my readi ng, Glass worr ied t hat 1f \O,'C coll apsed all such uanstorma-
lions under t he umbreUaofil:en tr ifica t ion, t his would negate howgcntrifiers' ideological
appreciation for cit ylif e enabled gcntrificnt ion, ln ot her wo rds. she regards changes in the
midd lc cla ss' view of th e ci ty as an essential precu rsor to gent rification. an d th etefore as
fWUMlUell tal to a defi nit ion of the pr ocess.
In contra st , ot hers offer desnipliOll !'i of gf"lIlli fical itln's histOly tha t imply that we ca n
by its llutcnmes, il!> c<luses. As Neil Smit h notes (1996: 36),
Fl ied rich Eng els, wr iling of lhe mid,nlneteent h ce nt ury appropriat ion of poor and work-
ingd ass quarters for the midd le class wrote, matt er how diffcrcnt t he rrosons maybe ,
the result Is 8\erywhere th e same" (1975: 71), In ot he r wo rds, if mid-ninetccnt h century
planning movemcnt s (ibid,) or mi d twenticth cent ury urban re,newal projeets de suoyPd
poor and working class enclavcs fon he bene fit of the middlpclass, aswf"l1as the f"collorn ic
an d polit ical clites, why eJ(,"d uoe IhernJrom Oll t COlll' l"/ll ua lil,;ttilw.u.f"geuu ifica ti(jn'1
Thi!'i powerfully slJ-ggp"t" that a vfI"wuf gt' litrifica t iun a hi slOricallyrn d-Url0R-process
relCl tt' s to plesu mption s ab oUI how we sh ould definit e It--.a bout what gent rifica-
lion is. Sume slIggt"'St that WE should IdeIlll fy by its conse quen ces, such as
econo mic upscal inRan d resident s' displacement , rat her t han by its causes. suc h
as the rt se o f'a nenlibera l st all" (Ha rvey i 9R9, Smith 1996, Peck 2006, Le-s e t il l. 200Rj, the
middle cla ss' lnc reaslng appreclarlo n fur fea t ures or urbantrre (Glass 1964, Caulfield 1991 ,
Ley 1996), the decline of rent cont rol, or a free market app roac h to urban planning (Glass
1964: xxj ,
Questions about when a process be gan are often paired with ques tions about its out er
(tcmporala nd spatiall limit s, Ihreeoftheselectlonsin thissection. most centrallyL(JJcUa
Lees' art icle on the super-genrriflca rion ofa Brookl yn neighhor hood. enc o urage spe cula -
tton abo ut how muc h gt' nt ri fica t illrl Cilll evolve and st ill be-genu lflcatlou" (see at-o Ho od i
1991).111 sho rt. they In vne the q ues tion: U/lIat aregeruri/icacron's/imils?
When gum Glass coined t he term she d id not anrlctpa te t hat we wc uld me It today, nor
d id sh e predict th ai we would appl y it t o places like New York:and Cntcago, let alone the
man y globa l ci nes tha t Rowland Atkinso n and Gary Bridge argue are gen trifyi ng (2tJO.t ). ln
mel , Glass thought tba t gen trifi cat ion was speci fic to London and 10 the per iod in wh ich
ehe was wri t ing. She speculated t ha t, "London, alway:!; a 'u nique city', may acquire a rar e
romplai r u. \ \ l liw the m rt"'ii o f nrher large ciries in the wm kf, f'1>rlt'dally of t hoV' in the
Untred Sta tes, are decaylng . .. Londo n ma y soon be raced whh an embarms l i e sichesse
in her ce ntra l area- (xx). Thi s noti on seems almost q ualm after more th an fony years of
genmn ceucn scholarshi p and in a contex t In which schol ars suggest t ha t genmncauon
is endemi c 10 many of t he world s financial ca pita ls and when it also occurs in less afflu-
ent ci t ies (Atkinso n and Bridge 200-11, as well as in some su bur ba n and ru ral a reas (Smi th
& Defillipis 1999, l lackwon h & Smit h 2001, Smith 2002: 4-12)_On one t hi ng scho la rs are in
u niform agreement; gf'l\ t ri ficAt ion d id not st op in London, nor wao;it limit ed to the la'"
th ird or the twe mjeth cent ury,
Yet. recognit ion of genmn cauon as an ex pa nding process rai ses per t ln ent questi on s
a bou t the malleabilit y of ou r dPfin ition. To what exten t is t hegen tr iflcalion th at Loretta
Lees highhghts in he r essay, -supcr.cemnncauonr wtuch displaces pr openv-rich, high
earning Broollyn professionals, the same proc ess tha t displaced worki ngcl ass small bus i-
ness owners inGlass ' London ?After a ll, most definitions of gen tr ifica t ion presume t ha t the
proc e<>.... takes root in plares tha t a re td lsinve sred a nd devalued" fl.w:l 20fl1: 2487), and the
is anyrhing b ut dl sinve-st ed Likewise, do 11W" sa me
defi ningIIatu characterize the gen utflcatlon 0 f Mumba l and Los An geles. asArklnson ami
Brt dgeml gb t argu e(2001)1
wou ld prob ably agree that It is safe t o assume that the genmncenon proc ess Is
not identi cal acros s time and s pa ce-Indeed, ma ny refer 10 st ages of genmncanon. not ing
how t he p roceae cha nges and evolves over time in a nei ghbo rhoud or IOYUI, l).pic4l1y
as the place becomes increasingly up sca le (e.g.. Clay 1979, Patt ison 1983, Kerstein 1990).
This, in t nm , Cj upstion ahom t he sta kes of applying an older tt"rm to a co nlinually
f'vtllving pro ct' ss, As Ltot-s <Ish of her own <l rgu lllf'nt lha l "su pt>r-gt' lll rifk a l ioll (x:c ur-s in
SOll le high -end neigh borhoods, by br-oadell illgour co ncept ion of gell uificatiun to uLd ude
such cas es do we risk "ma klnRt he meani nRof the ter m so expans ive a s 10 lose an y con
cepma l sha rp ness and specif icity (2003; 2t9lj? Likewise, Roland Atkins on as ks, is t he
term gen tr ificat ion rcally up to the job after 40 yea rs or is it to be more subtly defined and
di scerned in different context s?" (2003: 2443).
Thi.o; is not C"i1 U'If': for d f' ,,,-pair. fm even tho se who cha llfmge us TOrecognize geo t rifiC" i1t inn
pliKt'Sa nd ide nrify t he process by the set oftl aits int rnduct'tl t'aTlif'1
illihis e ssdy: dll infiux uf capita l, suci al, economic, cultural, and physical lrdllsfurmdl ion,
a nd di sp lacement (see Warde 1991). The y sometimes dlsal/;It'e a lxJul WilD is displaced or
how milch capital 'A'aS present befor e a new influx, but they nonetheless concur on t he
Import of t hese tra its.
Why is there di sagreemen t abo ut how 10 def'lne gt'llll ifirn lkm'i' Primaril y. it result s
from a l"Olll bina t ion nf the breadt h o f gt' litIi lica liulL and of our att en tion to it . Scholars in
a vari ety of Ileld s ItaVI" studied a d iversi ty of cases of gen trt flcatlon that va r y across bot h
ti me and spa ce, and t hi s invit es aware ness of de pa rtures Crom row nea t , smgle dcfirution,
Furthermore, many defi nitions come wit h atte nda nt in tellect ual sta kes. For instance,
those whn snrdypokti cal eco nomyarc likely to emphasize rheroleo f government pol ici es
and the their.dcflniti un s, while t hese who are espeetally att enr fve mculmre ma y
profff'J definit ions that place grea ter o n gt"ll l l ifit' rs' Ideolog yand cult ural ta stes
(e.g., Ley 1986, Caulfle td 1994-).
Ha ving called our anenoon 10 a fewdefln mg n atu ofgenu tnca rton abo u t which the re
Is fairly Widespread agreement. 1 in vite reade rs to use the readings to come 10 their O\ \TI
conclusions about how to def ine the! proce ss. In so do ing, I e ncourage the! rea de r to con-
sider what gen tri ficat ion is a nd what it is not Wha t aret he srakes of developing a defini-
t ion broad enough t o encompass the full range-or so met hing clo se to it - of ca ses t ha i
scholars . journalists, a nd ot her s la bel On rhe ot her ha nd, what are t he
co oeequences e f'eoopdng e and suggt"'l ing th <l t SOIl W" such cases are
not, in fac t, gen trifica tion-?
I believe that such ques tions arc wonbv or our attention, for how we define genrnnca-
t iun is ofp ra Clicala ndintel!ectuali mport . For ins tance. definiti ons maylnfluencet he areas
of a city in which a nonprofit organi zat ion builds affordable housing, the places schola rs
study a nd that jour nalists document , as wdl as wh at wemeasure when we study' geutri-
ficati on" (see Ley 1986). Finally. as t he opening vignet te suggests, it me v al so, to a d egree,
Influence howwe think. about t he pla ces where we live as wel l as abou t our re la ti nns h ip ro
tilt' people wnh whomweshare a chang ing neighborhood or town.
1. Isgentri ficat ion a strictlyu r ban proccssrwhat ar e rhcccnsequences of broadenin g our
defin it ion o f gentri fica ti on to include revi talization proc esse s in non ur ban local es?
2. Should we define gffi trifica t ion h}' a com mnn .'iPfo f ou t rnmes. causes, or d imen slon s of
dallv life?
3. on the argumffi t.'i presented In t he readin gs. wh en do you t hink. gentrt t lcat ton
began?Wharare the st akes of your answe r to the q uestJon?
1. Which revita lization p rocesses do you regard as dist inc t fromgentrificat ion ?
50 How ce ntral a re gen trificr-s and longti me residen ts' demogra phic charaeleri sli cs,
such as th eir racial, ethnic, class. gender. 01 sex ua l iden ti ty, 10 your definition of
t\ CTIVITll; S
1. \ "iewthedocument ary Flaf.:Wars. !f you r knowledRe of"entrifica tion were limited to the
film. wh at de fi nition of t he p roce ss ..... ould you generate"!
2. Viewt he documentar y 7th Street about the gentrificat ion of f\ewYork'sAlpha bet City. If
yOIll kno\o\1edge of gl' !Iltri lka tion werf' limitt"( j to t ht"film, what defi nit ion of th eprocet'is
wOllld you generat e?
a, If you've viewed both of th e above documen taries, consider how each influences
your definit ion of gent rificat ion. Can t he same definiti on be appli ed to each case?
whyorwhy not e
b. Ifyou couldfilmyour own do cumentar ya bout gen trification based un your personal
definition of the process, which pe ople, pl aces, policies, and int eractions would it
3. Read a novel set in a gentrifying neighborhood , such as Denis Lehane's Mystic River
(2001) or Jonatha n l.e th em's Fortress of Solitude (2003) . What language and imagery
does the author lIM ' to descrt be gen t rittcat tont How do you think.the author would
deflne gent rification?
4. How do you define gent rlflcarlon? Draft a definition and com pare it to your classmat es'
defini tions, as well as t o the defin itions presented in the readi ngs. \ Vhy are your defini-
tions different?
Aspects of Change
Atkinson, R.2003. "Int roduction Mlsunderscood Seviour c reengefulwreckert The Many Meantngs and Prob-
lems or c enctncenon" Ur /xln SWdiesID2343- 2:JbO
t ee s, L 2007. ' Pmg rese i 11 Gt'lllIiflnnlOllgesearcht" Em:imm'Wllla ,ui PlmlllillgA3 ~ 228- 234.
S1aler, T., Curran, IV. , & Lees, L 2004. -cenmnco eren gescnrch: xew Directions and Critical schotarshrp'
En rJfro ll mem rmd PIr", ni ng A 36 1141- 1150
London can never be takenfor grant ed The
city is too vast, too complex, too cont rary
and too moody to become entir ely familiar.
And there are moment s when well-known
features of her tow nscape stand uut sur pris-
ingly, as th ey might to a foreign tourist or t o
the expatr iate who at last comes hom e.
From Ken singto n to King's Cross early
on a June morning the sights and sound s of
London just awakening have a novel cla r-
ity. The roa d,'; of Georgian and Victoria n
ho use s conver ted into flat s are st ill packed
with parked car s; t he Espresso bars are
still locked up; the new under-pass (or
rather bottl eneck] at Hyde Park Corn er
is st ill empty; th e tall Hilt on Hotel at Park
Lane, recent ly finished, stands out clum-
sily; Marble Arch and Grosven or Square,
now de serted, where t he Ar ner fcan eagle
is so cons pic uous, ar e a reminder of days
of interna tional crisis, of prot est demo n-
strat ions , of bewilderment a nd fear, In this
region of 'high rise' office blocks, a part-
ment houses, gent eel shop win dows and
an occasional supermar ket , prosperity is
fresh ly pai nted on: there is an air of expec-
tan cy But <I II that is left far beh ind alr eady
tell minutes later in the peelingplaster zone
of Eust on. where the monoto ny of narrow
back str eets, grimy an d dre ary, is only rarely
in terr upt ed bya on ce-Italian ca fe or a more
recent Indian restaurant ; and th en again
by glimpses of a remarkable 'vert ical fea-
ture'-the Post Office t ower off Tott enham
Court Rood. Nor has King's Cross acquired
a luok very different from t hat it had twent y
or t hirt y years ago. And yet it works differ-
ently. Th e ar mies of commut ers who arr ive
every morn ing to work in Cent ral Lond on
have grown steadily. And nowa days most
of th e po rters ar e blackor brown men from
th eWest Indi es
At a ny hour, l.nndo n in 19G3 shows t he
juxtaposit ion of new and old, both In th e
fabric an d in the struct ure of socie ty, The
innova uons,just becausetheyareunequ ally
di stributed and often appa rentlyincongru-
OUS, are more vis ible t han the old patches.
Even so, t hey might well be decept ive. And
for t hose of us whose own personal history
is ent a ngled with Lo ndon's post-war his-
tory It rna y be rat her difficult to recogn ize
all t he signs of ageing. as well asofr ejuvena-
tion, in t he face oft he city. But some ofthese
changes ar e unmista kable.
There is a gleam of aflluence in most of
Cent ral London and in ma ny of t he sub-
urbs-c-of a much mor e widespr ead afflu-
ence t ha n has ever been t here before. At
least so it seems at flrst sight. It shows itself
in an a bun da nce of goods a nd gadgets, of
cars and new bu ildin gs- in an apparently
mount ing flow of cons umption. There are
far more soft and hard drinking a nd cat-
ing places t han th ere used to be (and they
are op en for longer hours). The shops are
cra mmed wn h per sonal and household
parap hernalia which had previously been
neither In mass product ion no r fOJ mass
use. Th e wrapping a nd labelli ng of com -
modit ies- small or large, practical or
ornamental, frozen or fresh , dehydrated OJ
puffed up-s-have a new gloss. The luxur ies
of yeslenlay, or the imitat ions ofyes ten lay's
luxuries , ha ve become the nece ssit ies of
t oday for large sections of t he populat ion.
Toget her wit h-or rat her beca use
of- t his new diversit y of consumption,
ther e is also, appa rently, a new unifor-
mity. Superficially, class di stinct ions in
looks, clot hes and in domest ic equipment
have narrowed considera bly: differen ces
in many of th ese respec ts are now more
noti ceablydeterminedby age tha n bysocial
status. Conve nt iona l ter ms of soci al cat-
egor izat ion, such as ' black-coat ed worker'
or 'whi te-collar worker' , no longer have a
st ra ightforward descriptive value.
It is ofte n sairl-hy anyone who sees
contemporary London after a con siderable
absence-t hat th e cit y is in the process of
being :Amer icanized' . Indeed, judging from
general impr essions of the city's looks a nd
standards of living, the contra st between
Cen tral London and mid-town Manhatt an.
For exam ple, is no longer as str iking as it
used tu be be fore, ami lrntuedla tely after,
World War II. London is now decid edly
a representative of the affluent Western
world, wit h fewcr individual cha racteristics
than she held in a previous period. But in
being just th at, London is also experienc-
ing, increasingly, t he hardships inherent in
th at affluent world. And- typica l again-c-it
seems th at she is not ma king a good jub of
cop ingwith t hem.
As a place in whic h t o sett le, t o work,
to move about in, Lon don has become
acut ely harassing a nd highly inefficient.
Th is Is hu gely t he result of a long history
of tria l and error in urba n development.
The various notion s or measur es which
have been adopt ed at different stages to
make London sma ller, and which in some
respects haw succeeded in doing so, have
alsu made London larger. Just beca use the
popu lat ion size of the c oun ty has steadily
declined- bot h th rough a volunt ary and a
plann ed disper sal- the size of t he met ro-
po litan area has been stea dily expa nded.
People have been sent. or have wa nted to
go, far t her and fart he r outwards, t hough
lIlany of t hem ale still depen dent , directly
or indirectly, upon the emplo yment and
sen -ices locat ed in Central Lon do n. Allsorts
of facto rs have cont ribu ted to th is process
of subur bani zation- the increasing mobil-
it y of la bour result ing from improvements
in employme nt conditi ons and in tr an s-
port ; t he general rise in standar ds of 11\"-
ing: socia l aspirat ions (In parti cular, the
frequent asso ciation of the idea of subur -
bia wit h th at of 'respec tabilit y' ); as well as
general policies and schemes. But t he t otal
effect upon London ha s hardly been a sans-
factor y one. The pr oblema of'hi gness ' have
not been solved; thevhave been shifter!and
ch anged .
Even now, the County iss t ill losing popu-
lat lon, while t he num ber of jobs in Central
Lon do n is still growing; and thus also the
number of commuters who work in the
centre. Their daily journeys are still becom-
inglonger,more awkward, a nd moreexpen-
slve in terms of lndlvldual an d socia l cost s
And theseIc ng jourueys every morni ngand
evenlng-c-whether of people or goods, by
rail or road -impede short-dist ance traf-
fic in the central area. In fact, th ough corn-
municat ions have become fast er, more
conveni ent an dmorevaried, t hey have also
become slower and mor e cumbersome.
All day long, Ceuual London is a zone of
bottlenecks, of sta nd-stills, of almost fro -
zen traffic. Any of the spe cial occasions,
specia l and yet part of t he metr opolitan
rout ine-a Buckingham Palace garden
par ty, a fall ofsnow, a Stat e vlsit, t he Chelsea
flower show- can produce ut ter cha os.
Ther cis no room for manoeuvre.
But the traffic problem-the Number
One problem at first sight- is onl yth e most
overt symptom of ne wincon gruit ies in the
ha bit at and soclet yof Lond on . Socially and
ideologically, t oo, comm uni cati ons are
strained : they have been bot h speeded up
and obstructed. People travel a bout more ;
they see and hear more of events at home
and a bmad. Aud yet, dr tvrng in t heir ca rs,
sitting in front of their t elevision screen s,
they are mor e on th eir own t han t hey used
to be.While knowl edge ofscience an d t ech-
nology is expa ndi ng rapidly, th ough at an
unequa l rate in different fields, it docs so
within the framework of a snciet ywhlch is
remarkably slow i n dev-lopfng its capact-
ties for self-r ecogniti on and rational orga-
nizat ion. Th e acqu isition of knowledge,
moreover, in ad vandngas In stat ionary dis -
ciplines, is as to put a premium
on depart mentalizatio n.Alread y. before his
career has started, the sixth- form sch ool-
boy orthe student finds it difficul t to leave
his cell. On balan ce, have our hori zons been
widened or narr owed?
Social distances ha ve become simul-
tan eously both short er and longer. There
is a good dea l of movement-pedestr ian .
vehicular, occupa tional. w ith the advance
oft ech noJogy, with t he increase in the divi -
sion (If lal ann ,HId of consumer expe ndl-
tin e, new occupat ions have develop ed ,
especially mi ddle-class occupations. (Look
at t he adverusemen ts in t he 'quali ty' news-
papers. wan ted: project engineer, produc -
tion executive, syste m analyst. computer
shift leader, sales promotion sp ecialist,
attitu det ester , heau tyoperato r, public rela-
uons man ager, window-dresser, and many
more of many different kinds.) Some of
the old menial occupa tions are becoming
extinct, or ar e likelyto di sap pear. There has
been some re-shuffling of social group s,
mainly again among t he middle cl asses.
New minorit y groups have ap peared. But
none of th is movement is match ed by an
increase in genui ne socia l mobility. The old
class alignments ar e beingmaintaine d-or
copied. And they may even at times be mo re
no ticeab le, and be less taken for grant ed,
t ha n bef ore, just because some of the con-
vent ional status distincti ons have become
blurred. Altogether , is t here mo re or less
social cla ust rnphnbia t han t here was in a
previous period?
Alth ough such questions have become
commonplace, t hey can not be avoided.
We meet th em wherever we go, cert ainly
in London. All a round li S, WI'! see so many
cont rad ictory ten denc ies; and t he same
phenomen a are subject to contr adictory
int erpret ation s. Per haps this was always
so, and it is the sha rpened awareness of
hi story in th e making-on a scale, with a
speed a nd complexit y visibly grea ter than
ever be fore-c-whtch dlr ec rs the attention of
some contemporary 'participant-ob serv-
ers' so strongly to the equivocal aspects of
the current situation. But , be that as it may,
if one docs look at society as one finds it,
here an d now, as closely and widely as pos-
si ble, one canno t help being pr eoccu pied
with t he amb iguities in its con dtrt ons and
It could be satd. for example, thai Brit ain,
in general -cor London , in particular- has
more social homogeneity than in the inter-
war and immed iat e post-war per iods .
Millions of people from different social
classes and localities consume the same
di et of radio and, television pmgnllu mes,
advertisemen ts and fllms : they are sub-
ject t o a nati ona l net work of retail outlets,
newspapers, pu blic services, institu t ions
an d organizations; they uphold the same
nat ional symbols. Differences bet ween
mod es of life in city, su burb andvill age have
beco me fain ter. There ar e not only daily,
but also weekly an d seaso na l journeys t o
and fro-as a result of the increasing use of
private inHlSPllrt a nd of holidays wit h pay_
There is also 1lI00e same ness in the physi-
cal environment both between and within
areas of t he countr y than there us ed t o be.
Urban diffusion - in ecnomrc a nd cultural
terms-was preceded, and is still accompa-
nied, by th e vast spread of suburbia, some
of whose charact erts ucs have been in n o-
duced in 01 nea r urban centers. as well as
in the coun trys ide. It had been th e dream
of ninetee nt h century British refo rmers- a
dream revived and translat ed into con crete
plans dur ing the inter-war an d immediate
post-war year s- to re-make cities in the
image of tde allzed ru st icsett lements, an d to
Intro duce urba n arnenhles Int o ru ral ar eas,
This dr eamhas not been an idle one. Urba n,
suburban and rural areas have t hus been
encouraged to merge into one ano ther; an d
the y ha ve lost some of thei r differentiating
Similar effects have, moreover. been
brought about bya comhinat ion of deliber-
at e and incidental develop ments.The large
programme of urban recons tr uct ion an d
re-building sinc e World War II has had the
result of reduci ng the con tras ts betwee n
rich and poor dist ricts within t he bound-
ary of t he present County. Indeed, some of
th e convent ional dis t inct ions have heen
reversed; the new homes of wor king class
and tower middle class people, whu are
municipa l tenant s, are freque nt ly supe-
rior In design and appearance to th e older
'luxu ry flats' and expensi ve houses of pri -
vate tena nts or owner-occu piers. Local
authority housing and anci llary sche mes
have so milch improved th e loots a nd
amenities of severa l dist rict s-in sections
of Paddl ngton, Kens ing ton , Westm ins ter
and elsewhere-that private devel opers
have been prom pted to renovate adjacent
streets. The days when th e buil ding of a
munici pal estate in a ' respecta ble' area was
bitterly rese nted, a nd when such an esta te
was ostracized by its bet ter-off neighbo ur s,
arc nowpast-at least in and around Central
Londo n.
Whe n th e A-ell' Survey ofL ondon Life and
f al murwas cal ti e-dout in t he lat e twent ies ,
it was found in i ts review or'ron y ye,u s of
cha nge'c-the fort y years which had gone
by since Cha rles Boot h's voluminous first
sur vey was begu n- that t he reduction of
poverty had been grea ter in t he western
t ha n in t he eastern a rea. ' In gene ral. t he
dtsn nctt on between east and west had be en
accentuat ed. But sinc e th en , th is process
has, apparently, no t con tinued. Large areas
of t he East End ha ve been transfor med- In
a man ner which contri butes a good dea l
t o th e prest ige of municipal architecture.
even ifit is not invariablyofa high standa rd.
And wh ile plann ing and publi c enterprise
hav e played a positive pa rt in dimi ni shing
t he out wa rd differences between Londo n's
residential districts, laissez[airehas played
a part also, though in t he long run a nega-
t ive one.
One by one, man y of th e working class
qua rters of London have be en invaded
by the mi dd le classes -upper and lowe r.
Sha bby, modest mews and cottages-two
rooms up and two down- have be en taken
over, when their leases have expired, an d
have beco me elegant, expensive residences.
Lar ger- Victorian houses, downgraded in an
ea rlier orrecent period-c which were used as
loli t;luglltJlIl'>f's tJJ' were nther wtse Iii multl -
ple occu pa tion-have been upgrad ed once
aga in. Nowadays, man y of th ese houses
a re being su b-divided into costly flats or
' bousclots' (in terms of th e new real estate
sno b jargon). The cu rrent socia l st at us a nd
value of such dwellings are frequent ly in
inver se relati on to th eir size , an d in any case
eno rmu usly inflat ed by comparison with
previo us levels i. n their neighbour huods.
Onc e t his process of'gent rification' st arts in
a distr ict, it goes on rapidly until all or mos t
of t he or iginal working class occu piers are
displaced, and t he whole socia l character
of the district is cha nge d. The re is very litt le
left of the poorer enclaves of Hampstead
and Chels ea: ill t ho se boro ughs, the upper-
rnkl dle class take -over was cunsu llda t ed
some time ago. The invasion has si nce
spread to Islingt on, Paddington, Korth
Kensington -ccvcn to t he 'shady' parts of
Notting Hill- to Barrcrsca. an d t o several
ot her district s, nort h an d sout h of th e river.
(The Ea st End has sofar been exempr.) And
this is an ine vitable development, in viewof
t he demograp hic , economic and political
pressures to which London, and especially
Central London , has been subjected.
Compet it ion for spac e has bceomcmore
andmorein tensein Lond on .venous factors
combine t o shar pen this competit ion- t he
'na tura l Incre ase uf comme rce and relat ed
economic activltles : the emergenc e of new
occupati ons and pursu its; t he demands
for travelling and parking space made by
t he rapidly growing moto rcar population-
th e improvements a nd consequent spatial
expansion of social, ed uca t ional and ancil-
laryservices. The upwardswing!II standa rds
of living, mor eover, not only con u fb ures to
all t he ot her space requ irements, but also
increases th ose of individual hou seh olds.
and helps to crea te more households. As
real incomes an d aspirat ions rise, as people
get ma rr ied earlier and live longer, exist ing
hou seh olds split up, and t here is a higher
ratiu of househ olds to po pulat ion, with a
consequent increased dema nd for sepa-
rate dwellings.' Last bu t notleast, t he com-
pet ition for space thus produc ed is bou nd
to get out of hand, and lead to a spiral of
lan d values, if it is neither anticipate d no r
controlled. And t his is precisely what has
ha ppened
The Greater Lon don Plan of 1944' was
prepared in a restr ict ionist mood- on
premi ses inherited from a period of eco -
nomic dep ression, when t here were fears
of. and also nco- malthusian hopes for,
a populat ion declin e; an d when it was
thought t ha t the met ropolit an area could
be rigidly cont ai ned. The plan did not take
either t he demographic or econom ic facts
of life into accoun t: It was based on the
ass um pti on th at t here woul d be a stati on-
ary populat ion, economy and cult ure. It
has hardly been a sui table framewo rk for
t he guidance of development in a period
of expansion . And while it has been (and is
stilD used as such , with various qualifica-
tions, its cardinal posit ive concep t-c-thar of
genuine 'planning' inthe publ ic interest-
has been increasingl y aba ndone d. Since
the fift ies, town and country planni ng leg-
islation ha s, in essence, been anti -planni ng
legislat ion: the 1947 Act has been dr asti-
cally amended; d evelopment rights have
bee n de-na t iona lized: devel op men tva lues
have been unfrozen: real estat e sp eculalion
ha s t hus been 'libera ted', These measur es,
tocetherwtrhth e relaxati on of rent con tr ot,
have given the green ligh t to th e continu-
ing inflation of property prices with which
Lon do n, even more than other large cit ies,
is afflicted.... In such cfrcumsta nc ee.e nydls-
trict ill ur neilI London, however di ngy or
unfashionable befo re, is likely to become
expensive; and London ma y quit e soon be
a cit ywhich illustr ates t he principle of t he
survival oft he fittest - the financiallyfinest,
who can st ill afford to work and live t here."
(Not long ago, the t hen Ilousing Minister
advise d th ose wh o cannot pay t he pr ice t o
move out.I Thus London, always a 'unique
City', may acqu ire a rare compla int . While
t he cores of othe r large cit ies in the world,
especially of those in the United States, are
decaying, and ar e becoming ghe tt oes of
the 'under privileged', Lon don ma ysoon be
faced wi th an embarras de rtcnesse in her
central area-s-and this will prove to he a
problem, 100.
But whatever the consequ ences of such
a surfeit of honey, th e fact remains t hat t he
social geogra phy of London shows some
signs ofa dmwingtogether- the broad divi-
sions are less st riking than t heywere twen ty
or even t en years ago. Andyet t here ar e a lso
contrary signs of a Illnving II pa l t- -o f a new
kind of dlvereifleat lou, \\ lJid l may wel l be
l'q ually,if nut mo re,
Assrendards oruvrng nse and landvalues
even mo re so, as old wor king class districts
are reconst ructed, an d ot hers are Increa s-
ingly hemmed in, the remain ing pockets
of hlight become dPnsa-. Some of t hese
quarters, ofT lht" le-are n nark-c-whkh ale
low on t he liM of municipal d evelopm en t
and not 'ri pe' for privat e Investment-care
left to decay. Th ey have been neglect ed
for so long th at thcy ar etaken for granted.
Othe rs. nea rer the main routes. adj acent
to expand ing middle class areas , become
lodgmg-bo use where Cl II sons of
peopl e whu haw tu keep, or who want to
obtain, a foot hold In Centra l London are
crammed together-s-and frequen tlyhave to
pay exorbita nt ren ts for th e pn vnege, Such
district s canno t beso easily bv-pa eeec: t hey
are quite often in the news; t hey figure in
cr ime 'IIalio; riC'ij; IhPya re the pl aces
the must uoun jous ehark landlords ope r-
a te: their mo bile popula tion. and espe daUy
rhe own ers of the lrwt dowe rs' houses', have
connextcns with socia l gro ups at all leve ls,
from th e top to the bottom of th e social
scal e. Not all th e inhabita nt s of t hese 'zones
of trnnsit ion' are in fact POOf, Here a re peo-
p le who m U'i1 'it a)' near t heir wor k in the
centre, or who canner afford 10 move 10 lite
suburbs. Here are ramfues wbo all' a t the
ta il end of t he municipa l ho usmg queue;
and a lso t hose who ate not eJigible for such
housing, or who cannot IXIYloca l author-
it)' Here a re immigra n15from ot her
or Urita in or who nowadays
can find hat dlyany uJ.It' t1duurs-espt"ciall y
if t heir skin Is colou red- and who ha ve to
ta ke the left-O\'ers ofacc ommodat ion,
ever dingy, however expensiv e, They go t o
ho uses whi ch nrc alrcndy cr owded: several
of th em share a room t o meet th e cost. It is a
mmleycolteet ion orpf'ople who are pil shed
in t 0 t 'l\"i1igllt' :w llt' s-lllllg hi isheli
Londoners and newcomers; European s
and Asians: t he Irish, th e West Ind ia ns, th e
Poles; families ofrespecta ble' ma nua l a nd
clerica l workers; st udent s; a nd
prosrinnes. All of them have one thlng ill
common: th eir houstng needs are being
exploited: and tbevervtncuons wmdn beir
crowded. insecure sit uation creates tend to
be exploited. too, It is in such districts t ha t
t he manv sub-c ultu res of London rome
t oget he r a nd yet remain estra nged.
But lilt' anachrunlsdc slums and tbe
tense zones of transition are not the only
pl aces in which the pluralism of Lond on
society is visible. wherever we go. we ca n
get glimpses ot t he manyunf amiliar worlds
in t his on e met ropolitan rn nst ellat lon. We
can see t hem in the mean st reet s, It jur urv
Ilars, alon g the roads uf suburba n
developmen t; In places li ke Eel Pie Island ,
where var ious cliques of t eenagers congre-
gate; in jazz clu bs, coffee bars, Soho joints,
and expense account res ta ur ant s; in t he
wit hdrawing rooms of earnest relig ious or
polirical seer s, ar Speakers' Eo rner in Hyde
Park 01 the Ear ls Court Road; in
Trafalgar Square; In public lfbranes. senior
common rooms, and at soirees of the Roval
Society. w ager an of t he exi stence of
other remotea ndyetnear byworlds through
migration statistics: th rough fascist news--
sheets and 'nigger-bait ing' scrawls on t he
walls of had . alleys; Ihluug h unsavour y
c ourt cases III c omplaints beture rent tr i-
buna ls; In reading Press It ems a bout wit ch
rites , ghost hunts, vtstrs fro m xta rnens, and
tak e-over bids.And then again, Wema yhear
of th e 'hidden' societi es t hrough reports of
hospital almoners, inspect or s,or
wor kers who br ing on
to lonel y old pt'opl t'. II is all 3ul<lzing, st ill
hu gel y panurama t hat t hus
beAins to be visible-a conj:tlome ratlon of
groups who movD, so t o speak, on separate
tra cks, even if they do meet occasionally
at a station. And in t his assembly, it is not
only th e marginal men who appea r to be
segregated-c-the atavlstlc, t he cranky, the
lunat ic fringes. the various 'security risks',
the ba ckroom boys of business tycoons-
but a lso the many inbred int ellect ua l and
a rtistic circles; the fratern it ies of t hlt' yUlIng;
and large sections of the pupul atlnn " hose
mod e of life is unknown because they uve,
anonymousl y, in seclu ded domest icttv,
They are not represented In t he po pu lar or
Thi!reare l.I'iJoare in darlmess
_,\,ltl tl/N/;ure ot her5ill the lighl
"" ld briglmil' JJ
1110Je in darlne55are out O.r$igllt OJ
What is this new patt ern. and is it in faa
nC\l.'? There is some int erlockin g of social
grou pe, h en so. t he impres sion remains-c.

is Increasin g segme nta uc n. It see ms that
what lshappenl ngis neit her an obliterat ion
nor an accentuat ion of 10nR established
cjass cjcavages. but th e supcn mposmon of
a criss-cross web of socia l divis ions. which
has as yet been hardly recog nized,
Indeed. it isdiflicult t o t race th ls pat rem
just beca use u is so a mbiguous and Inco-
herem . neith er l ied toget h er nor sharply
divided It is th e patt ern of a soctetv which
lacks both deliberat e concord a nd straight -
torwerdcon mce it seems t oconsist of a tun-
gle of sub-groups and sub-cult ures which,
however dissi milar, man age t o co -exist.
wrrbuu r much mut ua] awarerre...., in Iatrlv
self-r urna lue d compart men ts. Apparenl1y,
they a m 00 so, at least at presenl, beca use
theyare in a set t lnRwhich is by and
large sufficiently spa cious to accomrno
da te disparatD element s, with par li tions
solid enough to muflle dissonant no ises;
which is sufficiendy well plllvidt'd with
llt"wsprint an d vl biage- to ca mou flage
differences amonA the consumers; and
which is believed to be sufficient ly hygienic
t o prevent epidemics of physical or social
pa thology. Such ere t he comforts of soci-
ety i n a n 'ad vanced' indu str ial economy,
Sf'f'1l nowa days in t he largest cit y ri the
This society has been character ized
by va rious adjectives-affluent , open,
irresponsi ble. Th ere is inert ia a nd com-
placency; t here is also a good dea l of talk
abo ut social malaise. decline of mo rals.
larkof purpose. disi nteg rat ion of'com mu -
nitv'. Iuchotc mous terms a re Fasht oua ble
once again-tile' t wonat ions ' (used nowa-
days in rete rr tng to t he South and :"J on h of
8 rltain); t he 't wo cultures', Even th e alien
word has been int roduced int o t he
vcce butery of editoria ls. No doubt. it is a
co nfused society. or ra t her a series of so ci-
et ies-hat h an xious a nd .-.elf-sat isfied ; a nd
the various eplt het s a ppl ied to It do nOI
make confusion less confoun ded Thy
have qu jcklv galned currency as cliches
and eve n as idees fixes. whi ch can be dis-
missed. or which ca n be accep ted as sub -
st it utes for more t horou gh, perhaps more
unpala tab le, analyses. Anyhow, t he need
for such aualyses is only ln terml rren rly
evldenu In general, confusion is mote leal
t han Is appare nt . It tends to be conc ealed
by th e whole apparat us of commun ica-
tion s t hat gives the Impress ion of clar-
it y, candour and close-ups. The apparent
mobili ty of passenger s. goods and news;
t he weight y comments and t actful gossip
in SU /II !:"eec t tcns of t he Press; t he intima te
'revela tions' In ot hers; t he presence of
faces and places from near and far a t th e
domestic fireside -all th is has promoted
ill usions of 'toget herness'; of 'mingling
with t he mi ght y' lwi t hout ha ving to go t o
Madame TU"i."ia uds); of wa tching a full dis-
Illa y nf t he snd al,scf' lIe.
And a s the image
uf the frank <lIld flee societ y is so assidu-
ouslypromoled , th ere is bound to be severe
disappoint ment whe never it is ma nifestly
fict itious. Hut it is only on lare crit ica l
occasions th at mor e t han a few evcn bcgin
t o know what t hey do not knffi\'.
The major influen ces to which we ar c
nowadays subject ed can have, and do have,
both int egrati ng and divisive effects. And
it seems th at it is the Ianer, however dis-
gueed, whlchare predu rnl na nt. [. .J
All th ese t en dencies, and th eir man ifold
ramificati ons, are reflected in London-
more plainly and thus also mo re con-
fusing ly here tha n elsewhere in Brit ain .
London's ph ysical struct ure has been influ-
enced by t he ups ami (I OWllS of pos t-wa r
hlsrcr y-c-bythe earHerspurts of plan ningin
the public in terest, an d by t he lat er pha ses
of iaueee-tatre. profi table for particu lar
priva te Interests. Large -scale municipal
devel opment remains as t he test imony of
t he lat e for t ies an d earl y fifties, and is here
and t here st ill heing roun ded off. The gmw-
ing array of commer cial a nd residential
showpieces-of imita tion 'towers' which
are gener ally mor e imposing In price than
in height or design- represents t he latte r
per iod . And so do t he forgott en slums, the
'half-wa y houses' for homeless people, and
t he sordid of t ransition' which are
wedged in bet wee n the expan ding well-to -
do di str icts.
Change and stagna t ion exist side by
side. Desp ite wa r-t ime destruct ion and th e
shi fts in post -wa r directi on, t he general
land-usc map of the County and its fringes
ha s been a remar kably persist ent one .
The residential quarters a nd open spaces.
t he vari ous kinds of offices, ret ail trade,
ent ert ai nment, of professiona l an d social
ser vices- all t he se have largely remai ned,
or have been re-established, In the same
locat ions in which th eywere long ago. It is
t he manufacturi ng ind ustri es which have
moved; their expansion has ta ken pl ace in
th e out er areas: th e smal l worksh ops have
tended to di sappear. There has thus been
some sort in8 -out ofland use in ar eas where
h omes, commer cial and ind ustr ial estab -
lishment s were crowded toget her. And th e
mo re detailed rnape show othe r revisions
as well-changes wit hin each of t he broad
'land- use classes', as well as cha nges in th e
occup anc y and a ppeara nce of t he build-
ings which represent the various ca tego-
ries oflan d usc. Independent retailer s have
given way to chai n st ores ; the sites of smaII
food sh ops have been taken by supermar-
kets, and rhus e of sha bby Italian resta u-
ra nt s by Espr esso ba rs. The social sta tu s
of man y reside ntial areas is beingupllft ed.
Offices arc increasingly housed i n 'pres-
t ige' buildings; and there is a t endency t o
reserve t he scar ce costlyspace available for
pe ople in ' prestige' occup ati ons, while t he
mor e men ial cle rical workers are repl aced
by machi nes, or are 'de ce ntralized'. (This
ten dency, character istic of centr al areas
of high land values, is already far mo re
adva nced in Amer ican cit ies, esp ecially
in Manhatt an.) In gen eral, moreover, the
pr ocess of different iat ion in lan d use has
cont in ued , The dis t ricts of Harl ey Street ,
Fleet Stre et and Bloomsbury, for example,
have become even more specialized: th ey
arc now defi nite enclaves of the parti cu-
la r func tions wi th wh ich thei r names have
lon g been synonymous . (Similarly, ant ique
deal ers ha ve ta ken over most of th e shops in
st reets , as in parts of Kensi ngton, in which
there were a few well known antique shops
bef'ore.) Altogether there has t h us been a
great deal of displacement. All th ose who
canno t hold t heirown i n the sha rp compe -
titi an fo r space-t he sma ll en terpri ses, th e
lower ran ks of people, th e odd men out-
al e bein g pushed,away. And although t he
sq uee ze is becomin g t ighter st ill, unlys po-
radl c efforts have beenmad eso far t ocoun-
t eract It. Not much has been done to ut ilize
the existing space more economically, a nd
to provide more space- to dig down (for
car parks and tunnels); t o build upwards: to
reconstruct whole distr icts an d roads, like
layer cakes, on several levels. [. . .1
Despit e the ccustderab le shifts uf pop u-
lati on , of fortunes a nd policies. the socio-
geographical pattern of Great er Lond on
has, therefore, been a rather stu bborn one.
It still present s th e divisions inherent in a
society with an acknowledged class st ruc-
ture-and in a society, moreover, whose
inhf'lcn t conflicts have bee n averted or
softened because u pper class modes of
living were regard ed less with enmit y than
with cur iosit y; they were taken as models
to be imita ted, an d ha nded down from t he
middle to thelower grou ps ofthe social hier-
archy. London' s subu rban sprawl is indic a -
tive of such imita tions. Alrcndy, dur ing the
ni neteent h century; t he main stat us sym-
l ,n[ of the aspiring middle classes was some
vers ion of th e aristocratic country house
(or bett er still t he acq uisition ofthegenuine
article); lat er on, white-collar a nd manu al
wor kers in steady employment assert ed
their position in a sub urban villa-or, like
Mr Poorer, in a subs titute for a sub ur ban
villa. It was ma inly th e poo rer sect ions of
t he met ropolitan working class-especially
the people of the East End and of tire south-
ern river side boroughs-cwho wa nt ed to
sta y behind in 'good old London', and who
have t hro ughout retai ned t heir loyalties to
their own dist ricts. But even th ey have had
to part icipa te increasingl y in the sub urban
exod us.
So London has grO\vn in a conse rvauve
fashi on, by a proc ess of aggrega tion, pro-
ductng mor e of the same. In the course of
expansion, the old social bou ndaries have
been perpet ua ted and extended. Ind eed -
as described bvw Ashwor th in the case of
suburba n development in Essex- in gf'tl-
eral, hot h t he sca le an d nature of Londo n's
expansi on have had the eff ect of inhi biti ng,
rather than ofencouragin g, radica l ch anges
in socio-geograp hical alignmen ts.
Recently, however, t here have bee n
signs of ne w t end en cies, a nd t hus of new
combina t ions and of new splits in th e
est ablished pattern. Upper class sta n-
da rds are seen to be mnre ambigu ous , and
are no 10nger sowi del yaccepted as models
as t hey were before . The re are, moreover,
shifts in the orienta t ion of t he upper and
middle classes t hemselves: thei r anti -
urba n bias, in particular, has been sub-
stant ially modified. Similarly, th e higher
ranks of t he working class, villose am bi-
tions were previously focused Up O Il sub-
urbia, ha ve begu n to cha nge thei r minds.
The altera tions in the domest ic eco nomy
of all th ese groups; th e earlier esta blis h-
ment of households as a result of younger
ma rriages; the growing proport ion of mar-
rted wo men in employment ; th e difficul-
t ies an d rising cost ofjour neys to work-c-all
these factors contribute to a switch from
suburban t ourban asp ira tions." Esp eciall y
among th e vast contingent of commut-
ers who arrive ever y morni ng in Central
Londo n, t here arc man y who would now
much pr efer to live nearer t o th e core of
t he Lon don lab our mark er. Thu s alth ough
the dri ft to th e suburbs is conrlnulng, it
has become to a considera ble extent an
Involuntary one -dict ated by th e increas-
ingly acut e shor tage of reaso na bly priced
accommoda t ion in or a round t he Cou nty
of London. III In cur rent circumst ances th is
new demand for homes neal t he me t ro-
polita n centre is hou nd t o remain lar gely
unsati sfied. For it has arisen, a nd it is
growi ng, at a time when the de -control of
proper tvvalu es a ndrenrsh as ma de priva te
en terprise pred ominant in ur ban develop-
mcnn'' and when the resulting new spu rt
in real esta te sp ecu lat ion has great ly lnten-
sifled the competition for, and the pressur e
on, spa ce. 1. . .1
1. Hubert Smith , ed., 'Jh e New Survey oj
London Ufrand Labour. s vols., 1930-35. SeeVol
\1, Surveyof Srxwl Co,u:i it ion. , IlwWe.stemarea,
2. Dllriugthepa'ttwcl,'e years. the lllllllUerof lllotOl
car licences issued bvthc London CounryCounctl
has more than trebted:from 128, srsucences torc
per 8.7 ho uschojdej in 1950 to 4061lJO(one per
2.7 households in the L.C.c. area) in 1962.
3. From 1931 [0 196 1, ilHt age househo ld st ze
declined from3.69 TO2,89persons per ho us ehold
28 nUTH GLA30
ill til " CAJUl1ly"f UJlUIUlI,dIrdsimila rlyin ('. ""I" r
London (the Conu rba tion). l hus while there was
a dpr ff'a... nt H poo l r pm In the tot al popula rton
of the County d urin g that period. rhere wu
onl y a dH IUl e of 7 per ce nt In the n umber of
a<:lua l "",,,.IIat., llUu.... "p art {IOIII
mat of '<;<I occa lcd' households who cou ld not
""rah lhh Ih..m'lf'I..-..s ai s" par ar" unns beca use
th" y could nOI find separa te of the ir
.....n. [11 mOil <II the Iane t had In tccr splil off ,
liLe tfl(,,1 1I11l 1lt ..r ul " " mHltlkh In Ih.. C,Dlm ry
would!lm'(' r" main ed sreble , or would even ha...e
l!1g.'la, ' ll)Cl'easedl OW'lDg pe ncd of tt'.irt y
)"ull.1hc pop uidlion of u.e loIcdotl eo.cUIb.t:ion
h...,remained ahoel:sta fionary {there was a drop
of 00" pt' l CPl11 onl y;: bUl mil' nu mbo>rof actual
eepera te ho u5d:olds lndudin(l 'concea led'
holl9tt.oldl ; has by 25 p"""e..nt.
hutr" Al:Iffi.:: rlllnbl ... C.n!f . '" bJtlt1""Pian . 1944
5. Til... 101m aDd CoUl1lr y ....ct. 1941 .
both d pvplop mpn r rl Sha and
d..velopmenrnlun; through "l'4ooUS
d evi ces, ir lI ab lliud la nd values at me ISf7
Jtoo. l't II ' II,'"ldr...l lha' " 'u.. v..k' j"n...l1
b'ld I() be paid imo W pli bli e P" f te for the
'tpnl1m1pr1l of 1arJdvalues accruJng from f>OSl -
the Slatlltory5e' __ n ,ue
U'.U lIll'eI he lped 10 create a cohe... nr p1.:lr .nil1r;
.. ....... ....' ..mldl cuu nl.. rpiln s of
th e p ro \'h io ns for devdopmenl comrollliid
d<Mn in rhO' Ac t , IVllt,OUI thP uch conrrol is
b mrnd roo d..fral 11IJlI" .... , III p;ut icula r. Ih..
for 'deveJo pmerll (v;i. ven bl-local
p lan nt "8alllhor1r1H J...o uld bl' bound to 10
loaud lo a rise in th e "abe of a:wlar.d
"flO'l" d.. has bo>e1J l>lll1ctior.ed , aI1d
un be prulildLly u rried 0111; "lid 41.... of
COUNe. to the bu ikl ,u p of oolUide rable pre ssures
10 m,)<U!'yIh.. o.... ralln". of ,11"\.. lop m" nt COfltrol
$0 thai &l' 1-rr 1.1Jy. the maximumpliv4te
in Ihl' u....o fl <lnd. ...qt...nt Ipgi..Jar ion
<lm" ' HlilIg rll,"- t\Cl 1,as had Ih p \ 'l" } I'fll' rr.
fil'31,of invi,inIt sud! pre511ure5;(Ind men of !tiviDg
way to them. Folb,'1fIg a WhIle ?'dp" l lssu"d by
the fil:st po:stw" r ConM'n.. Go\ 'emment (in
:-Jon-mbel L952), the I CMnond Counny I'lanninl:
AL1 of 1'153 lhl' l!to\'O' lol' mO' nt , 'ha rgO'
flmd (ompeWllltion provbiofl.'l01the
lYH AL1 1.ThO' ame ndl l1jl, h:t of 1954 provid ed
(with a num ber ofeNXptiolls) tlldt Ul ltlV""Mtiutt
wou ld be payable IOl prevl'ution Or severe
to',lrkrt nll nf d " \'I' ]nl'",.. nr Impn,O' <t rhrough
pl ao ni ngoollTrol This W/IS thdi r5t slep
in tile de -nat iotlJ.Jrutloll 01dev elop ment right s
In rh.. fl',r ,mul"n " f a ff.... lllrk t'r
in bnd. l he Town und Co untl'( Plan ni n!, Act,
1959. uomplet ed tit" \\1Lil e p L'C' vi"u11)'
the principle of sl<lbiliztllil land VaLUL'S at the
19-17 1..v"L MIJI malnla lnl'(l-t ho"gh wh h
1959Acla boli!hed
the p ri nciple. In essence , ittI' Act s npula red
tha tla nd bought b) ' l'u bli l ....r1K,fi llrr;
co mpulso ry a cq u teuton -c or by Illree me Ol
Instead of compulsory acq uls.ltLo n-should be
pai d fot cn th e bdSls of the fill! cnreu ma.rke t
value of the land, its tlJlJdevelo pme nt
n lue "I m.. llml"ol aL'tJlLlslrIrMt . This\ol {as
it :lC'eu:ed ! O mJ.l>\I people at the 11D' .e l II highly
Innocuou s m..uUll', 11hai had.
p red ic l1lbl}. 1a.-..rniOlILo",.., qt;ell ee., SillLe
Tt.en, the free market in laod has been gcnO'mIly
rt'stort'l! _ a fll-'t' man...: In ,..nt ' Ilao
been ]'lI gely = lIm:d, the Rem
Acl:. 19')7. n-.e ...eakelli "8 of pub lio::conrrol lD all
ma""",s of urbilll dt>, pJol' m.. nt (In Ill" " r" ad....l
sense ) bro ufbl about bl- thb Lell: is lat ion haa
been acr ,,"'r.m-d. ""'n'<W"I. by a n rl<'{)'of olh..r
eterutory J.lxI oleU UU'$-suLh
as renucnons 10 the leal \' alu e 01 bcbequer
romrlbu lln ll'; IOIl," N ftlo: "t lbskl .....dmmull kip.ol
housi!1Ji:l ; by the ilJa<:asi nt in Ioc&l
an :honty fiIlalKT, :and by the &fO""'U>g lpndmCJ
III i' li pl&rllULI:
fucuons , to me 5fJl;dla' local aUlhorili es. (The
To-. n and Cntlltll PbnningA('U< Ill'rr m..nrJon...l
together ...iIh other SllllUles 0 1 sn:lions
of h ave col>lOOl lda rO'd til di e TO'OoTI
a nd O:>ltIl tl) P1. a ltllilll! \11 .1962- Th "IJr..
cOIKe lOinl: co mpulsory acqui ,it ion a.'\' 1M
COl1SOUdatt'd in t il.. Land C..omp" noar io n .-\n:.
6 Thi s tjnd of trl"nd hu cumularf"e el""::I:I, M
Ji,nd \a blt<:> r i "t'. ' r1 !U" " XI"" "''''P co rn"' ....
ciaI sp ace hils 10be alloca , ed ill<.TC' lISinldy t o me
hiSher levels of managerial a nd eucutl\'e staffs
already in 195 1, Ceull al w ildou haJ a ills
p ropo m on<ll" of p bs to. Dll'nill ocor pa.
, i nns In Ill.. (:..on"' ls tlplrtnslng to
50ciaI I and II , The . e we re l he people
who at that ti me !>flUh'<N1 pfed ommantl yIn me
subuIDs. al ld had Itll l. "",l da lly h, r.Il.. il l-'l, u ...,., ,, f
wmkin th e centre, Cons eque ntly, theproporti oll
oftll I'W'nppp( 'ifl<1a] c]a" ..s was th..n r onsl(\..r
ably higher among the da\ 1ime male uceupied
population of the cenlral, 1:aSl 1:nd and Sou th
"IHI,l oym l'tll711" l's th"H " IIKI" gIlIl'lt lglrr
tim e res id(lI1 ma le populotLon of tlleac area s,
But as Joutneys to won.: be co me mOle har a....lng .
it is 3uch upp er and mi ddle peo ple, espe
cially, who think 01acquiring_and who indeed
n....d alLd r arr affor d to al l l lllrl'-S<1Il11' ""(1 " r
a ho rne, if only a pied d terre. near their places
of wo rk, nence there Is a monnnng sp iral: the
compt' llll Ll n fOf both commerclal and resid en
t lalap ece is bound to !U'(lW:an d land value oand
rents are bou nd 1<1Ib l"sr:1Il Iunh.., - ,... ,"
lh"V""rldill decon trolled.
7. DertoldBrecht's Jhreepe1>IyOpml.the llnal wrv
ofth<>Mut lrar.
8. ;0 some eircles----we Uberood FIeet St!eer, Sohll,
R100rn<b",y and Ha mp" lt"dd-rh.. IO'YI val of
political <IIby-product of tile current peri od
of tramitionas it has been of si mlfarperiods "M!-
:..0UJlllrib Ul!:'iIII iIItri iOll'O
-:l:t0Ujd' . byn o means It.esame
can so be leJOarCed as evi den ce of 1I. '1I.nh1t>-
ilr'dClitique------b) andfor 'insiCee'.
9. to UIban alipir.u rons
l!..lllOll'Ov.. r. bmh n-f1t"<:11'd.. tid an"f' llIudl...1by
oot unenir.Iou5J trend
m!he aui rudes of ardtlll!Cts and town planners,
CTbislalrer trend
:he Festi val ofBriraio in 1951- throul:h i(1; ext:i
bilions <If rt .. S<Julh Bank aoo In Lan, lJ< rl}, . . J
.\r:d t he varied enmpln of genuine lY \nbl.O
<kgn'. \\ tich hn" acror<!inglr eeea provid ed
by drdli rl"Cls-------e-l...ciolJly by . h, ..... _,kil'l@ fl.-
publi c at.:Tt.oritiel;- ha. ..e in tum pll<:(lUfalted
pre-urban (J.('1..matlons among groups orpcren.
rlal 'diems',
IG. thepopulanonct the Counry
"rIm .. I" " Ira, u .ml lll...u In rh.. d..cade 1931 r"
1961; and it is apporenrly , till ccnnnuing. Durinl;
Ibis decade, the OUI-<lOUnty rings of the
O N,ulbal klll Iand dll' C.onllfbdlioll a s a. whole)
bavc aJoobq;:un Kl sh{)IT a populoti on decline-
for thO' nNI nme In rhrs cel11my: The Conurbatjon
inelf 'inn er' atea. Tbe fro nt iere of
the 'G1't' 3rer tiT.don' are beil1g
IKN wd""'I11funl ,... ' K""atUS.
11. Pw,-ere e nlerptise is Cl'nac:nly predom:na:ll: in
dl"\ I"Jop lllPnt , and lnlwaslngly
<lho. 01K> in the plm iscon of oo ll3i11&. ill
1951. 12 per ce nt of all llo!W permarenr
l" dll.l",fng ih"r .... r ..- 0'1.. PIU\Wt-d b) . pri vale
enrerpri5le; in 196 1. the <:omp<ll<lCkfifxre had
risen to b4 per certl ( n:us OOlIverwly !he sha:-e
of poJJJi( in the jIU\ision of new
hOll5i[lf:hod dropped fror:l8S pe r cenr rc 36 pe r
r " " 1 l s.-. ..... I ltP lnc ... "... In
enrerpm.... housing hA:s not been qui re 50 Slttp
III tI',e ltmdon Contlrb,l[ion as ir; It. p courny
a, a .. t ll' lo-;; lIul h" 5 it bn-n eqtlillly disr:nb ur",
throu4lOtU lbeComubntion.
AShorl History of Gentrification
Neil Smith
[...] Although the eme rgence of gentrifi-
cat ion proper can be t raced to t he post-
war citi es oft he adva nced capit alist wo rld,
there are significant precursors. In hi s
well-known poem, "The Eyes of the Poor,"
Charles Baudelaire wraps a proto -gentri-
flrathm narrati ve lnro a poem of love ami
estrangeme nt. Set in the late 18505 and
early 1860s, amid Baron Hauss marm's
destruction of working -class Paris and
its monumental rebu ilding (see Pinkney
1972), the poem's narrator tri es t o explain
to his lover why he feels so estranged from
her. He recall s a rece n t incident when t hey
sat outside a "dazzling" cafe, brightly lit
outside by gaslight, making its debut The
int erior was less allu ring, decorat ed wi th
the ostent at ious kitsch of the day; hounds
an d falcons, "nymphs and goddesses bear-
ing piles of fruits, piites an d game on t heir
head s," an extravagance of"all histor y an d
all myt ho logy panderin g to gluttony" Th e
caf e stood at the cor ner of a new boulevard
which was still strewn with ru bble, and
as t he layers swoon In each other' s eyes, a
bed raggled poor fami ly- father, son an d
baby- st ops in front of th em and stares
la rge-eyed at th e spect acle of con sump-
tion . "Howbeantlful It is!" t he son seems t o
be sayi ng, ahhoug h nu wor ds were ut tered:
"But it is a house where on ly pe op le who
are not like us can go." The narrator feels "a
little asha med of cur gtasses and dec an ters,
too big for our th irst," and for a moment
connects in emp ath y wit h "t he eyes of the
po or.vlbcn he tu rns bac kt ohi s lover's eyes ,
"dear 10 \" 1", to read mythought s th ere." But
Instea d he Sff'."i only dis gusrin her eyes.She
bur sts nut: "Those people with t heir grea t
sa ucer eyes are unbearab le!Can't you go tell
the manager t o Ret th em awa y from here! "
(Baudelaire 1947 ed n, no. 26).
Marshall Berma n ( 1982: 148--150) uses
th is poem to intro du ce hi s discussi on of
"modern ism in t he str eets, " equ at ing thi s
early embo urgeoiseme nt of Paris (Gai llard
1977; ~ ~ also Harvey 19R;m) wit h the rise
of bour geois modernit y. Much t he same
con nect ion was made at the ti me, al beit
across the English Chan nel. Eighty yea rs
before Robert Park and E. Burgess (Park er
at. 1925) deve loped thei r influent ial "con-
cen t ric ring" model fortheurhan struc t ur e
of Chicago, Prlednc h Engels ma de a similar
generall zalion cuncemlngMan chester:
Manchester contains, at its heart, a rather
extended commercial district, perhaps half a
mlle longand about as broad, and conslstlng
almost com pletely of offi ct'Sand warehnuses.
Nearly the whole district is ab and oned by
dwellers. .. . This district is cut through by
certain main thoroughfares upon which
the vast traffic concent rates, and in which
the ground level is lined with brilliant shops.
. With th e excepti on of thi s com mercial
distr ict, all Man chester pro per tcomprtses]
unmixed working-peopl e's qua rters, str etch-
ing like a girdle, an-r aging a mile and a half
in breadth, around t i ll ' cunuuercia ! dl srrlut.
Ourstde, bevnnd th is girdle, lin's the uppe r
an d midd le bourgeoisie.
(Engels 1975 edn.:
Engels had a keen sense of the social effects
o f th is urban geography, espe cia lly th e
efflclen t conceal ment of "gri me and mis-
ery" from"the eyes oft he wealthymen and
women"residi ngintheoute rring.Buthe aIso
wi tnessed the so-called "Improvements "of
mid-ninct ccnth-ecntury Britain, a process
for which he chose t he t erm"Haussman n."
"By t he t erm 'l t eussman n," he expla ined .
"I d o nu t mean merel y th e specllkally
Bonapartlst manner of the Paris ian
Haussmann"- the Prefec t of Paris, who was
building boul evards through t he "closely
built workers' q uarters and lining th em on
bot h sides wit h bigluxuri ous buildings," for
t he strat egic pu rpo se of "making bar ricad e
fight ing more difficult: ' an d [or t ur ning
"the ci ty into 'I luxury city pur e a nd simple"
(Engels 1975edn ,:71), Rath er, hesugg est ed,
thtswasa mo re general process:
By "Haussmann" r mean t he practice, which
11<\s now become gene ral, of maklng breaches
in t he working-class qu arters of om big cit-
les. particularly in t hose whicha re centrally
situated, irrespe ctive ofwhether thispract ice
i3 occ uaioncd by conaiderutiona uf public
health and beautification or by demand for
big, centrallylocated business premises or b)'
traf fic requirements. . . . No matter howdif-
ferent the reasons may be, the result is every-
where the sam ..: t he srandaktus alleys
and lanes disa ppear to th.. acccmpauiment
oflavish self-glorification by the bourgeoisie
on nccount ofthistremendous success.
(Engels ]975 edn.: 71)
Earl ier examples of gen trificat ion have
been cited. Roman Cybriwsky, for example,
providesa nineteent h -cent ur yprint de pict-
ing a famil y's displacement from a t ene-
me nt in Nan tes in 1685, He report s t ha tthe
Edict of Nantes, signed by Henry rv in 1598,
gua ranteed poor Hug ue nots certa in ri ghts
incl uding acces s to housi ng, but when the
edict was revoked nea rly a century lat er by
Loui s XIV, wholesale displacement t ook
place at th e hands of landlords, merch an ts
and weal thier citizens (Cybn weky (980).
Be that as it may, somet hi ng more akin
10 oonle mporary gen rriflca t lon mane an
a ppea rance in tlte middle of tlte nineteenth
century, whe ther known by the name
"embourgeotsemem; 'Haussmann" or t he
"Improvements ." It was hardlyrgeneral," 10
usc Engels' wo rd, but sporadic, and it was
surely rest ricted to Euro pe sin ce few cit ies
in Nort h America , Australia or elsewhere
had t he extent of urba n hi st or y to pro-
vide whole ue lghborhoods of dtsln ves ted
stoc k. Ch icago wa s barely len years old
whe n Engels made hi s fi rst observa tions
of Manch est er: and as late as 1870, t here
was littl e ur ban development in Austra lia.
The clo se st pa ra llel in North America might
he t he process wher eby one generanon of
wooden buildings was quickly torn duwn
to be replaced by brick str uctures and t hese
in t ur n-at lea st in the older east -coas t
cit ies - were demolished t o make room for
larger tenements or sing le-family houses,
It would be misleading t o consider this
gent rifica t ion, however, insofar as such
redevelopment was an int egral part of the
out ward geog raphi cal expansion of the lily
and not , as with gentrification, a spa tial
Even as lat e as t he rsausa nd 1910s, gen-
t rificationremai ncd a sporadic occurrence,
hu t by this time precursor experiences of
gent rification were also tu rning up in t he
United Stat es. 'I'he flavor remai ned reso-
lutely European and a ristocra tic, however,
laced through ....1th liberal guilt The spirit of
t he enterprise is well cap t ur ed in a recent
ret ros pective by Maureen u owd. recalli ng
the Georgetown scene in Washington. DC's
most gentrified neighborhood t hrough the
eyes of pat rician hostess tu rned htstor tan
Susa n MaryAlsop:
They gentrified Georgetown, an unf ashion-
able wcr king-claes neighborhood with a
large black contingent. As xtrs. Alsop told
JiJwn and Country magazine: 'The blacks
kep t theirhouses se well, All ofushad terrible
guilt In t he 30's and .JO's for buyi ng places so
cheaply and moving rhemout
Ti ll' gent ry and the hos tess es faded
throught he 1970s.
[Dowd 1993: 461
Similar scenes were bei ng lived out i n
Bost on's Beacon Hill tl'lr ey 1945), albeit
with a different local flavor. or for that mat-
ter in Londun , although of cour se genteel
sud et yhad in no way rellnqulshed Irsclai m
to man y London neighborhood s in q uit e
the same fashi on.
So what ma kes all of t hese expe riences
"precursor s" t o a gent rifica t ion process
that began inear nest in t he postwar penodt
The answer lies in both t he extent a nd t he
systemic nat ure of ce ntral a nd inner-cit y
rebuildi ng and rehabilita tion begin ning in
the 1950 s. The nineteenth-cent ur y expe-
riences in Lond on a nd Paris were unique,
resulting from the confluence of a class
polit ics aimed at the th reatening working
classes and designed t o cons olidate bour -
geois co ntr ol oft lte city, and a cyclicaleco-
1lI1111 ico]lpon unil yto profit fromrehu ilding.
The "Impro vement s" wer e certa inly repli-
cated in different ways an d at a lesse r scale
in some ot he r cities-Edinburgh, Berlin,
Mad rid, for example- but , as in Londo nand
Paris, th eywere historically di scret e eve nt s.
There are no sy stematic "improvements" in
London i n th e first decades of the twenti eth
centu ry, or a con tinued embourgeoisement
of Paris in th e same period syst ema t ically
al tering the urban landscape, As regards
th e incid ences of gent rificatio n in the
mid-t went iet h ce ntury, th ese were so spo-
radic t hat the precess was unknown in th e
majority of lar ge cl ues. It was very much
an exception to larger urban geograph ic
pro cesses. Its agent s, as in th e case of
George town o r Beacon Hill, were gener-
ally from such a limi ted social stra tu m and
in many ca ses so wealt hy that t hey conld
afford t o thu mb t heir pat rician noses at th e
mere di cta tes of the ur ba n lan d market-c.
or at lea st mold the loca l ma rker 10 thelr
This all begins to change in the postwar
peri od , and it is no accide nt that the word
"gentr ificat ion" is coined in t he early 1960s,
In Greenwich Village in New York, where
genu lflca t inn was assuc la t e dwith a nascent
coun tercultur e; in Glebe in Sydney, where
sus tained disinvestment, rent al deregula-
li on, an influxof sout hern Eur opean immi -
grant s, and thee mergenceo fa middle-class
resident act ion group a ll conspired toward
gentrificat ion (It Engels 1999); in Islington
in Lon don where the was rela -
tivelv decentr alized; a nd in dozens of ot her
la rge citi es in Nort h Amer ica , Europe and
Australia , gent rification began to occur.And
nor was t his process long confined simply
to th e larg est citie s. By 1976, one st udy con-
cl ud ed th at nearly half of the 260 US ci ties
wit h a populat ion of more than 50,OOO we re
experlenr ing gentr fficat lnn (Urhan Land
Institu te 1976). Barel y twelve yea rs after
Ruth Glass had coined the t erm, it was no
longer just NewYork, London and Pari s th at
we re being gent rified, but Brisbane and
Dund ee, Bremen and Lancaster , PA
Gent rificat ion today is ubi quitou sin the
central and inn er cines ofthe advanced [ a p-
ita list world. As unlikel y a ci t y as Glasgow,
slmuha neously a symbol ami stronghold
of working- class grit and poli t ics, was suf -
ficientl y gentr ified by 1990, in a process
fuel ed by an aggressive local sta te, to be
a dopted as "Eur opean CtryofCult ure" (lack
19A4; Royle 1992). Pittsbur gh and I101Xlken
ar e per haps US equi valen ts In Tokyo, the
centra l ward of Shi njuku , once a mee t-
lng place for art ists an d Intellectuals, has
becnme a "class ic hatt lpglfll uill" IIf gt"ll lr i-
fica tion amid a ra mpagi ng real estat e mal -
l et (Ranard 1991). Like wise Mcntpa rna sse
In Paris, Prague's res pons e 10 an unleashed
real esta te ma rket since 1989 has been tor-
rid gentrification, almost on the scare of
Budapes t's (Sykora 19931, whilein Madridit
was t ill' en d of rr llllt O'S and a co m-
pararl ve democrauzarlo u ul urban glwern-
men! dial cleared thewayfcr rei nvestme nt
(Vazquez 1992), In the Chr fsrl anh avn area
aro un d the experi me ntal "free cttv" of
Christ iania on Ccpenhagcns waterfront
(i'\itten 1992). and in t he bock str eets of
Granada adj acr nt to The Alhambra , gen-
rnflcaunn pr uceed-, in te uee affinily wit h
tourism. Even ourstde the most devel oped
conti nents-Nonh Ame rica, Europe and
Aust ralas ia-the process ha s begun 10 take
plac e. In lohan nesburg, t he gentrification
of the 19605 has bee n
significan tly attenuated by a new kind of
"whi te flight" sln r e t he elecno n of TheANC
in Aprll 1994 (MUTrdY]994: .,l 4-48), bUT the
process has a lso affec ted smal ler ci ties such
as Stellenbosch (Swan 1987). In SAoPau lo
a verv d nrerem pattern of dis in vest men t in
land h a s taken place (Castille 1993). but a
modest renoveticn a nd reinves tment in the
TalUlIpe dist rict acc om moda tes smal l bu st-
ness O\\l lt' U and Ilrofl'!'>-sinnals who work
in t he remral bus iness distr ict but who can
no longl:'falTord The ra plilly InRatiuKprices
of t he mos t presl igious Ct'nlra l enclaves
such as Jardin. Milch of this redevelopment
involves "venicaii Zlltion" L'\ pa rcc ida 19941
as land scrvcd by basic scr\' Jces is scarce.
More generally, 'he "middle a rou nd
Sao Paulo lIlll l Rind t' J<l nplm<lft'expt' rlellc-
Illg dew lupilleru and rw evld upIllt' ll l fur
Ihe middle d ass (Quelroz and eon ea 1995:
Not only has gent rificati on become a
widespread experie ncc since the 1'J6Us,
then, hu t It i..a lso systf'matica llyintegra ted
inlo widt"r urh llll llnd glnhit l jJlUcesst"';, a nd
this tou dilTt'l entl ates it b UIlT ea rlier, lIlUle
di scret e expe riences of "epot reha bilira-
t Ion ,"IfrhepnxessIhatRurh Glassobse rved
in Lon don at the Iwgin nin g flf lh!"19fiOs, ur
even the planned remake uf Philadel phia's
Society Hill d uri ng the sa me pe riod , repre-
sented somewh at Isola ted develop ments
in the land and housing mark et s, t hey did
nOI remain 50 . By the 1970s gcn u ificaho n
was clea rly becoming a n integ ral eeslden -
rlal t hrea d in a much lar ger urba n
lur ing. As ma ny urba n eco numles in t he
advan ced capnaljst world expe rienced the
dramatic loss of manufacturi ng lobs and a
parallel increase In produce r services, pro-
fcssional em ployme nt and th e expansion
of so-called employmen t (Fina nce,
Ins urance, Real Esta te), the ir wh ole urban
geogra phy under wesu a ronccmuant
restr uct uring. CondomlnJum an d coo per a-
ttve conversions in t he US. tenure con ver-
sions in London and inte rna tiona l capital
investment s in central-city luxur y accom-
moda tions we re increasingly th e resl den-
tia l compcnen t of a larger se t of that
brought an office boom To Londuu's ('..a lii\! Y
wharf (A Smith 1989) and New Yorl '!>
Batt ery Park Cit y (Fai ns tei n 1994) and the
construction of new recreat iona l and retai l
landscapes from Sydney's Darli ng Harbour
to Oslo's AckerBrygge, These economic
shifts were of ten accompanied by political
shifts as cit ies foun d t hemsel ves com pet -
ing in th e global marker. !>hu rII of mu ch of
th e u ad lt iona l prott'Ct ioll llfnal Kmal stall"
inst itut ions and
privat izalionofhousi nga nd uroonscrvices,
th e dismant ling of welfa re services- in
shor!. the remarketization of public func-
tions-quickly folJmved, even in basti ons
of soci al democracy as Swf'tIt"Il. In th Ls
COlllel:t, gell u lficallLJII beLCl llle a Itallmal k
oft he emerginR"global d ty (Sass en 1991),
bm was equally a pr esen ce in national and
regional centers tha t were themselves expe
riencing an economic, polit ica l and geo-
grap hic al restruc t ur ing (M. Smith 19tH:
Ca:o.tells 19R:.; F1 eaur r:gard 19R9).
in rtus regard, what we t hinkofasgenrnt t-
cat ionhasi twlfu nde rgrme a vira l nanshlon.
Ifi n the ear ly 1960s tun ade sense tu th ink uf
gl"fl lIifica lion very much In the qua int a nd
spt"Ciali2ed language of reside nttal rehabil -
it ation th at Rut h Glass employed , th is is no
longer so tod ayIn myown research I bega n
by mak ing a st rict distin ct ion between
J::entriflc at ion (which lnvolved teha bihta-
Lion oCexjsuug stock) ami red evelopment
tha t involved wholly new consu ucuon (N.
Smit h 1979aJ. and at a li me when gent n rt-
CAtion was disti nguishin g itself from large-
scale urba n renewal this made some sense.
But I no lon ger feel that it i5 such a usefu l
disli net ion. Indeed 1979 was already it hi'
Iau' Cor thl s dl st lnctlon, How. in di e larger
context of changing sodaI geog ra phies. a re disti ngui sh adequately between t he
rehabilitatiun of ni ne teen th-cen tury hous-
ing, the construction of new condomi nium
towers, th e ope ning of fest ival markets t o
att ract loca l and noTso localtour bts, t he
pmlifera tion of wine bars-s-and boorlques
for everythlng-c-and t he cuusu ucn on of
mode rn and pos t modern ot1k:e buil dings
emp loying t housands of professio na ls, all for a place to trve (see. for example.
A. Smith, 1989)?l b is afte r all dcscn tcs the
newla ndsca pes of downt own Daltimore or
ce nt ral Edinbur gh, waterf ront Sydrey Of
riwrskle Minneapolis . Gesu riflcat lon is Uti
longer about a narrow and q ulxodc oddl ty
(n the hOUsing mackel but has become t he
residentia l edRe of a much laq::er
endeav'o r: the class rema ke of the central
urban landscape. It would be a nachronis
tic now to exclude rede velop me m from
the luhric ofgenu ifica t ion, to thllt
tht' gl:"l ltri fical ioll of the ciTy wa s re.str iclt't:1
10 the recovery of an elClo\ant history in the
quaint mews an d al leys of old cities, rat her
tha n bound up with a larger restru ctu ring
(Smith a nd Williams 1986).
Ilaving st ressed t he ubiq uity of gentr ltl-
a u ion at tht' end nf thp tWf" nt it"t h cf'ntury.
illld its direct CUIllH:'uilJll to fundawt"lIla l
processes of urban economic. poli tical
and geog rapt ucat restr ucturing, I think it is
Important 10 temper thi s vist a with a sense
of context. It wo uld be foolish [ 0 think tha t
the parnnl gcographicalreversa lin th e focu s
of urbanreinvest men t implies t he converse.
the put! nf t he suburbs. Sub ur banlzat lon
and gentnfkanou are certainly in tercon-
nected, The d ramatic suburbaruza uo n of
th e ur ban landsca pe i n the last cent ury or
more provided an alternative geogr a phJcal
locus Iceca pital accumulation and thereby
encouraged a comparative disinvestment
ill t he rente r-c-mos r int l"n'it':l y so in t he US.
Ril l there is rt""" dlly no sign tha i t he rt se of
gerurf flcanon has dlmlnlshed contempo-
ra ry suburbanlzatlon. Quite the opposi te.
The sa me forces of urban restr ucturi ng that
have ushered new landsca pes of gentrifi-
canon to the centra l city have am trans-
for med the su burbs. The recentraliza ti on of
cifiC':f' , reta il, recrea tion and hotel funct ions
has been accompani ed bya parallel dece n-
t ral izano n which has led to much more
funct ionall y integrated subur bs with their
own more or less ur ban cen tres-sedge cit-
les es tncybeve been call ed (Garreau 1991).
If sub urban devel opment has in most
heen mo revolarile sfnce t he 19705in
respnu'\f' co Ihe cycles of economic expa n-
sio nand cumract kin, suburba ntzauo n Mill
repr esent s a more powerful force than gen -
tri ficati on in the p:eographical fashioning
of the metropo lis.
r rom the 1960s tothe 1990s, however, as
aca demic and poli t ical crit iqu es of su hur-
ba ni7ati on Wf" re mount ing, gentr ifica t ion
fur man }" ccune to an extraordi nary
upt imism, \\ a rraIlleU ur utht'rwise, l'on-
cem lng th e futur e of t he ci ty, The ur ba n
uprisings and social moycments of t he
W60s not withsta nding. gent rification rep-
resented a wholly unp redicted novelt y In
t he urba n lan d:ll:apt", a new spt of ur ban
PIOCt'SSt"-'i IItHl llJuk Ull imIlled iate syrnl- llic
Le cun tl' st over gent rifiea tion
re prese nt ed a st rufUtle not just for new and
Gentrification as Market and Place
36 I NEILSf..! ITIl
old ur ban spa ces but f OI t he symboli c pol i t-
ical power to det ermine the urba n future.
The contest was as intense in the newspa-
pers as it wa s in the str eets, and for every
defense of gentnttcenon such as t hat hy t he
Real Bstete Board of Newvork t here was an
assault against gen trtffca tl on -Induced d is-
placemen t, rent in creases and neigh bor-
hood change (sec, for example, Barry and
Derevla ny 1987). But th e cont es t ovc r ge n-
trification was al so played ou t in t he usuall y
more bromidic pages of academic jou rnals
and books. [. . .1
Aparecida de Souza, A. (1994) .1 Jdcmirkde da
Merr6pole, Silo Paule: Edtt ora da Untversid ade de
S1i<J Paulo.
Barry, J. and Dc revtany, J. (1987) Yuppies I nrooc My
H"u.'-etUD[,merrfm",Hooohn: Rlvl' rPllbU<hlng .
Baudelaire, C. 119471 PlUis Spleen , Sew York: Sew
Beaur egard , R. (1989) EnmrHitir an d
Political Response, Urban Affairs Annual Heviews
34, Pa ric. , Callf.: s"lje Pll hlka1(OOS
Berman, M. (19821All Sriid Mdu into ,l;r; The
Exper ience 0/ Modernity. New YOlk: Simon a nd
&h us1er.
Boyle, ),, 1. (1992) "The cultural politics of Glas/(OI'I',
EnmpKlo (] ryofCuhme: maU "l5 " 'ose o f1he role
of the local state in urban regenera tion ," unpub-
hshed Ph.D dissertation , Iidinburgh Umversny,
Castill". II. (199.9) ":\ fr"-glllelltdto <1ateua. Proprie <1a<1 e
fundisrta absolute e eepa co mercadona no munt
c1plo de s ao Paulo," unpublish ed Ph.D. drss ene-
tlon, Unicersidade de Sao Paulo.
Cybrfwsky.R. (19801'Hlsr or tcalevldenceof genutnca-
ti nu," uupubushed MS, Depa muent , ,,,ograph y,
Temple University.
DCl'vd, J\1 (L993) "The \\ASr descendancy," New York
n mesMagazi ne October 3L -l5-411
Engels,lI . (1989) "I h e gentr ification of Glebe: the resi-
<1 mnnrlng of an Inne r Sy<1n"Ysalllnl,
1960 to 1986," unpublished PhD. disse rt atio n,
Univel'iity ofSydne y.
Engels.F.(1975 edn.J TheHOI4,; i ll g(l/ws/ iml ,
Progre ss Publishers.
Fal n&l"Jn, S. (l 9'l4) Th"Ci ty nujIrJpn-,Pr",,,,rry\ P"!lt i,,
and Planning in wlldan and New Yor/;. Oxford:
Basil ui ecc-e n
Firey,W. "s., llliment a llll sYlIlLnlislll ilSecnlogi-
cal vari ables," American Sociological Review 10:
Gaillard, J. (1977) PaTis; LaVille, Paris: II. Champion
""freau. I. (1991) Edl:f< City; Life ' Ill IIIEFrrmti er. NeVI
York: Doubleday
Harvey, D (19651 Consciousness and the IJrbtl n
fuperierll.--e; Swdks in Ihe Histmy uud 111W1)' of
Cap jlaJist Urbanizari{m. Orlord: Basil Blackwell
lad. I. (19641 "TIL" re(l;1<Jaglllg of " Ia' gll... : S"1/(/a)'
Times .HaKazilIe. December 2
.... turray. M. I. (1991) lhe Hevo!Wlon Defrrred; The
Pai" f ' d Birt h of P" ,I -UIXl. llludd Slmlh ;\ffica.
'\Ifll'n . (19921 Chr l>l ;un fu 1l",ri sr (; ,lid" , Nllll' Tl '
Par k, H. E., Burgess, E.W. and Mckenzte.R. 1192511'Jw
City, OlicagL): Unlverslryof' Chlcago
Pinkney. D. II . (1972) SapoleonlJ1andlheRci>uild ingo{
Pnrl$.prtrcet on, N1.:prtnc eron Urnverstry Press
Queir oz Ribeiro, L C. and Correa do Lago. 1. 11995)
"Restruc turing in lar ge Brazili an cities: the cente r I
llt'rlph"')i 111011..1:' f/lfn nlllkmfllJ" urlw i "/ Urba n
and /legiorwiResearch 19: 369-362.
Ranard , A. (1991) "!ID art ists' oasis in Tokyo gives way
to gt'Hlri fiUlt ioo," llller-rw.IIIJIl"i Herald TTilJUTle
lan uary 4
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Princeton UniversityPres s.
Smith . A. (1989) "Oenmrxaucn and the spatial
u mtrihm ioll of s' au.: rhe = rrunuring of
London'e Docklands," ,\ mi pode21 , 3: 232 -260.
Smlth.M. P (1984) Glie,in Tmmjurmarlon. ClaH,
Capital IUldt lleStuu . UrbanAffairsAllJlllalReviO'Ws
26. Newbury Park, S. l ge Publicat ion.
Smith, (979) a theory of gentrlflcatfnn: a
back to the cit y movement by capit al not people,"
JO/lrnal 0/ the Am erica n P!a nni ng As,ocfar ion
Steinberg. J., van Zyl, P. and Bond, P. (1992)

held: barrie rs to gentri ficati on in Iohan nesb erg," in
D M Smith (cU.) Tile :1pur llwld City all d Bej'<JrI(J:
Urlmll izali<JIl ami Socia! ClIaflge ill SOI,II, Africa,
Swart. P. (1987) "Gt1ltli fk a tloll as an ur ban ph..nom-
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13-J 8
Sykora, L 0993) "City In ua nsmo n: the role of rent
gaps in Prague's revitaliz anon," Tij dschrift voor
Econorntsche enSnciale Geograjie 84:26 L-l93.
Urban land Ins n rure. [19761 A'a<! Ocponunuies for
Rc,identia! in Central Cmes, xeport
NL ). 25, wa shtngron, D.C.: The Inst itute
Vazque z, C. (1992) "Urocn poli cies and gent rification
trends f or,rn al
of HOlJ.sing and Erwi rolU>wrrtal l/esean:h 7. 4:
[.. .1Gentr ificat ion refers to a profound spa-
tial restr ucturing In several senses . It refers,
first, to an expansion of the downt own's
physical area, often at t he expense of the
inner city: More subtly, it suggests a diffu-
sion outward from the geograph ical center
of down town's cu l t um l power. Ultimat ely.
gentrification-a process that seems to
reassert a purely local identi ty-represents
downtown's social transformati on in terms
of an internat ionalmarket culture.
Gentrification is commonly un derstood
in a much narr ower sen se. Not only does
it geuerall yrefer to housing. especi ally the
housing choice of some members of a pro-
fessional and managerial middle class, it
usually describes this choice in individu-
alistic terms. Yet the sma ll events and indi -
vidual decisions tha t make up a specific
spatial process of gerurlflca t tnn feed UPOJI
a larger social transfor mation. Each n eigh-
bor hood's expe rience of gentrification has
its own story-yet every downt own has its
"revitalized" Sout h End (in Boston) , Quality
Hill (in Kansas City), or Goose Island (in
Chicago). Rega rdless of to pograp hy, build-
ing stoc k, and even existing populations,
gentr ification persists as a collective effort
to appropriat e the cen ter for elemen ts of a
Ul;'W urba n mid dle class!
The notion of gent rlfiers as "urba n pio-
neers" is properly viewed as an ideological
justification of middle-class appropriation.
Just as white sett lers in the ni neteenth cen-
tury forced Native Americans from their
Iradi tionalgrou nds .,<, 0 gentriflers.devel01'-
ers. a nd newcom merc ral uses have clea red
the downt own "frouuer" of existing popu-
tenons.' Thi s appropriati on is coordinated.
logically enough, with a local expans ion
of jobs and facilities in business servi ces,
While some of these jobs have dcccnt ral-
ized to the suburbs, the city's economy as a
wholehas shifted tnwa IIIfinance,en terra in-
meut, to urism. co nnnunicarlun s. and their
busines s suppliers. Yet neither co r porate
expa nsion nor gent rificati on has alt ered a
general tren d of urba n economic decline,
decreasing median household income, end
income inequality. Instead. gentri fication
makes inequality more visi ble by fostering
a new juxtaposition of lan dscape ami ver-
nacular, crea ting "islands of renewalln seas
or decay'"
Reinvestment in housing in the cent er
relies on capital di sinvestment since I!H 5
(or, more accurately,since 1929) tha t made
a supply of "gen t rff iable" building stock
availa ble. Rut it also reflects a dem an d
fOJ such bui ldi ng stock th at was sha ped
by a cultur al shift. This in turn represents
a "reflexive" consumption that is based
on higher edu cati on and a related expan-
sion of cons umers of both hi gh cult ure
38 I 3ft /, RON l UKIN
and tren dy style: t hese are pot ent ial
t he private-mar ket investme nts of gen-
trificat ion effectively took over the role
of clea nng 0 11 1 t ilt>r-enter jllst 'II the- IMli n l
whe n pub lic pr ograms of UIOOIl renewal
ran out of federal fundi ng and aliena ted
supporters from every racial Stroup and
social class. Gcntrifiers, moreover, often
used noninstitutional sources of capital.
incl uding in hen ta nce , fami ly loa ns. per-
sona l savings, and th e swea t equi rynf t heir
own renovauco work. Geuul flcaunn th us
cons unned a rreneluon Inboth the mode of
downtown development-from th e public
to t he privat e SC'C!or, from lar ge to small-
scale projects, from new constr uction to
reha bili!4tion-and t he source of inve st-
me nt capit al.
AI the sallie time, ti re enrhe political
economy of the eemer ci ty was changing.
the result of a structural process of
deindustrializatjon lind cydical decline in
propert y values. Large ma nufac t urers had
moved out of the center since the 1880s.
arguing that the mulrisrory a rrange men t
of the a nd 'itTf':t' ISwas
funcrlonajly obsolete. Dependent a ll huri-
zomat tevourofpro ducrlon proce sses. rmck
deltvertes, and aut omobile commut ing,
ma nufacturers preferred new green- field
plant s in suburba n locat ions. Subur ban
land prices. taxes . a nd ' ,"a ges a lso exerted
an ap pea l, But the small man ufact urers who
l e ll l<tll lni III 111t' l 'l"III t' I ,lIf lt'II CII Ill:t' 111131 1:'t1
in luft buildings
downlOwn, pa id rems so low they seemed
anachronist ic. Although they had been hi t
OC'\'ercly during the Hl 6Us by compet it ion
from overseas product ion and import pen-
et rat ion. Slie:he:r:n lTally lor a led acHvi lies as
ilpparl"1 mi1. nuf art tlTing <l nd printi ng con-
tinu ed tu th rive ill luw-reJl1 d usle[s uear
custo mers, compet iTors , an d suppli ers. In
New York, they also benefit ed from mass
t ransit li nes thnt connec ted down tovm
and midtown Ma nha ttlln t o more dist an t
working-class ar eas where low-wage, often
immigram and minorityworkers lived.
Despite their econom ic viability and
historic a ssocia tion with downtown areas.
t hese manufa ct urers lived under the g Ull .
They we re perceived as inle rlnpt' r.. by l ilt'
growth machine of landed elhes, elected
officia ls, and real esta te deve lopers. Their
socially obsolet e ver nac ula r posed a barr ier
to expa nding the downt own la ndscape of
economic power. During the simul- wit h urban renewal pr ogram"
0 11 the one ha nd and II t'W office
l ion in the subur bs un t he mher.many clt y
administra tions t urned to reforming may-
ors who for med a newccen non wnh corpo-
rate business and banking interests. Ma yor
lehn l.indsayin r\ew'llork, for example, shed
City Halts New Dea l alliances with sma ll
bus iness and lala ir uut ous for a more favor-
able orientation rowardr he Iinam-ial
tor, lnciudlng real estate developers. From
Lindsay on. New York's ma yors bac ked a
growt h mac hi ne that explicitly focused
on service-sect or expansion throug hout
down town Manhat tan-
Provjded businesses had a need or .lP:<i ff'
to be loca ted downtown , tilt' pdce of pi up-
ert y there was by t his poi nt relauvel y low.
While a "rent J!:3. p" reflect ed the cyclkal
loss of eco no mic value at the cen ter, some
priva te-sector institu ttons-c-rnninly banks
an d insuran ce com pa nies. the offices of
for eign-owned corporati ons. a nd financial
L:lll l l lllltlrtllll 11t h lW II-
lOwn hJ(:ation for its symoolk valu t'.s 'l.e l
downt own had never complerely excluded
"upsc ale' use. A sma ll number of patr i-
cian households had al\\'<lYS remained in
BosTon's Back Bay ond I:le!lcon Hill. ond
Phi ladelphia's Societ y l liJl an d Ritl l' mhouse
Squa re.' Sma ll ar('as ."lIch as which
never lost economi c a nd cultural v,d ue,
served as
the center.
With one eye on redevelopmcn t ca n
tracts and th e OThcr on propcrt Y"c.lues, thc
patrid an swho o',"'ned land were
in all ideal posit ion to direct a new mode
of de\'t-lnpmenr that increas ed economi c
value. They also con t rolled t he SOUlttS of
invesun ell t capit al, cit ygnvemmeru autho-
rizations, and cuhur al legit illlacy that
are needed for a massive shi ft In land use,
uecau sc they shaped t he policies of ban ks,
d ly pla nning commissions, an d locnl his-
tur k'a l societies. New York may have been
an t")( l"pTion. for the pat rician s with prop-
em ' in downnw n vtanhanan-c-wbo now
Iivtrl up t....VIl OJ: in the suburbs-c- press ed
only for ne w bul kling and highwa y con.
strucnonunti l 1973.
In Philadelphia, however, the up per-
class residents of Societ y Hill a nd th eir
associates in bankingan d cit y govern men t
started a fairly concer ted effort at pres-
erva tlon -ba sed revital iza tion in the late
1950s_ From house tours of Elf reth's Alley,
they proceed ed ro governmen t subsidies
fer slum cleara nce of nearby neighbor-
hoods and nee.... commerci al const ru ct ion
j wenty yea rs later. just in time for t he
bkent ennial celebra t ion of rhe Decla ra tion
of tnd ep-ndence, thei r restdenualenclew
downtown nea r the Delaware wa ierfrem
was surrounded by a large area devot ed ro
histone preservauon tourism, new offices
foc insurance and financial cor pora t ions,
and not coinci dentally, gent rificat ion in
nearby Queen Village. Th e displa ced were
small businesses. including manufacrur-
e" aml wc rktng-cla ss, ..d alJr halillll
aud Puerto Rican, residetll s?
In dO\vntown Ma nhatta n, by contr ast,
the displacement of low-rent an d socially
uscs from around J970 was part
of th e poli t ics of cult ure. Specifically, t he
la ntl"Cape of downt own Manha ttan was
Ly an ullexpecwd triulll ph 11I 1 lht'
of an aIt isls' alld h isturic pl t' S' ! rVl:Ili un-
lsts' coall1lon. For med to de fend !i\' ln!': l:I lIU
working quart ers t hat cult ural producers
hod cstabUshed in low-rent man ufaeturing
lofts. ar tists' orga nizat ions protesl ed the
demolition of t hese areas by th e growth
coalit ion. They also claimed t he lega l
right 10 live and wor k in buildings zoned
fur uianufacuu'lug use a lone, on th e bas is
of thelr ccu rrtbu uon IU New York Ci ty's
economv Since the 1960s, nont radit ional
for ms of art and performan ce had inde ed
at tracted a large r. paying public. Th eir
gradual concent rat ion in downtown lofts
en n nec ted t hese .. w ith a down town
<tl IS t"(.-U1I UIII V.
In a cOlilPet ltiun over eowmown space
be tween the arts producers, rranufact ur-
ere, and real estat e develope rs, whjch last ed
unt il 1973. the artis ts emerged as victors,
Yet they could net he vewon therightlo live
in their lofts ....rithout powerful allies. Their
polltkal stra legy relied not on ti lt'
gruwillgv isibilityuf artisl!>' clusters, bu t al so
on th e patronagec fsome landed and polit i-
cal elite members who otherwise would
have supported th e growth coalition. saved
by the cultural values of tustork preserve -
tion a nd The ma rket values ri an arts
ecnnoruy, IhE' ]' nf lSoftlowntowu Manhat la n
were tran sformed from a light ruanufact ur-
illR Imo a cultural zone. This process ran
parallel, we 5EC with hindsight, t o gentrifi-
cation.' The legitimat ion of "Iofr hvtng" in
down town Manhattan marked a symbolic
as \ \'e 1J as a material change in th e land-
sca pe, Oeared or 'obsotete" uses Hke manu-
rilct llTillgby an invesnnen r flow appare ntly
"from dO\\IIIlM'lI s pace
dem anded a ,,1sual, sens ua l, and e\en con-
cept ual reorienraTion. Just as Ihe newmode
of devel opment downtown reflect ed a new
organizat ion of produetion, so many of the
cultur al pract ices relaled TO a
Ilt' \\"mganit-'l. lillJlllf consumption.
At Iht! uUbel, ,gellt rifit!n.' fondness for
reslorinp; and preserving a historical st yle
reflect ed rea l dlsmay at moret han a decade
of pub licly sponsored urban renewal and
privote commercilll redevelopmen t, which
Toget her had dest royed a large part of
lIIany d t it"';' lu rita ge. The
photographic exhibit (1963) and book o n
Los! "'cu' York (1967) , for example, docu-
men t ed thehan dsomestonc.masonry, and
cas r- trnn st ruct u res t ha i had domi na ted
dnwntllwn vtanhau an Iromt he Gijded Age
to wortd War It . Most of these bu ildings
we re torn down in succ essive pe riods
of redevel op me nt as do wnt own com-
me rce moved farther north, f or a long
t ime, demolit ion signifi ed improvement.
BUI t he destruct i on in t he ea rl y 196(10; of
Pen ns ylvan ia Sta t ion, a ra ilroad rennlna l
of the grand era whose soaring gl ass dome
was replaced by a mundaneoffjcebul ldlng,
drama ti zed the loss or a collecttoe se ns e of
ti me tha t man y people felt.'
rhc phot ographic exhibitions that were
mou n ted for Lost Boston, Los:Chicago, a nd
1.m t London showed a ne arly un iversal d is-
sausfecuou with slash-and-hum suatt-gies
01 urban redevelopme nt. Criticism ranged
from aest het ics to soctologyThe jo urnalist
lane Ja cobs, whose family had moved in to a
mixed res idential and indust rial a rea in t he
oldest pan 01Green wich Village , argued l or
the preservation of old bu ild ings because
theyfosteredsoclal diversny. Shec ouuecred
sma ll, ukl buildings and chea p re nts with
neigh bor hood stree t life, s pec ialized, low-
price shops, and new, in terest ing economic
act ivi t ics: in ot herwc rd s, down townasocial
values. St ud ies by the sociologis ts Her be rt
Ga ns and Mere f ried sugges t ed . moreover,
that for its re sidents. eH.'n a ph ysicall y ru n-
down inner -dty mmrnunity had red eelD-
ing soc ial value.
The rising: e>.-pense and d ecreaslnR
avai lability of new housi ng in lhe cen ter
wor ked in tandem wi Th t hese develop
ing se nsi t ivities. Meanwhile, new pan erns
of gt"mlt"r Mluali ty and hOlL'w:hold ind l"-
P t"lIllt'Il Ct' di min ished the nlll dema nd fot
housing lIear good schools,
and nelHhborhood STOres, at leas t for those
families , ....ithout chi ldren or wiTh ad e-
q uate funds for pri vate schools. While Ihe y
couldn't afford Pa r k.- \ ven ue, or wouldn't be
caught d ead on the Upper East Side, hiKhl y
ed uca ted u pper -middl e-cla ss residents
viewed the center in light of Its socia l and
aest het ic qualities, J::q ually well ed uca ted
lower-Income reside nts-no tabl y, those
who had chosen cult ural ca reer s and t hose
who lived alone, illd ud ill g signifl(:ant
numbers 01 women and gays-viewed me
center in terms of Its clusterin g qual iti es.
Relati vely inexpensi ve buildi ng stoc k in
"obsolete" area s downtown pro vided bot h
groups of me n an d women wit h opport u nt-
t ies fo r newculrura l cons um pt ion.II
N l:"\\i re...ide nt s tended to
buy houSl;'s &J" IIUJ" II that were built in
the nineteenth century. They pains tak ingl y
res tored architec tural detail covered over
by layers of pai nt, obscured by repeated
repai rs and re-pe rnnons, a nd generally los t
in the course nf cournless renova t ions . The
Brit ish RUl li Glass first not ed
t hei r prese nc e Inr he earl y 1960s as an influx
of "gentry" Int o In ner-city London ne igh-
borhoods. Whil e t he new reside nt s d id not
have u ppe r-class Incomcs.t hc ywereclearly
more affluent and mor e ed uca ted than th eir
wor king-cla ss llf'ighbon. The ne ighbors
rarel v uml p15lool l what d rew I h E'Dl 10 old
ho uses in rUI14dOWli areas near the cent er
of town, Since t ha t t ime, however, gen tri-
tiers have become so pervasive in a ll ol der
cities of thehi ghly Industrialized wor jd that
their cultural preference s have been incor-
porated into official norms of nei gh bor-
bcnJ rent"wal and clJypia.nnlng_
With lor hh torit:" structurt;>S
and !he int egri t y of scale, gen-
trifica t ion a ppea red as a retl lsCO\ -ery, an
a tl empt to rec apture The val ue of pla ce.
Appreciati ng t he aest heti cs a nd social hi s-
tor y of old buildings in the center showed
a cultural an d ref ine ment t ha I
tr an!-ceml t'l:l lilt" pllMwar pt hos
of conformity a lld kitsch_Moreover, mov-
inRdown town in se arch of soc ial diversi ty
made a st atement a bout libe ral tolera nce
that see med 10 contrad ict fligh t"
and di.Jn vcst men t fro m the in ner ci ty. By
cons tru cti ng a social space or habitus on
the basis of cult ura l rat her than e{:Ollll lllic
caPital . gt"lllrifica t ion a ppal1:'lll ly It"COIl -
ci)cd l WO se ts 01 con tradictiuns : between
landscape and vernacul ar , and marker and
place. On t he one ha nd, genmne-s vi ewed
t he dilapi dated bu ilt cnvncnmcn r of the
urba n vernacular from t he same pcrspec -
rive of aest het ics and his tor v that wa s t redl-
l ionall y u.o;ed for viewing le ndscape. Olll he
other ha nd, their demand to preserve old
buil dings-with regan! to cultura l rather
t han economic va lue-helped consti tute
a marker for t he speci a l cha rac terist ics of
Yet as the na t ure of downtown ch anged,
so di d gem rifica t ton. The con cern for old
hlli lliings th at was lis hallma rk has been
joilLetl, since the ear ly 1980s, b yag ree (deal
of new cons tr uct ion. Combined com mer-
cial and residenti al pro ject s nea r th e finan-
cial distri a -like Docklands in London or
Batt er y Par k City in xew Yor k-exploil the
tesreforotd bui klings and downt own dive r-
-Jty that gt"lItr il if>rs By virt ue
of success. ho we ver, we II U longer know
whether gentri fica tion is primari ly a social.
an aesr hetie, or a spa tia l phe nomenon.
Smal l-scale real estate developers slowly
awakened 10 the opport un ity of offeri ng a
prod uct bas ed on place. "You find a pres-
tigious str ucture t hat is highl y visi ble and
bu ill well, preferably some t hing prewar,"
says a housing den>ioper wto co nven ed a
neo-Got hic Camolic se mi na r y in a rac iaUy
mi xed neighborhood near dow nt own
t o luxu rious apa rt me nts.
find it in a nei gh borhood t hat still has pro b-
Ir.m" hUI is dose 10 a pari:.. a m llf"gr:, good
nan.'I X1 r tat inIJ-,<,o1Jlething Ihal will br ill g
in the middle And almos t by the t ime
yuu are th rough, other bu!ldings arou nd It
willhave st2ned t o be fixed u p."u
l.lowntown loft areas for med il more spe-
cia lized rea l esta te market beca use t hey
had a specia l quality_Their associ a t ion wit h
art ists dir ectl y invested livi ng lofts with <III
aura of a uthen tic cultural consumpuo n if
t he art ist was "a full-time lei sur e special-
Ist. an aesthetic technicia n ptct unng and
prod ding the sensual expcctanons of othe r.
pan-l ime consumers," then the artist's loft
a nd t he surround ing quarter were a pe rfect
s hefoc a II I"W, reflex ive (: l.ISUDl pt ion .a
Mar kets art' n ot t ht' unl y ar biters of a
cont est for downtown space between Iand -
scape and venacuter. s t he key element is
that the social values of exist ing users - for
example. working-cla ss residentsand smal l
ma nufact urers--exert a weak er cla im t o the
cent er than th e r ulm ra! values of pnten tia l
genu ifiers. Gemrifka tlun jolns the eLU-
nomic cla im 10 s pac e with a cul tural d a lm
that gi ves p riorit y to th e demands of his-
t oric preservati onist s and arts pr oduce rs.
In t his view, "htstorlc" buildi ngs can only
be appreciated to the ir maxi mum value if
t hey are explai ned, ana lyzed, and und er-
stood as pa rt ulan aes the t ic d iscourse, such
as the hls tory uf arch ltec t ure and ar t. Suc h
buil d ings ngh rfullyrbelo ng" to people who
have the resourc es t o sea rch for t he origi -
na l buil ding plans and st ud y their house in
the context of the architect's career. They
be lo ng TOresldenr vwhn restore mahogan y
pa ne ling and buy co pies of ni ne teen t h-
cent w yfaucet s inst ead nf those whc prefer
aluminumski ing.
Gentrlfi ers' capa ctrv rceanachtng them-
serves to history gives them license t o
-reclaim- t he d()l,\ntown for their ow n uses.
Most of them anY'o'o'a)' le nd not t o mourn
Ihe of local
ta proom.'i liars ami
bist ros. lIle' dliS of the building stoc k,
t heylde ntl fywith an earlle r p: rou p ofbull d-
ers rat her Than h t he lower -
cl ass po pul at ion. with Ihe Mile" of
ea rly-t wen tieth-centur y depart ment stores of t hr: d isco unt t hat ha" p
replaced t hem.
l-Iain ly by uf (heir hard WOlk a t
restorat ion and educat ion, the urba n
Vt'JRitCUliU of eth nic ghettos ant i work-
lug-c lass nei ghborhood s that were due 10
be demullshed is re-viewed as Georgian ,
Victorian, or early tndusrrtallandscape-;
and judged wonhy of preservation. Min
this new pe rspect ive ta gentrified neigh-
borhood} is not so much a litera l pla ce as
a rulrural oscillation between th e p msaie
reality of rhe con te mpo rary inne t:ilYa nd
an imaginative recon su ucuon of the ar ea's
f he cultural claim to urban space poses
a new sta ndard of legitimacy against t he
claim t o affnrdab ilityput fnrward by alow-
status populat ion . Significantly, cult ural
vah w is nnw re lated 10 ecnnumic value
From de mand lor living lun s and geut ri-
ncanon, larpe propert y-owners, devel-
op ers, an d elected loca l off icials realized
that they could enhance the economic
value of t he cent er by sup plying cult u ral
cons umption."
In numerous cases, state tnre rvemfo n
h as It' infOH:ed the cul t ural cl aims be hi ml
gen t t ineat lons "mar ket forces . Ne ww n ing
laws banish manufacturers, whoare forced
to r eloca te outsi de th e ce nter. Sin ce 1981,
moreover . th e u .s. lax code has offered
tex crcdns fort he reha bilit ation of histon e
st ruct ures, ,-'\lt hOllgh t he ma ximum cr edit
was lowe red. and eligihi lil y wlf"!ii ti ghtened,
in 1986, t he Tal[ Refor m Acl retai llt'dlJt:' ll-
cfl ts for historic pleM'r V' dtJoIL city
now has procedures ror cerdfying
mark st ructures and diHricts, which lend
10 restricl their usc 10 those whocan efford
to maintain them in a hi5toric st)Je. But
wh pn lallflmarkin g out live<i its u!'>efnlnes.s
as a le5lori ng t't:lllll ll nic va lliea l
lilt' L"t.' ll ter-as il apparen tly did ill l'ew'.l'otk
City by the mId 1980s-lut:al govt:!m lllellt is
capable of shifting gears and attacking the
vcry noti on of h istoric preservo.tio n.
l l
Gen tr ification rccei\"ed i t s grea te st boost
no t flOm a specif ic su bsidy, but fro m t he
stat r-' s su hs tantive and symho lir. legilima
l iolill f tlw c lIll u lal clai m 10 urooll 1>1' <l("e
This reco gni tion mar ked cull ura l produc-
ers as a symbol of u r ba n growth. While
storefront art and "French " res-
ta urants beca me ou tposts and med iator s
of gentr ffk-arkm ill spt' cif il: ne ighborhoods,
cit ies with the highest percentage of arti sts
in the labor force also had the highest rates
of downtown gentr ifica tion and condo -
minium conversicn,e
Yet t he aest hetic apPf' al of gentrifica -
t ion is bot h selertlve and pliab le. It can
be abs tra cted lute ohjt't:ls of cultural con-
sumption that bea r onl y a distant reta non
to the downtown areas where they were
once prod uced . "Before Her di Lat te ," reads
an advertisement for a new brand of ' fresh"
cheese mass marketed by Pollio Dairy
Produrt s Cor por at lnn, "you had togo ro lat -
t icini [dai ry)stures in Itallan neighburhoods
t o buyfres h mo zzarell a. Store ow ners made
the delicious white cheese daily and kep t
it fres h in barr els of lightly salted wat er."
Jhe poin t is th ai it Is no longer necessar y
t o go th e et hnic neighbor hoods downtown
to cons ume their heritage; int ernat iona l
tra de and ma ss IlislribUl ion ca n rep rod uce
a hiswr icany"authenl ic product . "To ca p-
t ur e this frns;J}e, h andmade essence offresh
m02.ZaCe11a, the ad conti nue s, "po lly-O
uses met hods and equ ipment imported
from Italy. We even pack each individual
serving of HOI di Lane in wa ter to keep it
moi sl and fIe:!ih uJ! tn 25 days. M tH' el! feI
lattici ni whe n fre-;h 1lI0z.t.arelJa is sold in
superma rket s.
The ots;an wn lon of conswn ption th us
has a parndoxical effect on dow nt own
space. lnit iaU)' trea t ed as uni que, the cul -
t uralva Jueo f place isfinally abstracted in to
mar ket cu llure. [. . .\
Hace pos... the motit 1eriOUI barrier t o aU n", v
l'dJ,iMIll1l1t'Sl III I' m . illrllld illg g"ll -
trification, Dminf' the 19705, hou,inf: pric es
comlmu.""to d imb and thl' hom":ngS\lpplv b ile<:!
t o pace with dmtMld, wh ile gemrifie l:5
he<:&ne "bo hler' dlxlll t lItu \ il\! into mnrn. tl ite
or mOre tole rant 01 me cost s In
""'Irtry dnd Slim I'"<lfI"!1ll' Impo...-d
Cklh' ..ten (!'entri5cationrb h displacllllI: peo ple
of ill Harle:n- ls ttl , :'0 a
dt", ,", r#lIJObib.itlg it. Even men in
iIld..,mal the victim, tire either
botlPtt OUt 01 pe rmirt Pd 10 buy Int o the n.....
q llKlIJK-ID thi s cue: , the improved ho""inK
.- IfOW':'VI"I:, whrtI lIn"'..1 10 ,.... J'fojr-t"h Is
'tillbk, economic claims to the cmler tDke prece-
denaooVt"rculnaal d illnu.lbe absolurefa1.'ureof
.r.uf Ot:ic prese,..,.tion IllIJ\oenlelll in 1I011
ill the escepoen th.t! proY" rule . 'In :'<lew
Yort, loodon. P".uisorRo mr , oon " oflh is :d r m<>-
i tior:ll would evt':I" have b n eJI__ed to happen:
Aid I>avid Russell the found er
u fthe m l"'1}'s Heri t..g" S..d .,WVI !JioJ, t1isb.mtled
live y..ars afte r three ma jol p reserve
linn ttgh rstn a row- INew1<J , k flmn. March 31.
19M) .
1. :"leil Smith, "O eomhcauo n, the l-mntier, and the
IlfUrball l u (;,,"t r[flWJ;/,,"
of the Cil}', ed. :'<eD Smith end perer
11l0.lOrI' & Unwin, 1006) , pp . 15_20. While
it [lid)' fOlll the IllidJIe d<l1'>', tbl,
smo kescreen Is tr aru;parent to ttl e
A. a Ill spanlc att orn ...,. f[)l" a lluml("lp"t
in York Cir.,. aeM:ribes t he co-op conver-
slon of the apa rrmenr hcuse .. sne II; living.
'r oPlJtriliution is de .
tinv ll'-'l'dt o mcve out mi tlllrirics, and thar s"tJr
r m stavtng. They're 10 u"-'t1ro Puert o RlcallS VltJO
CdQt d 'ord to bu}tha!lm gom, to b ur" (}..'_
Yort J"inus, ).l ard! V , 1'H1).
l. 5rP PIoll "rn s.tJ1ins,"lb..Ulll ir.."rr...nrll fll <l'ion,,'
Ne-.A' 10,*."!fain 5, no. -l n , 19): l-l l; Bllan I. L
&ert)., ' Wands of RPnew&lln {If OKay: In
The Urbarl lltaJif} , ed. Peter E.
(Wa<hif\*ln. D.c.: Brooh r.p IfNl1tutt olL
l'lIlL rJ' . 3."i-5.5; 1 l .' f'knn and J. IJl"' nce.
"LJr.plo'i trlen l in Service ,o,cti vitic! and Inequity
InM..tropoll1an Area&. " UTf.Il .'VJalNQuarro(vl l
110. 1(l'lfl$) : 106-25: Sulith.
nnd "Of Yuppie s aoo Gl'nlri licattol1,
flto,rn"-"turing. anrl th.. IlttMn"
SacieryandS pl1u.'i(I'ID): 1:>1- 72.
l . Fo r a detailed re\i .... of an d cul tu ral
dl' l' ro..d"," 10 , .... Zuldn.
"Gent ritication: Cu lture Ca pi tal in the
Urhan Core." Ann ua l Rl'ltf'w oj 13
(1907): 12'3--47,
4. For general politi cal bac kgro\llld , see jad
:'IJ..wn..kl "wI P-",d n uRn ll T/ ", Ah" -",, ,,jP,lW1
r.-<cw ron:: Viking, 1977). und Mart in Shefter,
Pr:i trtca l Crtsi> Cr/<l, Yor t:
Doob , 19871.
5 On rhe ",nIF"p, w e :"eiJSrnitl'.. i O,,",lrd alheory
ofr...tIlrif. .. II' III: A to m.. Cil y Mo....n...1Il
bv Capt !a\;.;o1 l'eo plc
P!1Ul>WrSAt sorlnr101145 (1 979) : 536-48; for eec -
chrn of the w n.,:q.oL IlOtil "* tholt re;:lenlop men l
by is only one option. II<'I!
Roo..n A Bpau....s..rd."Th..chaoandf"nmp"""' tr
ofGrr.mlicar ion,' in Gu.:rifi:atiorlof t lrt:Cily. ed
5Tr.ithand \\li:haml , pp. 3$-56; and for cetense of
d:e rtllt I!i"P""""", ...tio n in lem)."; ofopp<>I14ni ty,
see Smith,"Of 'Nppie$ and HUllSinll:. "
6. For an ao:tnoo.101"dl:W"lt at these "eJlCf'p
tions" to lhe ecclogi.c.a.l modek see Walter fire)',
aDd as boological
\"ui;<hk" A" ll'rlcWl.'wK;' ,JrJgU:Q!Pr l'iav 10, nil
2 0 9-l5J:t-l\)-.l8.
7. :'OrU Stnlth, "GI"flm:f1carllOn and capital
Theory. Practice dud in Societ y 1li1L"
Antip udi!11, no . 3 (l9 79j: 24--35; Paul R and
1l0llldrl ''1. C.yh nw"';"y, Th.. Hi(\ ,I.. n Dlm.. m lom
of Culrure end Clase: f'til edelphi a,' in Back 10the
0ll- '.ed Shirley Bradway La. l:aand DaphneSpain
C\l...... YOlk: 1981l1. 1'1" Rllmall
A, Cyb riws1tl. David 1l. 'y, lind lohn Western, "The
Polirlcal a nd Social C".onsmletlo n of R... vtraltzed
:'<dghborhoock Society Hill Philad elph ia, and
False van couver," in CiemnlicaruJn oj 1M
Cif) t'll . Sm ilh .. Ill) I'll- 92- 120; ill1t1
Conmd "The :"el;.:t.oorhood's Role in
OplirrJzt n.gRPln""tml"nt: In &1(:1<
8. SeeSh.aronl.ul<in"lnJtUvv.g ,l"ulnurarJdCQflfQ!
In Urban Cf.nRII' , a! t't:1 f, llIn ''VIi<:k. :'0J.:
9. ::\Iarhan SUwr, LtI' INeuoYarh:"ewYork: SCllod :r l1,
10 Jant"Jacobs, I
Orin (:'\ f"WYork' fIooh, : 961); H..,bt- n
G.uE.TIwl1rbar1 l1l"llagoWl Free Press.
1\:162. ; !'n ed and l\"ggr Gle:cb..r, "Some-
SoUlU"!(If 54,hof"cW I in fr.e Slum,
jowT1a) u{ . lmeriC4 /1 instiluleoj,
no . Alro 'If'eSp'-''ctal Comrn lrtl'E'
on ll i! toric l'ro:xrvat lOn. U. S
oJ Mayol';' Will. HonUlge 50 Rich (::\I""" York:
RaULIc>11l tl" IIst". 19i11\"' 1" . 1(1113),
It. On thI" law cost of Iivinll: OOwntol'\U for sin
gle w(Jrnl'n, Sf't" D-dmarls Rose,
Gelltrifkatiorl' me Uneven [Jeo.e!ol'mcnt
oI MarxistTht'0I)'; Soct<?tj' (.Ind Spacel (1004): 17-
74. atlll oil Ih.. r" llI lii t("n or rhl"gay n ,m-
munit;i n San f runci>lco.. seeMilnuel Caste;)s, f he
Oryand rhe (Berl:!"I."yand LooAngt"les'
Univ..r>Jty uf('.aIH"IUid PI"",.. 19l13I.dl.14 .
Super-gentrification: The Case of Brooklyn
Heighls, New York City
12 For th.. Init ial " ..",rlptlon, st't' Rmh Glass 's
introduction to london: AspITts ofChalIge, ed
Centre for Urba n Studies (London: MacGibbon
& K"." xiii-xlii . For glowin g sopport of
the widespre.ld ditfusion of the mode of deve !
opmenr that combines gemnncen on histori c
pr eser vation, and downtown reinv estment in
the United States , see "Spiffing Up the Urban
Heritage" (cov..r st or y), Ti me, 13,
13. The work of Pierr e Bourdieuseemsbas ic to this
a nelysfs, especlejly his emphas is on di e tastes of
people with more cukural than eoonomtc capi -
t al, S..e Bourdl eu. tnntnctton. A scctntCrirlqrle
of lhe Judgement of Ta$e , reans, Richard Si re
(Cernondge, Harvard University Press,
M y i1lgumell t a 11Kl re
complex and historically contingent account
of, first, t he rising social accep tan ce of cultural
capital, and , second, its assodadon with the cur-
rent transformation of the urban center, which
is ob servable ill the rvteme. Vii-lilt', 01Xvleme
arrondissementsofl'arls as in :"ewYOlk.
14. Andree Brooks, "About Real esta te: Brooklyn
Sd1001Converted to Hous ing," S ewYork Times.
March25, 1933. Otcourse,the developer exagger-
both the r<-ll'ldl tyand feH, UJlIltyofg-nnmca-
non ill thlsarea.
15. Quotation on the artist from Meyer Schapiro ,
qu oted ill Diana Crane, 1'heTrarufmTtw.ti",wfllle
AI'allt Garde;The.'\'IWlorL\rt World, 1940 1005
(01k<l80: Unlw Nty of 011ca80 press. Ig67). p
83. For the rise of the real estate merketIn living
lofts, and their transform auon from arnsts' to
lux uty hcuslug, st't'Zukin.lBft [j ull/g,
l G. John Logan and Harvey Mol orch make a sta rt
toward recognlzfng me complexlty of the
gennifl catl on process by incorpo rating the
Marxist conOtcetew eenuse valuesand exchange
values: ' Whether among rich or I' 0ur neighbor-
hoods, In the central ci tv or urban tr tnge, neigh-
both ood f utures are derermlned by the wa ys in
which en.repreneunal pressures from
intersect wi th internal ma terial stakes and senti
m.. mal art",hm ..nts" IlJrbtm Forlll "." , p. 123)
17. Quotation from Patr ickWright. "The Chostlng of
the Inner Uty," in On Lil'il1g i n an Old Coumry:
Tile .\"ali",wl Pa st in C",uemp",.,.,y Brit",,,
{l ondon: Verso, 1985), pp. 22El-29. On the
contest ed cjetms fOT splice around Union
Square in downtown Ma nhattan between dis-
count stores mat cater to an immigrant, wors -
tng-elass, and olUet ll<lrongll d ielileit-' , andlhe
culmr al values of the early -twent ieth century
loft bu1klIngstha t make up the Ladles' Mile, see
Martin Krone uer, "Urban 'Revitalization' and
Community Participat ion" (l-tl.o. dtss., Free
Un i\"pTIilry of &>rlin. I qll7) ; cr . RosHlyo Dt'ILt S('he,
"Krzyszrof wodseko'e Homeless rrojection and
the Site ot Urban 'Revttaltzattun, " oaooe: 36
18. Other cit ies, however, may have ecrcnser pr o-
netgnborhood, ennoeveiopment ortenrauons.
ln Giicego, fur example, the edminisnation of
Mayor Harold washington countered develop-
ers' plans to u mvert the manufacmrlng zone of
Goose Marui while genrrrnceuon and new con-
stru ction expandedthe dowur ovn elsewhere .
19. :"at ional Enduwment lor the AIlS Mudy of
crests and gcretncauon cited in Dennis E,
Gale, .'Irl g/1blJrblJ(J{ ! R""lw!fznrflJl/ and lb..
r oO/industrial City:!l MultinatkmaJ ['ergpective
(Lexington, Mass.: Lexmgt c n Boooks,
p.] 55.
Summary. This pa per Is a n empirica l
examination of the process of 'super-gen.
mncanon' in t he Brooklyn Height s neigh-
bour hood of NewYork City.This int ensified
rcgentr lficatlon Is ha ppen ing in afcwsclcct
areas of global cit ies li ke Lon don and New
'1orl"that have become the focus of intense
investment an d conspicuous cons umption
bya ne w geoeranon of super-rich Tlnanclfl-
ers' fed by fortunes from t he globa l fina nce
and corporat e serv ice ind ust ries. This lat est
resurgence of gentri fication can be distin-
guished from previous rounds of revi talisa-
t lon and pnses import an t que sti ons about
the historica l continu ity of current man i-
feaa tlons of gentrifica tion with previous
generati ons of neighbour hood change.
I .
Gent rificat ion research has t radi tion-
ally focu sed on the economic an d cultural
appreciation of furmer ly dislnvesred a mi
devalued inner-city areas by an affluent
middle class. In this paper, I want to exam-
ine a somewhat different phenomenon:
'super-gentrificati on', By sup cr -gcntnttce-
t ion, I mean the t ransformat ion of already
gentrified , prosperous a nd solidly upper-
middle-class nei ghbourhoods into much
more exclusive and expe nsive enclaves. This
int ensified regenrrmcanon is happen ing in
a few select areas ofglobed cities like London
and New'iorkth at have become ti l l;' focus of
Int en se Investment a nd conspicuous con-
sumption by a new generation of sup er-r ich
'financificrs' fed by fort unes from the global
fina nce and corporate service industries,
We can begin to und ersta nd some of what
super-gent rification Involv es hy consider-
ing the story of a fairly ordinary four -storey
brownstone house in Brooklyn Heights,
New York Cit y, whi ch I will tell by drawing
on interviews with the householder (V) who
first gent rified the house and his next-door-
neighbour (S). I want to use th e biography
of this building to reflect crit ica lly on some
familiar ways of explaining genlrification
and the cha llenges pose d to th em bywha t I
am calling super- gentrification, After a brief
discussion of my dat a and methods, I then
document t he his tory an d gent rification of
Brooklyn Heights, and t he extent and impact
of super-gent rificat ion on the pre-existi ng
connnunlty, Finally, the paper concludes
wit h a discussion of wha t is new and what
is histori cally and geographically specific
about t his la test form of gent rification.
In 1962, as gentrificat ion bega n to take
off in Brooklyn Heights, a youn g lawyer
workfn g in Lower Ma nhatt an paid $28 000
for a sma ll four-storey Brownstone . ... He
and h is wife had ren ted an ap art ment in
Broo klyn Heigh t s for th e prev ious four
years and liked t he nei gh bo urhood . As D
expla lned ro me:
At th e time we hnd \'C'ry limited IC' SOurCes 90
wehad to f indsemcthingtha t was reesorebly
inexpensive and ut tllc lime .....e Ielt .....e had
to blJy something nort h of lor ale mo n st reet
because of the nature of bl'lo..... jora'emcc
SIr ..... whhh IOU hl"",,,ily re nta l uni ts
10 mos tly Purt ln Ria," lemming
hnu-es, But beca uwpriu' WdSabig rect or for
us \ >'e ended up buying 'lOUtb of loralemon
Street and the propert y was qui te
lintt'rvio.' w....-ith D. A\.lKUSl 2002).
AI the time. t he prop ert y wa s divi ded Into
three apartments the basement leve l and
parlour floor were the owners' apartment ,
while t he second and lop floors contained
small, ren t-conrrnlled apartments oc cu-
pied hy WDfl ing-ela.... IIi..h fa milles.
We ownedth ewhol e building subject to t.....o
rent conrrot teesee. tt WllSa rather big ' j)('CU
Ianon on our behaJ. didnl know how, or
whether, we'dget r td of them at aU
(Interv lewwith 0 , 2002).
Thefamllyll vlng on th e top floo r lef t volu n-
tar ily after eiRht momh s wh f'n th e h usba nd
of t he familv ha d a heart atlilck and was
ad\iscd by his doct or thot he shoul d no lon -
ger d imb t he sta irs to hi s t op-floor, walk-u p
n too l.: OVf!I t hC'!i r a pilrt men l. n
and h is wi fe nnw Iin ' d in a hu us wh ir h
h ad uf th t' tul-' ami bo tt om floors
bUI no t t h e midd le floo r that s till t on ta lned
a rent -cont roll ed apa r tment . Seven years
after he moved i n, U final ly evi cted th is
tc nant
The other tenant left because we evicted
them. Weflied a pt'tltlon tohavethem evicted
on thl' [p:>r mlsslble unut'r tht' rl'nt
cont rollilw)whichIf II landlord h ad en imme-
diate and compe Ui ng need for the SPiKe for
his own use he can evict t he tenant f mvoe-
tiRate<! the law.Wealreadyhad nne child and
wereabout te have a secon d child and needed
thespac e
(illlt'l. "i,w with n.Allgllsl 20021
D Inves t ed sweat equit y in his brownsto ne,
He es ti mates t hat h e s pe nt a pproximately
S40 000 on im provements. mostly in the
eerfv vee rs
It was t'1t:'tu Lcal. h..-<1 tlng.l>atlllllll:S- erc. . re ta.
rfvelymlnor. Atot or tt wes ccemettc.jbe goal
was to retaln perjod Iea turea I even boug ht.
for a nominal sum. t...o fireplaces tha t h ad
been ripped out of other houses and put them
inmvchddren's bedrooms
(l'1M'\!Pwwtth D. AURust 20021.
Thus far, the st ory is a fai rly familiar one of
mid dle-class upgrading a nd working-class
displacement. In deed . it is a lmost a tex t-
boo l ea se of genu ificati on a sfi r""df"'il:1 illt'{l
by Ruth Glass (196-1). What ha s happened
to t he ho m e since 1995, however, illu s-
trates in microcosm a new process I am
cal ling super-gentrificati on (compere with
Dangschat's (l991) t ypo logy of t he ultr a-
gen trifier t.
When htst emnv ctrcumsrances changed
in the mid 1991k, n pilI Ihe hUII!\t" in wh ich
he h<lll r aised h is family on tIlt' His
brokt' r valuoo the hou !>tc' at $6-10 lXn--or
n earl y 23 times more th an wha t h e had pa id
f or it some 30 years befo re. Withi n a week,
an English woman employed onWall
as a broker specialising in Japa nese bonds
<l nd St"cu l l t il"s, had agCt' t't1a pUfcha o;e p r in '
o f $.'l95 000 a lill IA/l it lt;'!1a t lll"ti llt"
for th e full amount!Previ ous Rene ralions of
Rent rlfiers need ed mort Rap,es and so wete
subject to ban king loa n offir ers' ldcasabom
who, what a nd wherein th e ci tywassu ita ble
for gentr ificati on. By contrast, in J"cwYork,
th ere is n ow a new generat ion tlu:<.h wi th
th e exorhila nt rewall ls llft lw gloha l fina nce
and corporate ser vice (Sl"I"Warf,
2000). Th ey are able to marsha l prevlo usl y
unh eard of sums t o finance their do mes-
tic repro duc t ion. It is n ot only t he volume
and source of the assets t hey mob ilise
t hat mark out th ese 'fina ncificrs' from pre -
vious geue renons of gen t rifiers, hut also. I
woul d suggf'!-t. th elr lift"Stylt"s and vahe-s a:<.
the story of ou r hou se after Its sale Is
taken up by the next:door neighbo ur, S:
st.e dA:l 't move in stIa4:h! awav because it
took rune mooths to renovate the house.
she rented an apa rtment for an
ot<J rollomiCid 1'ISt" I.. hI"rt' In th.. H.-ighh .
S1.r WiI.'> English, hi"wasAustr"llitll-hl" u ..-d
[ 0 WeM orange she'.l suiti and gold chains
Ib e renovanoas cost her way more than
the house a minimum of th ree.quan ers of
a mil lion. She gutted t he plac e . . . took out
we;ght-bI'artng l ...aus, knocked out centn gs
a nd noun . They cOnll'lelel}"
dJartgt'd the Ioor plan. \ ty hou.... 1'1,,-, ccv-
ered in dust from the demolit ion for mont hs
, . . The}. installed central .u conditi oning.
wd in closets, and wall ro wall cables, In
lcoe Us children) old loom on the eoptloor
theyecen put 1:1 a rnarblized bathroom witha
facuni "ThenL'Jeydidn' theypL: lled
it allo ut and red kllr .tgitin'
S. Roes on to ref er ra th er sca t hl OJl:ly t o the
quite different lifestr les and \alues of the
mc omers:
I"he g'lrden said it all. When D lived there,
thCIl" wasa mature urba n gulden, wilhgrape
vine. ivy. clematis, crab apple trf!t' . etc, f he}"
.....I'Ie control freaks , , , tile}" couldn't deal
wi th stuff growing' Tht') pul lt'd It all up lIml
turfl"u lIVt'r the \\ holl" g.. nlell 11ley Mlhllr-
bimisl'd it- green lawn and BIl") and noth -
ing else!Theybrought ScottsduJe, Arizonil. to
Brooklyn Heights . .
One day on my way home from work I
noticed what looked li1::e an outhouse in their
front area ... It was so big. II waga shl'd they
gll\ buill for t1ll"ir g..rhagl" cam.. I IVa!> going tu
""V smnethlng hutthe hist mk pr es ervation
!It'f ' l'lr &nl 1l1t''u fill\t .
She got pregnant 4-5 months after mov-
ing In end had twins, They had only lived
there n year when they upped and moved
to Sco t tsdale , Arizona, Then a couple from
co bble Hut bought It for ever sr .75rnauonr-,
computer folk .... hh two kitts who 1[J\"t'l1 the
'l1lllrUr lht"an wirillg
iilllr rvie""with S. August 2(02).
The emergence of super-gen umcauon
Is lust one example of how gent rifica-
ti on shifted into top gear during t he long
eco nomic boom of t he t bt s latest
res urgen ce of gentr ifica tion. which Jaso n
Harkwreth and Neil Smit h (2000 have
d ubbed 't h tnl- wave' gentrifica tion to d ls-
tlngutsb it Ircm previ ous ro und sof'revitall-
satlon, poses im po rt an t quest ions about
th e hi storical connnuitv of curr ent mani -
fest ati ons of gen trification ....-ith previ ous
gen era tions of neighbourhood change.I
One impo rt ant issue i s abou t t he loca-
t ion a nd SC2. ll:----or t he 'dlsrand art on' (see
Giddens, 1981, 198-1)-of gen trifkation:
th e ways In whjch both the underlying
pr ocesse s ofgenutncau on a nd th e mater ial
chang es th ey produce are str etc hed an d
sustai ned over time and s pa ce. According
to Nei l Smith f2002, p. 427) gentr ifica tio n
i1; now a globa l u rba n st ra tegy that has d is-
placed the liwral ur ban poli cy of ol d wi tll
a new rev- dnlh lst urbani sm , "densely con -
n ecled int o Ihe circuits o f global capita l
a nd cu ltu ral and con cerned
with ca pitalist prod ucti on rather tha n
soc inl rc product ion. AsSmith notes (p. 43'J1
i:<. now evide nt well beyond
t he f",milial rare of Anglo Amer iGm ci ties
tOlll lll unly studied by ur ba n geog raphels .
It Is bein g d ocu ment ed across t he globe
fro m Mexico (Jones and Vadey, 1999) to
Israel (Gone n , lUUl ). II,.l oreover, academ -
ics no long er res t r ict t he term 'gentr ifica -
t ion' to p roc esses locat ed in t he ci t y cen t re.
Increasingly. they also me it to desc ri be
similar changes in t h e subur bs (see N.
Smith , 2002, p. 412; Hackwort h an d Smith,
2001; Smit h and Defilip pis, 1999) and even
rura l areas (see Smith and Philips, 200I, on
"green trif icd rurali ty' a nd D. Smit h, 2002).
Not only does 'third-wave' gentrifica-
ti on 1I0W occu r i ll a var iety of sites, bu t it
also takes a myriad of forms. II can be of
the traditional 0 1 classic form- that is, by
indivi dual genmncrs renovating old hous -
ingth rough swea t cquity or by hiring buil d-
ers and interior designers and so leading
t o t he embourgeoisem en r of a nei gh bour -
hood an d the displacement or less wealthy
residents. It is now also inc reasingly stme-
led with national and local governme nta l
policy tied up in sup porti ng gentrification
initiatives (sec Lees, 2003: At kinso n, 2002:
N, Smit h, 2002: Hackworth a nd Smith,
2001;Wyly and Hamme l, 1999). In a depe r-
ture from th e tradi tiona l concern wit h ren-
ovatlng old housing stuck, some now at gue
t hat gentrifica tion can also be MW build
(see Morr ison and McMurr ay, 1999). Nor
is it always residential- it can also be
commerci al (see J<Joost crman a nd van de r
Leun, 1999).Thisproliferation ofgentrfflca-
t ion at different scale-s, at different st res and
in dlffere nt for ms suggests t hat gentri fica-
tion has trulyb ecome ure'pla gueor tocusts'
tha tN. Smith (1984, p. 152) onc e de scribed
it as.
Adding'super-gent rificati on' to t hi s long
list of gent rification forms, I realis e t hat I
am runningt he considera ble risk of making
the meantng of t he term so expa nsive <IS to
lose any conceptual sha r pness and speci-
ficity. A numbe r of scholars have argued
th at gent rificat ion is a 'chaotic' concept
describing th e cont ingent and geograp hi-
cally spec ific results of different processes
operati ng in different ways in different con -
texts (see Rose, 19B4; Beauregar d. 1986).
This is nowhere more t rue tha n with the
process of super-gemrtncauo n. Indeed. I
ma intain that th ere are sever al reasons why
we should consider the case of sliper-
gentrification in mo re det ail .
First,i t providesaconcretemanifest at ion
of someti mes rather abstract claims made
abo ut the relati ons hips bet ween globa l
economic and ur ban-scale processes. Per
instance. Neil Smit h (2002, p. 44Il arg ues
that t he "hallmark of [t his jlatest ph a se of
gentrification" is the "t each of global capi-
tal down to the local ne lghb uurhood scale",
The relationships among global economic
processes, local places and communi-
ties are nowhere more obviou s th an in th e
super-gentr ification of Brooklyn Heights.
Closely t ied, through the labour market , to
global financia l markets, sup er-ge nt rlfylug
neighb our hood s like Brooklyn Height s are
pec uliarly posit ioned globa l spaces/ plac es.
Whilc it is importa nt t o recognise t he spcci-
ficit y of its locat ion with in th e globa l space
econ omy, there is no reason to assume that
the processes of supe r-gentri ficat ion at
pl'lYi ll Brooklyn Heights are tot ally unique
to It . Indeed, Butl er and Robson (2001a,
pp. 5 and 10-12) have sug gested tha t
Barnsbur y in London is also "witness-
ing second generati on trcjgcntnncenon",
driven largely by finance a nd financial-
sect or wor kers employed in t he City of
Lon don. And there is a necdota l evidence
tha t Pa rk Slope , locat ed in Brooklyn nut
far from Brookl yn Heights, is experienci ng
super-gent rificat ion t oo (see Lees, 2000;
Slater, 2003).
Secondly, by highl ighting new proce sses
intensifying t he economic vatorisasion
of-and cons equent socia l an d cultura l
cha nges ln-c-ahead y genuffled neighbo ur-
hoods, the concept or supe r-gemrmcauon
presents something of a challenge to tra-
dit iona l explanat ory mod els of gent rtnca.
non , which presume an end-point to the
process. Stage models of gentrifica tion
were developed in the 1970s and 1900s bo th
to explain the process ami t o pred ict the
future course ofgent rificat ion (see Kerstein,
1990, for a review). For example, Clay
(1979. pp. 57- 60) outlined a schema from
st<lge one (pioneer gentrificat ion) through
to stage four (maturing gentr ification) .
Similarly Dang schars (1991) gentrification
t}'P0logypresumed t hat pioneer gcntrifiers
would be succeeded in a final phase of gcn-
trilicat ion hy 'ultragent rifiers' , who were
distinguished Irum pioneers on the bas is
ofageand aggregate Income. Likethe now-
discredited climax ecology mode ls of veg-
etation invasion and succession on which
they were predicated (sec Hagen, 1992),
such gentrifica tion stage models assume
that the process of gent rificat ion will even-
tually reach a sta ble a nd self- per pe tuating
final climaxstage or'marure genu tncanon'
The example of sup er- gentrificat ion dem-
onstrates th e folly oft hisassump tlon about
the stability both of t he un derlying pro-
cesses and of t he resulting patterns of gen-
trification.}As Chris Jla mnett argued some
time ago now:
It shou 11.1 be clear that gentrificatIonIsmerely
another stage In a continuing historically
contingent ""'l u t'llI:e of residential-area f:' VO-
lution. There ar e no universally and tempo-
rally stable residential patterns
(Ill1mnett.198i , p. 3Hl.
Drawing 0 11 nee -Marx ist rent-g ap mod-
els, Hackworth and Smit h (2001) haw
recentl y produced a schemati c histor y of
gentri ficati on in New York City, which t hey
divide into three distinct waves sepa rated
by t wo u ausn tonal pertcds of recession-
indu ced restr uctu ring of th e instit utiona l
cont ext and mechani sms throngh which
gemnnca uon occ urr ed. Their w ry useful
heuristic model of gemnncano n was not
designed with the predi ctive int enti on of
early stage modelsa nd so docs not co mmit
the fallacy of constant con junct ion (Sayer,
1992). But its empha sis on the dialect ic of
dtslnvesnnent and retnvesuuent and the
attractions of "reinves t ing in dl slnvested
Inn er-urban areas so alluringfor Invest ors"
leads Hackwort h a nd Smith (2001, p. 168,
469) to discou nt the possibility of int ens i-
fied invest men t in first wave neigh bour -
hoods , like Brooklyn Heights, that "have
already been fully invested ". Jhat oversight
seems somewhat sur prising, given t heir
emphasis on t he dynarn lsrn of restless capi-
tal as a driving-force behind till' ne wman i-
festat ions of th e process they so helpfull y
document . [. .. 1
1I", kwonh and Smhh (20IH . p, 4( 7) dalt' thp
onset of posr-recesslon or thir d-wave gentrifica-
tion 10 approximately L9H -94"
Ido not wantto dlscrecllt st ag e models ef'gemrl-
ficanon per sc, fer they are very useful explana-
to ry lOols, , ath pr 1want to ,lIst"rpdi r lh" sr..clfi e
assumption of an end-stagefn these models

Arkmson, R. (2002) Does geTl!rijicmion heip or har m
lU'/xm ne;ghbolU/"xJdJ? A" ""e",,,,e1!l ,,[,he evi
donce -basein rhecontr:xtoftheN ul1! Urban /I;;und a-
CNRPapt' r 5 (ww\\'.nei ghb nm hoo,k .. nt , t'.org,ul:).
Beauregard, R. (198&) The chaos and complexity Qf
gentri fication, in: :"I. Smith an d P. wuaams (.EdS)
Gent l ({imli"" o[lhe City, 1'1' 3'j- 55. Roston, :O!A
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the Aimu<dRGS-IRr. Confer ence, Plymouth
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RPsetilemenr and I ncumbent Upgrading in
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Toronto:t exmatonBooks.
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van Weesep and S, Mus terd (Eds) Urban Hous ing
for rhe BeITerOff: Gentrification in E/l rope,pp. 63-
88, Ut reehL Sledd ijl:,, :"oletwt' , ke, l.
Giddl'llS, A ( L981) A Contemporar.v Critiqr.w of
Histortcol uatermnsm: Volume 1; FUver. Property
aOO IheSt are. London: Macmillan
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('.'uol,,;<lg... . PilIity Pi"".
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Studies (Ed J London : A,peer:; o! Chtm8e, pp. xtn-
xli i. London;Mcflibbcnand Kee.
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Grot;mphy. 21, pp . 727-737.
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Globalisation and the New Urban Colonialism
ll acn.orth. J. andSrnllh. N, (20rll)
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SociaJuGtlOgrafio. 92. pp .'l M -4 71.
IIag'''n J. II.. & ",1;. 711t! Orig jr,,;
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Unl Vl"rsltyPress.
II.",n" B. C. n 91H) ("j rl ,Uifk,ui" n <llld ",.i dentia)
IocaIlon theof}: 1\ revit. .... and 'lSSl:'""nlent, in:
n T t1..m.-n fI' I<1 R J jlmO'l,nn (h"' l r".J8raphy
alld Ihe UrN'! &lI'iron" lOIt l 'rcJp w i'I
fVldA ppl iClltUl , VoLb, pp. 283-Jt 9. lonoon: lobn
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h lst ori c urban and F"'nntlk.a-
lion in i\icbla. Moico. E" rinJ<,r..,ntdM P!anni'lg
A, JI. PI'-Cl47-11I6li
KeN " n. R. (1990) !><: ",..I..lo. for gt"[nlfiu,lol1:
an <:Ulr.ioclion. Urban Quam"r, 2S,
r.oo"em..." R. lIud Leun, I. Y4l1 de, {1m ; Iml
tor SI.anns: commctcinl jtentTifiClllioo I:7v
InvnlSl'iInT .. nm1'll'llf' urs In .-\lTNl em" m :m d
Ronrnwn neigh'ood'.oorh. llac.$"S 5ludic, H .
pp. 6'>!iHi71.
....1"l t""" rd!.
a 'geograp:y CItIlmtril'icortlon', Prof,Tes.$ ill H_
. pp
L. (2003) \'isimu of ' Urba n Renai nalXe'; the
lJrban Tu k rcece Hl"port and the Ud! aJ1 Whi te
f>dl " ' In: R. III ui .. d,. 1 lot . RlI'o (F1l.) IJrbfm
!lenD4J(1tU1,Veu-w bouJ;CommWlUy alld Uri>arl
PdJry. pp 6 1-8l. BrtSlol , 1lwPoI ic}' Prfon
2 dill! S. 11m ) The bmer
cll}" apartm.....t \'e\'SU5 Ihe I Ubwb:
sub-marketsin a New7=l.nd city. IJrba'l Studl.:J,
35,pp. 3n -3 97.
D. ( 1'tll41R" lh inl ing ... ton- h,') nnrl [II..
une ven development ci Marxlst urban ttu.'lJ ry,
E"",;rQflmenra'ld J'/an"J"8 D. t. pp.47_7-t
Sit}" r, It. (199:21 i n 8,.o; ial .'ici><fccII RtlUli.>l
Approach, 2nd edn . Loadon:
S1aler, T. (2llO3)
Atrlric wr' neighbourhood: a COMpari.scwl QfSll"th
Parkdd4, l Qrorlto. ClInaJa. alld Park SkJprr,
N_ y"rtCil); WH. Unj" ,h li.JJl'd Ph O Ill"';,., Kit.....
Co:le(:e Londo n
Sml rh. n (2002) Ene1Jd1n1l It:.. , ..mporal a nd I p" -
Qf gen tri5catio:l: a teYarm a genda for
po;>tJIation Ff'Ojl.rapht'rs. hulPlalJooo1JvurfUl-1of
popt Jul r"" c,"tTnJ"'Y.S. pp.
Smi 'Jl. D. aad PhiJps,. D. (20011Socio cuJtunl repre-
sentations of gre-encrlb d teneree n n llty. ' a'lT'ICol
ufRuml."iludi 17. pp. -157-46<1
(1984) Vl!n'ell IJewilJp".....,..,.' Natll11t,. Q.rPJ.aI
and /h>PmdUcrb lOf Sf'CIl Orf..-d ' fIao<jl flu:l w""J
Smi'Jl. N. New t oba urb4ilis :u: g:ro-
tr.ti ca tlon as 8IObaI.Ilrban strat l'{l)', A" ' pod e, 34.
!>miCl. N. ..:d De:iJipp i6. 1. ( 1999) lll e reassenion ()I
eco!lOmtn: g<"1ltl1flcatlon in lhe lJ:Meor t ut
SiCe, l llluflcUi<1'JCd Joo",<t!afUrlun wid &fionlU

Warf. 1l (2(JOO: -c.... th.. Rig App l.. tn lh.. 19'1Ol.
1\)1"{, E. and Hammel, D. (I 'H/l Idanr: h at decay
in seas ollel:e\Oa1: hous il:.gpvlicy aoo the reeur-
gence of gemr.ficativn, Hoasmxl"ollty CHbate, l o.
pp. 71I- 7'lll.
cenmncauon is now gIoooL It is no Ion-
ger confi ned to western cutes, Processesof
neighbourh ood change an d colonisa tion
represent ed by an increasin g cnnc en t ratlon
of the l it'\\' middle classes a m be found in
Shangha i as well as Sydney, or Seat tle. Nor
is 11now limned [Q the 'global' cit ies, the
focus of much of the: gentrificali on deba te
10da te. It can now be found in new regional
centres such as Leeds (United Kingdoml end
fiamoJona (Spain)as well a.<; c,apitillci tit'5 pre-
not associated whh tle- such
as MLN"Uw, Brussels and Berlin. All ofthls is10
say nothin g of the now rampant and almost
exnausrrveprocess of gentrificationin ciues
like San Francisco. Londo n, xcwro rk, and
Melbourne. f or some gentri fication is now
no longer even confined to cit ies, with exam-
ples of growi ng rura l gentrifica t ion in the
UK(Philips 1993; D. Smim ZOO3/, or up state
The geogra phkal sprea d of gentrfflra-
tion or 'gentrifimtion generali sed' as Neil
Smith ha s recently called it (Smi th 20U2)
raises q uesti ons abo ut how much gemrif l-
cation is 11 part of tnvnlvt ng.
in th is ca se . the growth of a ll in tl"l1Ja tilJIIal
professiunal managerial class and the tit"\\'
or rehabilitate d resident ial enclaves whic h
th ey choos e to colonise. To what ext ent is
gent rificat ion an impor tant component for
city governme nts of wider 'rege nerat ion'
st rategies involving comme rcial or prest i-
ginus flagship arts of spo rt ing facilities-
what Mon je audVkario in this bock call't he
GUHSenhelm effect' in the wake of Frank
Gehry's museum in Bil bao? Alternati ve ly
how docs the fact t ha t gentrifi cat ion has
moved into very different ur ban r un -
texto;- rapidly ur banising, post-colonial.
com mu nist, or com muno/ capi talet ell
cve rjatd by it diw rsil}' of cultural and rel i-
gious funm- in floct, ur Ind eed genera te, a
verv dif ferent process? Is global ce nrnnca-
lion ha llmarked by its cul t ural , national or
regiona l spcctncmcst
.'\ further set of questions is raised by
rheseconte xtua l derans when pitched at the
gloha l "Calf". To what extent i.. genrrfficatlon a
g1 ulxtl phe nomenon, wlth dl ver-seca uses and
r-hara rr er ist lcs, or a phenomenon of gln-
bahsanon, conceived as a process of capital
expans ion ,uneven urbandevejopmen t and
neighbourhood changes in 'new' cities?..\ t
the very least t hese quest ions raise a much
wider researr h agenda than has often bee n
pl t' SllpplJ "f"(lby numerous local case st ud-
ies at the nefghbourho od an d cnys ca tes in
past years.
Th e cur rent natu re an d extent of gent ri-
fication raises questions not Jus t about its
interrel ations .....ith globallsat lon but also
it l'; maniff"stat ion 11<; a for m of new moon
rn lllllialislll. spread of
gentrifica tion over the last t wenty has
bee n remlnlscent of earlier wa ves of colo-
nial and mercant ile expansion. itself predi -
cated on ga ps in economic development at
the national scale. It has moved Into new
countries lind glnha l 'sout h' hut
ha s a lso nowcasca ded down t 11e ur ba n hier-
arc hles of nogion s whhtn the ur ban nonn
wherelrhas been estabilshed for much lon-
ger. In short, genmncancn appears to haw
migra ted centrifugnlly from the me t rcpc-
les of x ortn America. Wester n I::: urope and
has ha ppened <1 1the sa me
ti me a.. lTliUl to"l rt"foll li. grt'al t'f m ark et per-
meabllil y and populat ion mlgrauon have
promot ed lntemal changes In the econo-
mies ofcoun tries not previousl yassociated
wi th gent rificanen.
Cont emporary gentrification has etc-
ffif'nt"i of rnlontal ism as II cultur al force in
its pri vill"ging of whit e ness, as wd l as the
mo re class-base d tde n uues a nd prefer-
ences In urba n li\iing. In fact not only are
the new mlddle-dass gentrtflers predoml-
nenuv wh ite bu t t he eest bcu c and cul tural
as pects of the process assert a whitc _'\nglo
appropriat ion of urban spar e and urba n
TIll' colonial a!<I'I'l:l s of geu rrlfk-atioo
are a bo evident t hru uBb lilt' unive rsal -
Isi ng of certain forms of (delreRul alion.
There is t he obvious spread of ma rket dis-
ci pli ne. suchast he privatisat ion of housi ng
markets in ex-communist countries for
example. The Ilt' ighhllurhuod
that res uh acrompaniP.d, or indeed
Sl)Jll el iult"s It'll hy, an Il l:'O-
liber alismIn public policy t hat often accen -
tu ates th e social di\isions bet ween gent ri
fiers an d the displaced. As Hammel and
\ \ yly nrgue in th is book, these policies h,we
in Il kind nf nt'o-colonia li:O; ffi in t ht'
1JScont t'xt .
Genlr iflul.l iun in a gluhal n mt ext a b u
has t he as pt'Ct of colonialism as the univer-
sa lisa lion offorms of publi c administ ratio n.
There Is a t rend !Oward, urban govem ments
aroun d t he world, of wh atever part icula r
pol it ical cumplexillll, adoprlng ge ntrifica-
tion as a form of ur ban regenerat jun poltcy
broadl yconnected wnha n ent repreneuria l
st vle of urban governance (H.arvey 1989)
an d a focu s on t he middl e ctasscse s the new
saviour of t hecity. A';i'cil Smi th has a rgued,
gen tr ifica tion as urban policy has bee n
tied 10 a whole ra nge of ' re vttl1t : h isl' public
policy measu res (such as zero tolerance fur
the homeless In v York) that re presents
the elite re -ta king the urban core (Smi t h
1996) .
At the neighbourhood le\-et. itself poo r
and vulnerable resjden ts oft en f',<J'Il"fiffi ce
ge nmf ca non as a P IlJU'SS of coloui'il l iull
by the more privileged classes. Stories of
persona tbousmgutsloca uon an d loss, dis-
t ended social network s. 'un proved ' loca l
services out of sync wi t h local needs and
displacem en t have always been t he da rker
underbelly of a proc ess which. for city
bo os ters, has repr f'..... med !o olllf'lhing of a
savjour for post -ind ustrial citi es (Allimo n
2003b ). Aga tn Neil Smit h (199 6) has IOIlJl:
arg ued tha t the symbolic a nd practi cal
implica tions of the movemen t of t he gcn-
rrificat ion 'front ier' are profound and have
had en ormous impl k anons for the fate a nd
status of rhe colo ntsed.
Those who co m e 10 nU,:upy ...
central ci ty locations freq uentl y haw till'
characterist ics of a colon ial elite.l1leyoft en
fjye in exclusive residential enclnes and
arc :support ed by n dOlllest ic and locnl ser-
vice cla ss. Gen trificrs arc employed in what
Gonldner (1979 ) ca llr:d 'nf"\\1 occu
pat ions, a nd are llIa rkh l 011 1 hy l hl"i r I::OS-
mu pulita nism. Ind eed ill lIIilU)' locatiuns ,
especially in ex- communl... t European a nd
east Asian count ries. t hey often are west
ern ex-patriots employed by tra nsna tional
corpora t ions to open up t he markets of the
newlyemerging econOin
We snggest th at (It'h at t'.'i l:"me rging
in gentJific<l t illll lest"rlrt:h a b", a1plll rt"
the to which Ihe 'colonial rule' uf
l;rnt rification can be sustai ned In some
of its ou tpost s an d at its ma rgins. "twent y
years ago Damaris Rose coined the term
'margina l gcnt rifier' t o ca pt ure some of the
variability of profi les and mot ives of t hose
in the gentrifica t ion pJOl:l"SS (in her ca se
poorer female lone pa rents) (Rose [984).
" OW the shee r exten t of gent rifi ca tion
ra ises questions about t he gen t rifie r and
nei ghbourhood type s involved , especia lly
away from th e core cities and locati ons,
Gllling for an expanded imagina t ion a nd
nuanced reading of t he profile and con -
texllIal unravelling of the proce ss. This has
Ie<1 to di scus sions about the emerging dlf-
rereoces of provincial forms of genmnca-
tion and instances where the gent rifica tion
eeerberc ha s a weak er li nkto cla ss identit y
(lJutton in thi s vcturre and Bridgf' 200 3!.
In other word s. t he wi der social, ec ouomfc,
polit ica l and cultural be nchmarks within
\\hich genntncauon has been Interpre t ed
han " themselves shifted dra mat icall y in a
qua rter of a century. [. . .1
It is exactly fon y years since t he term
'gffi lr ifica l ion' was corned b). RUlhGlas.. . in
t964. 11 is worth ret urning to Glass's ol igi-
nal defini tion as a ....ray ofj udRlnRJust what
has ha ppened to gen u ification a nd gen -
trification resea rch in th e sumeq uent four
One-byone, manyo f the workingd assq lJll r-
leISofLondonhuve been invlldedby the mid-
dled llS6es, upper and lower. Shabby, modest
mews and oottages---two rooms up and two
dovm- haw been taken owr, whm their
h <t\e el(pirl:'tl, <til l! lwv.. Ilt"lolll!' ..I ...
gaIlt, l'xl'l'llsive t arge Vil;lnriall
housl's. downgraded in an eilrlif'l or If'Clrnt
period-which were usoo 115lodging houses
or were otherwise in multiple occupntion-
have been upgraded once ag'lin. Nowadays,
many of these houses are beinp; subdlvidro
into costly nuts or ' nouselcts' [in terms of
the newrea l estate snob jar gon). The current
social stat us and value r:lsuch dwellings are
frequentl yln Inverse relation tot heir slze. and
In any case enormously Inflated by romparf-
wlth previous l.. vels ill n.. lghbou r-
lllU ls Om:e this 1lI)(eSS of 'gentrifi carinu'
Slamin " district. it goes on rapidlyuntilallor
most of the original workingclass occupi ers
me displaced, and thewholesocial character
ct the dist rjct is cha nged,
uass 19&t xviii - xix)
Since the li me ci. Glass 's art icle more than
a th ousa nd research pa pers, mo nogr aph s.
boo k cha pters . governm ent evalua tions
and reports have been wri tten on the sub-
ject. Early de..-ejopments were concerned
wf t h a n empirk a l mappin g of
t he extent of the pwc.:ess in the larger we st -
er n cit ies. Earlydefinltlons,like that oi Glass,
tended to focus on t he residen tial hous-
ing mark et and the reha bilita tion of exist-
ing prop erti es, In the int roduction to thei r
landmark collect ion Smith and Williams
Iwfined gentr ificat ion as 't he reh abili ta rkm
of wtl ldng<la ss ami der elict housing and
t he conseq uent tr ansf ormation of an a rea
Into a middle-class neigh bour hood' (Smith
and WiDiams HI86: 11.Since thenth e defirJ -
tion has been wide ned by some to incl ud e
vacant land (usuall yin pr iorindustrial use )
an d newly buil t dt':.'iigner neighho urhoot-15.
as wl"lla.. neighbu urhuods of WOl h ng-class
a pl'rt abili t yTn, he con-
ce pt whic h ha s wown owr t ime
Where Glass's definit ion foc used on
'sweat equit y' gentrificat ion. wi t h t he mid-
househ older reha bilit at ing. or
hiringa aII tmi Idror to gffi t rityt hroi r dwell-
ing, mor ro r!'l"ent c1 i"lIssions have incl lldP.d
uff-t hto'- jW8 ll t'W u t'\'t>lOP Ill t"11 ts, uftt"1l
LJ esi de wa ler ur In other lalldmarklocat iulls
In the city, And most recently Smith ha s
argued t hat genlfifimt ion has widened yet
again t o become a newfonn of nco-li beral
urban poli cy (t:imith 2002). Certainl y the
of gentri ficati on have been hotly
Tabl e 5.1 Summary ot ru ighbOJ ho<xj impacts ct
disputed poli tically, with certai n mu nicipa l
govcrnmc nrs. hungry for tax dolla rs, in t he
US and elsewhe re, welcomi ng middle-class
resett lemen t of t he inner city. Aitemanveiy
a dlverctry of grass root s netghbo ur bood
groupsha\"eoppuse dgell trificatiunhecause
of its effects in dlsplaclng th e poor and t he
vulnerable (Marcuse 1989; Atkinson 2001a,
2001b; Slater 2002). Table 5. 1 summar ises
some ofthe main neighbour ho od impacts
of gentrification.
As th e slgnlflca nr-e of th is socia lJphys i-
ca lneighlmurhood chan ge was note d, the
conc eptua l meani ng of gen tr iflca tl on, its
ongr ns and characterist ics became t he
subject of di spute. Early int erp retati ons
saw it as a ' back to the city' movement of
middle-class sub ur banites wa nting bett er
Stabilisatmo1dsd i'ing
, reM
ircr eesec property Val.l'S
R8dJced vace.ncy raes
EncuuragemEJnta nd
ioc-easoo 01
further development
jrcreeeec social mx
cr pcoertv
DOth W!ll1 and Wlt roJl
stete sooosos no
Dtsptacemsnt thr oogh rew
costs ct displacement
Commi,rlity resentment
LOi S01

Price ircreeses
ncneessr ess
e reete-texe or oc er
lobbY;ng/ nrlJcl.j acy
oe pecoroset
Increasedcost and
crerces tc local sevces
Oigpace ment amhoosing
SlJrrOlTd lng poor areas
Lossofsocial drva-sily
(trrm sociallyorspara:eto
rich gf12ttos)
uncc- occuoency c-c
popu anon losst o
gentrif ad ar-eas jobs and the kind of cultural
and recrea tiona l infrastruct ur e th at were
ha rd t o find on city peripheries (Laska and
Spain 1980). f rom a Marxist perspec tive
Smith counter ed t his wit h t he asserti on
t hat gentrificat ion wa s a 'mnvement of cap-
hal. not people'. For Smit h geuulffcatlon
was explained by the 'ren t gap' which was
the difference between th e potential value
of inne r ur ban land (low-c-because of aban-
donment due to de-industr ialisation a nd
suburbanisat ion) an d its pot ential value (if
put t o a higher and ' better' use). When t he
gap be t ween actua l and potent ial values
was wide enough investors wo ul d di scou nt
the riskiness of inner urban land beca use
ofthe great er op port un ity for profit by re-
investing on dcval nnsed lan d a nd closing
th e ren t ga p. Ccntr tficanon was one way of
closing t he rent gap.
While the rent gilp t heor y was set in
a Marxist crit ique of glohal ca pl talism it
focuse d on the relativities of land values
between a city and its subur bs. At it s wid-
est, the explan at ion looks [ 0 an urban sys-
t em within t he nati on -st at e. Equally, it is
ha rd t o ima gine Ley's 'followi ng th e hipp ies'
explana tion of rhe urban liberal neighbour-
hood movement s in waterside Vancouver
accounting for the massive expansion of
gentr ifica tion in 19805 Londo n, which
although involving an enlar geme nt of the
profession al man agerial class, was associ-
ated strongly with financial deregulat ion
of t he City of London (Big Ban g). In earlter
expla nations of gentrificati on both 'capital'
ami 'culture' were ver y fi rmly locat ed in a
nat lonalcomext.
The early distinction be tween a back-t o-
the-city movement of capital or a back-to-
the-cit y movemen t of people has persi sted
in t he litera ture on gentrificati on in various
guises (pr oduct ion/consumpt ion, capi-
tal/ cult ur e, suppl y/ dema nd, prod uction of
gent rifiable hous ing/ product ion of geurri-
flers, xrarxis ror liberal explanations). David
Ley (1986, 1996) in his work on Canada has
suggested t he of a stu -
dent generatIon f ollowingth e hiPPYera fed
the pro_urbani sm of t his generat ion as the y
entered new mi ddl e-class occupati on s.
This lifestyle aest he tic informed t heir act iv-
ismin neighbo ur hood preservat ion and the
politics of a liveable city (Ley 1996). At the
same urne in the USAKeilSmil h has argued
that middle-class pro -ur banism has now
been replaced by a desire for reven ge on
t he poor an d th e socially ma rginal. This
'revanchism' ha s taken the form of middle
dassesre-occupying,fordblyin some cases,
and ra-app rrrpria l ing, he cellt ral core oft he
city through t he operat ion of the prop ert y
market, gentrlflcation . and bvot her means,
for example th e use of t he police a nd legal
Some au t hors have sought to encompass
the insight s of hot h ca pita l and cult ural
expla nat ions for gentr ion. Sha wn
Zukin's (1982, 1995) work sugges ts how cul-
tural innovation, part icular ly around the
activities of art ists, can at first attract and
then in fact be di splaced by commercial
forms of gcntrificanon-e-ra pital cap tures
cult ure. Chris Hamnett (l 994b) has argued
t hat neit her cult ur e nor capita l argument s
are part icularly gen mme and point s to the
expa nsion of professional occu pational
sect ors in key cities, of which gent riflcatlon
is a residential manifesta t ion. Loretta Lees
(2000) suggests tha t the compl ex geogra-
phy of gentrificat ion mean s tha t bot h cul-
ture and capita l explanati ons have a part ro
play. MOle recen tly t her e have been some
atte mpt s to reconcile culture and capi-
t al argume nts by using t he wor k of Pierre
Bourdieu to look at gentrificat ion as a rnan .
ifestati on of cultural capi tal usutlcr 2003;
Butl er and Robson 2001; Bridge 200la,
At th e same t ime as we might chart thi s
move from description to expla nat ion t here
have been numerous case studies which
have looked at particular neighbou rhood
or cityexam ples oft heprocess. However. on
th e whole t here has been more t heory and
less observat ion in recent ti mes with per-
haps not eno ugh work to connect the two
am iengage whh pragmaticp nlicyresponses
to gentrification. This is highlighted by the
use of ur ban pion eer t ermi nology in the UK
urba n renaissance document at ion which
sou ght t opromote a newlife for Britain 's cit-
ies (Lees 200:k). Econ om ic and local state
instit ut ions often seem srr ongly morlvared
by re-capt uri ng t he middle class in the
centr al cn yas bot h a symbol of, am! mec h-
anism for, success. All of t hi s only serves
to maint ain and sustain moves towards a
gentr ifying imperative in man y cit ies.
What ever the emphasis given to capita l or
cult ure we argue t hat gent rificati on today
must be seen in the context of globali sa-
ti on. Globalisat ion has become a complex
term expressing con flict ing concepruahsa-
don s of growing economi c, poli tical an d
cul t ural Interchan ges at th e ultimate Reo-
graphical scale. For cable (1999) 'globaliza-
tion has become 0 portmant eau term- of
descript ion , approval or a buse' (p. 2) while,
for t heori sts like Giddens, globalisation
represented a decouplt ng of space an d
t ime with knowledge an d culture hei ng
shan' t!around rhegfoletnveryshc n times-
pans (1990). For ot her wr it ers gioo ansanon
has been expressed as a kind of re -
articulat ion of state power (Brenner 19' J8 )
at supra and su b-sta te levels which have
become Increasinglysignificant .
The literat ure on gtobaltsano n has
nor been geared towards th e level of the
neighbourhood. However, in t he contex t
of neigh bourhood changes like gent rifica -
ti on it would seem increasingly import ant
t o acknowledge t hat neighbourhood scales
may beanimporta ntloc usof concent rat ions
of professionals and manageria l groups in
networks uf'dlalogue and co-ordi na tion of
state and sub-state governa nce str uctures.
In sho rt, th e neigh bourhood has been under-
recognised as the site of the reprodu ction of
a wider set of power relations and cont acts
which operate <It lorAl ur oon, regi l'Xla t and
lnre ma tlona l leveb,
On the pe lltka l left globalrsauo n has
been seen as an Ideology of and for tha t of
t he political right. a justificat ion for umlat-
CllI I trading partnersh ips. persi stent find
widening inequalities and a pro-growth
move ment that ha. , extended largely wesr-
em econ omic h t-gt'llIl Jll y a t t he of
t he global 'south', Th e contested na ture of
th e debat e on globansauonsho uld no t be
understated xeyquesncnsremetncver me
role of the state, globnJeco nomic ac tors and
corpo ralionsand the reeuve impact on and
involvement of the world\ poor. However,
our focus ill t his bnOL is less Oli the
glcbeuseucn debat e itself, but , rather, on
the connectio ns bet ween processes of
glomi socia l an d econo mi c change and
upward changes at t he neighbourhood
Literatur e on the effects of global lsaticn
ha<; ofl f'n l ocuSI'l l nil its impacls nil pnort>r
socia l t;erlil"l all)' a nd bu rgeoning
Imerna uo nal t rade spa:lfically. Processe s
of global migration by sodal elites and
populat ion displacement of the poor have
largely operated in separa te social spher es
wi th t he former generall y bei ng unregu-
lared a nd embraced whn e the lilll er ha s
llef' n Sf'en a diMinc.t ive and unwelcome
falkmt uf rl"giullCl I cu nniets , EWIl in tlte
'advanced' Ind uslrial west compe l lt ion for
foreiA"n Invest men t, financial ser vk es and
the groups servicing t hese development s,
ha \e led away from welfare and sod al jus-
tice agend as in a n atte mpt t o remain com-
Jlf'tit iVf' . Th.,., rnarket hl'! .'I bf'f':11 JlOlTr1l ),f>d 11.'1 11
lliitural lt'alil}', Tile effect itl llla llYcilies l ias
become ilicreasinHI}' ap parent \\'ith labuur
market derep;ula tlon, revi-
talisatlonand welfare retr cnchment lead ing
10prog ressivelyglwt loist"d pove-rtyIsola ted
from work uppouuntue, (Cto SSami Moore
2002;Friedr ichs 2002).
At the crest of th is wave of ur ban rede-
velopment and colonisat ion ri de t he gcn-
t rifiers who appear as bot h the emissaries
of glohal capiralflows aa wel l a.'l new-f oun d
vict ims of employment re st rurt urlng
ins tiga ted some year s bad .. (Senne u 1998;
Butler 2003). for Butler a key message is
t ha t gentrification ltself ma vbe understood
as a respo nse to th e insecu rit ies of rapid
flows of global finance e nd identity. Sense
of place has be come a bests for t he ont o-
logk a Isecurit yof prnt essiona1.'1 Sf"l'"I,; ingt he
ha bit us uf nefghbourhood l iving with like-
minded peo ple.
The explana t ion offered by Smit h's ren t
gap formulation (l 979, 1996) now see ms
to underpin an expanded cogruuvc map
of seardi and re-locat ion act ivi ties of elite
socia l fracti ons, he the') political. mlmral or
econ omic. In a sen se rhe decislonru locat e
in Seatt le is no longer a world apart Irom
london in it s amenity or ambience, even
less its dist ance by jet . At anot her level in
the professional and urban hierarchy
this might be a choice be tween At hens
and Aucklan d, Madrid and Mmn m i.
Interna tional servic es, leT Iinkagp.<;,
Increasing urba n hOIilIIgt"lIeil l uf servhes
and 'feel', as well as rapid tra vel, mean that
many mo re 'new' neighbour hood s exi st
insula ted fromlocal povert y,widersystemic
inequall t les end public fGl lllulIn
a nd Marvin 2001).
Crt"nt rificat ion a ppe.<l rs a<; it faret of
Iht" glnb ll fnrces al. :t ing 0 11 rapilUy Ulloa
nisinR Lit ies in the sout h an d on pos t-
commu nist cities where t he impacts
are part icular ly complex, In cities of t he
south massive in-migration from the
countryside in search of work llnd str ong
in sit u fertility r omhines wit h
ill the supply of lan d, ht' cau se of j. n ivale
ownership, which fillSresult t'ti i ll unprt' l:e-
den tedlevelsofunemployment, Inadequate
ho melessness.At the same rime
the communications and flnan clal services
sectors have expa nded in many of th ese
resulting in a la rger professional
manage rial cla ss. In resident ial t er ms
this has resulted in a reinforcemen t and
expansion of colon ial panerns of llt"igh.
uourhood segregat ion wuh ma ny elh es
retrea ting into gated communl tles, or
leaving the city for luxury resident ial
dt"\Tlopments in ex-urban loca tions.
foreign Direct lnvestment hasbecnmm
Ing away from the west for t he last deca de.
I htsmeasu re ofrelarive expa nsion of ITa ns-
national corporai ons ami globaltsarto o
has been growing par tkular ly quk kly in
Eastern Euro pe and developing countries
since 1992, th ough the asset base of t hese
companies often remains largely in t he
West and oth er develo ped econo mies. In
East ern Euro pe a nd post -communi st citi f'll
social dtvt-lons have inc reased in a housing
mad:.t't that is at once commodifying prop-
erty relations a nd subject to the repatria-
tion of propertv to pre-comm un ist owners,
'Ihe parncula r configurancn ot mcsc torcce
led to cit y by city an d neighbourhoo d dif-
ferences in the extent a nd impa ct nfgenrri-
ficalion. as Ludk Sykor a potn ts out in th i<;
A further element of gentrifica tion , as
an as pec t of g:lobalising: tendenci es, has
been neighbour hood-to -neighbou rhood
connections between geographically dis-
peI M:t.I loca nons. This has already been
stlggr:o;ted in t he connt'l"t ions hf"twf't"n
lhe rl:':!> idet l1ial deslinat ions of Iht' 1."110;11111-
pulilall professional lIIanaBt'ria l class bUI
there is the ot her side of t he global city
represented by social networks of recruit
me nt an d mi grat ion of low-pa id pers onal
5crvi ce workers who, for insta nce, clean
t he office,.'I and apan me nts of t he pro-
ft.ssional elite (SAssen 2000h). '111e
tmll snali ullal mi gra tiull and
Identities of unskill ed service wor kers tie
dispara te neighbour ho odst OA"ether In'Nays
explored by Jerry Krase in his cha pter in th is
Nevert heless we should be bot h rece p-
live and u ilieRI In the idea thai gent rt-
Ilers fl lll'li vaueho w in t heir
resident ial cho ices. The econ omic forces
tha t drfve residential mo bili ty are often
tempered by t he gra vitational forces of
socia l ne tworks, kin an d friendshi p tics, as
well ea national backgroun d and heri tage.
Howe ver. networks of elites and cos mo-
pulita n prolessloual managerial cla sses
preselll challenges in ter ms of und er -
sta nding their culture, lifestyle and social
coh esion. This cos mopolitan class has
skills that now tra nsfer anywhere and can
beargued to possess 'deconten ual ised cul-
tural cap ital' fl fannerz 1996: 1(8) tha t allow
!"oTlablt-sod... 1resou rces 10 I.. deployed in
IIt' Wcnue.ns.Ihis a Lility 10 transfer profes-
siona l skills hascreated a super-mobilefrac-
t ion t hat consid er thei r identities in a gki ba I
context (Rofe 20(3) while professional and
managerial groups more embedded in
nal Kma l and neigh ho ur hood conte xts per -
ha p<iaspire to rheee kinds of net wor keda nd
bound less idt"uti ties.
Cosmopolitan elites in exclusive rest-
dent ial encla ves mal' have st ronger ties to
simi lar neighbourhoods in ot her globa l
cities t han to th e cit y that surrounds th em
tsaesen 2000il, 2OOOb, 1998; Rofe 2003).
They live in t he neighbourhood equiva-
lent of a city-stat e. Incr easing rapidity of
Informa t ion tlows, ftna nd al tr ansactions,
pop ulat ion miRrat ion and tr a\'el have a ll
helped (0 con nect people, institu tions and
sta les in ways th at have had profo un d con-
sequences not jus t for societi cs but also
t he cities and neighbourhoods of cities.
In .\ hort, is ,an inCleas itlg th at
wha t h happeuiug at a global scale is being
art k ulated in sma ll urban areas, transmit-
led by key social who have selec-
tively grown as a result of a shift towards
personal, financial nnd information scr -
vices a nd hoost ed by bot h free andselect ive
These processe smaybe conceive d as driv-
ers uf local neighbourhood change with
diverse outcome s as well as lnrrfnsic pro-
cesses of globa lisatlon.
Jho globa l forces consist of communi-
cati ons technology that create s a 'space of
flows' rc eeteue 1996) between cert ain key
loca t ions in a global context. It cons ists of
a t ransnat iona l set of eltte geutrifiers buth
following and being cr eated by the expan-
sian of financi al services in certa in key
cities and t he real estate investment t hat
exploits th ese changes in the la bour mar -
ket. These cha nges have been particularly
concentrated in the major global cit ies
(such as l rmd nn, NewYorl, San Pranctsco
and Tokyo) and the newl y emerging global
cit ies, such as Shangha i, but th ey also
impact on many large citi es in regional
sett ings. The effects of th ese changes are
also fclt lower down the urban hierarchy as
suitable neighbourhoods have been 'filled
up' in leadi ng citi es so that gent rificat ion
has been pushed to ot her areas hitherto
not considered. In addition 10this cascad e
effect (Hamnett 2oo3) a much wider range
of city types and locat ions arc feeling the
impact of intern ati onal trade.
As we pass to t he nati on al level int erest
ra te levels impact on the amount of activity
ill t he residentlal ma rket but also t he degree
of overseas investme nt in t ha t marke t. TIle
degree 10which nat ions are placin g th em-
selves (or are able to place t hemselves ) as
(ertiar yor quarl ern aryspccia lb ts in a global
tradlug a r t he global sca le. In this sense, it
Is no coinci dence that ci ties like New Yor k,
Tokyo and Lond on were at the vanguard of
gen trification activity linked to a space of
flows of informati on and fina nce (Gmhnm
and Man-in 200); Ha mnett 2003; Cestells
1996). Like Merton's foot -loose 'cosmo-
polita ns' (1957) gemriflers form a res iden-
tial class who sha re an identi t y shaped by
locati ona l preferenc es, stage in the nr ecv-
d e, occupation and a social network that
crosses national boundartes.
Aswell as the gap in land val ues between
city and suburb there are now relativi-
ties thai infor m lnvesr me nr de clslons 0 11
spec ific neighbo ur hoo ds at a globa l sca le.
Whet her it be Batt er y Par k City, New York,
or Ch elsea Harbour an d Islington , Lond on,
or Da rling Harbour, Sydney or the smaller
scale vers ions in numerous othe r citi es,
investment opportun ities are now driven
by super-profits on highly valued loca-
t ions, rather than by comparisons with
devalonsed lan d: a kind of global 'rent gap'.
These inves tme nts in luxur y res ide ntial
developments are mad e by t ransnati onal
corpora tions an d Involve archit ects wit h
inte rnat ional reputat ions. Neil Smith's
point ls that thi s model of urban rein vest-
meri t is driving much 1lI000e modest proj -
ects sponsored by national ur ban policy in
th ef orm of versions of'ur ban renaissance'.
Hgures.t considers thecriti cal processes
underpinningth e tra nsformalions we have
been di scussi ngat slgnificant spatjal sca les.
Global 0:>
g:>V(JrrBrul am trade
p:ji:; y rules
Fi"1!mciul markets
c crrmesc et oos
and travel(ICTand
transport infrastr llCll.ra)
Polb os en
r ward
rv estmer a
ot 1hEI poor
Welfare ;nl rasl ruc:liJe

Relative scale of
mloofe ctass
aty ac-nl-sstranon
- seceou- eressr
auoodyofnvcs tmm t
- nsceteo tcoon v
l OCDl infraGtn.ct lf O
arr ent yPnvlronrren t
qi.lltty of ue
market place Impacts 0 11the size an d prom -
inence of the professiona l managerial class
vis-lHis the working class a nd ot her eco -
nomic grou ps. Nati onal legal frameworks
for prope rt y owne rship arc also i mportant.
This has taken a part icular prominen ce in
post-communist citi es where ownership
is being tr ansferred or is subject 10 dispute,
It is also slgnlflcant in man y cite s of t he
globa l sou th where the hi gh levels of pri-
vate lan d owne rship severely restrict the
ability of mun icipa l governments to obtain
land for social or affordable housi ng
devl;'\opment .
At the city level th e overallla bour ma r-
ket mix will dete rmine t he degree 10 which
genumcanon is ma nifest in (he urban
form. Bven wit h cont inued suburbanlsa-
t ion pockets of gent rification are vtstble
even where t he total number of profce-
siona l manageri al workers is quit e modest.
The reason s for t his may vary widely, from
utilit arian conslderarlon of acces stbillty tu
city cen tre jobs to aesthe tic a nd lifestyle
choices. In citieswhere t here has been a sig-
nificant historica l shift frommanufacturing
to service sect or employme nt (of both hi gh
andlow skills) the impac ts ofgentrification
in terms of displacement of working -class
and poorer residents ar e likely to he great-
est. In some ra pidly growing cities of the
south, such as s ao Paulo or Beijing , both
service sect or an d manufac turi ng employ-
ment are growi ngapace with t he bifur cated
effects in t erms of social residential divides
of wealth an d poverty: The exi st ing ten ur e
st ruct ure of a country also has an impact.
In coun tries where t en ting ha s been t he
nurm (such as the Nethe rla nds or Eastern
Eur opean cou nt ries), the impacts of gentrt-
fication have hi therto been mor e restrict ed
but now provide a weake r set of property
relat ions throug h which gen trificat ion has
easilv cut a swathe.
Related t o levels of de-indust rialisation
(or absence of lnd ustrlalisat lon) a nd the
size of the city is th e overall quality of tife in
different cities . Access to upenspace, to lei-
sur e and cultural Iactli ues and th e general
liveabilityand ma nageabilityofthepa rt icu-
lar urban environment has becn significan t
in attracti ng gentr iflers, as Ley (1996) and
ot hers not ed some years ago. The quality of
life in t he city is now see n bymany cirygo v-
emments as a keyelement t o sell the city In
prospect ive middle-class residen ts, to lure
them back from the suburbs. This last point
is related to the idea of urban gover nment
as entrepreneur , rather than manager, a
change noted by DavidHar veyfiftecn years
ago (Jlarvey 1909) ,
The place market ing of cities (Keams and
Phil o 1993) and ot her forms of civic boost -
er tsm and growth coal it ions (Logan and
Mclot ch 1987) has beco me more evident
as cit ies increasingly compete with each
othe r for inward-investmen t With Florida's
(2003) pop ular argument that city competi-
tiveness is essentially lin ked to whe re hnhe-
mlan, gayand professtouals wish t o locate,
gentrlflcatlnn has been reconfirmed to city
fathers as th e route to eco nomic succe ss.
Ihe particula r parts of th e city t hat inves -
t ors or gentrif icrs hea d for ar c determined
by th eir archi tectural desirabi lity or sym-
holic value as a la nd mark locat ion. Clearly
neighbour hood disuncrlons in tenure mix
are vital as well as the degree of drsmvest -
ments in t he local housi ngstoc k, although
the latt er t en d to be more important in t he
early stages of gontrification, [. , .1
Addnson, R. (ed_l (2003) 'Gcntnticanon ina ne w centurv.
misunderst ood saviour or vengeful wreckerr wn ar
reiilly is th.. problem wlth gemnr cenoor. U,ban
Sruaics, {special iss ue), 40(12) : 2343 -50.
R....nnpr, N. Gl nhal "HIps, gl noHI SIHI P<: gl nhHI
city formatio n an d state terr itorial reetr ucru ring
in cont emporaryeurope', of International
P"Jilia ,l EclJlw"Iy, S( ll : 1-37.
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rtme-space srraregvorgenmnceuon; tmn sacnom
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Londcn; ['nlgravo.
Fl<'t1rn,1l (zoro) r",m""I,""OwJli",Clattarrd
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Ch Ylt f'!, LUldun: ,hUll and 1:"., .
Go UJdDCf.... . (1979) TheTutwe ol l/11d!fWdsallri
Rl'f'n{tFJeNt'f(lllu . l.nllOOn, Macm illan
Gl dl "' III.S. oml ylu.S. ' ZOO 1) 5pUlI!l" It,g UI w Ni . " l
,\ 'rtUlarcedl rrfrtUTf"I.ICtU1m. Thd1 nowgicaJMobiJities
ar.d rheUrll "'" Q>ndirf,m, Urldon, Rom k>d ge.
Illlmne u. C. (l !Y.l4l 'sccto-eccocmtc ch ang e in
Lon don : plOl.-ionalJsalion or polarin tion. iJUllt
f ,,,,imn ,, wrIl.?O: 192 204.
Hllmnell . C. (2003) 'Goo tri fication and t ile middle
cia " 196 L_2OCll . Url>tln
Sturlin 40112); 240)-26
Hanner z. U, 0 \1\161 Tro' u 'lati o'l ai Cunnectioos:
CUll W I' , P!<r " Jl". ].'JI"h ltl:
Hervey, D. (1989) 'From munoRcdull:< m to cntrcprc
neurfalts m: the rrans jcrmanon of urba n govelD.
auce in late cdllilalb m', Gft ,gra{&rJ. A/lfwler,
1Hl (1): 3 17,
Kearns.C. and Ph ilo, C, (ed3) U90Cl) Sellinxl'loceJ. l l1e
arya, Culrural Cnptral, Pan fI1ld Oxlor<!:
P" rgamonPr c, s.
Laska, S, a nd Spa in . D. led, ) (l !lBO) Hock.10 t he Cir, :
lSI'''' ' in R.. Odn, rl'
Per gamon PrcM.
Lees . L (2000: Area pprais aJ of gonm bcat ion: low;u cl!;
a "gellgra pll )' Ur ill " wnw.
Geography, 240): 389-408.
L....s. L 12001; 'V1s1" n. of urNt n t il..
ur ban Ia>k t.-.ce repolr.wd the l.J1WIl whit.:IMIlt'l'
in R.lmne (U1 Reco (eas} Urt1aII & nmSSQIlUI?
Xmr uJ,,,w; O,mmutll r} ",,(111"1('" PII/ fry. 1\.
Po!icy Pro= , pp. 66 -82. 1>. (l'jt;6: "Alleman" e e:qo1aslanCXlS lei
ell ;' AII1... b ,J{ rile .b .. lI.w i-.., ,if
Ameriam Gropcophm, 76; S21- 3i.
Ley, D. (1'196) 7'"-"''''' Alkk lhoCltwnnd,1wFInIIu*lng
o.f City. London: (Jord Uni \u sily

lng..n, r. and 'AoIOKli . H. (1987) U,wn fimu nes.
The E(()lIOm] of I'/4. Bcndcy an d Los
Angeh CA: Ul1Iveo1 ryol Crl1f(Jnl1a Pr'""-
1':119B!l Geuuificatioll . ,00
lxiusir.1Im:u Jr.ct and labour mar
l".- In llJe querered dly'. H"wing
211- 20.
)'lc nCIl , R. 1] SocialT 'woryaMSon<ll5tnture.
Glea m e: Frl PIt$).
Phillip s. M. 1l !l'!l3]'}{ur aLF\ClllrificauOD and the pr oe
esses of cl au ro lon is.a!lorf ,}(JI"" a / olRlaaJYIDtI'S.
92): 123","",0.
Role, .\1. {2003J ' 1 ...ant Ia be gioba' ": t h'llOrlSUl@the
gentrifying ca.- IS i1n liil ll gl"b..1"'nl_
mu aily' . U, bfurSt-...au40(12::2S)I-27.
Rose. D. (I9ll4 : 'RI'd",irJklng g\"llrri nra llo ll: hpy Ofld , lIP
u neven of urban huIIY'.
Er.lirow'le<';l <Inti P1woIlir.g V : san":" Wtd Spal;ll',
1: 47-74.
Susen, S. (1!8) GlobaJi.latioo tlnd iu DisroruC1lb.
."""' \ olt. : ;'lie--' Press,
ses sen. S. (w::JO.'l) The G/abalClry: /Vow) i>ti;, Lotld, m
l ol:yo,2nd cdn, Pri nrot on, :-;I: l'r illCClOllUnivers ity
Sal l en . S.(2000b) Cities ;naW"rld E"""""I)',2ndcdn,
CA: Plll t' l' orgt'
Sen ncl t, R. (l 99B) 7 1", Co,-rm;'!! "I CIJalU< td':
The Personal C"",equc:nres 1) / WOfk m lhe Nr.'
L"' "I"o :\'1':\... . :>; nrtnn
Slata,T, (20021' Lookinl':at the Americao a l\
thro ugh th e lem ot genrrtncancn Urlx",
W Jgwl lI/y, 231]): 13 ]- 53
Smith, D. 12003) t hc t em poral and sp a
ti al 01 genmncauon- a res earch agenda lor
popula tio n geog rapher s,' [nt em alional/oumal of
l-'opuJ(l/ j Q<lGrography. I:I(6) : J!l5 -J Y4.
Smith. " (1979) 'Toward a theccy of j;Clltlifj ( atl oll;
bdck to thc cit y mo vemen t capital. Ilot pcopto;
}ul<rnal III lhe Pl rmning
SrJi th, :".I. (l 9\l61 1'1", Url>tln H'Q'ItC, r:
Gent,i{iW(;IJn and t l", Remn<hi,1 Cit )". :'Oel'l' \-' 11'"
Srnlr h, N. (2CXl2) ' -';pw gitlball, m, rww llI banls m: s en-
! rifica liOllas gio bol urb an it ra tcgy. Ant i pod t , 340 ):

(1982)UJfIUI'v,/:;Cu/lurew ,t!',(,IJJit u!i n U,ban
Ch<u'l:c, &I tir.10r0: Johns Hopki ns Uruversttv Press,
l ukln,!>. (1995 )
How,Where and When Does
Gentrification Occur?
The readings i n this section of the book address two related areas of debat e withi n the
genumcanon literature. The first is about the centrality of several general conditions 10
th e rise of gen tr ifica tion in many cit ies across the globe . As the first sect ion of t he book
began to revea l, st ude nt s of gent rificat ion de ba tc abou t th e relative imp ort for gent rifica-
tion of polit ical. economic. physical Ie.g., cha racte ristics of loca l ho using stock and of t he
landscape), demographi c, and cultural conditi ons. In short. scholars offer multiple and
sometimes comp-t tng explana t ions for why gent rifica t ion occur s and, more specifically,
flU its endemic quali ty over the last f urt y The second deba te is, in si mplest t erms,
about explanations forwhy some pla ces gentrify, while othe rs do not. Relatedly, they also
deli bera te over why some citi es and neighborh oods exp erience gentr ificat ion year s or
even. deca des beforeot her ci ties and neigh borhoods. For- i nstance, th ey migh t offer com-
pet ing explan ations for why artists gent rified Chic ago's Wicker Park, a historica lly Polish
neighborhood wi th a large worki ng cl ass Latino pop ulat ion (Lloyd 2005), before profes-
sionals began refurbishi ng homes in Chica go's predo minately Africa n-American N0I1h
Kenwoo J -OaUaml neighh mhoo d (p.-dtt illo 200B).
a t first glan ce t hew areas of debate ma y seem trivial, the q uest ions that ins pire
th em are of consequence. Imagine that you ar e inte rning for a ci ty plan nin g office that
has funds t o cons truct afforda ble housing units. Data demonst rat e that In recen t decades
gentrification ha s di splaced many low income a nd working cl a ss residents of central
cit y neighborho od s, ma ny of whom are Lat ino or Africa n-America n.l'or this reason, you
believe th at t he cit y should, at th e very least , offse t di splacement by buil din g affordable
unit s in a neighbor hood t hat is likely t o expe nence genmft ca tton in the com ing dec ade.
You reviewt he literature t oldentlfyindlcat ors t hat sugg est that a pl ace is n perorgenmn-
cat ion and dewlap a repor t for your emp loyers. Thi s sect ion' s reading s will outl ine ma ny
of the indica tors tha t you might lookfor.
Th ose invol ved with pla nni ng are not th e only indi viduals who und ert ake such calc u-
lati on s. Imagin e t he developer who wi shes t o det ermine which city or neighborhood to
invest in or the city councilwoman whosee ks to predict who her con stituencywill he when
she run s for re-electi on. Man y indi vid ual gentrtffers and business owners make si mila r
calculations. Fur instance, when con ducting research for-m y book ,A]I,'eigllbu"'wod That
Cl lJlflgP.\ a gen rrlfler explained how he dec ided t o purchase a home i n Chir.ago's
Argyll' llt'igblllJfllUud:
"It was Incred ibly bad on the st reet where I bought. [But ] rhe deal I got e n a condo was
unbeli evable. I just couldn't pa ss it up . . , It was a renovated buildin g. It was really spa .
crous.! got a nvc-bed room piece, My mort gage right now, I couldn't oven re nt a studio
e pcrt mcntforwhat ! payfor-the mor tgage .. . andl had known that mogress kepccommg
north: u p t lle/ake" (Brown-Sarac ino 2009: 72, m vemphasie ,
Hyvisiling a nd talklngwhh Irlends thi s ho mebuyer belte vedt hat he cou kl
trace genctncaucn's t raject ory th rough Chtcago-vprogress kept coming nort h up t he
lake"-c and, Indeed , ArR"le has expe rienced substanrial gentrjficanon in the dec ad e si nce
he purc hase d.\ s he \'IUS se arch ing for a soo n. io-gentrtty- neighbcrhood. social serv ice
agenci es a lew blocks from the con domi nium he pur chased e tsos uspccted that gcntnnce -
tion wa.. coming t o Argyle and for this reason t heyhegan preparin g to meet th e needs of
loug t hne residents whom Iht' y prf'tli clt'lt woujd 50011 face displ act' lIlf'1l1and the disru p-
tion ort ouguandlngsodal suppo rt net works,
How did the homeown er and socia l workers accurately pred ict th at Argylewuuld Ken-
trtfy?What is t he precise calculus th at such Indivi duals relyon?WhiJe th ls section' s read"
Ings do no t offer strai ghtforward prcdicnons of which place s will gentrify next , they do
oll er a reviewof compet ing explana t ions for how gentrifi ca t ion (l(UlCS and why certain
places experience gen tr ificat ion whil e ot hers do not. Fer-ins tance, soci ologis t Chn sropher
Mele lIullin,"" how ci rypo licy ma kers , dev elopers , sma ll bu siness and even art ists
and ce nnllnned 10 the geutrtncatton East Village.
Cumulauvejy.the readings eifer a kmg list of the act ors and processes centra l to explain-
ing the wh ere. wh en , how, and whyu f gemrt ncauon. Th ese ra nge fromdevelopers 10indI -
vidual genrnrtersand from cycles of propeny deval uatjon to neoli beral ec onomic po lk"):
Whil e this section will familjarize you with t he ac tor s and processes that t he literature
attend s 10. it will else int rod uce you 10a SCt of debat es about t hose ecrors and proce sses,
spl"Ci fira llyahoul t he maliVf'weight of individual actors an d t rendo;, as well il.S abou t the
illfluellCf'of d l l.\.W J of pt' nplt' a nd t ha t create and shape genii ificat jnn .
Gtomrifkatiull !>(; holars ofleu brea k:such act ors an d processt"S imo two d aSM's ur cat -
egor ies of factors. Producti on or supply sidefacrors incl ude cydt."S ofdisinv csl llll' lIl and
reim'eslme lll in central city nelj; hborhoods, neoliberal sta te policies th ai help facilitate
and :luslnin free mlll ket capi lcli slIl Oltllvey )989, Peck 2006), dci ndu :ltria liznt ion cnd the
rise of a globa l service economy, and liberal mortga ge Icnding policies. As an example.
in t he literat ure's firsl decades scholars debat ed t he hypoth esis t hat gentrifica lion occurs
wht-n t h!': T!': is iI of mi rldle cl hous ing out side of t h!':Cf' ntm l city, th u.s 11Il.\h .
ing Illt"luht'r s (If l ilt' Illilldlt> class illlUilllier-l'it y ne igh hor lllllld s (GCl lt' 1979, HellY 1980),
an d man y co nt inue to advocat e for Nell Smlt h'srent .ga p hypot h!!Sls, which sUAAesls th at
p;emrifiers and InveslOrs take advantage of a Rap bet ween current and pOlentl al ground
ren l values. In shorl, supply side explanat ions sugg est th at economic a nd politi cal cond i,
lions cnable gent rificat ion and Ihnt in some places an d tim es condi t ion s align t o pro du cc
t he bu ildi ngs, funding, a nd sta te poli cies req uired for the gentr ification of a parlic ular
In nml ra st, or II f!fmm ri si l l ee.l, p [anaJi u/ls, prnp llsed b ysdllliars lil t' navid
Ley (1986, 1996; !*'e also C<.1 ulfid d )994), cou nte r lhat a markt!l cann ot exi!> t wit huut
cornplime lllar y cons umer demand and prefere nc es. That is , they suggest thai housing
ock, econom ics. and stall' poli cies i nflu ence gemrtncarton, but rbarg enn tnca uon woutd
nor occur wi thou t gentn flers wh o wi sh to partici pate In the pro ce ss te.g.,Gale 1979, Ley
1986). Indeed. some who ad vocate for deman d side expla nat ions sugg est thai markets
and slat es respond to consumer demand for genmttceno n. rat her than vice versa. Behind
this class of explanations is belief in the cent ra l role ofthe gent rifier in dri vinggentr ifica -
tion, as wel l as th e belief t ha t cult urt"-tlpicall y in t he fm lTl ur gt' lIl rifit' rs'
fuel Kenu ifirntion . Scho lars who advocate rut this; pusitiun suggt."S1 thai all Ideologk al
Ru th Glass refers to as "a switch from suburban to urban asplrat lcns" 119tH:
rtti}-enabled gentrifi catio n. They pro po se tha t without a set ofcultural changes, suc has
increasing int erest in diversity (Le y 1996, But ler & Robs on 2001. Rose 2004, Berrey 2005,
2005) a nd taste for hi stor ic pr opert ies fl ukin )987, sceuregerd 1990, Smith 2(02),
genuifiers would not participat e in th e proce ss.
According to David Ley's inf hrential argument , wh ich is a rrh e renter of many con sump-
non explanat ions. gen t riflcatkm c1oSt'ly rel. ned m rhe t astes of the e xpanding "IlI:'W
middle d ass."ln an article publ ished in 1986 he rejec ts Nell Smit h's rem-gap hypot hesi s.
argu inj:tthat evidence for it Is "enrirel y lacktng" In Ca nada (531). He also sUl:ges ts th a t for
manvgentnflers residence tn the cent ral city is not a matt er oteco nomtcnecessuv, for they
couktafford to live in more expensive 10000 1cs. such as certain suburbs {ibid.: 5241. r hu s.
as his essay in this sectio n suggests, he concludes tha t a cul tural and po litical sens ibil-
ilvcl l:J"elv iltta ched to the new middle c1ass-Ihe wh ile collar workers associ at ed with a
servtce-orfen re t el"onomy 11\>11 1973, r Aulfi t'1t1 199-1 ,l.ey 1996)-{i ri vt"S
geourncauon. Ley argues tha i member s of tht' newmhkl le class relocate ill search ofcer-
tain place attrib ut es, such as drversny, a se nse of history, a nd landscape a menities (1986.
tor many years the divi de between productio n and consumpt ion cam ps was fairly
rigid. but not all gentri ficat ion scho lars tell ncatJy on either side of the debate and the line
between t he two camps is increas ingly blurry. In fac t, ma ny a rgue tha t production end
ronsumptlon factors pl ay mur ually sllppnl1ivr lolt' .. in gen u ifica lillfl (e.g., Beauregard
1986, Hamoeu 1991, Ley 20031- is 1t'SS a bout wh ich set offac-
turs drinesor Sp UTS gentrijl ca tl un. Ind eed, scholars provide competingans wers to a central
quest ion in th e literature: ""'haTCTWes a marketf orgemrl jiauion. product ion orconsump-
lion /aerors?
Some of the essays in t his soct ion answcr th is ques t ion in absolute terms. f or instan ce in
ti ll:: al:ove, Smi lh ind ividual prefer-
ence or comum pfion for gentrifica t ion. 'll l is Il'jec t ion is a buooan tlyclea r in
his a rt id e, ".. \ Iu Iht' Gl y MUWlIll:' llt byCa pi la l, flot People."TIle a rgu-
lIIent Smith puIS fOrlll ill thl;' artidl;'-Iha t di si" ... ill properti es iUl'ert ain central
city ne ighborhood s prod uced a Rap bet\\'ee n cur rent and potent ial lan d rents an d there-
fore ena bled investors, from ind ividual gentr ifiers TO ill\' estmcnt firms, to profi t by invcst -
ing in or spec ulat ingon such properti es- is arguablyamo ng t hc \ll os t influential pieces of
gentri ficat ion scholarsh ip to dat e.
how su pply a nd demimd fact ors con spire to creale markets. For
in fl from h Ls h/lok lIll lh!"' gt'll tr ificilt ion of I\ew YUl k's Eas t Villagt'
Chrh lupher fl, fele sug gt'sts t ha t city govt'rnmt' lit and inv estors bu ilt on first-wave
RemI1fiers' an scene to increase deman d for residence in the RemI1fyinR neiRhbor-
hood. He wri tes, "Mu nici pa l aj:tencles souAht to promote their mVJl interests and th ose of
developers through manipulat ion ofce rtatn symbols representative oft he Bast vl llage art r
scen e and not ot hers" (2000: 239J,
fh e question of whcthcr supply or deman d fact ors drive gent rificat ion Is not the only
issue that researchers debat e. Even among production -side theo rists there is disagree-
1TIt"1l ( a lxuu t he relanve weigh t of specifi c supply side fact ors. Pe r insta nc e. schol ars ask:
W1wt tl...r etat ij'" i nj1l l t' fl cII'O! sna ricetc ondit:tons lIt' fSltSguller II f1Wflt "olid ..suml rlfllct iO"S?
Neil S mlrh i1 cgut"S Il lil t ge ni i ifirn l ioll is "an expect ed p rod uct of Ihe relatively ullhalll l1t'It'<!
ope ran cn e f'the la nd a nd housing ma rkets" (l979: 538). Thi s acknowled ges gove rnmem's
Import, but noneth eless emp has izes the role of economic processes. In the secuons final
reading , Kevin FoxGotha m builds on this by suggesti ng that in some inst ances, such as in
the gent rificati on of xcwu rtcane' French Qua rt er tha t he det ails, large cor pora t ions playa
central role in gernrifica rion (2oo5). ln cont rast, several of the readings in this secti on sug-
gest t hat coal itiOflSof po litir ians. pollc y mekers, media. developers, and fina ncial invt ru-
rlons wlIll lIIgt"t lJt'110 t"Ih un" rhe gent nrlcat lon of cer tain nelghberhcod s.Tn a seiecuon
from thei r highl yaccla uned book, Ueban Fortunt's, John Logan an d Harvey Mt!I
to t hese as-growth machme coa tmons" (1986),
Cumulanvely, the readings in thts sect ion of the book encourage us to ask n 1IQt role
does culture play in gcnlflficazion? Scholars answer this ques t ion in a number of dlfferent
ways.for inst ance, Gary Brkige suggests that Sydn ey esta te agents interpret and market
to t he t astes ri longt ime res jden rs and pote nt ial gent rtfie rs (ZOOI). and Sharon 7.ul:in
demonerares howcities a n "art s 0 982: 131) tu hne capltalm the cen-
tral city. Chrtsr cphe r Mele 011 t he other hand, sugges ts t ha t genutners a nd Inves tors are
drawn to the r asrvtuege, In part, by ap preciation for the "glamour orpoverrv" (2000:236)
and t hat local amenities, such as galleries and resta urants, refloct and ma rket t othis set of
tas tes.
As the above exam ples dem onstrate, while such a ut hors believe t hat cult ure pla)'s a role
in genrrifkat fon th ey do not a ll concu r a bout wha tt ha t role is. For instance, t hey deba te
abo ut wbe-tbe r ma rket s t o or fc. part idrlilt inll in
gentnfl cauou (PoruwlI..$arad no 2009; al so Borer 20061, Pu t in dif ft'l ent ten us.
also askwhet her culture encourages gentr iflcarjc n or is used to Justify it aft er the fact. fo r
instance, Nell Smith writes of a frontier myth th at glamorizes t he role of genrrtnerswoo
imag ine that they are hel ping to "set t le" the "dangerous " cent ral city. He sugges ts that this
myth helps "to socialize a wholly newand therefore chal lenging set of processes into sate
ideological focus. :\ s such, the frontier ideology just ifies monst rous incivility in t he heart
oJ lht' ( it) " (1996: 18).
Cf"ll tral dt-'hatt"fmm which qllel>lio ns ahout cultllle al i-e-a b:lIlt Iht"rMoiti ve
prirmu:y uf prUliuctiull alil..Il u m urnpt ion explana tions for gelllrilil. -.n iull - h apparent in
efforts t o allS\\'er tWOaddi t ional questi ons a bout gentrification: first, in \"Ork tim seeks to
explain why gent rificat ion occurs in some places, and seco nd, in related work on the rela
t ions hip between globalizat ion a nd gentr ificat ion. The followingp aragrophs explore each
of t hese microde bat es and t heir relationship to broader conversat ions a bout cons ump
tion an d prndfl(:t ion.
rKflu'? Some such as Nt"il Smit h','> r.,.,nt -gaJ.l hyp oth -
esis, tu rns to prudllctioll-sid", ex.planations t o a nswer thb qu esli oll . Smit h suggl'sts
t ltat gelllrlfica t lull occur s where Ihe gap between existing and pot ent ial p;ruund rent s
is greatest (1979). Also borr owing flOm product ion-side arguments, many suggest that
gen trificat ion occu rs in neighbor hoods or cities that arc in close proximity to other
afflut"nt arms Ie.g., Ley .1 986). This contagion-explanation is a pparent in my aforemen-
tioned informant's explanat ion for his decision t o pur chase in Argyle: "gentr ificat ion
kept coming no rth up the lake: ' Furt hermore, a host of scholars .o; L1ggt"';t that gem rlflca-
non flour bhes whe re po liticians a nd planners promo te revlta llzanon, such as bycrea ting
ernplop nlo'l lt 0 pponunlues for "IIlgh- wage white-co llar wc rkers" (Wylyet al. 1998; see also
Berry 1985), using the poli ce to enforce middle class norms of social beha vlor (Mele 2000 ,
Taylor 2002, Patt illo 2007), or by donat ing or selling land or buildings for redevelopment
onthe privat e ma rket (Loga n &.Molotch WIH}.
ln contr ast,consumption-side explan ations suggest tltat places gentrify large1ybttause
they possess amenit ies t ha t a ppea l to t he gen tr ifying cl ass. Th es e a men it ies include. but
an' uo r ltm lted 10 , socta ! diver;.ity (If' y 19M, nelTt"y 2005), la ndsca pe a menities, such
as water views. close proximit y 10 downt own jobs, bike trails (Ley 1986, Flor ida 2002),
or hist ori c prope rt ies (Ley 1986). Research on the genmn cauon of suburban and rural
areas suggests that technological cha nges, such as th ose that permit telecommut ing,
allow mdi vjduals to relocate fromem ployme nt cen ters in search of place amen ities, such
as historical "aut henticity" or proximity to outdoor leisure ac tivit ies (Macgregor 2005,
Bmwn -Satacino20091.
Indeed , man yecholarsagreet hat geot rjf icat ion I'> f' :< panding-not onl ywithin the ur ban
c-arers ill which It first emerged an d into ru ral areas , bUI a bo across t he globe. Roland
.o\dinson wri tes that ' The map of genmncauon a ppears to be extending steedtly.It would
certalnlvappear that public pc uc vdesigns aswel l as the systemic facilit ati on ofgentrifica-
lion are taking place at a much wi de r sca le t ha n wa s t he easeeven a rewvee rs ago" (2003:
23431. However, th ere is dellate about whygent n flca uon is expanding ,As Atkinson allud es
to. some regard t his as primari ly a result of "pub lic policy designs" (2003: 23U; see also
Smirh 1989, Bailey and Robertson 1997) , whill" ot he rs poi nt t o t he expa nsion of the rn ew
middle class" (Ley 1996), or-. Innregellt'la Dy, io globa llza uon.
Explanations for thls for its global qu ality- mirro r the dtvlde
between production and consumpt ion explanations. for Instance, Nell Smi th's alle-
giance to prod uct ion-side explana tions is apparent in his ar gument t hat gentrifi ca-
tion "is den sely connec t ed in to th e circuits of globa l capital a nd cul tur al circul at ion"
(2002: 42f ). Smith regards gentrification as a me t hod Ot strategy of global expa nsion of
capital (ihid.:446--44 7)thalllP.Oliheralst alr: polici!"1i largrlydri n-:, For Smit h. neolt ber eltsm
rests 1111 the the free and democrat ic exercise of illdi vidual -elf-lnreresr led to
the-opthnal collective social gnlld : a mi that Iht"ma rket knows be-t" (ihid.: 429). TIlliS, in
hisView, states, both tnill..ldU<l lly and In coope raUon wit h one another , give the mat ket the
fmedom to accmn uiate capit al a s It sees fl t, wit h focthewelfare of
those ha nned by aocum ula tion strategies, such as gentrifica t ion.
Ot hers suggest th at th e relationship betwlrnglobalizalion and gent rification rests ona n
increa<;j ngly global w mpet it ion for bet ween cities ll.ees et ai, 2008: 167, Ilan 'ey
1989, Mitche1l200Jl, llley tha I gt"lIt rilicat ioli is t hat cit ies U 'o;f' 10a CCll -
IIlUlalef:apital a nd 10 ma rkt llt' lIls""lv""s iiSdist inct, iittulctive, Ilr ('Ult iligedge. For
ill early 2009 wh en ti l'" IlItern ational Olympic l.JJllll nit lt't' loure d Chicago to "'\'aluate its
bid t o host t he 2016 Olympic s, t heir J:: uldes ushered t hem not only to at hletic fields and
rcnnis facilit ies, but also throuRh t he city's most upscale sect ions. Likewise, cities worr y
about their global cityrank ings (l lcrsch 2UU!J). Such ran kings ma tter not only becau se t hey
might help secut e the Olympics or eneourogc'wmpanies to relocat e to a given cit y, but
also became t hey att rilct tour ists anti who arE' lllem ht"rs of a glohal elit e (Rofe
2003). Many cities ar e convinced of the import of such rankings. fo r inst an ce, In Mar ch
of 2009 Forbes Magazine named Portl and, Mai ne ''America's Most livable City: ' when I
arri ved t wo months later t o con duct fieldwo rk the city had placed a ban ne r list ing t he
honor ac ross a central avenue.
For t he most pa rt , scholars have suggested t hat gentrificat ion flour ishe s in cit ies at the
top of the globa l economy (Sassen 1998). However, the essay byAtkinson and Bridge in the
book's flrs t sect ion sugges ts tha t gen trificat ion is nut llmlted to such cit ies (see abo Smith
2002). Indeed, as they note, gent rificat ion has been obse rved in cities across t he globe,
includ ing in post-communist na tions and indu stri alized places. Why has th is expansion
occurr ed? Borrowing from consu mpt ion-side explanations, Atkinson and Bridge allude to
the increasingconcentration of the new mi dd le class or "int ernational professiona l man a-
geria class" as a key contrlbutin gfactor (2005; SE'C also Ley 199G).lIowe\er, t his is not the
only expla nat ion provide for the gentrlflcat lon ofa I'lH l
>e of cit les wlthln and b-yond
NUIt h Ame rica, Europe, an d Austra lia. Speci fically, th ey suggest that mar ket reforms of
the kind that Smith (2002) details also pla y a role, but th ey place great er emp hasis than
Smith on th e choices and movement of th ose who compos e the gentrifying class, arguing
t hat in t he context of gentrification thi s new middle class mirrors their colonia l predeces -
sors (Atkins on & Bridge 2005: 3). How does this class decide where to live? According to
Atkinson and Bridge the location of t he tra nsnational corpo rat ions at which many work
fill"of significant influen ce.
Thus, Atkinson a nd Bridge speak to th e deba te be twee n consumpt ion aud produc-
tion explanations for gentrilkation-adoptln g a hybrid a pproach-while a Jso propostng
answers to ques tions about why gent rification is expand ing and where it t akes place. On
the on e hand t hcyborro wfrom consumpt ion-side explan ations t o suggest th at th e tastes
ofthe global new middle classwho seck, a mong ot her amenities, "access t o open space, to
leis ure and cultural facilit ies" (2005: I I ; see also Ley 1995, Flor ida 2002) guides gentrifica-
tion. On t he ot her hand, rel ying011 prod uct ion-side logic, t heysuggest that the choices of
the globa l compan ies for which some me mbers of the new middle class work-choices
influen ced by many of t he cond ruons t hat Neil Smit h specifi es (2002)- abo determine
which locales gent rify.
Thus, when scholars seek to ans wer ques t ions about how, where, why, a nd when
gent rification occurs they repeat edly consi der the relations hip between product ion
and consumption explanations. As you read th e select ions in t his portion of th e book,
I encourage you to t hin k abo ut how you would answer th e quest ions that color the
the evidence thai t he au tluns jll esenl, du you that suppl y 01
dema nd factors dr ive genrrfflrat lone Depending a u ho w you answe r th at questi on ,
whic h sup ply and which demand {actors do you think are par amount ? Finally, what
role do the readings, individ ually and cumulatively, suggest that culture p.ays in
gent rification?
You might also th ink a bout how you wou ld tackle t he planning int ern's t as k of pre-
dicting which neigh bor hoods will gent rify next. Assuming t hat th e t ask were your own,
would youlook for evidence of a rent gap, or seek to ident ifyt he neighborho ods ill which
the city has recently funded beauti ficat ion efforts or improved streets and sidewa lks?
Altern ately, would you lour neighbo rho ods to det ermine where young art ists ren t st u-
dio spa ce or as k rea ltors about t he neigh borhoods in which they are listing new prop-
ert ies! In turn , you might consider what your answers suggest ab out your response
to t he broa der questi ons that underline th em a bout 110\'1, why, when , an d where
gentrification occurs and where you fall in the deba te between cons umpt ion and prod uc-
tion expla na tiOns.
k> you cons ider th ese ques tions I enco urage you to return to th e line of inquiry that
frames the book's first sect ion,for t he way that we define gentrifi cat ion influenccs howwe
answer qu est ion s about where, when, how, and whygentrificat ion occurs. For ins tance, if
the movement of t he middle class into previously lli...Invest ed areas is cenrralro yoIII'rle-fi-
nhion of'genufflcau on, you may be more likely than those who emphasize the Import of
the new middle class' app reciati on for ur banity to identi fy gent rificati on in sub urba n and
rural areas (Atkinson 2003: 23,14). Llkewlse, if t he displaceme nt of longst anding residents
and related demographic shifts are central to your definit ion , th en perhaps you do not
consider t he development of previousl y uni nh abi ted lots t o be part and par cel of gcnt rifi-
rat ion's expa nsion (for crit icisms of this view see Bourne 1993; see a lsoWylyet al. 1998). In
other words, I encour age you to retu rn t o the defi nit ion of gent rificat ion that yon settl ed
on when readi ng the previous section and to consider the production and consu mption
deba tes when you think anew about th e stakes of the qualit ies or person, plat e, and pro-
cess your definit ion emph asizes.
I) Wh ich are of'great erinfl ueure for gent rificati on, prod uct ion or consumpt ion factors?
a Wha t evidence do you believe is required to suppo rt either argument ?
2) Which pro duct ion or consurnpti on factors do you believe are of gr eatest import for gen-
trificat ion?
a How or why mig h t this vary by context , such as by dty, nation , or decade?
3) Wha t role do you believe culturepla ys in genrrtfl catlont
a. If you believe t hat cult ure plays acentral role, is it because it is consc iously ma nipu -
lated to Spill gent ri flcarlon or beca use it unconsciously draws gentrifiers to specific
4) Wha t are gentr ification's consequences for lon gti me residen ts' cultures!
:i) In recent years severa l scholars have published books on the gent rification ofpr edo rm-
nately African-American neigh borhoods by African-Ame rican gemriflers Ie.g., Tayhn
2002, Pattillo 2007, Boyd 2008, Hyra 2008). Do you believe that t his reflects cha nges in
gentrification or chan ges in gentrificati on sch olarship? Be sure t o sup port your argu-
ment wit h evidence from t he readings.
I. Interview severa l residents of a gent rifying neighhOI' hood who var y in tenus of their
lengt h of residence, economi c posit ion, and e ther demographic cha racterlstlcs , such
as mel", ethntct ry, age, gender, or sexual ident it y. What explana tions do they provide
for their neighborhood's gentri fica t ion! How do t heir explanat ions vary bused on their
econ omic t raits, demogra phic cha racteristics, or len gth of residence?
2. Int erview several cny officials or planners in a cit y experiencing gent rifica tion. What
explanat ions do they provide for wh ycer tain neighb orhoods have centrtned r
<I. If vou conducted the first a nd second activities conside r th e simil ar ities a nd differ-
eu res between th e ans wers that residents, officials, and planners provided. If you
conduct ed only one activity, speak with a classmate who conduc ted the a lternate
acti vity abo ut the differences bet ween your findin gs.
3. Review thet wo document aries and two ncvels refer eno-d ill the pre vious sect ion-Flag
HilUS, 71h 51reet.MvutoRiver (200 I) and Fortressof Solitude (2003). Wha t does each imply
about gentrificat ion's origins?
4. Select an d read five journalistic accou nt s of gentrificati on. What explanat ion , if any, do
th ey provide for when, why, how, a nd where gentr ification occurs'?
Toward a Theory of Gentrification:
ABack to the City Movement by Capital , not People
Neil Smith
Hetdkamp. C.P.,& Lucas,S" 2006. "fi ndi ng (he Genmfica uoc f ront ier Using Census Data: The Case ofPordand,
Maine," Ur banGeogmphy, Vol. 27, lOl- I2S.
L..20(\0. "A R..apl'lit isal of Genmflcarlon Towards it 'c,eo g1itl' hy of C...nrrtficarlon;" in Humu"
Gwgraphy 24,389-408.
Ley. D. , 19B6. "Almmarlve Explana tlons of Inlll.' r.clt y Genr rlflcatlon: A Canadian Assessment," Annal. oj the
Geugmphos,Vol. 75. 521-535.
Ley, 0 ., 199:l. 'ccnm a cauon in Recession: Social Change in Six Can adian Inner Cities, 1911 1 19116," Urban
C""'graph} , Vol t 3, 2'10-256
Wyly, E.K.. & Hammel , D,J.. 2000, "Capit.lI'3Mctropohe Chicago and the Transformation of Amcncan Housing
GrogmjlskaAnnaJel:SerJesB, Human Geography, Il2, 11l1- 2UG,
Cons umer sove reignty hyp otheses domi-
nat e explanati ons of gent rificat ion but data
onthe number of sub urbanites returningto
the cit y casts dou bt on this hypothesi s. In
fact, gentrificat ion isan expected prod uct of
therelat ivel yimhampered operat ion ofthe
land a nd hous ing ma rkets. The econ omic
depreclatl un of caphal Invested in ni ne-
teent h cent ury in ner-cit y neighborhoods
and th e simultaneous rise in pot enti al
ground rent levels produces the possibility
of profitab le redevelopment. Alt hough the
very apparent social characteristics of dete-
riorated neighb or hoods would discour age
redevelopment. the hidden economic char-
acteris tics rnav well be favor able. Whet her
gentr ification is a fundament al restructur-
ing of ur ban space depe nd s not on where
nC\\I inha bitan ts come from but on how
much prod uct ive caphal returns to t he area
from the subu rbs.
Following a period of sustained dete-
riorat ion, ma ny Ameri can cities are expe -
riencing th e gent rificat ion of selec t cent ral
city neighbo rho ods. Initial signs of revival
durin g the 1950s inte nsified in the 19605,
and by the 1970s these ha d grown into
a wi despread gentr tttcarlon mo vemen t
affecting the majorlry of t he country's older
cr ues.' A recent survey by the Urban La nd
Institu te (1976) suggests th a t close to half
the 260 cities with over 50,000 populati on
are exper iencing rehabilitat ion in the inner
cit y areas. Although nati onally, gent rtftca-
tion accounts for only a small fract ion of
new housi ng start s compared with new
constr uction, th e pro cess is very important
in (but not resrrtcted to) older nor t heastern
cit ies.
As the process of gentrfflcat lon bur -
geoned so did t hell teratu re a bout It. Most er
t his literatu re concerns the contemporary
proce sses or its effects:t he socio-econo mi c
and cultural cha racteristics of immigrants,
dis placement, rhefedera l rolein redevelop-
men t, be nefits to the cit y, ami crea tion a nd
dest ruct ion of community. Litt le at tempt
has been mad e t o constru ct historica l
explana t ions of th e pr ocess, to st udycauses
rat her th an effects. Instead, explanation s
arc very much taken for granted and fall into
t wo cat egori es: cul tural an d econo mi c.
Cult ural. Popular <l mollg revltallzatl nn
theorist s is the notion that young, usually
prof essional, mid dle-class peopl e have
Lipt on, these cha nges have bcen slgruflcant
enough to "decrease the relat ive desira bilit y
of single-f amily,suburban homes" (197;, p.
146). Thus. with a trend toward fewer chilo
dren, postponed ma rr iages. and a fast ris-
ing di vorce rate, younger home buyers and
renters are trading in t he tarni she d dream
of their par ents for a new dream defined in
Table 6.1 The origi"ol rehabll:alors Ins oc ets Hil( 1954- 1975
sao-e Bswmere

a'= intf e city SLJt1. J!' bs S/.ISA Ulldenrified rota
>OM s 9 0 0 0
" 1865 3
7 0 0 sa
0 a 32
9 2 0 0 rz
2 0 ie
' 975 0
0 0 0
roe t t 73
PerOO"ltaiJ" byo rign t t ra
2 teo
ur ban rather th an subur ban term s. Other
research ers emphas ize t he sea rch for
socially dist inctive communities as syrn-
pat he tic env ironments for ind ividu al sel f-
expression (Wi nters 1978), whi le sti ll ot hers
exte nd this into a mure general argumen t.
In cont emporary "post-ind ust rial cities,"
according to D. Ley, white -collar servi ce
occupat ions sup ersede blue-collar produc-
tive occupati ons, and t his brings wit h it an
empha sls onconsum pt ton R lidament t ynot
wor k. Pat terns ofconsumpt iunrume tu dic-
t at e patt erns of product ion; "t he val ues of
consu mption ra ther than production gu ide
central cit ylnnd use decisions" (Ley 1978, p.
1D. Inner-city resurgence is an example of
this new em phasis on cons umption.
Economic. As the cost of newl y con-
su ucred housi ng con t inues to rise a nd its
distance from the cit y cen ter t o Increase,
th e reha bilitat ion of in ner- and central-
city structu res is see n t o be more via ble
ecn omically. Old but str uctu rally sound
prop erti es can be purc hased and rehabll i-
rated fOJ 1("5<; tha n the cos t of a com parable
new house. In addit ion, many researchers
stress the high ecuno mic cos t of CO IllIl1 ut -
tngc-the higher cost of gasoline for private
cars and rising fares on public transport a-
tion- and t he econ om ic benefits of prox-
imit yto wor k.
These conventional hypo theses are by
no mean s mutu ally exrl usfve They are
often invoked jointly and share in one
vital respect a common perspect ive-an
emphasis on consumer preferenceand the
constraints wi thin which these pref eren ces
are impleme nted. This t hey sha re wit h th e
br oader body of neoclassical residen tial
land U'iC t heory (Aloma 1964; Murh 1969;
Mills 1972). According to the neoclassical
t heory. sub urbanlzatlon reflects {he prefer-
ence for space and the increased ability to
payfor it due tot hereduction oftrans porta-
tional and othe r const raints. Similarly. gen-
t rification is explained as t he result of an
alteration of preferences a nd/o r a change
in the const raint s determi ning which 'f
preferences will or can be implement ed
r hu s in th e me dia an d the research lhera-
t ure alik e, the process is viewed as a "bad
toth e cit ymovemen t."This appliesas much
to the earl ier gennfflcatfun projects, such as
Philadelphia's Societ y Hill (accomplished
with substan tial stale assistance und er
urban renewal legislation), as it does to th e
lat er schemes, such as Baltimore's Federal
Hill or Washington's Capitol Hill (mainly
private market phenomen a of the 1970s)
All have beco me symbolic of a supp osed
mi ddle- an d up pe r-class pilgrimage back
from t he subur bs.' But as yet it remains an
unt ested if pervasive assumpti on that the
gent riflers are disillusioned suburbanites.
As early as ia ae. t terbc rt Gans declared: "I
have seen no st udyoflmwma nysubur ban-
ites were act ually bro ught back by ur ban-
renewal projects" (1968, p. 287). Though
t his sta teme nt was made in evidence before
the Ribicoff Committec on the Crisis of the
Citi es. Guns's challenge seems to havc fullcn
on dcat cars. Onl yin thc larc 1970shavesuch
studies begun to be carried out. This paper
presents dat a from Sud ety Hill an d oth er
revitalized neighbor hoods, examines th e
sfgntncance of t hese resul ts in terms of the
consumer sover eignty th eory, and atte mpts
t o deepen our theoret ical und erstand ing of
th e causes of gentrificat ion.
Once the locatio n of William Penn's
"ho ly experiment," Soci et y Hill housed
Phil adelphia's gentry well intot he nineteeth
century. With industr ialization and urban
growt h, however, its pop ularity declined,
and t he gent ry t oget he r wit h th e rising
middle class, moved west to Rit ten ho use
Square and 10the newsuburbs in till:' north-
west and across t he Schuylkill River. Society
Hill det eriorated rapidly, remaining in slum
conditi on un til 1959. In that veer, an urban
renewal plan was implemented,
Within ten yea rs Society Hill was tr a ns-
formed and-lithe most histori c squa remlle
in the nat ion" acc ording to Bicentennial
advert ising- it again housed t he city's
middle and upper classes. Pew aut hcnt i-
cally restored houses now change hands
for l ess than 5125,000. Not ing t he ent hu-
siasm wit h wh ich rehabilitat ion was done,
the now list Nat ha nlal Burt obse rved th at
old houses is, after all, one of
Old Philadelph ia's favorite indoor sports,
and to be able to remodel a nd consciously
serve the cause of civic revival all at once
has gone to t he heads of t he upp er classes
like cha mpagne" (l9 G3, pp. SSG-57). As
this Indo or sport caught 011, therefore, it
became Phllad elphla folklore t hat "there
was an upper class return to center city in
SocietyHill" (Wolf 1975, p. 325). AsBurt elo-
quent lycxpl.ains:
TIll:'renaissance of soctety Hill. . . isjust one
pie ce-in a gigatilK: jigsawpuzale which has
stlrred Philade-lphia from its hundr ed-year
pletely.This movement, of which the return
to Society Hill is a significant pan, is gener-
ally kn own as the Ph iladelphia Renaissa n ce
(1963, p. 539) .
By June 19G21pss than a third of the fami-
lies purcha sing propert y for rehabilitat ion
were from the suburbs- (Greenflehl & Co.
1964, p. ) 92). But si nce t he first people to
rehabilitat e hou ses began work in 1960. it
was generally expected that the proporti on
of suburbanit es would rise sharp ly as the
a rea became better pub licized and a Societ y
Hill address became a coveted possess ion .
Mter 1962, however, no data were officially
collected The following ta ble presents
data sam pled from ra se files hel d by The
Redevelopment Author it y of Philadelphia ;
the da ra is for t he period up 10 1975 (by
which lime the project was essentially com-
plet e)and represents a 17 percent sample of
all rehabilitated residences. rl able 6.l .)
It would appea r from these results that
only a sma ll proportion of gentrtners dill in
fact return from t he sub urbs; 14percent in
the cas e of Societ y Hill, compa red with 72
percent who moved from elsewhere wit hi n
t he city boun daries.Astatist ical breakdown
of t his latt er group suggests t hat of previous
city dwellers, 37 percent came from Society
Hi ll itself and 19 percen t came fmm the
Iunenhouse Square district. 'Ihe rematnder
came from seve ral middle- and upper -cl ass
sub urbs annexed by t he cit yi n th e last cen-
t ur y- Chestn ut Hill, Mt. Airy, Spruce Hill.
this suggests a consolidation of upper -
lind middle-class white residen ces in t he
city, not a retu rn from the pr esent day
sub urbs.' Addlt lona l dat a Irorn Balt imore
and washi ng ton D.C. on the percentage of
ret urning subur banites support th e Sodet y
Hill data (Table 6.2).
In Philadelphia and elsewhere an urban
renaissance may well be taking place but it
The origin 01ret -abtrtatc-smr rr eecmes
8C<.rce' Dot in o' e Cit)"Deportment cJHousing ...-d Comrro..oty
19r7 )

socetvun 72
" Bajtlruore
Homesteec Prccetlee 65.2 27
Wasmgton D.C.
MOl.,t Pleasant 67 18
Capitol Hil 72 15
lan d, influences the ground rent th at la nd-
lords can demand; on the other hand, since
lan d and buil dings on it are inse pa rable,
the pi k e at wh ich luuldtogs change hands
reflects the ground rent level. Mea nwhile
land, unlike th e Improveme nts built on it,
"does not require upkee p In order to cnn.
tinu e it s potential for usc" (Harvey 1973,
p p. 158- 59) and thereby retains Its poten -
ti al va lue. Third, while land is permanent ,
t he improvements bui lt on it are not, hu t
generally have a very long tur nover period
in physical as well as value terms. Physical
decay is unlikely [ 0 claim the life of a build-
ing for at least twen ty-five years, usual ly a
lot longer, and It may take as long in eco-
n omic (as opposed 10 accounti ng) terms
for it to pay bac k its value. f rom t his we can
deriv e several things: in a well-de velope d
capltall st econo my, large ini tial outla ys will
be necessary for built em-ironment invest -
merits: financial inst itu t ions will therefore
play an important role in t he ur ban land
mark et OIar vey 1973, p. 159); and patt erns
of c-apita l dep red at ion will he an important
varia ble i n determining whe ther and 10
what extent a buildin g's sale price reflects
th e ground rent level These poi nt s will be
of central importa nce i n the next sect ion.
In a ca pit alist economy, profit is the
gauge of success, an d competition is th e
mechanism by wh ich success or failur e Is
tran sla led into growth OJ colla pse. All indi-
viduale u rerprtses must strlveforhigher and
higher profits 10facilita te the accumulatiun
of great er and greater qu ant ities of cap ital
in profi tabl e pursuits. Otherwise they find
th emselves un abl e to afford more advanced
pr od uct ion met hods and therefore fall
beh ind t heir compet it ors. Ultimatel y, t his
lea ds eit her to ban kruptcy or a me rger
into a lar ger en terprise. This search fur
increa sed profit s tra nsla tes, at the scale of
th e whole eco nomy, Into the long-ru n eco-
nomi c growth; genera l economic stabilit y
is therefore synonymous with overall eco-
nomic growt h. Partic ularlywhen econ omic
The so-ca lled urba n renai ssan ce ha s
been st imulated more by econo mic than
cult ural forces. In t he decision to rehab ili-
tate an inlier city st r uct ur e. one consumer
preference ten ds to stand out a hove th e
others- the preference for profi t, or, more
accurately, a sou nd flna nclal Investment.
Whether or not gentnflere articulate this
pre{t'rence, it is fund amenta l,for fewwould
even consider rehab ilitat ion if a fina ncial
losswere to 11('expected. Atheor vofgentri-
firad on mUHtherefor e explain why some
neighborhoods are profit able to redevelop
while ot hers are not. What are the condi -
tionsof profitability?Consumer sovereignty
explanations t ookfor granted the ava ilabil-
ity of area s rip e for gent rificat ion when this
was pr ecisely what had to he explained.
Before pro cee ding t o a mort' detailed
explana tion of the process, it will be us e-
ful to step back and exam ine gent rlflca-
t lon in the broader hi stor ical and st ructu ral
cont ext of capital invest ment an d urba n
development In part icu lar, th e general
characterist ics of invest ment in the built
e wlron me nt must he examined .
In a capitalist economy, land a nd th e
improveme nts built onto it become com-
modtnes. As such they boast certain idle-
svncractes of which three a re partic ular ly
important for this discuss ion. First, privat e
property right s co nfer on th e owner near-
mo nopo ly cont rol overland a nd improve-
men ts, mon opoly control over th e uses to
.....hich a certain space rs put.' homt hi s con -
dit ion we can derive t he fun ction of ground
rent. Second , lan d a nd improveme n ts are
fixed in space but th eir value is anyth ing
but fixed. Improvernems on t he land are
subject to all the normal influences on thei r
value but with one vital difference. On the
one hand, the value of buil t Improveme nts
on a piece efl an d. aswellas on surr ounding
gentr ification accor ding to t he gentnfier's
actio ns alone, while ignoring the role of
buil ders, developers, lan dlords, mortgage
lend ers, government agenci es. real estate
agent s, and tenant s, is excess ivelynanow. A
broad er theory of gent rificat ion must take
the role of prod ucers as well as consu m-
ers in to account , and when t his is done, it
ap pears that the needs of prod uct ion- in
part icula r t he need to earn profit- are a
more decisi ve tntttattve b- htnd g-nntff ca-
li on th an consumer preference. Th is is not
to say in some naive wa y t hat cons ump-
ti on is the automatic consequen ce of pro-
duction, or that consumer prefer ence is a
t otally passive effect caused by production .
Such would he a producer's sovereign ty
t heor y, almost as one-sided as its neoclas-
sical counter part . Rather, th e relatlunshlp
bet ween prod uct ion and cons umpt ion is
symbiot ic, but it is a symbi osis In wh ich
produc tion dominat es. Consumer prefer -
ence and demand for gentrified housing
can he created a fter all , an d thi s is pr ecisely
what happened in Sociery Hill.! Although it
is or secondaryimportance in initiating the
actual proc ess, and t herefore in explain-
ing why gent rificat ion occurred In t he first
place, consumer preference a nd demand
arc of pri mar y import an ce i n determini ng
the final form a nd character of revitalized
areas-the difference betwee n Society Hill,
say, and New'rork's SoIl o.
is not a significan t retu rn from the subur bs
as such. This docs not disprove the con-
sumer sovereignty hypothesis but suggest s
some limit ati on s ami refinements. Clearly,
it is po sslble-c-even llkely-c-that young er
people who moved to the Lity for an edu ca-
tion a nd profe ssion al t rafnlng have deci ded
against movin g bac k to t he subur bs. There
is a pr oblem, however, ifthisi s t o be taken as
a definiti ve explanation, for gentrificat ion
is not simply a Nor t h America n phenom-
e non but is abo happening ill numerous
cities through our Euru pe (see, for example,
Pitt 1977) wher e th e extent of prior mid dle-
cla ss subu rbanization is much less and th e
relatio n between suburb and inn er city is
substantially different." Only Ley's (1978)
more general societal hypothesis about
po st -Indust rial cines is broad enough t o
acro unt f nrt he process Iut erna uoud ly.Inu
th e implicat ions of accepti ng thi s view are
somewhat dra st ic. If cul tural choice and
consumer pre fere nce really explain gentr i-
ficatio n, th is amounts eith er to th e hyp nth -
esis th at ind ividual pref er ences cha nge in
unison not onl y nat ionally hut intern at ion-
aUy---a bleak view of human nature and
cultu ral ind ividu ality-or t ha i the overr id-
ing constra ints are strong enough to obllt-
erat e the individuality impli ed in consu me r
preference. If t he latt er is t he case, th e
concept of con sumer preference is at best
contra dic tory: a process first conceived in
t erms of individual cons umpti on prefer-
ence has II OW to be explained as result -
ing from cultural uni-dlmenslonallr y. The
concept can be rescued as th eore t ically
viable only If it Is used to refer t o collective
social prefere nce, not Individual prefer-
Thi s refut at ion of th e ne oclassical
ap proach to gentrtficauon is onl y a sum-
mary criti que and far from exha ustive.
What it sugges ts, however.Is a broader con-
ceptu allza non ofthe process,fort he gent rl-
ficr as cons ume r is only one of man y actors
participat ing in the proce ss. To explain
gro....vt h is hindered elsewhere in t he in dus-
trial sector , t he built environment becomes
a targer for muc h profita ble investment, as
is part icula rly a ppa reu t with t his century's
suburbanlzatlon experience. In t his case,
spat ial expansion rather than expa ns ion in
situ wa sthe response to t he contin ual need
for capital accumula tion . Buts uburbani za-
tion illustr at es well t he two-sided na ture of
invest ment in th e buil t environ ment, for
as well <IS being a vehicle for capital accu-
mulat ion, it can also become a barrier t o
furt her accumulation. It becomes so by
dint of th e cha racterist ics noted above:
ncar-monopoly con trol of space, th e fixity
of investm ents, t he long turnover per iod .
Near-monopoly cont rol of space by land-
owners may prevent the sale of la nd for
developmen t; the fixity of Invesuuenrs
forces new development to take place at
ot her, often less adva ntag eous, loca t ions,
an d prevents redevelopment from occur -
ring un til invested capital has lived out its
econo mic life; t he long tu rnover peri od of
capital investe d in th e built environmen t
ca n dls cour agelnvestmen t as long as other
sectors of the economy with shor ter tu rn -
over periods remain profitab le. The early
ind ust rial city present ed just such a barri er
by the lat er par t of the ninetee nt h century,
eventually prompti ng subur ban develop-
ment rat her tha n developmen t in situ.
Dur ing the ni net eent h centur y in most
easter n cit ies, la nd values displa yed the
classical conical form-a pea k at t he ur ban
center, with a declining gradient cnallst des
towa rd th e per iphery. Th is was th e pattern
Hoyt (1933) found in Chicago. With con-
t inu ed urban development t he la nd value
gradien t is di splaced outward an d upward;
land at the ce nter g lOWS in value while the
base of the cone broadens . Land values
tend t o cha nge in unison with long cycles
in the economy; they in crease most rapidly
du ring periods of part icula rly rapid capi-
tal accumulat ion a nd decli ne temporarily
dur ing slumps . Since suburbenizati on

relied on considera ble capital invest ments .,.

in lan d, const ru ct ion, tra nsport at ion, etc.. 1t
it too t ended to follow this cyclical t rend ;;
Pared wit h the need to expa nd the scale uf l
t heir produc t ive activities, and unable or i
unwilli ng for a variety of reas ons t o expand t
any furt her where they were, Industr ies
jumped out beyond th e city to the base of
th e land valu e con e where ext ensive spa-
tial expansion was both possible and rela-
ti vely chea p, The alrernat lve-c-substanrtal
rene wal a nd redevelopme nt of t he already
built up area- would have been t oo costly
for private capital to un dert ake, an d so
industrial capital was increasingly sent
to the subur bs. Th is movement of indu s--
tri al capita l bega n in force after th e severe
dep ression of and was followed
hy a su bsta nt ial migrati un uf capital fUl
residential constr uct ion. In t he alread y
well-estab lished cit ies, the only signi ficant
excepti on to this migration of cons tr uct ion
capital was in th e centra l business dist rict
(CHD) where substa ntial skyscra per office
devel opment occurred in the 1920s. As
will be show n, the inner city was adve rsely
affect ed by this movement of capital to tile
suburbs where higher retur ns were avail-
ab le. A combina t ion of neglect and con-
certed disinves t ment by invest ors, due t o
high risk and low ra tes of return , initiated
a long peri od of deter ioration and a lack of
new capital in vest me nt in the inn er ri ty.
Land values in the Inner city fell rela-
tive to the CBD a nd the suburbs, and by the
late 19205 Hoyt could identify for Chicago
a newly formed "valley in t he lan d-value
curve betwe en the Loop an d outer residen -
tial areas". This valley "indica tes the loca-
tio n of rh ese sect ions where t he buildings
are mos tly over for ty year s nld and where
the residents rank lowes t in rent-paying
ability" (Hoyt: 1933, PP. 356-8) . Throug hout
the decades of most sustained suburba n-
ization , from th e 19405 t o th e 1960s, t his
valley in the land value curve deepened
and broadened due t o a conti nued lack of
product i\'e cap ital invest ment. By the late
1960s the vCllleyma yhave been as much as
'x miles wide in Chicago (McDona ld an d
1979). Evidence from oth er cities
suggests tha t th is depredation a nd
conseq uent broa de ni ng of t he land value
valley occurred t hroughout t he cou ntry's
older cities (Da vis 1965; FAt e! and Sela r
1975), produci ng the slwns a nd ghett os
that were sud denly discovered as "prob-
lems" in th e 1960s hy the lon ggone su bur -
ban middle class.
A theory of gen trifica tion will need ru
explain th e detailed hi storic al mecha nisms
of capital depreciat ion in t he inner cit yand
the precise way in which t his depreciat ion
produc es t he possibilit y of profi ta ble rein-
vestllle nt .The crucia l nexus here is th e rela-
tionshi p between land value and proper t y
value. As they stand, however, these con-
cepts are insufficient ly refined. Land value
for Hoyt, was a composite cat egory refer-
ring to t he price of undeveloped plots and
the expec t ed future income from their use;
thetype of futu re use was simply assumed.
Property value, on the ot her han d, is gen-
erally taken to mean the prh-e at wh ich a
building is sold, including the value of the
land.To elabo rate th e relat ionship betwee n
land value and the value of bu ildings in
fuller detail,t hen, it will be nece ssary to dis-
aggregate t hese t wo meas ures of value into
tour separate but related ca tegori es. These
four categories (house value, sale pri ce.
capit alized ground rent. pot enti al ground
rent) remai n f ull y or part iall y obscure and
indisti nguishable und er t he umbrella con-
cepts lan d value and pr opert yvalue.
House val ue, Consistent with its empha-
sis on cons umer preference, nenclasslcal
economic theory explains prices as the
resuh ofsupplya nd dema nd condilions. BUI
if , as suggested above, the search for a high
return on product ive tnvestmems ts the pri-
mary mtuauve behind gentrification, then
the specific costs of prod uction (not just
the quant it y of end-pro duct-supply) wi ll
be central i n the determina tion of pr iccs. ln
opposition toneoclass ical th eory, th erefore.
it will he necessary to sep arate the value of
a hous e from its price. Following t he clas-
sical polit ical economists (Smith, Ricardo),
and aft er the m Marx, this paper takes as
axiomat ic a labor t heory of value: the value
of a commodity is measuredby the quant ity
of socially necessary labor power required
t o produce it. Only in the market place is
value translated int o price. And alt hough
t he price of a house reflect s its value, t he
two cannot mecha nically be equa led since
price is also affected by supply and demand
con ditions. Thus, value considerat ions (the
amoun t of socia lly necessary la bor power!
ret th e level abo ut which the price fluct u-
a tes. With housing, th e situat ion is more
com plex because indi vidual hou ses return
periodic ally to the market for resale. The
house's value will also depend, therefore,
on its rate of depreciation th rough use,
vers us its rate of ap prec iat ion throug h the
addition of more value. The latter occ ur s
when furt her labor is perfor med for main-
tenan ce, replacement, exte nsions. etc.
Sale price . A further complicat ion with
housing is tha i tile sale pnce represenrs not
only t he value of th e house, but an ad di-
t ional component for rent since t he lan d is
generally sold a long with th e stru ctu res it
accommodates. Here it is prefera ble 10 talk
of ground rent rather t ha n land value, since
the price of lan d does not reflect a quan-
th y uf la bor power applle d tu lt, as with the
value of commodities prope r.
Ground re nt and capitalized gro und
rent. Ground rent is a claim ma de by la nd-
owners on users oftheir land; it represents
a redu ction from t he surplus va lue cre-
ated over and above cost- price hy produc-
ers on the sit e. Capitalized ground rent is
t he actual quant hy of grou nd rent that is
ap propriat ed by th e landowner, Riven the
present land use. In t he case of rental h ous-
ing where t he landlord produces a serv ice
on land he or she owns. the prod uctio n
I NliL S","ITH
and ownership fun ctions a re combine d
and grn und rent beco mes even more of
au lura ngfble Ollego ry though nevenhe-
less a rea l prese nce; t he la ndlord 's capt-
tal tzed ground rent rerums mainly In the
form of house rent paid by t he tena nt s. In
the ca se of owne r occu pancy, ground ren t
is ca pitalized when th e buil ding is sold and
t hr refore a ppea rs as part or th e sail': price.
1I1Us, sale pi ice e hou se value + capitalized
ground rent.
Potential gro un d rent. Under its present
la nd use, a sit e or neighborhood is able t o
capitalize a cer tain quan tity of ground rent.
For reasons onocanon. usually, such an arm
may a ble to capi talize higher que nrues
of ground rent und er a dtfferenr land use.
Pure nrl al ground rent ls the amount tha t
could be capitalized under the land's "high-
est and best use.tThls concept is part icularly
important in explaining gentrificati on,
Using these concepts, t he histor ical pro-
cess that ha s made certain neighb or hoods
rl pefor ge-ntriflcat lou ca n be ollt lint' d.
Cal,ital deJl n"dal illll in the tuner d ly.
The physical deteri ora tion and eco nomic
deprecl ation of Inner-cit y neigh bor hoods
is a smcuvtogica t."ran onet"ou tcome of the
operation of t he land and housing mar ket .
this is not t o suggest it is at aUnatu
ever. for the rna rket itse lf is a socla Ipr od uct .
fa r frum be ing inevitabl e, llf'ighhOlhood
dt"t:li ne is
t he result or iden tifiable prt\<ll;e a nd p u b-
lie inve"-.:nen t c ectoo ns, . . While there is
no t'apolro n \'1'110 sits in a posi tion 01 con
[Jol o\"1;'r t he f ale of a there
is enouKll romrol by, and integration of, the
lo\"t 'Stffiem and development actors of the
real t'State industry that their ded slolls go
I",yrolld " It'SI'" nst' <tlld <tct Ui111 y "hal'" Iht'
(Dwdfordand Rubinowitz 1975, p, (9).
What [oJlows is a mther schematic
a1tempt t o explain the cledinf' of
neighborhoods in Terlm of tile
institu tions, actors, and economic forces
involved. It requi res t he ident ificat ion of
a few salient that characterize
th e dlff ere nr st agt'!> uf decli ne , but is nut
meant as a descrtpuon of what
every neighbo rh ood expen ences. The day,
t o-day dynam ics of decline are complex
and. as rega rds the relationship bet....teen
landlords and tena nts in pe rtjcul ar, have
bee n exa mined in con siderable detail
elsewhere (Stt-glllil. n 1972). Thi s schema
Is, however, meant to provi de a general
explana tory framework. Wit hin which each
neig hborhood's conc ret e experience ca n
be understood. It is assumed from the star t
t hat the neighbor hoods concerned are rela-
tively homogeneous as rega rds the age and
quality of hOllsing. a mi, Indeed, t his tends
to be the rase with areas experiencing
I. New const r uctio n and t he firs t cycle of
use. When a neighborhood is newly built
the price of housing refl ects the value of the
st ruct ure and improveme nts put in place
plus the en hanced ground rent capt ur ed
by the previous landowner. Durin g the
first cycleof use, the ground rent Is likely to
incr ease as urban developme nt contin ues
outward , and the hcusc value willonlvvery
s1CMiybegin to decline ifat all The sale pri ce
t herefore rises, RU I evenruallv sustai ned
deprecia t ion of the house va lue OCCU IS and
this has three sources, advances in the pro-
oucuve ness of labor, swr e obsolescence.
an dphyslcalwear and tear. Advances in me
productiveness of labor are chi efly due to
tech nological innovation and changes in
the organ izat ion of the wor kprocess . The;e
ildV<l nces allowa similar to bepro
uur eda t illowel \allle 111<1 /1would ot hel Wl-.e
have bl'l' 1Ipossible. Truss frame con str uc-
tion an d th e factory fabrication of parts In
general, ra th er th an on -site constr uction.
arc only the most reeent examples of such
advances. Style obsolescenc e is secondary
as a stimulus for silsta inetl depreciation in
tht' housln Kmarl et aud nray ocra slonally
. inJ llce an a ppreciation of val ue. ma.Il Yold
style; beingmore sought after than rhenew.
l'h.ysical wear end tear alsocttcctsth e value
g.but it isneces saryhere to dist in-
guish be1\\ t>en mino r repairs whic h must be
pcnormed u'gularl y if a house is to rerefn
Its value te.g., pai nt ing t1lJl.lrS a nd window
frames. interior decoraungj, majo r repairs
whiCh are performed less regu lar ly but
retluire grea ter outlays (eg., replacing th e
plumbing or electr ical syst ems), and st ruc-
rural repairs with out which the st ructure
bel'llmes unsound (e.g., replaci ng a roof,
replacing floor boards that have lh y rot).
lkpreclat iun of a property's value after one
cycle of use reflects the imminent need no t
only for regular, minor repa irs bu t also for
a success ion of more majo r repai rs involv-
ing a substant ial inves t ment. Depreciati on
will induce a price decrease relative t n new
hOllsing but t he extent of t his dec rease will
depend Oil how milch the BIOUl H] l ent has
abo cha nged In the mea ntime.
2, Landlord ism and homoowncrsh lp.
Clearly the inha bitant s in ma ny neigh bor-
hoods succeed in ma kingmajor repe lrsand
maintaining or even en hancing the value
of the area's housing These areas rema ln
stable. Equal ly d ear ly, there are areas of
oweer-cccup ted housln gwhleh experlence
initial depreciat ion. Homeowners, aware of
imminent declin e unless repairs nrc made.
ere likdy to 0 111a nd eeek newel homes
where t heir Invest ment wi tl be safer. At this
poi nt,after a first or suhseqll Pnl cyd f' of use ,
th....e is it rendency for tn
conv ert t o rental t ena ncy unless repairs are
made. And since landlords use bulldlnKsfor
different pu rpo ses than owner occu piers, a
different pau emofmaintcnanccwillens uc,
Owne r occ upiers in t he housi ng mar ket
<I re both illld
investur s; as Ihl"ir pri mar yl elllrtl
COlJl es as the ill Crelll1'11I of sale prke
purchase pri ce. The landlord, on the ot her
hand, receives his retum mainlyfn the furm
of house rent , and under cenaln condit ions
may have a lesser incent ive for carrying
out repairs solong as he cansnncomma nd
ren t. This is not to say t hat land lor ds typi-
cally underma lntain prope rt ies they pes-
sess; ne wer apa rt ment complexes and even
older a ccomoda uons for which demand
is high may be very well mai nta ined. But
as Ira Lowry has Ind ica t ed, "undermalnte-
nance is an eminent lyreasonable res ponse
of a landlord t o a declining mar ket- (1960.
p, 367), andsince rhe t ranslt ton from owner
occu pancy to tena ncy is generall y ass ocl-
at ed with a decllning market, some deg ree
cf underma lnt enance can be expec ted
Undermalntena nce will yield sur plus
capital to be Invest ed elsewhere. It ma y be
Invested In ot her cit y properties, i t may fol-
low developers' capital ou t to the subur bs,
or it may be invested in some ot her secret
of The 1:' C111l 0 1llV. ..Villi sustai ned under-
maintena nce 11Ia neighbo rh ood, however,
it may become difficult [or landlords to
sell their properties. particularly si nce the
larger fina ncial inst it utions will now be less
forthcoming with mort gage funds: sales
become fewer and more expensive to t he
landlo rd. Thus, t here Is eve n less incentive
to invest i ll the area be yond what is neces-
sar yt o retai n th e pres ent reven ue fbW.l1lis
pattern of decline Is likelv t o be reversed
only if a shortage of higher quali ty accom-
modation s occu rs, allowi ng rents to be
raised a nd IlldHng Improved maintena nce
worthwhile. Othp, ,,,t<.P, the area is l ikely t o
expe lie nce a Ilt'l out flow of ca pital. wl lidJ
will bl' at first sinl.'t' landlords
have substanti al Inve; tment s to protect .
Under t hese conditlons It becomes verv dif-
ficuit for the indiJ,idual lan dlord or owner
to sn uggle against thi s decline. House va l
ues are falling and t he levels of capita lized
ground for t ht' afea a re dro ppingIlt'lnw
the pott'lll itll ground t t"lIl. The individual
who di d nOI und ermalnt aln his propert y
wo uld be forced t o hlg:her than
average rent for the area wit h litt le hop e of
attract ingtenants eaming highert han aver-
agf' lnrome which would ca pitalize t he full
ground reru. Th is is the r.elehra ted vnelgh-
bcrho od t"ffI"CI " and opela tes th rough the
rent structure,
3. Blockb ust ing and blowout. Some
neighbor hood s may not tra ns fer t o rental
tenancy an d they will expe rience rela-
uve sta hililYo r it genrjer COIITinualinn of
dec line, If the laner occ urs , it is th e OWUt"T
occupan ts who undermatntaln, though
usuallv out of fina ncial constra int s rather
th an market strategy. With block bu sting,
t hi.<ldedi ne isintensificd. ucatcste tcegc nts
exploit racis t sent iments in wh ite neigh-
bor hoods th at are experiencing de- lin-
iliBsalt" prices; t hey buy 11l111<;t>S relatively
cheaply, and then resell at a r ons lde rable
markup to black families, man y of whom
are de sperate to own th ei r firs t home. As
tcurc nn's research suggests. property val-
ues are usuallydeclining before blockbust -
ing place and do not begin des-lining
siUll-' lyiIS a res ult of racial changes in uwn-
t>Nlip (Laun-uri 1960J_Once blod. hu sl ing
has taken place, however. further decl ine
in house values is likely du e to the In flated
prices at which houses were sold a nd the
conseq uent lac k of resou rces foc ma inte-
nance an d mort gage payments suffered by
incoming famili es. BlowouT, i\ si mila r pro-
cess, operates wi thout the helpi ng ha nd
of rea l estate agents. Descnbmg me pro-
cess as u o perated in the Balt imore ho us-
ing market d ur ing th e 1960s, Haf\.eyet aL
(l97l; see also Harvey 1973, p. 173) point
to th e ouM Brd sprea d of slums from t he
innI"Tci t y(t he broa deningoft hl'! la nd value
alld the COnSf'(l llf'nTMllIt"t""/i ng of
slill lt t"<l lIhy outer Ileighbllrhll uds l1 gaillst
!>t' cure upper mi ddle-class rt"sident ial
enclaves lyingfunher out. Thus squeeze d,
owner occupa nt s in a n entire ne ighbor-
hood nrc likely t o sell out, often t o lnnd
lords , a nd tiee to t he sub urbs.
3, Redltntn g, tjndermatntenance gives
wav to more acuve disinvesrment as capital
depreciates further and the landlord 's st ake
diminishes; house val ue and ca pitalized
grou nd renrf1111 , prod rx-ingfut'ther decreases
in sale pri ce. Di<.invMot lllffil by landlords is
accompanied by an equally "ranonal" dis-
inves tment by financial institutions whjch
cease mortgage money to the
arm Larger msnt unon s offering low down-
payment, low int erest rate loons find they
can ma ke higher returns in t he suburbs V.iTh
a lower cha nce ri"forednc;ure and less ri ..k d'
ded i ning propt' n y values. Thelr role in the
inner city is taken over Initially by smal ler.
often local organtaeuons spec ializing in
higher risk financing. Redlined by larger
instit ut ions, the urea may also receive loons
insured bythe Fi lA.Thou ghmeantt oprevent
dt"Cline, }<'HAloans have hee-n tneffec-
ruat a nd have even couutluned to decline in
places (Bradford and Rublnowi tz 1975, p 82),
The loans allow prope rt ies t o cha nge hands
but do little to encourage reinvest ment in
maintena nce 50 The process of decline is
simp ly lubricated. Ultimately, medium and
small-scale lnvesror s alsa refuse to work the
an-a, as do lTIor tgitge Insu rers.
'Vand alism furt her accelerates depre-
ciation a nd bec omes a pr oblem especially
when pro pert ies are te mporarily vacan t
bet weentenants [St egman 1972. P.60I. hen
when occupied. however, it may be a prob -
lem, especially if a bu ilding is bei ng und er-
manuauret III "mil led:
Suh.livi sion of stru ct ures to yield more
rell !al units is com mon a t Ihb stage. Bysub-
di\"kling. the land lord hopes to InTemifyt he
bUilding's use {a nd profitabilit y! in its laS!
fe wyea rs. But evcoTually lo. ndlordswill dis-
invesl t ot ally, refusing t o make repa irs and
paying only Tile ..ts-and t hen
ufte n olily sJlIlHlIliUllly-for the building to
ren t.
5. Aban donme nt. When landlords can no
longer collect enough house rent [Q cover
Ihe necessa ry ( (utililil:"S aud taxes),
buildinlC> al e abandoned. Thls is a neigh-
borhood phenomeno n, not somerbtng
that stri kes isola t ed properti es in ot her wise
sTalic areas. Much a bandoned housing is
structurall y sound and rhtssocms paradox-
ie_aL Bur t hen buildings aIP a bandoned nOI
bf'{"au."f' t hev are unuse ahle, bUI beca use
tt.t"yca nno t-be used profi rably. Jhe flnal
act of a bandonment may be tri ggered (but
not caused) bya vanetvufevents.Includmg
the sl ricTenf orcement of th e building code
bythectty housingdepartment, Alsoat this
stage of decline, there is a certa in incent ive
for landlords TOdestroy their own propert y
thrt. lgh ar son an d collect the su ll'ila nl ial
insura nce pay ment.
The previous section present ed a summa ry
explana tion of the process commonly hilt'fulingly referred In as fllterlng, [I b a
common pWt. "",ss In the hous ing market and
afects many neighbor hood s but is by no
mean s universal. It isincluded here precisel y
beca use gentrification is a lmost aiwa'f-ipre-
ceded by filtering, although the pro cess
need not occur hilly for gentrifi cat ion TO
ensue, Nor should t his dec line hf" Thought
01as ine viTable. Ln WT)' quite onncrly
jru.hl s, filteri ng is not due simply "to the
relentles s passage of ume" bur to "human
ageocy " l1960, p. 3(0). l he previous sect ion
has suggested who some of th ese agents are.
and t he marker forces they both erect t o and
help create. That secTion Sllggf"'Ots thilT
thf"objt>dive mf'l:hanism undr:rlying filter-
ing is tlit" , ed at ion aud 1",'aluilTioll of
capiTal invest ed in res ident ial in ner< ity
neighborhoo ds. Th is depr ed a t ion pro du ces
the ob jective economic cond it ions thm
make rnpita l revaluation (gcntr ifirntion) a
rationa l market Of funda menta l
ill1j:_lrtallce here is what I Ulll tllt' It'IlI gap.
TI Le It'll t gtlp is bt' twl:'t'll lhe
potential ground Tent le\"el and the actua l
ground rent ca pitalized unde r the present
land us c. Inth e cascof filtering,th erent gap
is produced primarily by ca pital deprecia -
t ion (which dimmishes t he pro portion of
thegrou ndrent a bl er o he ca pit alized] and
also byco nt inuedurban de velo pment a nd
expansi on [whlch has hlsrurica lly raised
th e purent tal ground re nt (eHI in the in ner
cit y). The val leywhich Hoyt de tect ed in his
1928 observa tion of la nd val ues can now
be unders t ood in large pan as the rent gep,
Onlywhen t his gap ro merges can redevelop-
me nt be expected since l f rhe present 1I:<-t"
succeeded in ca plt allzlng all c r most oIthe
ground rent , lill ie economic benefit cou ld
be derived from rede vel opme nt. As filter-
ing and neighborhood decli ne procee d,
th e rent gnp wide ns. Gent rificat ion occurs
when t he gap is wi de en ough t hat devel -
ope rs GI ll ca n pa y
the builders' costs and PIOOI fUTreha bll i-
ration, ca n pay Interest on mortgage and
cons u ucuo n loans , and ca n then sell the
end prod uct for sale price tha t leaves a
satisfa ct ory re turn [0 t he develope r. The
ent ire groun d rent. or a larg e po rt ion of it ,
is now ca pit ali zed : t he neighborhood has..
be en "recycled" <l IKI a new cycle IIf
us e.
Once the rem RaP Is wide en ough, gen-
tri ficati on ma ybe initia ted in a given neigh -
borhood by several different actors in th e
la nd and housing market, And here we
come rock to the relat ionshi p bet ween pro-
du ct ion and ro n"'"mpl ion, forlheempiri UlI
evidence suggt'Sts strongly mal me pro-
cess is init ia ted not by t he exerdse of t hose
indivi dual consumer prefere nces much
beloved of neodasslcal economisls, but by
some fonn of collective social action
at th El
neighbor hood le....eLThe stat e, for exam ple,
in it iat ed mos t if not all ofrhe e.arlyschr:mf's,
a nd t hllugh il pl<l Ys 11 rule t Ollay,
sllll import ant . l\1ure curnmunly today,
with private mar ket gent rifica tion, on e or
more fina ncia l inst itu t ions will reverse a
lon g sta ndi ng rcd lini ng policy and act ivcly
82 I NEll SMl r H
la rgf'l a n eighborhood as a pot ent ial mat -
l ei f Of cuns tr ucrio n 10011.. and lIluJl galit"s
Allthe cons umer pr eference in the wor ld
will amount to nought un less t his JOIlR:
absent sou rce of fundi ng reappear s; mon o
gage ca pital is a prerequisite, Of course,
th is mortgage capita l mu st be bo rrowed by
willing con sumers exercisi ng some prefer -
t"flet" or a n01hf' l. But p rd"f't f' nc:t"" a ll'
not prereq ulsnes since can be socially
created, as was seen above AlonK wnh
financial instit utions, prof essional devel-
opel'S have act ed as the collect ive ini t ia-
tive behin d gentrificat ion. Adeveloper will
purchase a substantial proport ion of the
pmpen fes ill a neig hbor hood , reh alnluare
themthen sell t hem for profit. The
nlflcant exception 10 thls predomina nce of
couecuve action occurs in neighborhoods
adjacent to already gentrified ar eas. There
indeed, mdi vjdunl gentrificrs may be very
important in initiating reha bilitation.Their
decision tn reh abilitat efollnwe dthe result s
from lilt: previous neighborhood. how-
ever, whi ch implies that a sound Ilua ncial
investment was uppermost in their minds.
And the ysull requl re mc rtgagecapital from
willing inst it ut ions.
fhreek indsof developers typ irallyoper-
at e in recyclmgneighborhoods: Ial prorce-
develope rs woo p ur chase p rnperty,
rf'dl"\-f"lnl' it, and resel l for prufil; (h) nccu-
pier develope rs who buy and rt'dto' \'d op
propt>n ya nt l lnhabil II aflf'r rn mplPt lon; {cj
la ndlor d develope rs who rent it t o tenan ts
niter rehabilitation.' The developer's ret um
on investment comes as pan of the com-
pleted propert y's se le price: for t he la nd-
IUIlI dt!' vt'lol't' r it abo f.- "(Jrnes ill 1111:' form of
huuse It' nL T\\u st' parate ga ins W ill prist'
the return achieved throuWl sale: capital.
lzat ion of enhance d groun d rem, a nd profit
(quite disti nct from builder's profit) on the
invcr;tment of productive cnpital (secSmith
1979J, Professional and landlord develop
ers are To The pu b.
lie i1l1al;t', Ihey were by far the ma jority ill
Society lIill- bu t occupier developers are
more act ive in rehabilitat ion than t hev are
in any nther ses-t nr of hOIl<;;i ng con-nee-
tion. Per haps t he malu It'aSOIl for this ca ll
be tr aced 10 the very nature of gentrifica-
tion and the charactertsucs of Investment
in the buil t en viron men t di scussed above.
Urban renewal like rehabilitation, occurs
where a rent gap has been ope ned up. but
in the ca se of renewa l either t he di lap i-
da red st ock is unsou nd str uclurally, or the
rematnlng st ruct ures are unsuitable for
new uses. whne the technical a nd spatial
requirements for ind ust rial and commer-
cial buildings ha ve alt ered substantially in
the last hund red years, those for reside nces
ha ve not, and st ruct urallv soun d town
are qulre usea ble givell t he righl
econom ic conditions. But since the land
has already been developed and an int ri-
cate pattern of property rights laid down,
it is difficult for th e professiona l developer
t o assemble suff icien t land a nd propert ies
t o ma ke involvement worthwh ile. Even
landlord develope r.. rended ro be rehabili-
tat ing several pro pe r ties shnuh aneouslv or
In seq ue nce , The Iragmemed st ruc ture of
propenv own ersntp has made the occu pier
deve loper, who is generally an inefficient
operator in the constr ucti on industry, into
an ap propriate vehicle for Tl'CYcling deval-
ued neighborhoods.
\ ' iewaJ illlhisway, gen1rificat ion is IlUt
a cha nce Or a n ine'lplica hle
reversa lofsomelnet-Jta blef lltertng process.
On The contra ry, it is 10 be elfpected. The
dep reci at ion of capit al in ninet een th cen-
tu ry innercity neighborhoods. Togethe r
with cont inu ed urban groWTh during t he
first half of t he 1wenlif't h re ntury, have
lU pruduct' t:llntlil inlls in which
profitable reili vt!Strwm t is If this
rent g:ap th eory of p;en trlfl ca t ion is correct,
it would be expec ted t hat reha bilitat ion
be gan where t he gap was greatest and t he
highest returns availa ble, i ,e" in neighbor
ho ods pan icula rly d01ie 10 t he ciTy cenTer
ami in wh ere the seq uence
of declining values had pretty much ru n
us Empirica lly. this seem s t o have
bf en The case, The th eory also suggest s
tha t as th es e first a reas a re recycled, ot her
areas uffering lower hut ."t ill substantial
ret urns wuuld be soughl a lii by develop-
ers, This would involve a reas further fro m
the city center and area s wher e decli ne
was less adva nced. Th us in Phil ad elphia,
Fdirmou nt a nd Village me the new
"hot ,pots ) 978: Levy 1978l .
and the cit y's triage policy for alloca ting
blllCk grant fun ds makes pan of Nort h
Philadelphia a likely ca ndidate fur fut ure
redeve lopment,
The state's role In earlier rehablllta-
tion schemes is worthy of note. Bv asse rn-
bling prop erties at fair market va lue an d
returning Them To developers at t he lower
price t he state acc omplis hed and
bore the costs of th e las t stages of capit al
devalua tion, therebyensurin g t hat devel-
ope rs could rea p t he hi gh returns wi thout
which redevelopment would not occur,
l oday, wit h th e state l ess involved in thi s
process , develope rs ar e clearly a ble to
absor b t he co st s of deva luing capita l t hat
hal> nut yet f ull y deprecta red . That is, they
ca n pa y a rela tively high price fOI propt>r
ties to be reha bilita ted. ands nnma kea ree-
sonablere tum. It seems th en. th at th e state
has been successful in providin gt he condi -
tions t hat wou ld stimulate pr1\'a ICmark et
To summar ise t he th eory, gentrifica -
tion a si ruct ur al prod uct of thl"la lu I an d
houslnKmarke Ts. Capital flows where th e
rate of re!Urn is hiKhest, and th e move-
men t of capilal to the su bu rbs a long with
the continual depred a tion of inner-city
capita\' event ually produces the rent gap,
Whe n g<'l P large,
reha bililat ion (or
ra n begin to challl:' ngl' thto' ral es of retu rn
ava ilable elsewhere, and capital flows
Gentrificati oo has de mons t rated th at con -
t rary to t he conventional wi sdom, mid-
dle- and upper-class housing is capa ble of
intensive land f UM how intensive is not
clear, slgnifl ra nt evidence
th at the OIKe steep ren t gradi ent is flatten-
Ing ou t (Yea tes 1965, Edel a nd Sdar 1975);
a nd if this is the case, poten tial ground rent
in inner-city ncighborhoods may act ually
have dec rea sed, presumabl y due To eft t-
cient Transporta t ion links t o t he subur bs
and exc......lve- crowning downt own what
this might 1I1t'a n fIK gem riflcat lon or for
the commercial and recreatlcna l redevel-
opment that ls al so happening In some err-
Ies ougfu rc be a topic for furt her research,
Anoth er topic for empirical investigation
is the exten t To which capit al depreciation
mu st occur in an area before gent rtnca -
tl uu ca ll occur. This a ll assumes the Ijhe r-
Ingprocess 10be thefundame ntalsource of
th e rent gap, and whne t hts js certa inlyso In
the u.s . it may not be elsewhere. Alt houg h
capital depreciation and filtering prepared
t he way for gent rjfi canon in Islington (Pit t
19n ). in general, one wo uld not expe ct it to
he 50 prevajem in t he U.K. housin g marker
where much \'Wu ld ng hOllsing is pro-
duced by 1lX2lgover nment acnon not the
private martel. In thls rase , rising groun d
rent level s due t o urban expa nsion and
developmen t may be more importa nT in
accoun ulll5: fOJ the rem gap.
Ge nlri ficat ion i."i a back to Ihe d t y movt'-
me lll all l ighl. bll t of ra pital rather .han
peopl e.TI ll' peuple lakin gadvamage of tllls
return ing ca pila l are still, as yet.. fro m the
city, If the city cont inues to anr act prod uc-
t ive capital residcntinl or other
conslJuct ion l wema ywitness a fund am en-
t al re>tru ctur ing of ur ban space compara
hie WiTh slIhlll'll.l!lil.aTinn Then, ind eed, it
woul d beculllt' a iJ<I ck tu the cit ymo vemt:>nl
by people tOO--lll iJ J le- alltl 'u pper-class
peopl e. thaI Is-whlle The workinR class

Adde. L. 119691 Nftre Cities; An<UQIIIY of DuwIIlOlt'n
Renewal , WaGhlnglOn U.C.: Urban Land Institu te.
Alo(}"" , W (19M) I.lJcml'Jnand LtmrJUp, Camhrldge
Harvard University Press.
Baltimore City Departm ent of Hcusmg and

TIu:Third Year, 1976,Bohimorc rhc Departmen t.
r.radford.. c. and Rubtnowlrz, L. ( 1975) "The urban-
suburban investment-disinve5tme nl process;
consequ en ces fOI older neigh bol hoods," Annal,
of lIle AmerinUj tkademy ofPlililiwl (IIlUSOl-hI!
Science 422: 77 86.
and the poor would inheri t th e old decli n-
ing suburbs in a crue lly ironiccontinuat ion
of the filtering pro cess. Theywould then be
trap ped in t he subur bs, n ot the inner ci ty.
As was emphasized in the di scussion of
subur banlzat lun , in vest ment in the butlt
environment is a majo r vehicle for capital
accumulation. This process is cyclical an d,
because of the lon g life an d fixity of such
invest ments, new cycles of Investment arc
oft en a ssoci at ed with crises and switches of
the loca t ion ofa ccnmnlat ion (Harvey 197R).
ill th is context, gentrification a nd
other kind s of ur ban rena issance could 1Je
the leadi ng edge (but i n no way th e cause)
of a lar ger restructuringafspace. According
to one scenario t his restr uct uring wo uld
be accomplished accor ding to the needs of
ca pital : a rest ructu ring of middle-class cul-
tur e maywell accompany an d influen ce it,
but would besecondary According to a sec-
and scena rio, tile needs of capital would be
systema t ically dismant led, to be displaced
by t he social, econom ic, and cultural needs
of people as th e princip le accor ding t o
which th e restru ctur ing of space occurs.
I. Gcntrtfi caticn ia the proces s of converting
worktng- ctase arms into middle-class ncigb bor -
h, xx!s rhrough Ihe nohahi limTion of the oeigh -
borhood's housingst ock.
That the earner projects requir ed substantial
state iui tidlivt' <:l uoJ dlduorexdude them
h Oi ll bcinScxplillncd in tc,ms of conSUIUerp,cf
erence_In Philad,'lphl:l. for <'xampk', rh,' Grmrer
Philadelphia Movemen t was responsible
lor g(!(ting the Slate to imp lement Societ y Hill's
renewa l plan. and lt constsrenrly cja lmed thar
the demand to revitalize was ever-present but
the cost constraints and rtsk were too great for
private capital and Indivld uals.k was the respon -
stbiht yofthe stale, rheyargued. to use the avail
aill., to stlhslti lw the proj"U,
thereby removing the cons traints and a
broaoercroreceuse. societ yHUl,
(1969, pp. 33-6) . FOl lhe pur poses ofth ls
paper. I am disti nguishing between gcotnnca
llw and ur lJ<l n nOI acco rdl ng ]()whelher
the proce5Sis privatel y 01 pub licly fund ed, bUI
anmdlng lowhelh"r tus rehalmnannnpmcess i
or purdy new consnucrico. A5 should become
clear from the main argument of t he paper , the i
dbt iuCllou between public and priva te funding jl
simply represents (In this cont cxt) two diffelent
m,,,-hanlsm, for cau }lng uut lht' on" l"";''l lllal !
proces s. ,.
Bysuburbs I meanherethearea outside t he pres - 'T
"n! 1.xlUudar y bllt In>iu" $.\ lSA. !
su bur bs that oow appe ar ins ide the city du e to f
consequent annexa nons are therefore count ed
as secncus of the city. This defl nirion is
here since one 01 the main selling points of gen.
utn ceuon ts lIMI it will briug addltlnnaltax reve-
n ucs to the city. a carI)', ann exed alrcudy
pa y tues to the cit y
This MIld of consol ldarjon may be experienced
by ather cities. Scveral of the citiesexamined I1y
LII,I'1Il( L97 7) dh play a slmllal coneoltdauon
For furthe r discussion of the cr OS5-Arlentic com-
pa rison, sec Smith (l 979).
AdVCl ti,;ing is a prima ly means of cre<l. liug
demand In Society Hill, the Old Phil adelpbia
n 'vplopm''tll Corpmal ion employed a
Avenue professional to the PIOject (Old
Phila delphi a Development Corpor auo n 197())
Certdiuly z.llul ug, eminent dOl1Mlu, dud olher
stat e regulations put si);lnificant limits an the
landowner's conrrot oflan d, bu l In xonhAmerica
and wesrem Europe, these lnnita dons are litt le
more than cosmetic. \\ ithin these umucttcns
lILe propert y mar ket mnnnues II) quite
By"colle.::t1ve SOCIal act ion" I me an simpl y act iv-
ity thar carr ied 0 11 joint ly aod simulceneousty
by pcop le, not by indlvidua ls acting a lone.
I OJIIlrspl'Hlldtlll SIll'rlfort lll' obvloll"P,asoll lha t
they invest no pr oductive capit al. Thcy .imply
buy property Inthe ho pe of selling ieat a higher
price to develope". SpecolatlHs d'l uot prodoLe
an ytransformalion in the UI ban structure
llurl,N. (l963) 1I.e Perenrlia[Philadel pfliarlS. Laudon ;
DCllt andSon.
C;ybriwsty, R, (197/1) "Sl,d al "Spetts 01 opighhnr_
hood change." Annals of Aolwdat ion of .1mer-ican
Geograp/wr>6/3; 17- 33
T "Mlddlt'c l<tss housi ng i'l tht' U'llhal
city; Economic 238- 251-
Edei.M._and sctar. E. (1975) ' The disrnbuuon of
real esta te value changes: metro politan Bostan,
IE70- 1970: journal of Urban Bcononucs 2:

Gale. D.E. (19761 "Th e beck to-rhc -cny rnovcmc nr
. . _or is m' Occasi onal Papt- 'I", Depart men t crurban
and Regional Planning, The George WaMlinglOu
Universit y.
Gale, D.E. (1977) "The movemen r
revisited," Occasional Paper, Department of Urban
and Regional Plan ning. The George washmgrcn
UnivP]';;' I).
Gall s. H. (1%8 ) People cmd Plans, New Basic
(1ft'Culidd, A ),l , andco. Inc, (1964I':-lcw lOwlI house s
for Washington Squa re East: a technical rep ort on
p't'V" r..J 1m lht'
nedc velopmentAuthorit yof Philadelphia.
Harvey.D. (1973) Soda !Jusllr eandtooClty, Baltlmcre;
lohus Hopkius Uuiverslry Press
_ _11978) "r ho urban proces s under cap italism: a
for ana l)"ils," Tnu m mion,,1Jr" ,mnl "f
UrbanandRcgionalRcsearch2 , 1: IOO-LJL
Charerjee. L_,Wolman, M. and xewmao, J.
(t 972) TIll!Hrm:>ing Mwl e/ und e lide a lf(".ceme'l/
in Baltimore , Balt imore: City Plann ing
Departmen t.
Hoyt, H. (1933) One Hundred lear s of lnnd Values in
Chicago. Chicago: unwcrsnvorctncago Press.
taorcnti , L. (196m P"' I'",tyValues "lid Elcrkd ey,
Universi ty of California Press.
lPvy. P (197/1) QlIPen VlI/age' 1he FcUp>e'ifC(}mmrrnj ry
Philade lphia: Institute for the Stud y of Qvic Values
Ley, 1) (1978) "Inner cit y rt.-'Surgcnce and Its societ al
u lUle xl: papc, pr""t' '' I..J 10 the .'\"'i<x:ldt i,m of
.'\mcllcan Geographers Annual Conference, Now
Orlm n,
Lipton, S. G. (19n) "Evidence of centr al cily revival"
Journal of /he American 1m/itUIe of Hanners H ,
!\ pril: 136- t 47.
Lowry, I. S. (1960) "Filtering a nd hou sing cool s: a con
ceptual anal ysis ."Land .362-3 70
I. R and Bowma n, II. W. (L979) "Laud
value fun ctions : a reevaluation," journal of Urban
Ewnumirs6:25-4 L.
Mills, E. (1972) SlUdies in th e S'I"'--eture of the
Urban Economy, Balt imore : j ohns Hoplens
),l uth, R.(1969) Citicsand Houslng,Chicago: Umvc rsiry
[)fChicago Pre,s
Pitt, /. (19i 7l GClltrjficat iorr in Landon:
Bamsburyk'eoples f orum.
Smith , N. (1979) (f' lfl1tcmHiugl C.crltl ilk" t i"u
capit al: theory, practice and Ideology in Society
Hlll.Antipode l L
Stegman, .. ... (1972) JnrocSfmelu i Illhe Inner
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Ulban Land Instit ute, (l976) Ncu' Opp ortwtiri cs for
Resident ial Del'elopment In CerItral Cities, Hepor r
:"0.25, wasluugtou TIle Iustlnne,
Winlel s, C. (1978) "Rejuvena tion with Characler,"
pap'" p.l'St'OII'ti 111 Ih,' A"",xiatlno of Amerka n
Geogla phers Annua l Cooference, :-lewOrleans.
wolf, b. (l 97Sj Philadelphia : l' orIrair of all American
City, Hdn i, b urg, I'd.. : Sl<:lckpnlc B' Xlks.
Yeates, M. H. (1955) "Some factors affocling th e eparla l
disTrlhuTion [)f Chi cago land ""Ine, 1910- 1960'-
The City as a Growth Machine
JohnR. LoganandHarveyL. Mol otch
Tradit ional urban resea rch has had little
relevance t o t he day-to-day act ivities of th e
place- bas ed elites whose prior it ies affect
patterns of land me, public budgets, and
urban social life. It has not evenbeen a ppa r-
ent from much of the scho larship of urban
social science th at place is a market com-
modity that can prod uce wealt h and power
for its own ers. an d that this mi gh t explain
why certain people take a keen interest in
the orderin g of'urbanllfe.
Research on local elites ha s been preoc-
cupied with t he question "Who governs?"
torwho rules?"). M e the politicall y active
citizens of a city split into diverse an d com-
pcttng tnterest groups , orare t heymembers
of a coordinated oligarchy? Empirical evi-
rlenre of visible cleavage, such as dispu t es
on a public issue, has been accept ed as evi-
dence of pturansuc comp en uon (Ban field,
1961: Da hl, 1961). Signs of cohesion, such
as common membershi p in voluntary and
policy groups, have bee n used t o sup port
the a1tem ative view (see Domhoff 1970).
We believe that t he qu est ion of who gov-
erns or rules has to he asked in rnnjunc-
tion with the equally central question "For
wnat r'wtm rare except ions (see Smltb and
Keller, 1983), one issue cons lstentlv gener-
ates consensus among local elite gro ups
and sepa rates t hem from people wh o use
t he city princip ally as a pl ace t o live and
work: the issue of growth. For those who
count, the city is a growt h machine, one
t hat can increas e aggregate rent s an d t rap
rela ted wealt h fur t hos e in t he right puxi-
n on to bene fl t. The desire for growth ere-
a tes conse ns us among a wide ra nge of elite
gro ups , no matter how split they might be
on oth er issues. Thus t he disagreement on
som e or even mos t pub lic issu es does not
necessaril y indi cate an y fun damental dis-
unity, nor duchanges in the n umber orvari-
ety of actors on the scene (wha t Clark [1968]
calls "decent rallza tlon") affect t he bas ic
matt er. It does not even matter th at elites
often fail to achieve th eir growth goa l; wit h
virt ually all places in t he same game, some
elites will inevitably lose no ma tter how
grea t their effort (Lynn et al., 19R1 ; Kran nich
and Hu mphr ey, 1983).
Alt hough lhey may differ on which par -
ticular straregv will best succeed, elit es use
th eir growth conse ns us [Q eliminate any
alternative vision of the pur pose of local
government or the meaning of commu-
nity. The issues th at reach public agen das
(and ale th eretore availa ble t or pimalists'
in vesuga nonsr do 50 precisely beca use t he y
are matters on which elites ha ve, in effect,
agr eed to di sagree (Molotch and Lester,
1974, 1975: sccsc hatrschoeidcr. r ssej .Ontv
un der rat her extr aordinary circumstances
is t his consens us endangered.
For all t he pluralism Banfit' ld (196 1)
uncovered i n Chicago, he found no dis-
wit h the klea that growt h was
good . Indeed, much of th e d issen sion he
did find, for exa mple, on wh ere to put t he
new convennon cent er, was pall of a dis-
pute over bow growth should be in ternallv
dist ribu ted. In his stu dies 11cities on both
sidt"Sufdwsoul hem U,S. lxmlt-r . D' Antooio
foun d tha t when communiry "knowledge-
were "asked to name the most prl' ss-
InRproblems facing th eir respect ive cnles, "
th y erred fir.dinRsufficient wa ter for both
farm ing a nd urban growth (f orm and
tr.tntonto, 1970: Whi tt (19821found
that in formulat ing positions on California
Iran'llMlllali lm po hc tes. ra refully
countlnated nut only the posl tlon s the y
would ta ke but also the amount of mone v
each would Rive toward winning relevant
initi ati ve campaigns. Thus on growth infra-
struct ure. t he elites were unit ed.
Similarly, it was on t he prima cy of such
growth and development t hat II I III tel
foun d Atlanla's elit es 10 be must unjfled,
bot h at t he time of his first class ic study
and durlng its replication twen tvyears later
tt tumer, 1953, L98 0). Hunt er (1953: 2UI
re ports, "They could speak of not hing else"
Icitcd in Uomhoff. 1983: 169J. l n his hislori-
cal prof il es ot nettes and Fort wort h, Md o:.<ii
(19B3: 175) conclu des thar epolit ica l pOl"l,: r
in Dallas a nd Fuct Worth has t ypk ally bt.'t.' n
clMlt .,.ntrawd in lhe hands o(thlN' pt>oJlle
nu)!;t and a ble to susta in growth an d
expansior.... FinaBy, e\en th e ecologically
orient ed scholl'.JS \\ ith a different perspe c-
ti,,e, Ber ry and Kasarda (1977: 3711, have
rr:marked, "If in the past ur hani tion has
ht:<ell govl' IIwd by illlY t"Oll>;t:ious publk
objectives at all, the se ha w been, Ull till:!
one hand, 10encou raHeHrowth, a pparently
(or Its Ql,vn sake, and on t he ot her hand, to
provide public works and pUblic welfare
programs t o support piecemeal. sponta-
neous dcYeiopment impelled primarily by
pl'ivatf' inili<ll in,:." Ami evell l fawlf'Y(l 9:Ml:
br iefl y departs (rom hi s tigh t ecologi-
cal sche ma to remark that "competition is
observa ble . . . in t he st ruggle fur t ranspor-
ra tion an d UKllITlUninl lion advantages and
supe rior ser vice, ufa ll linds; it a lee appea rs
in efforts to accelera te rates of population
WO"1h. -
;\ 11ofthis competiti on in aodmon to its
critical influence 00. what goes on wir hi n
cities, also influences the distribu tion of
populati ons t hroughout and region ..
determining which t.tes gruw and which
do not The Incessant lobbying. manipu-
latin g, and ca joling can deliver the crit ical
resources from whkh grea t ci ties are made.
Alt hough virtually all pl aces arc subject t o
the pervestverut eo tgrowth boos ters, places
wit h more act ive and creative elites may
have an edge over other a reas . In a CUIII
parau ve st udy or Iorty-elght communlt les,
Lyon et al. (1981) Indeed found that cities
wit h reputedlymore powerful elites tended
to have str onger growth rates. This may
mean that active elites st imulate growth, or
it may mean t hat stmng gmwt h embold ens
elites to acnvelv maintain their advant age
Althu ugh we sus pec t tha t both perspec -
tives are val kl, we stress that the acrfvtsm
or emrepreneurs is. and always has been, a
critical force In shaping the urban system,
incl uding the ri se and fall of giVCII pl aces,
[. .J
Th ejoc ke}i ngf orcanals.ra ilroa ds, ar. darse-
nalsoft t::e previouscen tury ha sgiven ..vayin
this on e to more complexand subt le efforts
to manipula1e spar e and te nt s.
111e (using o( pllhlie dut y a nd private gain
has become llIuch less aCl't!jJtable (buth in
public uplnion and in the crimina l court s);
th e replacing:of frontiers by complex cities
has given impo rtan t roles t o mass media,
urban professionals. and skilled po litical
entrepre neurs. The gro;\' t h machine is less
IM.n;anal ized, with fewer luca l he roe s. a nd
hi'\.... become instead a muhlfaoered ma tr ix
d" important social Insnnmons pressing
alongcomplementary li
With a t ransportation and communica -
tion grid already in place, mode rn citie s
rypicaUy seek growth in ba sic eco nomic
part icula rly job inten.... ive on es.
Economic growth sets in mot ion tilt> lIligra-
lion of labor and a dem and for ancilla ry
production services, boustng, retai ling.
and whol esa hng ("multiplier effects").
Couft'lnpo rary pla ces differ in t he type
ofewnomic base they stri ve to bui ld (for
example, manufact uring. research and
developmen t, Infon ua dun pneesslng. or
tourism). But anyo ne ufthe rainbows lead s
to th e same pot of gold: more Intense land
I L'ie and thus hi gher rent collect ions , with
associated prof essiona l t ees an d locally
based profi ts.
Clue-a re in a positio n to affect t he ' fac-
lars of product km" that lilt' widt' ly believed
to channel tile ca pit a l investmen ts t hat
drive local growth (Ilawley, 1950; Summers
et al., 1976), Th ey can, for exa mple, lower
access costs of ra w mat erials an d markets
through th e creation of Slipping IXK"ts
and airfield s (eit her by usi ng loca l sub-
:\itl it'S or by facilitat ing sta te <Inti Iederal
sUPI_Iff). Localities can U)'lllJ-
roue overhead costs through sympatheuc
policies on pollution aba tement, employee
health standards, ar:d taxes. Labor costs
OUt be ind irectly lowered by wd..
fare rCi:ipien u int o low paying jobs and
l hmugh t he u-;eof polkt t oconstltl in union
l.--ga nilillg. Moral lawscan I.. chan ged; for
dr inking alcohol call ICMcilil l'l.l
(as in Ann Arbor, Mkh. , and t:vanslOn, 111.)
org ambling can be promoted (as in Atlanli c
Qty, N_J.) to bui ld tourism and convcntion
busin ess_Increased utility costs caused by
new devel opment ca n he horne , as the y
INlilllyare for an examplt', Ann Arh lr,
Michigan, Plalming Dep art lllen t, 1972),
by t be public at largl' rat lll'f than by th ose
responsible fOf t he dema nd the v
gene rate. Pedena ny Il nanred programs ca;1
be har nessed to provide chea p wa ter sup-
plies; state agencies can be manipulated
t o subs idize insurance rates; local political
units can forgive busin ess propert y taxes.
Government installations of var ious sorts
Iuni vers itje s, milit ary ra n be used
to leverage addhhmal developmen t by
gua ranteeing th e presence of skilled labor,
Jetailir.R customers. or proximate markers
for Sll bconuact ors. Forsome analyticalpur-
poses, trdocsn'r evenrnatt er th at a num ber
of t hese fact ors have litt le beari ng on cor-
por ate locational (some certainlv
do ; ot hers are deba ted); j ust the "ossibilit:.,
that t he y migh t ma t ter invigorates local
growt h act ivism (Swa nstrom, 1985) an d
domina tes poli cy agendas.
Followin g the lead of 51. Petersbur g,
Florida, t he 11r5t cit)"to hi re a press agent
(in 191fl) to boost growth (Mormino, 19f1 :l:
150), virtually all 1II11j ut urba n areas now
use expe rts to attract outsi de investment.
One city, Dixon, Illinoi s, has gone so far
as 10 systema ticall y contact former resi -
dent s who mi ght be rn a positi on to help las
manya s twentyt houeend people ) ar.d offer
them a finders fee up to $10.000 for direct -
ing corporate Investment reward t heir old
home town l.'i'lm Fmndsco Chronicle, \ta y
10, 1984 ). More pl!f"\" asividy, each cit y tri es
10 crea te a business The
ingredier.ts are well kn own in citv -build-
ing circles an d Iltlvc cvcn bee n codi fied and
turr.ed into Moffid a r 11:It5 (or each regional
afea. The much -used Far.t us tankings cl
husiness cl ima les all" b<!.:\t"t 1O il factors like
taxat ion, latur legisla tion, lIne lllployn.-nt
compensation, sca le o( KU\"l:"Jnmen t, and
publ ic indebt ed ness (Fant us ran ksTexas as
number one and NL'\\I Yor kas number fon y-
eight ). In 1975, the Industrial De\' elopment
Hesearch Cnun cil, made up of cor por ate
eXl'ClItives fOl site :\elect ion
ru mluctw a surVf:' Vof its mem-
In thilt sur vey, we; e rat ed mure
simply as "cooperative," "lndltfere nr," or
' ant igrowth"; the results closely paral-
leled the Fan tus mnkings of t he sa me year
(Weinstein and Firestine. Hl7B: 134-441-
i\ ny issue of a majnr busi nes.. ma gazine
rt' JlIt"lt"with a . I\lt"l t ist' IIIt'1l ls (10m he-all -
t it'S of all types Iinc hulingwholecuuntr jes)
strivi ng to port ra y the mselves In a ma n-
ner attra ctive to business. Conside r these
claims culled from one issue of Bu siness
lfuokfl'c bruary 12. 197tJ ):
" .."" 'Ii:lIIt ClI)"b "1111\ (,.- :ill lJItrr
d ll in "'nlt'rica oITl"f5 mnr.. lioa OOdl tncen-
tivest o expendor relccate
The stat e of Loui sia na advertises
xature made it perfect. We madeit prcfitabje.
On anot he r pilge \'1'1" find !llt' claim t ha t
Ireland works" and has a wor k
rorce with "pos ttlve attitudes toward com-
pany loyalty, productivity a nd labor rela -
tions." Georgia asser ts, "Government
should st rive to imp rove bus iness condi-
t ions. no t hinder th em." Atla nta hea dl ines
that as ":<\ Cit yWitholLt Urnih" it "has ways
of gt't til:g peo ple llke you ou t I:i town" and
details its tr am portal ion ad van tages
to business. Some places descr ibe att n-
butes that wou ld enhance the life style of
execut ivcs and profc ssional employees
(not a dimension of f an lus rank ings); th us
a Ilumtrt of rltle:o; an Imagl"of art is-
t ic refi nt>lIlellt. l'\n in Ihis
issue (or in illl yot lu;o(, we show d ty
workers li\inRln ni ce homes or
their condi t ions.
Whilc a good opcra or ballct company
ma ysubtly enhance the gt'O\\ th potential of
.'lome cities, ot her cultural ingredients are
crud al fill a good bllsirwss d imat e. Thel e
shoul d he Il l) violell t 0 1 et hnic cunflil:t
(,\ gger, Goldrich, a nd S\vanson, 19M: 649;
fohnson, 1983: 250- 51). Rubin (1972: 123)
reports that rad al conf rontat ion over school
busing was somet imes see n as a t hreat to
ur ban economic development. Radal vio
Icnce in Sout h Africa is finally tccdtng to
th e disinvest ment that rcformcrs could
not br ing about t hrough moral suas ion. i n
th e good business climate, tht> WId, fllfl"e
shouldbe su fficientlyqlIit'N:t'fl t and he a llhy
to be productive; t his was the rationale or tg-
inally beh ind ma ny programs in workplace
rela tions and publi c healt h. Labor must.
in other words, be "reproduced," but only
under conditions that least ir:terfere with
loca l growth tral ecrort ec
Perhapsmost impo rta n t ofall,loca l
Hcs should favor growth an d support the
ideology rl val development, TIrls
public atti tude reassures investors tha t
t he co ncret e en ticements of a loca lit y will
be upheld by future poli tici ans. The chal-
lenge is t o con nect civic pride t o the growth
goal. tying tbe t'nmnm ic: and
social benefits of growth in gen eral (\\iolfe,
198L) to growth in the loca l ar ea. Probati y
only partly aware of thi s, elites generate
and sustai n the place pa t riotism of the
masses. According to uocrsnn. the com-
pet iti on a mong cities "hel ped create tbe
I:locri ler <;pirit" a\ much as the boos ter spi rit
hel ped crea te t he clues (1965: 123). 1Il IIJt"
nrnet eemb-c enrury clues, the great rival-
ries over canal and railway Installations
were the political spec tacles of {he day, with
att ention de\'ot ed to thcir pu blic, not pri-
vate, benefits. Wit h t he drama of t he nt. 'w
railway Iet:hn ology" ordinary peufJle were
swe pt into the " mung pl"ces.
rooting for own town to bl;'l:ollle thl'
new "crossroads oc at leas t a wa v sta tion.
"The debate s over writes
Scheiber (1962: lU), "height ened uroo n
communit y consciousness and sha rpencd
local pride in ma nywestern
Th e celebl'<l tion oflocal grrmth cont in-
ues t o be a theme in tire n rh ul't' or loeali-
Schoolchi klren are taught 10\'iel\' loca l
histor y as a series of In the
expansion oft he economic base of their city
and celebrati ng its numerlcalleed-
ershi p in onesor t orpro dncnon or anot her;
more generally, Increases in populat ioll
tend to bcequatedwithlex:a l progre ss. Civic
orWlIliza(ions sponsor essay contests OIl
the topic ofl ocal great ness. They encou rage
public rt' le bra tions and specracIcsin which
the locality na me can be prou dly advanced
for tte benefit ofbotb locals a nd out siders.
They subsidize soapbox der bies , pa rade
floats. and be auty cont ests to "spread
aroun d" the locali ty's na me in t he media
and at distan t competitive sites.
One case can illustrate the link between
gru,vth goals a nd cultural institu tio ns.
In the Los Angeles area, St. Patrick's Day
parades are held at four difft>It>1ll locales,
becaus e th e rtt y's Iri sh leaders ran'r agree
on the venue for a jolnl celebration. The
source of the difficul ty [and much acri -
mon y) is tha t these para des march d own
main busin ess streets in each locale.
thereby ma king them a sym bol of the life
of tllt!city. Business glll u p!> associ ated wi th
of the str ips wan t to claim the parade
asexduslvelv t hefr own. Ieading to charges
by still a fifth parade organization tha t t he
otber grou ps a re onlyout to "ma ke money"
tMcGarry, 1985: II: 11. The co unt ercha rge.
vehementlv den ied, was th at t he leader
ri the chall enging business str eet was not
even Irish. Thus eve n an et hnic celebrano u
can rece ive its spl;'l..ial form fromthe IIIdcll l
nations of growth interests and Ihe compe
titions umong them.
1b c gfO'.\ tb machine avidly supports
whatcvcrcultural inst itu tionscanplaya ro[c
in huildi ng locality. :\ lways ready to oppose
cultura l a nd poli tic" l r nn -
trar y to their (fur example, bl ad .
nati onalism and communal cults), rent iers
an d t heir associates act ivities
that wi ll connec t feclings of co mmunity
("we feel ings" (McKenzie, 1922[) to t he
goa l of local growth. The oyer all ideo[ogi
[./I I is to tleemph" sizt' Ihe COIlIlt',:l illn
betwee n growth a nd eXl'hanb't" \a[lles and
to reinforce th e link bet ween growth goals
and lJ('t lt't live, for th e maj ority. We do not
nn- an til suggest t hat the cnlysource of d ,-ic.:
pride is the deslre t o collect rents; certainly
the cultural pride of tr ibal groups predat es
gIO\\1h mach ines. Neverth eless, the growth
machine coa lition mobilizes t hese cultural
motivatio ns, legi timizes t hem, and chan-
nels t hem Into actlvites rhat are consistent
wilh gnJ\\ th guab
r un ORGAfli lZATl OS OF THE
I 1't he people who use their time and
mone y to participa le in loca l affairs are the
o u r :'> whl_in va st di sproport ion to rhet r
repr__n ta tion in the population---t.ave the
most to Rain or lose in land-use deci sions.
Local busi ness peo ple are t he majo r par-
tici pants in u rba n poli tics (Walton, 1970 ).
part icula rly bus iness people in propert y
lnvesrt ng, developme nt . and rea l estate
financing (Spauk1ing. 1951;
1961). Petersen (198 1: 132), who applauds
growth boosterIsm, ackn owledg es that
"such policies are often promulgated
through ahighl ycent rahzed decision-mak-
ing process involving prestigious busi ness-
men a nd profcs.sior.als. Conflict wit hin the
city tends t o he mini ma l, deci slon-ma kiog
IHl ll t' S<;t':'> te nd 10 he d osed ." Elect ed of fi-
cials, !>l:I. ys Stolle (1984:292), fmd t hemsd
con fronted by "a business commun ity that
is well ofl;a nized, _-amply supplied wit b
a numbe r of deployable resources, and
inclined to act on belmlf of tangible and
ambitious plans t hat are mutua lly henefi-
dall n
people'scoll tinuous
wit h pub lic uffic(als (including support
t hem substant ial campa.iWl
con tribu t ions) givcs th em s}' stcmic PO\\-et
(Alfor d and f riedland, 1!l75; Stone, 1981,
19(12). Once organi7.t"d, t hey stay or gani7ed.
The y Me ' mohilizer! int ereMs" (Fainslein,
Fai m lein. and .\ rmis lead, 1983: 214).
llt>n tiers need local gove rn ment in t heir
dail y mon ey-mak ing rout ines, I"spedall y
when str uc tural sp eculauc us are Involved.
They a re assisted by lawyers, syndlca rors,
a nd prop erty brokers ruourna. 1962), who
prosper as long as they a m win dec isions
favori ng their cl ients. hnally, ther e are
monopoli st ic busin ess en t erp rises [such as
the loca l \vho..e fumres are tied
tu the growt h of the tue tropclis as a hole,
although they are not drrecrly LIl\u!.vOO in
land us e. When th e local market is satu-
ra ted wtr h t heir product, t hey have few
waY5 to increase profi ts. beyond expa ns ion
of th ei r sw rounding area. :\ s in the pro ver-
bia l Springdale, sire of the r tassc Vidich
a nd Bensman (19r,o: 2161el hnng rap lJy ofa
generauon ago, there is a st wng tendency
in mo st cities for "the pr of ession als (doc-
to rs, teachers, dentist s' etc.j . th e ind ustr ial
workers. the shuck people and t he lower
mid dle-class grou ps [t o bel for all intents
and pur poses disenfranchis ed except in
terms of tl"rnpola ry i""I1I"!'>.-
Because much uf t he lPu\\" lh mobt-
li2ation effort Involves government. local
growth elites play a major role in elect -
ing loca l poli tician s, "watchdogging" their
activit ies. and scrut inizing admi nistrative
det ail, whet her in generat ing lnfrast ruc-
rura l resourc es . keepi ngpeace on t he home
fmns, or usi ng ma yor as a u- ambas-
sadc r 10 ind us tr y" (Wyner, 1967), local
government Is primari ly concerned "ith
increasin g growt h. Again, it i5 not the onl y
fun ct ion of local government. but it is t he
kcr one.
In m nl raMt o our posit ion, urha n sod al
hav e ofTt"n ignorf'd Iht"polit ics of
gru\\ th in th eir \'Vol k, even wbt."l1
uver growt h infrastr uctwes were the to pic
of their analyses (see Banfi eld, 1961; Dah l,
1901). Williams an d i\ drian WJ03) at least
trea t growt h as nn import nnt p..1.Tt of th e
loca l politica l pror ess, hut give it no pri or-
ily ovffl" olher i."' 'Iues. There are
a Illlm ht-'r of rl".<l SOI\S why growlh polil ics
is consiste ntly und erva lued. The clue call
he foun d in Edelman's (I !i(;4) di stincti on
bet ween two ki nds of polltlcs
The first ts the "symbolic" potn tcs of
publ ic mor ality and most of t he ot her "big
issues" fea tured in the headlines and edito-
ria ls of t he daily press: school praye r, wars
on crime, sta ndin g up to communism
and chi ld porn ogr aphy. Ioce xample, :-Iell's
cO\erage of these issues may have lill ie to
do whh any wll.lerlyiug reali ty. much less
a reality in whkh significant local ac tors
have major stakes. Fishman (1978) snows,
for example. tha t reports of a major crime
wave against t he eld erly in New York Cil)'
appeared just at a rime when mos t r rime,
against t he elderly were actually on II..
decline. The public "crtme \\ <1$ ere-
ated by poli ce officials who, In respond ing
to re port ers' Interest in t he t opic, provided
" jui cy" tnstences that would make good
copy. The "crime wave- was sust ained
po liticia ns eager to de noun ce th e perpe-
trat ors, and th ese po liticl ens' prcn onn ce-
ments became the bash for sull more
cover age and express ions of authonta-
ttve police concer n. Once this svmbronc
"da nce" (Moloteh, L980) is in mot ion, the
story takes on a life cl its own and fills the
pages and airwaves of news media . Such
symbolic cru sades pmvifie t he news"
(Gordon, Heath, and leRailly. 1979) 1It't"t1l"t!
by reporters pressed for tim e. just as these
crusades satisf}'t he "ne\ 'ls needs (Molotch
and Lester, 1974j of
away from issu es that mi.ght offend growth
machi ne interests. The result ing hub bubs
of ten mislea d Ihe general public: wel l as
the acal"lfflnic invt"1>tigalOl what thl"
real of w lIlIllunit ydeav<ll\e and IJoliti-
cal process might be. To t he degree that
rentier elit es keep Hr0wt h iss ues on a sym-
bolic level (for example. ur oon "gfC(l tness' ),
they prevai l as t he "second fnce of power"
(Bachrach and llarat z. 19G2j, the far e that
det ermi nes the puhlic: agl"nda (Mr:Cnmhs
an d Shaw, 1972).
Edelman' s second klud of pol lrlcs , which
. does not provide easy news, Involves the
acnons t hat affec t the ri '
buli o
of Importan t good s and services.
visible to pu bli cs. oft en relegated
to back rooms or negotl et ions wlth tn lnsu-
jared aut hor ities ami agencies (Ca TO, 1974;
Friedlm d, Ph-en, an d Alford . 1978), this is
the politics t ha t dete rmi nes who, in ma te-
rial ter ms, gets what, where, and how (d.
tass>l-ell. 19361. The media tend to cove r
it 111 t" dull rou nd of meetings of water
andsewer dist rict s. brid ge auth ori ties, a nd
indl,;strial devel opmenTbondin g egencie..
'The media atti tude serves to keep in terest -
ing issueli away from t he public and blum
widesp read interes t in local polit ics gen -
erally. \5 \' idich and Bensman (1960: 217)
remark a bout Springda le, "business cc c t rot
rests upon a dull but unani mous pol it ical
Iacade," at least c n reet aln kev i ..sul':.'\.
Although there are certa inly elite orga-
nizat ional mechani sms t o inhi bit them
(Domhoff, 1971; 1933; Wh itt , 1982), cteav-
ages wit hin the growth machi ne can
nevertheless develop, and internal dis .
agree ments someti mes Ixcak into the
open. But even then , bec aus e of the hege-
mony of the growth mach ine, it5 di-.agn-e-
mems are al lowable and do no t challenge
the bel ief in growth it self Unacceptable ar e
public att acks on the pursutt of exchange
\'alUeliover ci tiz.ens search for usc va lue. An
internal q uarrel o\"er wh ere n conven tion
center is 10 be buil l. &nfield (l 9611
us, become s t he Jluhlic for Chicago;
but Ranfiel d didn't nol ke that tl lere was 110
question about whel hl'r t herl' should be a
convention cent er at al l.
When elites come to see, for example,
that inndeqtmte public servi ces nrc repel -
ling capital investmen t. th ey can put t he
i....ueof rai sing ta xeson t he pu hlir agen da .
'n-illill (1976: 154) rl"Jlol ls on Hu(,kfofll,
lIlinuis, a d ty whuse schuol sySlelll was
bankru pted by an
local elites op po sed taxes as part of th ei r
erron s to lure industry through a low tax
rate. As a result, taxes, an d therefor e tax
money for scho ols, declined. Event ually,
the growth coalit ion saw the educationa l
decl ine, not thc t ax ra te, as t he grea t est
da nge r 10 t he "economic vhalityoft he com-
munit y," But irun ically, elites are not ahle to
change overn ight t he ideologi es t he y ha ve
put In place over decades, even when it Is in
their best in terests to do SO.I Unf ortunately.
neith er ca n the potenti al ooponenu of
growth. As t he example of Rockford shows.
even such i' ''Ue<i a.. pu blic school spending
ca n become subject to the growt h ma ximi-
zation needs or locality. The appro priate
level of a soc ial service ofte n depends, not
on an abstract model of efficienc y or on
"pu bl ic dema nd ' Tr f.Tiebe ut, 19561.buton
whethe r t he coot ofl hat service fits the loca l
growt h strateg)'( past and pre sent).
Hy no w it should be clear how politkal
structures are mobilized to in tensify land
uses for pnvare gain of ma ny sons. Let us
look more cl osely, theref ore, at th e vari ous
local act ors, besides t hose directly involved
in generati ng rents. who partici pate in the
growt h machi ne.
l' OLIlI U M: S
The growt h machine wl ll sustain onl y cer-
tain persons as politician s. The campaign
con tribut ions an d pub lic celebrations that
build polit ical can-e15 do not ordin ari ly
h",:a u:.e of a desire 10
"five nr dl"sTmy Ihe t' nvironment, to lepl ess
UI li1.>erale the b1ad:.s 0 1 oth er disad\'a.ll-
taH!;!l) grou ps, to eliminate ci\' i1liberties or
enhance them. Given th eir legislative power ,
politicians mny end up doing nny of th C;!;C
t hings. Hut t he umlerlying polit ics t hat gives
rise to such opport unities is a pers on's par -
ticipAtion ill Ihe growth consensus. That
is why we so oftell st>e jlolit id am spring-
ing inl u actiun to attlactllew capita l ami to
susta in old Inves t ments. Even the pluralist
scholar Hobert Duhl obse rved in his i'\ew
Haven study t hat if an employer seriously
threatened to lea ve t he communi ty, "polhl-
all leadersare likelytoma kefranti c att empts
to make t he local situation more attractive"
(quotcd tn
Cert ainly, politicians differ in a num ber
of ways. Like Mayor Ogden of Chi cago.
some are trying t o cr eate va st fort unes for
t hemselves as t hey go about their civic
dut ies on behalf of the growt h machine.
Hobert Fol son, t he rna yor of Dallas, has
direct int erests in over fifty local busi-
nesses, many of which have stakes i n local
growt h out comes. When the annexa tion
of an ad jacen t town ca rne up for a vote ,
he ha d to a bstain because he owned 20
percent of it (Full inwider, 1980). Anot her
Iexan, former governor fohn Conna lly, ha s
among his holdings more than $50 million
inAu st in-area r eal estat e, pr op er ty slat ed to
become its county's lar gest resident ial a nd
commerctal development ("Austin Boom ."
Sant a Barbara rceios Press, June 24, 1984,
p_B-8). According to Robert Caw (1974),
Commissioner Robert Moses was a ble to
overcome op posit ion to his vast highway
and bridge building in t he New rork City
area in part because the region's politicians
were thems el ves buying up land adjacent
to par kway exits, sett ing t hemselves up for
huge rent gains. Most of Hawaii's major
Democrat poli ticians. after wi nning elec-
tion on a reform plat form in 1951, directly
pr ofited as developer s, lawyers, cont rec-
tors. and Investors t hrough th e zoni ng and
related land-use decisions t hey and th eir
colleagues were to ma ke over t he ne xt
thirt y years of int ensive growth and specu-
lation (Daws and Coop er, 1984). Machine
polit ics never insulat ed candidates from
t he development process; buil ders, rail-
roaders, and ot her growth act ivists have
long played crucial roles in boss politics,
bot h in immigrant wa rds (Ilell, 1961) and
in WASP suburbs (Fogelson, 1967: 207).
All this is, as George Washington Plunkin
said in 1905, "honest waft " as opposed to
"dlshc nes t gran' (quot ed in Swanstrom,
1985: 25)_/
Alt hough a littl e grease always helps a
wheel t o turn, a system can run well wit h no
graft at all-unless using campaign cont ri-
butions to influence election s is con sidered
gra ft. Vir tually all polit icians are dependen t
0 11 pri vate campa ign financing (Alexander,
1972, 1980, 1983; Boyarsky and Gl1Iam,
1982; Smith, 1981), and it is t he real estate
entrepreneurs- particularly the large.scak
stru ctural speculat ors -who are particu-
la rly act ive in su pport ing candidat es (see
chapt er 6 for addit ional documentation).
The result is t ha t camlidat es of'both part ies
of what ever ide ological stri pe, have to gar-
ner the favor of such persons , an d t his puts
them squarely into the han ds of growth
machine coaliti ons. Th us many office-
holders usc t heir aut horitv, not t o enrich
themselves, but to benef it th e "whole com-
munlt y' t-c-thar is, to Incr ease aggrega te
rents. Again, this dues nut preclu de polit i-
cians' di rect participa tion in pro perty dea l-
ing on occas ion and it certainly does not
preclude giving a special hand t o particular
place entre preneur swith whom a polit ician
bas a spec ial relationshi p,
officials alsovary in the-ir ]It''rct"p-
tion of howt hei ra uthurit ycan best be used
to maximi ze growth. After his t horough
study of the Cleveland growt h machine,
Swanstr om (1985) conclu ded t hat t here are
t wo t ypes of growth stra tegists: the "con-
servative" and t he "liberal." Tbe for mer,
paramoun t durin g 't he cit y's age of steel.
favor un bridled exploit ation of t he cit y
and its labur force, generally fullowing the
"f ree econ omy" political mod el. Programs
of overt governmen t int erve nti on, for pur-
poses of plann ing, pub lic edu cation, or
employee welfare, are all highly suspect.
The liberal growth machine stra tegy, in
cont rast, acknowle dges that longer-term
growth can be faci litated by overt govern -
men t planni ng and by programs t hat pac-
ify, co- opt, and placate opposit ions. This
is a more modern for m of growth ideol ogy.
Some puliticia ns, depending on pla ce and
lime,tend to favor t he hard -ltne "unfet tered
capWtlism" (Wolfe, 1981); ot hers pr efer t he
liberal version, analogous to what is called,
. in a htOader context, "pragmat ic sta te capt -
rausm" (Wolfe, 1981; see also weinstein,
1%8), These positions became more obvi-
ous in many regions when urban renewal
and otherfederaIprogra mshega n penetrat-
ing cit ies in t he postwar period . Especially
in conservative such as 'Iexas (Mel nsi,
1933: 185), elit es lung debat ed amon g
memsclves whether or not th e newfangled
gIl"J-yth schemes would do more harm t han
j., JllUd
On the symbo lic issues, poli t ician s may
alsodiffer, un h uh the COil tent of t heir pos i-
lions an d t he degree to which they act ually
care about t he Issues. Some are no doubt
sincere in pushing: thei r "causes"; others
may cynically man ipulate the m to obscure
the distributi onal conseq uen ces of their
own act ions in ot her matters. Somet imes
the result s are positi ve, for example, when
Oklahoma Cit y and Dallas leaders made
deliberate efforts to prevent racist elements
fromscaring:offdevelopment wlt h"anot her
Little Rock: ' Liberal growt h machi ne goals
may t hus hel p reform react ion ary social
patt erns (Berna rd, 1983: 225: Melosi, 1983:
]AB). But despi te th ese variat ions, there
appea rs t o be a "tilt" t o the whole system,
regardless oftime and place. Growt h coali-
tion activists and campaign con t ributors
are nor a cult urally, racially, or econ omically
diverse cross sect ion of the urban popula -
tion.They t end to give a react ionary texture
to loca l government , in which t he cultur al
crusad es, like t he mat erial ones, a re chosen
for their accepta bility to t he renner glOups.
Politlclans adep t i n both spheres tmate-
rial a nd symbolic) a re t he mos t valued, and
most likely to have success ful careers. A
skilled polit ician delivers growth while giv-
ing a good circus.
The symbolic political skills are par-
ticularly crucial when unforeseen circum-
stances create use value cr ises, which can
pot ent ially stymi e a locality's basic growt h
strategy. The 1978 Love Canal toxic waste
emerf\: enLl-' at Niagara Falls, New York,
reveals how loca l officia ls use t heir posi-
tions to reassur e th e ci tizen s and mold
local agenda s t o handle disruptive "emo-
ti ona!" issu es. In her detailed et hn ographic
account, levine (1982: 59) reports that "the
cit y's chief executives, led by th e mayor,
minimized the Love Canal problem in all
public st atements for two vears no ma t-
t er how much personal sympathy they felt
for the affected people whose hea lth was
t hreatened by the poisons leaking into their
homes" also fo wl kes and Miller, ]985).
Lest er (1971) report s a similar stance taken
by t he Utah ci vic leadership in res punse to
t he esca pe of nerve gas from the U_5_mill-
tary's Dugwa yProvingGroundsln 1969 (see
also Hirsch, 19( 9). The conduct of poli ti-
cians in t he face of accide nt s li ke t he leak-
age of po ison into schoolyards an d homes
in Niagara Falls or th e shee p deat hs in Utah
reveal t his "backup" funct ion of local lead-
ers [Molotch and Lester, 1974, 1975).
Still another critical use of local politi-
cians is t heira bilitytoinfluence higher-Ievel
polit ical actors in their growth dist ribu tion
decisions. Although capital has direct links
to nat ional polit icians (particula rly in t he
executi ve office an d Senate, see Domhoff
[1967, 1970, 1983\l , renner grou ps are
more parochial in t heir tics, alt hough they
may have cont act wit h con gressional rep-
resent atives. Hence, rcnucrs need loca l
politicians to lobby na tional officials. The
national polit icians, in tu rn , a re respon-
sive because t he y depend on loca l political
opera tors (including pa r t y figures) for t heir
own power base. The local politicians sym-
biotically need their national counterpart s
to generate th e goods t hat keep th em viable
at hom e.
The goods t ha t benefit th e local lead-
ers and growth interests are not tr ivial The
development of the Midwest was, as t he
historical anecd otes ma ke d ear, de peu-
dent on na t iona l deci sions affect ing canal
and railroad lines. Th e Southwest and most
of Califor nia co uld be developed onl vwi th
fed eral subsidies and capital inv estme nts in
water projects. The profound significan ce
of govern men t capital spending can he
grasped by considerin g nne stat istic: Direct
governmen t outla ys (at all levels) in 1983
account ed for nearly 27 percent of all con-
str uc t ion in the Unit ed Sta tes o t cucnkopt ,
1983: 43). The figure was even hi gher . of
cou rse, du ri ng World War II. when federa l
const ruc tion expen ditures laid the basts
fu rrnuch of th e infra st ructural and def ense
spending tha t was to follow.
One local business takes a broad respon-
sibility for general growth machine
goals-a-t he metropolitan newspaper. Most
newspa pers (small, subu rban pap ers are
occa sionally an exception ) profit pr imar-
ily from increasing t heir circulat ion and
th erefo re have a direct in terest in growth.'
As th e metropolis expa nd s, the newspa-
per can sell a la rger n um ber of ad lines (at
hi gher per line cost), on the basis of a rising
circulat ion base; 1V ami rad io stations are
in a similar si tua t ion. In explaining why his
newspaper ha d supported t he ur banizat ion
of orchards th at used to cover what is now
th c clry of'San Iose, t he publish er of the Sail
Josestcrcury News said, "trees do not read
newspapers" (Downie, 1974: 112, as cited
in Domhoff, 19113: Hill) . Just as newspa per
bo oster lsm was important in bui lding t he
frontier towns (Dagena is, 1967), so toda y
"the hallmark of media cont ent has been
pee rle ss boo stertsm: congratulate growth
rat her than calculate conseque nc es; com-
pliment development rat her th an criti-
cize its impact" (Hurd. 1977: 129; see also
Devereux, 1976; Freidd, 1963). The me dia
"must present a favorable image to oursld-
ers" (Cox and Morgan . 1973: 136)" an d only
"sparingly use their issue-raising capad- ...1.
ties" (Pet erson, 1981: 124).
American cities tend to be one-newspa-
per (or on e-newspaper company) t o....'ns, 1; .
The newspa per's assets in ph ysical plant , in
"goodwill,"and in advertising client s are,for
th e most part, immobil e. The localnewspa- I
per thus t ends t o occu py a un ique position:
li ke ma n v other local busine sses, it has an
Inte rest in growth, but un like mos t others,
its critical int erest is not in t he speci fic spa
tial pattern of t hat growt h. The paper may
occasionally help forge a specific strategy of
growth, but ordi narily it makes litt le differ-
ence to a newspa per whet her the addi t ional
population comes to reside on the north
slde OI the south side, 01- whether the new
busin ess comes through a new conventi on
cent er or a newolive faet ory.The newspaper
has no a"{to grind except t he one th at holds
th e community elite together: growth.
This disint erest in t he specific form of
growt h, hut avid comm itm en t to develop-
ment generally, ena bles t he newspape r
to achieve a statesmanlike position in the
community. It is often deferred to as a neu-
tral par tybyt he special interest s. In his pia
ncer ing study of the creation of zoninglaws
in Nay York Citv in the 1920s, Makiel ski
(19GG: 149) remar ks, the newspapers
in the cit y are large landholders, the role of
the press was not quit elike that ofanyof the
oth er nongovernmental act ors. The press
was in part one of the referees of t he rules
of the game, especially t he informal ru les,
call ing att ention to what it cons idered vio-
lat ions." The publisher or edi tor is oft en the
arbiter of inter na l growth machine bid er-
Ing, restrai ning the short- term pr ofiteers in
th e interest of mor e stable, long-term, and
properl y planned growt h.
The publishing families are often
ensconced as t he most import ant city
builders wi thin t he town or city; this is
the appr opriat e designa t ion for such
prominent famili es as Otis and Chandle r
f the Los Angew.s Times (see Clark, 1983:
HalberMa m, 1979); Pulliam of the
.Arl; ona Republic and Phoenix Sit" (see
- Luc}:ingham, 1983: 318); a nd Gaylord of the
Dai l}' a Ha/lOman (see Bern ard , 1983: 216).
Someti me s th ese publishers arc directly
-acli\-ei ll poli t ics, "kingmaking' behind the
scenes by screening candidat es for poli ti-
cal office, lobb ying for federal contra cts
and grants, and striving to build growth
infrastru ctu re in th eir region (Palnstein,
Fainstein, and Armistead, 1983: 217; Judd ,
198. 1: 17B). In th e boomi ng Cont ra Costa
Colmty sub ur bs of th e San Fran cisco Bay
Area , rln-presiden t ot t hecountywide orga -
nizat ion of builders, real estat e investo rs,
and propert y finan ciers was the owner of
the regional pap er. In his horne county,
as well as in t he jurisdicti ons of his eleven
other su bur ban pap ers,owner Dea n Lesher
("Citizen Lesher"] acts as "a chee rlead er
fur develo pm ent " who simply kill s stories
damaging t o growth int erests and rea s-
signs un sympathetic reporters to less con -
noverst al beats (Steidtmann, 1985). The
local newspaper editor was one of the t hree
"bosses" in Spr ingdale's "in visible govern -
ment" Ivldic h a nd Bensma n, 1960: 217).
Sometimes, the publisher is among t he
Iargesl ur ban lan dholders and openlvffghts
for bene fits tied Ingrowt h in land: The own-
ers of the LU5Afl gele.s Times fought for t he
water that developed their vast proper-
ties for bot h ur ban and agr icultural uses.
Thc editorial sta nce is us ually rcforrmsr,
invoking the common good (and techni cal
planning expertise ] as the rationale for t he
land-nsf' decisions the owners favor. This
sustains the legitimacy of t he paper itself
among all litera te sect ors of socie ty and
hel ps ma sk t he distributi ve effects of many
growth developmen ts.
The med ia atte mpt t o attain t heir goals
not onlyth roughnews a rt icles a nd edit ori -
als but alsot hrough informal t alks between
owners and edit ors and t he locallead ers.
Because newspap er in terests are t ied to
growth,mediaexecutivesaresym pa thet ict o
busine ss leaders' complaints th at a pa rt icu-
lar journalistic investigation or angle may
be bad fur the local busin ess climate, and
shou ld it nevert heless become necessary,
direc t threa ts of advert ising cancellat ion
can modi fy journalistic coverage (Bernard,
1983: 220). Thi s does not mean that news-
papers (or advert isers) cont rol th e politics
uf a cit y or region, but t hat t he medi a have
a specia l Influ ence simp lybecause they are
com mitted to growt h per se, and can play
an invaluable role in coord inating st ra tegy
an d selling growt h to th e pub lic.
rht s institutional legitimacyis espe cially
useful in crises In the cont roversy sur-
roun ding the army's accide ntal rel ease of
nerve gas at the Dugway Proving Grounds,
Lester found that t he Utah me dia were far
more sympathe tic to the mill tar y'sexplana-
tions th an were media outside Uta h (Lest er,
1971). The econ omic utili ty of the Dugway
Proving Grounds (and related governme nt
facilities ) was val ue! by t he loca l estab lish-
ment. Similarly, insiders report that publ i-
cizing toxic was te problems at Love Canal
was hind ered by an "unwritten la w" in t he
newsroom that "a reporter did not attac k
or ot her wise fluster the Hooker IChemical
Company] executives" (Brown . 1979, cited
in Levine, 19f1 2: 190).
As th ese examples indi cat e, a newspa-
per's ess ential role is not to prot ect a given
firm or indus try (an issue more likely to
arise in a sma ll city than a large one) but
t o bolster an d ma intain th e predisposition
for genera l growth. Ahh ough newspaper
editor ialists may express concern for "t he
ecology" this does not preve nt th em from
suppor ting growt h-inducing in vestments
for thei r regions. The X ew York Time5likes
office towers and additiona l indu stri al
insta llations in the cit y even more than it
loves "the environmen t." Evcnwhonhtston-
callysignifican t dist rictsar e threat ened, the
Times editorializes in favor of intensifica-
ti on. Thus t he Times recentl y admonished
opponent s to "get out of th e way" of t he
Time s Squa re renewal, which would repla ce
landma rk st ruct ur es (ind uding its own for-
me r headquarters at 1 Times Square) with
huge office structures (Newl ork Times, May
24, 1984, p- 18). Similarly, th e Los Angeles
Times editorializcs agains t narrow- minded
profiteering t hat increases pollution or ucs-
thetic blight - in ot her cities. The newspa-
per featured criticism, for example, of th e
Times Square renewal plan [Kaplan, 1984:
I), but ha d enthusiast ically suppor ted
development of the environmentally dev-
astating supersonic transport (SST) for t he
jobs it would presumably lure to Southern
California. In an unexpec ted regional par-
allel, t he LosAllg eles Times fin' d celebrated
<Irch n ect ura I crit icJnhnPast ler forh is inces-
sant criticisms of Los Angeles's downt own
renewal projects (Clark, 1983: 298), an d th e
/o,;ew York Times dismis sed Pulitzer Prize
wi nner Sydn ey Scha nberg as a columnist
apparently becau se he "opp osed civic proj-
ects supp or ted hy some of New York's most
powerful int erests, partlr ularlyt ho se in th e
real estate ind ustr y" ra osens uel, 1985: 21) ,
Alt hough newspapers may openl y sup-
port "good planning principles" ofa certain
sort, t he acccptab le form of"goodplanni ng"
docs not often ext end to limi ting growth or
aut hent ic cons erva tion in a newspaper 's
home ground. "Good pla nni ng pri nciple,';"
can easily repr esent t he opposite goa ls
Leaders of "ind ependent" public or quasi.
pub lic agencies, such as util ities, may play
a role similar to th at of the newspaper pub-
lisher: tied to a single loca le, they become
growth "statesmen " rather than advocates
for a certa in type of growt h or intr alccaldi s-
tributJ on of growt h.
Por example, a water-supp lying agency
(whet her pu blic or private) can expan d
only by acquiri ng more users. This causes
utili ties to penet rat e deep int o t he hin-
terlauds , inefficiently extending lines to
areas that are extremely costly to service
(Gaffney, 1961j walker and Williams, 1982),
The same growth goals exist with in cent ral
cities. Brooklyn Gas was an avi d supporter
of th e movemen t of you ng professionals
into aba ndoned area s of Itmukl yn, New
York, in th e 1970s, and even went so far as
to help fina nce housing rehabilita tion and
sponsor a traveling slide show and open
houses displaying t he pleasant lifest yles in
t he area. All ut ilities seem bent on acquir -
ing more customers t o pay off pas t invest -
ments, and on proving they ha ve th e good
growth prospeers that lenders lise as a cr ite-
rion , for financing add it iona l invest ment s,
Overall efficiencies are often sacrificed as a
resul t.
'Irnn spor tat ion officinls, whet her of pub
lic or private orga nizat ions, have a special
int erest in growth: theytend to favor growt h
al ong their speci fic t ransit routes. But
transportation doesn't just serve growt h, it
creates it From th e beginning, t he laying:.
out of mass t ransit lines was a method of
stimulating developmen t; indeed , th e land
speculators and t he execu tives of the trans--
por tat ion firms were oft en t he same peo-
ple. In part beca use of t he salience of land
development, "public ser vice was largely
incident a l to the operation of the str eet rail-
wa ys" (Wilcox, quoted in Yago, 1983: 14),
Henry Hunti ngt on's Pacific Electric, the
pri ma ry commuting system of Lo sAngelcs,
"was built not to provide t ransport at ion but
tosell real estate" (Clark, 1983: 272; see also
Bluford, 1985; Fugel-ou, 1967; Yago, 1983)
And because t he goal nf profltable transpor-
tation did not gu rdethe design and routi ng
of the system, it was destined t o lose money,
leavingLosAngclcs wit hout a via ble transit
system in t he end (Fogelson, 1967),
Tra nsit bureaucrats today, alt hough
not t yplrally i n the land busi ness, func-
t iun as acuve development boosters; only
in that wav can mor e riders be found to
support their systems an d hel p pay off
the somet imes enormo us debts incurred
to construct or expa nd the systems. On
the national level, maj or airlines develop
a strong growt h interest in the develop-
ment of t heir "hub" citv an d the net work it
serves, Eastern Ahlines must have gruwth
in Miami, Northwest Airlines needs devel-
opme nt in Minneapolis, and American
Airlines rises or falls with t he fortunes of
Dallas-Fort Wort h. I, . .]
I . Trillill remar ks tha t rejection of higb taxes by t he
citizens of Rockford is "consistent with what the
businl'SSand InduslrlaJ leadm'Jhlp of Rockford
ha s uaditioually pre ached. For l"C<lIS, the indus-
tncusre we re considered to be in complete con-
tr ol of the sort of lor aI gllwr nmPnl lndnsr. lHtiMs
tradit ionally favor- a con servative, relatively
clean adm inist ration commtned to t he proposr-
!i Oll tb at llle hilSll"'l of lSOVeIUmelUis
t hclowest propcnyraxrar o' Tl'nllin, 1976: 150)
2. Local plan ni ngofflr i als also sor.wt imes get ln on
someofthe corruplion;lhe ym avmeke rceleetete
of lheir Los Angele s Planning
Dlrec tor CaIvinHamilton waspr essured tore ngn
years on the iob in pal"t because of
revelati ons tha t he acceple d free rem fromcevei,
opers for a side business and had oth el conflicts
ofinterest IClifford, 1985dj.
J. Alihongh mHny su hn.ban new'pap ers ennHl._
aRC growth. espe cially of t ax-generating bust-
neeses. the pap"rs of exclusive subu rba n towns
may Instea d u y 10 guard liLe eilitiug la ud-use
and social base or their circuh.tion
area. RudeI I19i13, 104) desnlhe, Im t this son of
sit uation in west port . Conn ectic ut There are a
ll llmhr.' r nf rra <;om for orr-astoria! deviatmn
hom tlw we >111' I'tLlJJ,,,i tJli. "iJeulI yi" lSlU
attract advertising dollar s new spapers prefer
a , ma ll, rk h leadership 10 a h rger hur po(m"
one. Maintaining exclusivit y Is itse lf occasion-
aJly a growth strategy for small er
01' l' OSiliOlI Hl growth Inrhese cases is conststent
wi th the desire s oflocal elite s.
4. Cox and Morgans study of Brl llsh loca l newspa.
pers indicat es t hat me booste r role cfthe press ls
ncr uniq uero the United States.
Ro!lprL Dani..! " ohlr ich , am! Rcn E.
1%4. Too Rulers and tlu:Ruleci:Political Powerand
Impotence in American Commu ni ties, .New YOlk:
IIlc"rmdel, Her bel! I:i, 1972, MonC}' in Politi cs,
WHshlngton D.C. , Pu hlic Affairs PIe"
Alexander, Herbel t 1960, Finan cing Politics: Monq,
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Introduction: Restructuring and Dislocations
Late in Novembe r 1972, Mr s Edna Shekel
received all evict ion not ice. Mrs Sha kel,
a widow in her seventies, had li ved in a
t hree-room apart ment in a convert ed
house in t he Fairview distr ict ofVancouve r
focth ree years, a hous e she sha red mainly
with ot her elderly wome n like her self. She
suspect ed th at t he tenan ts had not been
given adequa te notice, but she had uu
plans to protes t, nul' indeed di d she know
t he channels for prot est: ' At our age, you
know, we're not exactly fight ers,' None the
tess.with Christmas andwinte r at hand, th e
pros pect of a move for an elde rly wo man
in a w ry tight rental mark et was extremely
unwelcome , pa rtic ularly as Mrs Sha kel
wished to rema in wit hin easy walking dis-
tance of her friends, familiar service s, and
her chur ch.
In Mrs Shekel's eviction not ice we may
observe not only a private tr ouble, but
also a public issue, t he int ersection of
a per sonal bio graphy wit h a wider his-
torlcal geogra phy.' Wha t are some of the
dlmens lons of that hi story and geogra phy,
the broader contexts which will ' appear
throughout t he pages of th is study? First,
and most visi ble, was immen se pressure on
the housing-mark et in Fair view, Kitsilano.
and ot her neighbo ur hoods in vancouve r's
inlier city, where vacancies in privat e rent al
unit s scarcely existed; by 1974 the cfflclal
vacancy rare for desirable inner-cit y neigh-
bourhoods like Fairviewwas zero.l Builders
were developing a new housin g form, the
condominium, an d recentl y completed
projects formed an advancing wave a long
Mrs shakers stree t An agent wa s att empt -
ing to assemble severa l houses including
her own as a site f or a 30- 40 sui te building.
but was Facing a holdout fro m at least une
prop ert y owner. In a hut market, wit h the
prospect of signfflcant profits, the tempta-
ti on t o accelerate the tr ansaction wa s con-
siderable. Ahouse ad jacent to Mrs Shakers,
already purc hased was rent ed to the Hare
Krishna cult on a shor t lease. The pr esence
of cu lt membe r s, ch an t ing int o t he early
hours of th e mor ning. brought a discorda nt
presenc e t o a quiet resident ial stree t in a
conservative dist rict. A neighbouringprop-
erty owner, un willing to sell his own hou se,
cha rged that developers were engaged in
blockbust ing. Certa inly, t he t ransition pro-
cess was grea-ed. for several houses on t he
block were speedily empti ed of t heir ten-
a nt s, including the Hare Krishna grou p
who, after only a. few mont hs' residen ce,
relocat ed four blocks away,again on a short -
term lea se, as, it was alleged, t he blockbust-
ing process was attempted once more. By
the summer of 1973, con dominiums lined
alruqst t he whnle block, and were spri ng ing
up throughout the neighbourhood. By 1976
there were so me for t y strata-ti tle pro ject s
cont aining 8M self-owned apart me-nts in
Pairv jew, almost all uf'them built in the pr e-
vious five years.'
An una nticipated inversion was taking
place in par ts of the inner ,city hous ing-
ma rket Spatial mod els of t he city's social
areas showed t he innermos t dist ricts near
the downtown corp. had for deca des been
rese rv ed prhnar lly CUI ).lUUI'eT re sld en ts,
From the Inter-war research of llomer
in t he United Sta res, t he con ventional wis-
dom ha d it that as propert y aged it filtered
down from wea lthier t o successjvel ypoorer
ho useholdsintt:eseo ld.inner mootdist ricts.
Th is wisdom matched the reality mar ked
on land-us" ma ps uf Cauadta n cit ies into
the 1960s. In Toronto, flI eKalll ple,l he 19-11
ma p of hou slnj:l and land u se descri bed a
zone bluntly labelled as 'fourth-cla ss hou s-
ing' virtua llyenci rclin gthe downt own area:
beyond it was an ageing. ha nd-me-down
ring of affordahle room mg house s, So it \V'a.S
tha t a widow on a fixed pen sion like Mrs
Shakel could afford tu live in \, ha t had DU ct'
he lm a subsran tlal middle -class home.
Adjacent to t he upper-cla ss Sha ughness y
neighbourhood, f airvi ew had en joyed a
certai n reflected glory as a resident ial area ,
but by 1970 its midd le -class gentility wa s
frayed at t he edgec Indeed its northern sec-
tion. ttl e Filin; i.--w Slnp...... ",1. 1"" t he
decay ing industrial basin of Fa lse Creek,
had det erior at ed to t tle extenl t ha t it had
been red lin ed by b:mks and trust compa-
nies, precludi ng t he pr oopcc t of commer-
cia1loa ns bei ngsecu red forb orne purchase
or repa ir. z..:ot hing seemed likely to dis-
perse ttle inlin"it rial- anrl r tlt"miral- ha7t"
,u lJuml ils hippyn lllllllllu t's.'
But nuw thiugs \\iere l:h<l nging. Whil e
t he tr ansit ion of the Fairview Slopes was
still a deca de away, elsewhere in Fairview
condomini um rodevelopmcnt was bring-
ing higher-status groups into thc inner city.
.... In.stlv t nev were small househ olds \\i th
.. 01 Illa tlligl"ridl on :IIJ1ati olls,
working downtown in business or in t he
public sector in teaching, health care, or
govemme nr heads were
either under Ss year s ura ge. atan ....drlyslCl ge
in their professional and fami ly careers,
or else empty-nest ers, purchasing wit h a
retirement home in mind ' I'hc condomin-
ium uni ts that replaced Mrs Sha ke's house
and its neighbour s included two com pany
presiden ts, two hu .sines,s ma nagers, two
real-esta te agen ts. an eng ineer. cUI accoeu.
ran t, an d several techn icians, Their desire
to hve in the inner city a nd the dect ston bv
devel opers to bui ld them created a 'value
gap' tha t th reatened the exisungrenret mar-
ket-" Quite simply, land owners recei ved a
higher. fast er. and more secure economc
return from selling apa rt me nts than Ins u
renting them.
Tbi s transition was not of course unique
to Vancouver. bu t began to occur in
cities of other advanced indu strial nations
er aroun d the same ti me. In each city. an d
each na tion, t bere werecertein Il"lf1l 1infler -
nons. in Toron to, Montreal. anrl t tl" largPJ
cities of central Cana da, there was more
emphasis on renovanco of the existing
bous tng stoc k, th anondemolinonandrede-
velopment. th e stan dard t ransition process
in citi es built of wood like Vancou ver cr
Edmont on . Indeed the term 'gent riflcatloe '
was init ially employed in Loudon by Ruth
Glass to descr ilJl' t11b
the mo'.-eIDent of the 'gentry' int o existing
lower-income whictl t hey subse-
quen tly rehabilita ted and upgraded? Ovcr
the pa st deca de, however. many aut hors,
mor e attent ive t o changes in housing class
t han t o in the hOIl.sing stock in thl"
inner city, ha ve broadened geui rinl'aliull tu
ind ude bot h sides of tile middle-claS!> ma r-
ket, t he renovation of old propert ies and
t he redevelopment of new units, \vith both
con ceived as part of a broader rctlt ruct ur-
ing of the cilY. This book too is conc erm.. d
wit h gent rifica t ion writ la rge, th e wider
P[()(;t"sses l,f ecOIl OIl1 ic, .;nri al, and pnlit i('al
trJ.llsfornmt ion in t he downtown and inner
: cav th at have both tri ggered and followed
lJPWarling and retnvcsnncnt.
In major cit ies t he conseq ue nces of
. upgrawngha ve been substa nt ial; in cen t ral
london, the breakup of the pri vate renta l
market In favour of cundorninlurn tenure
h to have removed 15 per cent
d' the purpose-b uilt renta l stoc k between
19f16and Less firm figures for New
VorkCitysuggest between 10.000and 40.000
rental households wer e bei ng dis placed by
gt..n n ification (lfllllWl (v at i be end r:l Ih"
There ale good gro unds, theil, fOf
seetcgcenmncauon as a major cause oft he
problems of housi ng affordabilit y in large
Canadiand tiessince 1970_" Simplyput. the
j nne r city istostc gns histori c role as a major
re.en;oir of private. low-cost housing,
III the en d, Mrs Shakel 11\0Te Irmu-
na te than man y other displaced hou se-
holds. She was able tu Ilnd altern ative
accommodation near her former dwelling,
although for it t o remain afforda ble she
up aself-contair. cd three-r oom apa rt -
men t in exchange for a single room wi t h a
sha red bathroom. This was he-r hom e until
her dea th several vears later. and soon af'ter
It, too, was and replaced by
condomini ums. The room was close to the
church she at tended and it wa s there t ha t I
met Edna Shakel end lear ned of her story. a
story that st imulated the k:ngth y research
project which ha s given rise 10this book.
The e\ elll !> t ha i led to Ille of MIS
Sll<I h f s apart ment implica led nOIonly
ldential changes, but al':lO a larger rewor k.-
ing of t he mentali tl? of liVing in a laq;e
ur ban aren. A municipa l election was hel d
in th e Cit v of Vancouver t he same month
Sha kl"l \vase\irtl"d from hf:rapa rt
liIent. The party ill power, the NPAm NOll-
P' dn isan Association (a euphemis m uf the
first degr ee), had ru led D ty Hall wit hout
interrupt ion since its format ion as a free -
enterp rise coalition in 1937. tlut now it was
opposed b}"twonewparties foun dedin J!.Iti U
in the wake ot somemajor Iand -usc conuo-
versies int hecir yconcemingurban renewal
and fr eP.1.VilYdevelop ment. Dis satisfact ion
with the un e-dhuenslonal thinking of tlu-
NPA'spro-growt h, pro-de velopment policy
mob llized orher interesrgroups. Acoalition
ofliberal middle-class profess iona ls in t heir
mid.twent ies to mid-forti es formed The
Elect or s' Act ion Movement whi le
union, tenan t. and anti-poverty group'
t"Stahli-.llI..... the lefl-\\ ing Committee uf
Progressive ElectOls (COPE). TEAMoffered
a complex urban visi on of t he li veable city,
a vision which incorporat ed growth man-
agement , urban aest hetics. and soci al
just ice in an uneasy amalgam.'! If, a s Jane
Jacobs cba rged.v t he modernizat ion of the
C.anadia n ri t v t hen underwav showed no
advance the lllOtlerni ;t vls j ona rtes
of th e and t heir dream of t he free -
way, high -ri se city, t he urban ref orme rs
of th e 19705 had a more humanistic view
wit h a complex a pproach t o the qualit y of
urban experience. Theirs would be 'a city
people can live in and enjJ)",'J a city of
hu man scal e, where the pop ulat ion would
find urba n gover nme nt more access ible
through part icipa tor y programmes, whe re
t he ideology of t he public house hold woo ld
gui de tr an sportation and housing policy,
favou ring pu blic soluti ons (tr ansit, social
housing) over private ones (the privat e car,
slum hom ing), and where design guide-
lillt'S alltl pa rk and la ml MAJling
pollcy would enhance the qu ality of the
built t'mi ronment . Ttle extent to whi ch
or even much, of this seemingly progres-
sive agend a was achieved will be a subject
for later di scussion ."
The ideology of t he livf' ",ble d ty was
<; IIPIXlIWd by a hroa d public. as a range of
partici p.itury plaull ilJ.H programmes ill the
1970s confirmed.
But this Is not to state
t hat iIwas muchfurtherremo \'ed from a dis-
tinc tive ciass int crt-'St than t he pro-growt h
coalit ion which it replaced. The bearers of
t ne liht"ral idt'Ology were predsel y t hose
citi7Rns\\ -hosawthe benefitsofan expanded
welfare state. Theywerc educated, middle-
class professionals,primarilyunder40years
ofage, and disproport ionately employed in
the public or non- profi t sector s as teach-
er s, professor s, soci al wor kers, architec ts,
or lawyers.Such pro fessional s in social and
cultural fields have played a distinctive and
important part in th e reshaping of the inner
city.The ywcrc not quite the same grouping
as had moved into t he condominiums on
Mrs Shekels block, und erscori ng the fact
that t he profession al-managerial cat egor y
is not a unitar y class. while the condomi n-
iu m dwellers were al so by and large well-
educated, white- collar wor kers, they wer e
more likely to be private-sector ma na gers,
profession als, or sales people, withintereste
close r to t he pri vate market . The liberals,
in contrast . te nded to be publi c- or quasi-
public-sect or workers who often favoured
older pr ope rti es and saw a br oader set of
ob ject ives as th e respon sibilit y of ur ban
governa nc e, But whet bot h groups sha red
in common wasanorien tat ion to an ur bane
lifest yle, the cos mop olitan opport unit ies of
cen t ral-cit yliving.
TEA!l.1' S ideology was th e ideology of
the da y and the party won t he 1972 elec-
tion In a landslide. It was a local manifes-
tati on of a nat iona l sen timent. In Toront o
and Montreal reform groups spran g up at
the same time, with the same op position t o
unqualified urban boostertsm pursue d by a
centralized an d tna cces- nue gmwth mali-
tion at City Hall, Afewweeks after TEAl\.I 'S
electoral success, th e reformers InToron to.
2,000 mil es away, were a lso returned to
office in a shaky coalition of liberals, social
dem ocrats,and 'r ed ' t ortes who pressed the
conservative vot e to t he cen t re or even the
cen t re-left In Mont rea l a new civic party
made signi fican t gains in t he 1974 mun ici-
pal electi on, providing the first op posit ion
to Mayor Jean Drapeau's RJO\ \t h machi ne,
but beset by internal rifts betwee n lib-
erals and left ists, the Montr eal Citizens
Moveme nt was not elected until 1985.
Faint er reverberations were felt in sma ller
cities. Edmon ton , Ot tawa and Iialifnx also
saw midd le-class acti vists elected to city
counc il, pursuing such goals as the rlefem:e
of neigh bour hoods and resistance to exren.
stve rede velopme nt and freeway cons t rue.
tkm. In eac h instance t he ob jective was
the turning back of massive urban change,
resistance to t he wholesal e moderniza-
tion of th e city. And in each case the pro-
tagonists t ypically ind ud ed the same cast
of midd le-class professional s, frequent ly
employed within the general ru br ic of the
welfare st ate. A new agenda for urbane,
cent ral-cttv living wa s being art iculated by
a newly mobilized cohort of young profes-
siona l and manageria l workers, not only in
th e housing-market but also In the corri-
dors of power.
The socia l, spat ial, ami political resha p-
Ing of Canada 's major cit ies wa s part of a
larger national. ind eed int ern ati onal, set
of even ts and changing values. The first
Liberal administ rati on of Pierre Trudea u
wa s elect ed in t he midst of escalating
social movement s in advan ced societ-
ies, inclu ding t he st udent upr isi ng of May
1968 in Paris 10 which Trudeau as a franco-
phone intellect ual was particularl y anen-
t lve Environmentalism, civil rights, the
Vietnam War, the student movement , and
the counter-cult ure all offered a sharp cri -
tique of post -war societ y in t he Western
nauuus. whfch had shuwn an
unprecedentedlevel ofsLt stainedecono mic
growth. But it was th is very success stor y
that received such vehement cr iticism. If,
in the United States, the military-Indust rial
complex was t he object of particular exco-
riati on by crit ics, th e broade r t ar get was a
corporat e society whose one-dimensional
Ideol ogy was alleged to produce a one-
dlme nsfonal personality." For some think-
ers it was erost harwould Ii berat e an uptight
society, and whatever one ma kes of the
sexual revolut ion t hat coinci ded with t his
period, one emphasis that is noteworthy is
the reference t o experience, mo re particu-
larlyto the sensual, as in somewaymarking
the fOr\wrd mareh of freedom. The pursuit
of' jlly' OUS festiva l' by the stu dent rioters in
pari s was rapidly domesti cated by inno-
vative urba n practiti on ers." So it was th at
VanCOuver residents were offered in 1972
neither lower taxes nor eco nomic growth
bv <ls piri np; reform politicians, but instead
.; cilYPeople can live in and en joy'.
This was not for a moment intend ed as
an elitist agenda Trudeau's espousa l of an
society, the sense of new beginnings,
encouraged social and cultura l experlrne n-
tatian in public policy as we ll as in private
life. The politics of inclusion, parti cipatory
initiatives offering unprecede nt ed degrees
of empowerment to service rec ipients,
represen ted a rea l, not a cynical. attempt
to expand the public sphere." This expan-
sion (if far from complete) was visible in
three areas of the munlclpal reform 1Il0\' t'-
ment and its policies. First a greater range
of issues was brought int o the public sphere.
The un examined tenets of growth boost-
erism were interroga ted and exposed to
scrutiny from such competi ng ob jectives as
environment al quality, social justice, local
empowerment . or'neighbou rl lness',afavou-
rite criterion of Ray Spax man, vancouver's
Director of Planning from 1973 to 1989.
The pub lic spher e was occu pied no longer
bya single, bu t now by mul tiple ob jectives.
Second , more voic es were admitte d to the
decision-making process. This was, after
all, the pe riod when Can ada discovered its
multiculturalism and enunciated a for mal
multicultural policy, a poli cy which has
since evolved in ever more poli tical direc-
tlons.wIn the urban nrcnn t he terms laid out
byfederal policy wcrc followed by attempt s
at 10('.(\1dem ocracy in various part icipatory
programme s, t he most sustained being the
developmen t of neighbo ur hood plans with
man dated comm un ity cons ultation by
muni cipal planning departme nts .
Third, th e opening up of urban society
was inevitably inscribed up on the ur ban
landscap e.Concomitant wit ht he expansi on
of the pub lic sphere has been the en large-
ment of pub lic space. While t he cons t ruc-
t ion of en closed shup ping malls has 1end ed
to rest rict cer tain traditional collecuve
rights (such as picketing, or securing sig-
na tu res for a pe ti t ionw), th e acti on ofl ocal
government has usua lly led in th e opposite
direction. The extension of ur ban par ks, t he
de velopmen t of public plazas, and not least
t he opening np of the wa terfront til pub-
lic use-e-such as vancouver's seawall, now
acces sible to pe destrians a nd cyclists for
mo re t han 12 kilometres around t he cen -
t ral city- arc all indicative of government
action promo ting a more accessi ble and
convi vial pub lic realm. So too the stat e has
con nibnt ed toward the prese rvation of val-
ued heritage sites , including Montreal's Old
Town, t he Historic Prope rties i n Halifax,
and Vancouver's Casrown. The mainte-
nanc e of view cor ridors, causescelebresin
Vancouver and Halit ax, and downt own
height restr ictions in Ott awa to secure the
skvlln e of Pa rliament I liIl, are other exam-
ples of the sta te's ln terventiun to maint ain a
visual resource fur pu blic enjoyment
A ten-mi nut e walk from Mrs Shakel's
former apa rt ment is the popular Granville
Island , a public spac e carefully resha ped by
the federal gove rnmen t through t he Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corpor ation in t he
1970s. A mixed -use developmen t , it incor -
pora tes a public food-market, thea tres, an
art college and hotel, and shops and offices
cheek by jowl wit h new and long-estab -
lished industry, inclu ding a ceme nt plant.
Formerly the whole island wa s occupied by
man ufac turing firms, some of them dating
back eighty years to the original crea t ion of
t his art jflcal island in the indus trial ba sin
of False Creek, 011 the edge of downtown
On Granville Island an adventure
playground was created in the shell of the
former Spear & Jackson sawmill, like most
of the manufactur ing pla nt an unprepos -
scsstng corr ugated iron st ru ct ure. i n places
rus t ing. den t ed. and torn . Lhe playground
(as a ml crocrem of t he Island) contained
sollie of t ile in versions of a. CDIlIt' IlI,xmu y
urban aest her jc, an onemauc n to expert-
ence a nd th e sensuous which is so cen tr al
to th e state's intervention in t he bu ilt envi-
ronment of the post-industrial city. First.
a privat e space where trespa ssers would
be prosecut ed was transformed to a pub-
lic whe-re loiterers were welco me
Second, an adult mall! space was UPI!IIt!'l1
up as a space for chil dren, a nd, predorul-
nar nly, mot hers. Third, through skilful
spatial engineering, a site of depreci at ing
value has been revalued, t hough nor yet
as a working site for capital accum ulation.
Fourt h, a pl ace of indust ry became a plan"
uf play, asertlng for product lon wasnuned
Into a sell ing for consu mption. And yel
wit h post modem irony, t he visua l envi ron-
ment was carefully (indeed so carefully,one
might t hink carelessly) retained. 1 he recv-
d ingoft he whole Island is pred icated up on
jll !>! such all industr ial vernacula r slyll",
tradit iunal 10 the silt>; the new art t:ollt>g!"
looks li ke an indu strial warehouse, th e up-
mar ket hotel Ilke a fact ory. What meers t he
eye Isa kin to what Sharon Zukin described
in rccw York's Soll o as a 'poe t ic apprcc ia-
ti on of indust rial design'," 'uie lslnn d i.'I
care fully themed t o convey [he me ssage
of hlsrOlIe ro mi nlliry: 8m II is rile slah illlY
uf tha t is on display, ftH whdt has
oct. -urnJd is an aest l:elid zation, a taminKof
a once \\1Id and vigorous indu st rial land
scape. The \'isua l environ ml'll [ now reveals
contradictio n. complexity. and nol a litt le
paro dy. for beneath rough shells
are cult ured inre rinrs. Th e
ollly majo r pIOblem oCthe h lallu is lb own
suu: ess, the crowUs an d COIlKt>Stiun tlr a\\' l1
to share this experi ence. Granville blan d is
a qUint essent ial pu blic space in the post-
mod ern city.
IIs retail out lets cwnatn uu chain sto les ,
its produce is advertised as di rect from
regiona l farms, its goods are perscce uaea
by resident arti sts and craf tspeo ple. The
public ma rket in part icular is a sens ual SWi rl
of colou rs. sounds, t astes, and fra grances,
an aesthet ic niumph, PYOllS festival. Here,
amid st the u a ys of baguet tes and oysters,
is the epitome of ni che ma rketing for an
ur bane mid dle -class populati on jaded by
mass mar keting. who seek in shoppi ng and
gazing the pleasures 01sjm bohc excha nge,
the con fiden ce of .vtvoi, -{airrol he delighll;
of consumer Are such acts of
co ns umer solldar h y by the educa ted mid-
dle-class the tru e harves t of 1968? Ami are
such convivial public spaces the newest
Incarnation of the welfare sla te?
Ol-' THt: INNI:::R CIT\'
In the quest ions raise-dby such vignett es,
with their separ at e but related places and
events , we ma y disce rn a number of the
t hemes that wi ll be pu rsued in this book.
In a n um ber of dist ricts in a num ber 0:
large cit ies, the stei'.dy down-filterin gof lhe
inner-city ht.lsing srnd has been ahruprly
reversed The eflloo rlfgro i st'lIIlm t of t1::1'
Inner city, accomplished the twin
transition processes of reno va tion and
red e..-elopment (oftcntocondominiwusJ,is
ir.-complete even in ncill:h bourhoods
it bt-en IIIUIlt prUlninenr . bu t
non e the it has w ntrihu Tedto a signifi.
t:a nt resha pingoflhe- huusi ng -marlet in cil-
Ie; wit h expar::dingd ownt own em pluymenl
in ad\'anced ser vices. This qualifier imme-
diately lead s to t he importa nt recognition
th at t here is a geography to gent rificat ion,
t hat the trends rema kingthe inner citles of
Toront o, San rram:i.'icn, nr London are nnt
.'ihilled by l)->t lOit, or U\'tot'(lool.
Noriseverynd Hhbour boudt'<J.uaIIysusu: p-
tib le 10 midd le-class settle ment . \\h y did
the condominiums arrive in Mrs Shakel's
F!lirVll:."\ vin the earl y 1970s, whileavoidinga
slriAA of Inner-city dist rlcts in Vancou ver's
wit h per missive eonh.g. che ape r
land prices, and equally d ose lU d O\\ I1-
wwn? And whyt he 19, 0s? \\' hat combine-
non of er.abling an d constrain ing cor-texts
collvr rged on this particu lar period?
Some provisional answers are suggested
b)' t be vignett es. The prope rty ind ustr y had
dclec tt!d a new subrna t'kt"r in t he a- nt ral
cirv whi dl il wa s enthusia stical ly exploit-
:ng.Tt l' condominium wa s a product t hat
snh'ed the deve loper's pro blem of decreas-
ing profitability in t he ren tal sector ; for
contrartors t he surge in horne renovations
lOr the middl e cles.. al...... ope ned a second
profilable nlohemarket Hill such develop-
ment inltl arlves presupposed 1111:" existence
of a market wo rth explultlng. for 110 ent re-
preneur supplies a produ ct for which he
or she ha s not already det ect ed potential
dema nd.The existence of thai mar ket lead s
to other contexts, notably t o t he la bour-
of the bmgeoning rent ral-chy service
t'tu mJlIlYthat was repla cin g the ind us ujal
workers of dechnlng ma nufacturing ZOUI!S
like False Creek and Granvi lle Island. The
convergence of rapid economic expan-
sion, the speciHc: growt h of wtnc -ccncr
professional jobs, an d the mat uration of
tbe demographic bu lge Ilf t he baby boom,
all t o create a demand !>ur ge for
housh'S among the middlt> class.
But still we haVEnor acco unt ed for th e
specificity of the in ne r cit y
as a for t hai po pul ation. ] he
suburbs had become the postwar so[u-
tion to th e midd le-class hou sing problem,
a:'! dCVt'lope rs had IlClfected lhe SlID.nMn
suh livisioll as lhe na l ur alllt>S lilig a rea uf
the young famil y. As we will th e
suburbs cont inued to be the major dest i-
nation of t he middle class in th e 1970s and
I!JHUs. bu t a growi ng minority bucked th e
tren d What direct ed t his coho rt 10 t he less
familiar terrai n of th e inner citV?WilSit, a,<;
SOlll e alithOIshave suggt'.'i1ell,t i l t-'i lllj'li1Ct of
more expensi ve commuting, as the 1973 oil
shock added a suh stenrjal econ om ic pre -
mium nf an ever -leng the n-
Ing juumey ruworkj Or was it a redefiniti on
on t e nuclear family itself, as more women
sou ght pai d wor k and professional ca reers,
the birt h-rate tumbled. and t he single rem -
i1yhome in t he suburbs became a dwelling
form no longer functional to a yout hful seg-
ment of t he middle-cla ss mark et?
And t hen ther e is the hlstorkal coin-
ciden ce wn h th e counrer-cunure an d
concomitant ur ban social movement s.
Th e youth ghett os of t he 1960s were con -
centrated in th e largest cit ies. including
Toronto's"'orh ill ea mIVancouv er'sKitsilano,
both district s whk.hgent rifled rapidly in t he
1970s, Whdt is the rela uo nsht p be tween the
co unter -culture and Hentrification?Was th e
counter-cult ure simply an unwitting tool
of th e development ind ustry, like the Ha re
Krishna cult in Iefrview, the urban storm-
tro opers wbo esra bllshed a beac h-head for
profitable remvest mentt Or shoul d we see
a moll:" cOlllpl ex se t of in ter actio ns, where
gent rification is an expre sslcn of a rr hlcal
cul tu ral pol itics, a reject jon of the subur bs
and t heir percefved cult ura l conformit y in
favour of the more cosmcpobten and Per-
miss ive opportu nities of t he cen tral city? Jf
so. t hen an inn er-city home is much more
th an a funcrional conveni ence; for a pa r-
ti cular fragmenl of thl:" midd l",class i r is ill
inlegra l part oC their idl'l1tit}' formation.
Certainly Ibis rhesis wo uld fit hi th rhe
striking histori cal coincidence betwa 'n
the on5Ct of gent rifICa tion in Canadian cit-
ies ar ound 1970 and t he mobiliza tion of
political rdonn mm'ements, critical of a
pre -elisting pro-growt h regime. Typ it:ally,
muvemen ts l. "Ou taine-d at leas t twu.
often divisive, elem ents, a IltlCral group inl\,
like TI::'.AM in Van couver or t he supporters
of Ma yor Duvid Crombie in Toronto, that
was primarily cont a ined wit hin th e mid
di e c.lass, a nd il .'iocial de mocratic group-
ing. like New nt-'lIlucnlls in Toronl o, III
furt her tnthe left , whk.h
com pri sed a n a lliance of re rtaln publi c-
St"(: t (l f I' rllft' ssiuoals with uniuu memb e rs,
some neighbourhood groups. and critical
socia l mo vement s promonnn Issues suc h
as tena nts' right s, feminism, a nd en viron-
mentalism. Both groupings represented
a discontinu ity wi th t he growth regimes
t hat had monnpnll zed ur ban poli tics in
the pos t-war ,..rlod . Reformers we re much
likel yto be to be professlun-
a le. an d to be women, than t he old guard at
Ot}' Hall, a profile whjch immediately sug -
gests a sbcrcd ident ity wu b t he new midd le
class in the inner ci ty, Th e gender complex-
ion of the refnrmers i'l of particula r inter -
est. In Ott awa, where folllJ\oi ng t ht' lead of
Mayor Marion Dewar there \\I d S a co nunu-
inK represent ation of professional women
on Counci l. it has been suggested that th e
gender profile of counci llors con tributed to
policy oriented toward the politics of con-
sumpti on.r'
In t erms ofl a nd uw, and t he urban tax
base, a consumpt ion !ilratl'8 Yneatly
some of the da mage exacted by deindust ri-
aUzation. Most cru dely; It served t he func-
tiona l e nd of pobncal leginma uon, in th e
19'JOs 1lS often 0. strategy of croissant s and
ope ra as of brood and circuses. The expa n-
sion of a park, t he savi ngof a heri tage si te,
subs ldies for thl'"symp huny mchesfra, t he
promotion of e nvina un entally Irtendl y
policies such as pu blic t ransportation, were
ali politica l win ners for citizens en dorsing
t he liveab le city. ,\ consumption strntcgy
also laid the base for a nc' .... round of eco-
nomic deve lopment pred icated upon lei-
sur e an d tom, an a menit y et hi c which
mighl <l Hlin:t (ur kt"l:'Jl) C<l pilal. In
tills leisure ecollomy, it \Vas the resources of
senlorle" elsofRovemment \\Thich were able
to prime the pump , th rough investment
in suc h hoped-for mu ltipliers os heritage
distri cts. convent ion cen tres, or ha llmark
l'"vents, t he mun d of wurld's filits, .'ipot t-
ing ft>.'il i\als, Rnd lat1t"rly ,xllilirll l .'iumrnit
mee tings ..... hich ha vc been suc h an a biding
featu re of Canadian since Expo fi7 in
Montr eal.
For municipal counci ls, hal hmul. evems
and ur ban spect acles provided a third
opportunity. Past -track redevelopment and
infrast ructure upgrading. often difficldl
to achieve under normal circumsta nces,
could be more reedilyrat ionalized to a kll:i\i
elecr orare if'rhe outcome was it N'ldJrat ion,
fur wha t might be regarded as a land-use
transgression in normal tunes ulV"driablr
became tolerable. Moreover, the spec.
tacle al so provided local govern ment with
leve rage to apply against higher levels ot
t he stare. Fu nds no t forthc omi ng for rapid
tram-it or a convention centre. or a new
stock of social housing might be (and Wt"f'e}
prt sed loose in the na me of a celebra t ion
froma seni or govemrrent whi ch was see m-
ingl y mor e willing t o be t he donor of part y
favou rs. Government sin Canada have bee n
remarkably unwillingt o be pr esented to the
electorete a s party poopers.
The quest ions ra tsed eb we define Ill..
subject matter of thl s book. Of course there
are rarel y neat solutions where simple lines
or cause and effect ma y be tr aced A syn-
t heti c int erpreta t ion of the changing inner
city is a synthesis wh ere t he chains of cau-
sality are invariablydiverted by intervening
variables and intera ction d'fe(' u , where the
consequences of act lnns a re- as uftell, Ilt'I'-
haps more often, unintended as t hey are
int ended Conside r, for example, the his-
torical coinc idence of gentrification with
the mat ura tion of the ooby boom, 8 chang-
ing family stru ct ure, t he count er-culture,
urba n rrlonn . and t he rapid f'm nom k
growth of t lw duwlltowll lal J(JlU-llliu kel,
but nUl en ded by the 1973 nil
shock. The efficien t positivist solution of
holding certain " ariables constant to oon-
trolfort hcird'fl. 'Cts is ncvcr nvmlnble in t he
complexity of a regionnl geog raphy. Une
may dem onst rate intf'rdf'pe nden r ie.'l , but
rarely cilllSillity.
Nor is t his account o( lnner-cl ty trans-
fonnation a complete one, Whil e the study
will range widely in its engagemen t with
economic, politi cal, social and cultural
trenos-gentrificati on writ la rge-there
is no claim here to a tota l history or tota l
geowaPhy.The viewof the in,lwr .which
emerges is a parti al one whh slgmfl(;ant
Th e new middle class is in man y
respects a group in ascenda ncy in t he inner
implica tir.g la bour -markets, hous-
ing-mar kets, urban poli tics. an d t he bui ll
environme nt in t he ways I have alread y
oUtlined . But there are ot her Inner cilie:-
I have not ment ioned that are a bo betng
reshaped, ar: d whi ch will nor be prominent
in t he argu ments wt:ich t oucw, The new
middle class is th e privileged cohort in the
post-industrial city, but it docs not exist
in isolation. In the duallabour -ma rket 0(
a e-rvlce econ omy, gentr ifiers fall pri ncl-
pallyin the uppe r tier. The lower tie r
sl<.iIled ser vice workers compnses a wlKk-
terce wi th far fewer opportunities, ind uct-
ing shop assis ta nts, waitresses, taxt drtvcrs.
and bell boys, ma ny of t hem workmg ncar
the jevel of rhe minimum wage, In New
mrl., Sasse n in pa rticular has arg ued for
the Interdependence of the t wo uers. wit h
the lower circuit serving the mkldle class in
such area s as restaura nts and leisure, secu-
rity,ar.d various forms otpersonal service"
Working in this sector are large numbers
of recent immigrants with limit ed facility
in Englh h nr French, fnr, jarer tha n o,;( mw
othl'1' We-;telll na t ions, milny Ca nadian
nlt' tlOpolitan und ergone signifi-
amt ethnic an d racial t ransforma t ion over
the past twent y-five years.
du al lalxmr-ma rkct provi dl.. 'S one
face of growing socia l polarizat ion.'" Hut
even pumly pai d, hut ,<ervir:t'
workers are pr ivilt'goo wlatiye to lar gf'
numbers of part-lime and lempUIarily
ur perm anentl y unemployed ci li Zl:ns. III
extreme case s, as Mike Davis has shown for
the asset -str ipped inner-cit y dist ricts ofLos
Angeles. t he informal economy is preva-
lent , and crime may become the effective
face of community economi c develop-
mcnt. Unli ke t he of Davis,
or Tom Wolfe," who move between t he
slKiallVll(Ids nf high uppnrt unitva nd dee p
bupovenstunent. this bonk is less ambi-
tio us in its scope. Nevert heless, while never
losing sight of the place of the new middle
class in a brooder system of socia l stra tifi-
cation, a detailed exa mi r::atior. of advan-
taged gr oups in t heir m\TI right a lso adds an
important dtme nsjon 10 our underst and-
ing of the lellla ling of the contemporary
central city. (.. .J
I. C. Wrip,1\( ,b. ( l'H9" I_gi__
(:-,... ' or!<;Oif <l<dL:..: I) P' KI).
. Rn l E<QIl: B<.....d uf """" """ Zeal F.Jl .-

) D. l&')' (1<tIL), 'I"""" Cily iL-vi-.ti7:alim ..
A\' .. ....,.....,. Cuc-6lUJy' , a.....J ...... . : 5,
A R.....-lIt1op.c;ecl ",. oJ>.<>; ""m-'OD"""'01'-
cur <'all'lul 'i[*-cJnil
4. Sc pcrvati-.c ,..u ill 1U1I:'= "'
se-...n I>A...,ue. olle of lbe ,.......II ..! <1=11
....llrn "' IIIUl.>. I' J u -C3e:I.i<:o.IA."" ue' ;
C. Millo(11)88). 'L, fuCflll , l: plo... : Pc:o!I.:r.OC:......
,,( . . and 6 -
f er . p, 05 1o> Bf i" ....- cil y ......,..... . . "",b:a o;lIlArl'.kl"" u iJICo.r:lldiallcilie<...", A. S!<al:o;rsi.:!o
(I I)gS), ' _,,- Compu;.oe of S. .... ;." aod m= -Cil )
("", IWl..., i" ,ull'lMAr Uu' , }""",,,
SUe e, I I : : 59- 85.
6. Per tIll1.'''' BlItile vil le l ap a3lt the reet
IP'r .., C'hHr 1e, 1 l!lo ..Ill: ll'lt' du il>e
f or ", of b""";"8 11' 0:\. it ...n " be", 0 to". nl i . ro" I...,.J
1-). "" ""' . .. i" lbe """, e ( b,.. upgn>de<l) o". f1nIenl
,,,,i \. it i s.i, ul.. Iogi" !lou l1-,c. p.r lln"".
ond ..elo... <oodom," iulU on ,t.. , ile
m lh f('l'm. nflr" IlSltiO" ofte n oc<u, i" lhe .. me
Ii> e.icloltl0:1a:1l like M, .!
lMnic. l) lWOfottn, Of l' :>n. mon
i. lUIa. od<lu ic Ull<_0 '11['< , jd", lb. """nUlllK:
loSic b ndlo,d' , d<>ci,ion lhull ead'lO a I<" an')
;n an huilLl ing, deocri h.d h)
Randolph ( 984 ). i , t l, . ,..m. , .lh. rationale for
mOVLOa fron] "' " tal "[",,,tmenl. to condo"",ini.,,, re<le-
w l" pn't llt i<o,:ludtd in Iht 197$anll",lrepmIO r Ol. ll<! _
iog Voo. o" , 0p"n m,."t owne., cited inLey (1981I_In
Neil Smith
Buildingthe Frontier Myth
hOlb c., e, ",hal i, involved i. of>
)l. ap bcl",ccn renTedand owner-occu picd properTyand
n ry low rerum, on cu lT<'r.1 caFilal values com_
1'.,,,,1wiIb he "hlained by >OI le an<l
cOle"here' : C. Hamncu and W. Kondolph (1984), ' The
Role of fJi,i n_lmenl in Housing \loth l
Tran, formaTion; An Analys;, of the f lal Breakup
Markel in Central London' , Tran,a ctivr/>. 11/SlirtAe of
Geogmp",r" q: 259--79
7 K. GI.,s (196+), ;lntroduclion', in fer Urblln
Stud"" (ed.), Lond 01l: Asf!2CI< oj Chango ( w nde r.;
McOi bbon Hnd K",,) >::i ii->::Ini.
C. HamncT: and B. Randelph "lc'1lunol
andloe FIaTB, eak" pMoth'! in Lilndon'
Thc Bri li, h Condo E"p ericncc" in S. S:ri th and P.
William, (cds.), IJemr!fjeaiOOl of 'Ife Clty (Bo" on:
"dk n."dll n"io), 121- 52
9. 1'. Ma, cu"" (1986), 'Aba ndonmenT,Gon,rificOIion, nnd
Di, plllCcme nl: 1be i n ;"ew Yerk Cil) ", in
Smilh "nd (eds.) 1>3- 77.
10. l 'he is,u oofre,idenl ,al di,place:r.ent in Co",d,an , it,e.
i_di,"-, u"ed in Chapler2
11. The conl ," dictior. . bel"""n Ih""e>! is
, ioere d fun her in ChapM' See al,o D. ( l 9W ),
oo<llhe P....1-ILlUUSlrial Cily'
tlss""i a/;cJtoj AmuicWl I.,;wgrapMTS, ,U: 2n- Sg,
12. I booh, (l 'n l) , ClI)' Li", it . (Ora.... 'a: Nu io",1Film
Deard). In th is filnl \I . Jaco bo<Xlended hcr tllesc. on
urban planning 10 Toroolo, following he']"ta;r,ily', nlO'"
10 the city in 1968
13. A . Iog. n i n TEAM campaign liToraTure fer Ihe 1974
civice leolion
14. Cempare Ihe opt imi,t ie soe.,rio of lan,es Lemon's
a"e.>:menl of ti . politicol cult ore ef ,n
I' ,il ht he mOle llt"", oleu lone of 1991: J, Lemon( I97S ),
Urban o,mmuni' y Movemonl: MO"ing Toward
Puhlic in D. snd M . Samnel. (oM),
n ,,", ,'''; ' 'lic GrogrupJrJ 319- 37;
J, Lemon(1 9n ), ' l e rolllo' 2Sll-M.
C"mi<lcl f"r eu mr le Ihe <l uIOt 'me " f T"''' majo."[lin;";;
palmy planning prog,am, ofthe 19, (1" OEe in
V"nccol\ w. Ihe olher onThe City, which bolh onded " I'
by ro<li ", uveri,,>( tl,o liveable Gnate,
VOIlcouwr Regional D,.. ncT (197$). the Liveable
Re[!IO'1 / 976--J9M (V'OCOOVL']"); Cily of V. nwner
(1981)1,Goab,fOr Yoncc",'er ('.'.. ,wu, n, City PlaEoiEI'
Conlm i" ion).
16. H. Ma,.u; e (19M \, MUll ( &"Ion:
Pro, s)
17 ),,1 PosTer (1Q7S), in PO.!lwar
France (Princcl on; Pr in<cton t.:ni vmil y Pres.J, 373
Fo, the surn<>qllcnt m"""gc'<l anim.lion of Ihe Par i,
tl,c 1970". , c<I. (J9 R3),
Cult"", ill Pari. ', .\"ew }Qrk 1imcs 22
lu dC\' eloplr.em wu th oter ltli.
nalioB uf nnu cCl:l< ur mB",ncw.
p,ogIUmnl'" .n d lis repl=n'eJJtby 0 , ..
lion.tx1erriohmenl mvolving , uh' I,nt i"1public involve
m""t A pamllcl dcvcle pmonl WfIl! Ihe ",indir.g dowu of
'he public programme io fa"" .,. 01'
l1ird...,.Tor [IdllJle".ltip ,dlcmc" noillbly cunununilv.
b..ed OO -<Jp<r.llT..... . nd non-profiT ooclet,...
19 A. Kol>:l y" hi ( IQ93), 'MulliCllll" , .I ;,m : R"!' re," otlog
. C.r.iiCian Ins liluli on' , inJ. Don<anandD. Le}
PlaceICu /lurelRilpreun".,o" (LOlldon:
20. In the ca,e 0 ft he "as l West Edmonlon e\o'Cl'l pic
0' movmg arn<tnd in lu ge grou ps is di"
COUTalied: J. Hopki", ( 1991), ' Wc" Edn:ull1on M.lI"
aCe ntre for Soc;"l Internction ' , C""">dian (ieosrapha ,
H : 2M-79.
21. S, Zukir. (1989), bJfr Livill(: (New n, un. wick, l"J,
RuTS"" Universily Pre,,), 1H
n . Pur .yn,Wi" "u,,,t,u,,lion uf
the ""leoli ve appropriaTion of cull ursl Imi ts, .co P.
Bln:rd ien J>I' li"" ion (C"mhridge, :vi....:
Harvard Un;ver, ity Pres.). Th<pl. of foodand oT!-cr
produots intl,e conolm::ticmof new cia.. ldeJJtlTywllll>e
ill Cha[Jk:' K
23. C, Atxlrow (19S3), ' OTtawa" in W, a'ld
A. s"n wm (ed'.), CIIy PO/lilt. I" Canad a (ToroolO
T..:n i vc"il yufTurun w P",,,,). 14(1-65,
24. S. S... ' The .' ewlabou, Dc'IUandi nGio bal
iu \I , p, S",i (h (ed,). Olin Tr,''' '.!<>rnla/j,,"
(ilc vorly Hill., Calif.: Slll>o), lJ9 -1l; S Slm cn (1991),
r h12 (i/ob(J!City."II' York. Uwi d on, TokYo (r rinoeloo'
25, Amongst <>t hen;, see Sassen J. Mollenkopf aoJ
\t O..lell, ( 1991) (eel',), nud City : Re"' ''K''', riag Np>!
lark (Ne", Yerk: Ru"cll r cur.dalion S. rnin,t ein,
L Gordon, ar.dM . Hartoe(1992 r, UXfont
BlacLv.d l) But CU Ll ,ide, ah" Ihe cllUliOLlSufl', )"to,..." c
(19&9), 'Dual City A Muddy Met. for a
Cily ', Jm",,,,/ of and Regio"d
Research, 13; 697-108and C, H. m"ctT(1994), 'Soc ial
I\lla,i .. hon ., Global Citie" Th eory and hidcnce',
U' /'Lm SIOOU,,\', 31. Pur The Caoadia" ,iluau" "
sco;L. Bo"," o(993), ' Clo""T .n d WorldsAporl:
An An"ly,jo; oflheCh"nges of lhe Ecology ofl noome io
u ll:aoJ ian Cities , Urban SluJieJ, 30. 1293-317
26. ,1.1. EX<X1I Y>l inS, f,cF"Itr'"
in La. Ang,le,' (LIlr uIln; VeT'l')
27. T, Wolfe (1988), T!>c 8on-,;"e of /!>c """Me. (London:
Roland Bar th es once proposed.that "myt h
is const ituted by the loss of t he histori-
cal quality of things' Iliar tbes 1972: 129).
Richard Slat kin elaborates that in addit ion
to wr enching meani ng from it s historica l
COI l text, myth has (J reciprocal effect 0 11 his-
tory. "history becomes a cl iche- (Simkin
1985: 16, 2 1-32) , We should add t he corol-
lary that myth is constituted by t he loss of
the geographical qual ity of t hings as well,
Deterr itorialization is equally cent ral to
mythma king, and the more events are
wrenched from their constitut ive geogra-
phies, the more powerful the mythology,
Ceograph y too beco mes a cliche.
The socia l mean ing of gentrification is
increasingly constructed through the voca b-
ulary of t he fronti er rnyt h, and at fir st glance
this appropriation of lan guage and lan d-
scare might seem simplyplayful, in nocent .
I\: ewspapers ha bltua fly extol the (:ourage
of urban "homest eaders," the advent urous
spirit and rugged individual ism of the new
settlers, brave "urba n pioneers;' pr esumably
going whe re, in the words of Star Trek, no
(whi te) man has ever gone before. "'I'll' fmd a
place on the lower [sic) East Side," confesses
one subu rban co uple in t he genteel of
(he J>:l!w HJf.ler.
Ludlow Street, No one we knowwould think
of liVing her e. No one we know has ever
heard of Ludlow Street Maybe someday this
neighborhoodwill be the waythevlllagewas
hefnre WI' kne w anyt hin g about :-OI'W York,
. . . We explain that moving down here is a
kind of ur ban pioneering, and tell [Mother!
she should be proud. We liken our cross-
Ing Houston Street to pioneers crossing the
I''LudlcwSt reet" 1988)
In its rea l e-ta resect ion, the Nf'WYork Times
(March 27, 1983) announc es "The Taming
ot the w fjdw lldwest," pursuan t to the con -
stru ction of th e "Armory Condominium"
t wo blocks west ofTimes Square:
The t railblazers have done thei r wor k: West
42nd Street has been tamed, domesticated
lind polished int o the most eliciting. fresh -
est , most energeuc new neighborhood in all
of New'rurk . . .Ior reallysavvy buyers. there's
the rapid escalati on of land prices along the
western corridor of 42nd Street . (A[(t'r all
if the real estate 1'l'111'1l' don' t kn ow when a
neighborhood i'l about to huxt loose, who
As new front ier, the gentrifying cft v since
t he 19805 has been oozi ng wit h opt i-
mism. Hostile landscapes are regenerated,
clea nsed, relnfused with middle-class
sen sibilit y; real estate values soa r; yuppies
consume; elite gentility is dem ocra tized
in mass-produced sty les of dist inction. So
what 's not tollket Tbe cmurad tcrfons uft he
act ua l Irunt fer cu e not ent ir el y eradlcared
In this Imagery but t hey ar e smooth ed Int o
an acceptable groove. Aswith t he Old West.
t he fronti er is idyllic yet also da ngero us,
romant ic but also ruth less, From Cr ocodil e
Dlmd ee t o lJrigll t f i g/Its.RigCiry, there is an
entire cinematic genre that make, of ur ba n
life a cowboy fable replete with danger-
ous environment . hostile natives and self-
discovery at the ma rgins of civlllza tlon, In
taming the ur ban wi lder ness, the cowboy
get s t he girl but also finds and lames his
inner selffer the first time.In the Ilnal scene
of Crocodilt! Dundee, Paui llogan accept s
NewYol l-anlli\ew Yu rk hilll-as he d a lll-
be rs llkeanaussie sheepd ogover the heads
and shoulders of a subway crowd. Micha el
J. Fox can hard ly end his fable by riding
off into a reassuring western sun set since
in the big cit y t he bri gh t lights are every-
wh ere, bu r he d oes see a hr ight new
day OVI"f t he lI ud ';ll n Hi\'M and
Manhanan's reconst ruc ted financial di s-
trict. Th e manifest destiny of the earlier
fronti er rains a reciprocal Valha lla on the
big city.
'1' 1:.e front ier myth of the new city j.; here
so dichM. t he geograp hica l and histori -
cal fluality of t hings Ml lost. th at we may
nut st.'t.' the bl.t'u d of in the lan d-
scapt' . 111is mer ely tC'!ltifies to tilt' po\'V1:'r
of t he myth. bu t It was not alwavs so. Th e
a na logy ' between the 1874 Tompkins
SqUlUC Illll. rch cn Il.nd the SiUUll Nl:1tiun was
at best tent ative an d obliqu e. t he mythol-
ogy too young to bra r the fil II idf':'Ologk.a1
\\ eight uf uniting sud l d isparate
But a ' al alll i cUl u.. -eptual dis-
tance bt!twcc n NewYor k and ti lt! Wild Wild
West ha s bet!n continuallyeroded ; perh aps
the most icono clastic evocation of a fron-
tier i n th e carly elty ca me only a few years
after Custer's lllack l lills campaign when a
star k, elegan t btlt isnlatf'd
ing n....t' in t be hUlltlit's
and was llamt:'d 'l1le Da kot a Apa rl lllt:' nb:'
Bv con t ras t. in t he co nd omania t hat has
engulfed Man hatt a n a r eut ur y latt'r-an
envlrunmem in wh ich any socia l, pltys il-al
or geographical connecti on with the ear.
lier fro ntler is obliterated-t he "Mont ana."
"Colo rad o," "Savannah" an d "New West "
ha ve been shoeh orn ed Into already over-
built sites with ne'e r a cnrnmen t aho U!
an y icono graphic inconsistency. As hi s-
tor y and geography wen t wes t . the myth
set tled e-ast , but it took lillie for the myth
itself t o be domest icated into t he urban
envi ronment.
The new urban frontier mot if encodes
nut only the physical transforma tion of tre
hu ilt environmen t and the reinscnption of
urban span' in ter ms u( d as.s ant i ran ' . bu t
a lso a lar ger semiotics. Fruntl er Is a style as
much as a place, and th e 1980s saw th e fad-
d ishness ot tex.xrexrestaur ant s, th e ubiq -
ui ty of desert decor. and a rage for cowboy
chic. all wo ven into the same urban land-
scapes of cons umption. A """/4 ' yort Times
Sunda y Magazine c1uth ing <ld VM" t N-JlIt'll t
(Augw.t 6. 1989) gh l"S lhe f uUefft'Ct:
For u rban rnwlJOYs i1lilll.,rn . l lil'l g' ''' 1I1' . lg
wav. From ba nda nnas tn bnnl !>, n,. uN II'!.
ere what (XIUnt5.... Thf' Wf'51f'tnim prin t on
Ieshion is llO W mach like a cetuc br<md-not
too striking, bur ObviOllS to cllt ch the
eye. For city dudes, th.-.r: mean s accent s: a
jacket Ivrth black lPKnJli; a sheMlln1l
coal wi th a pln-stript' suit; II or Il2aTd
boots with aIJuost Wb-II in duuht
about tl.. mlx UJl IIl tli., mln lli. UYlIU' l .,
illdined gon e too fa r,
New YOlk's upmarkt't h01.1liqut"S d b l"Jffll S'
iug fash ionable frunlipr kit';(-h are ro n-
cen tra too in Sol lo, an area of ar tists' lof ts
an d effete Rallerles, gent rified in th e late
1960s and 19705, and an un prec
ed en t ed boom in the Sollo borders
th e Lower East Side to t he wcst and south-
wes t. Here, "frontier" aspirE'S (m occasion
to Z()fl il , 0 11GI'ft'lIe St reel.
NlVajo rugs, "Otomi lu(liau natural bad:.
nulepaper; Santa Fe jewelry, terra -cott a
. pl)(tery, "Lombak baskets in r ich harv est
colnrs." bola tics, Zona oozes au thentic-
ity. All the "pieces" are nu mbered and a
catalogue of the "collec tion" has been
prod ured. On a small , plain. deliberately
understat l'd with writing embossed
on gold pape r. the st ore offers i ts "pe rsonal"
philoso phy of craft-fnendltness suffused
with mOJethan a whiffof New Age sptn tu.

At a tlme when the eve! expa:xl lng pres-
ella- of elect mnic reels and high (!'Chlllll-
og y is so rlt"rvitSivt' d.. need m halill1 O" nur
Ih'es withproduct , tha t celebrate the textua l
and sensorial become essential, We think
of cur cust omers as resoc rcee and not
simpl y as consumers..We are ltIJided by the
bt'lleflhatL-lforrr.aoon is energ y and change
Is th.. constant, Thank you fOI \fsI tlng our
.."mer-kana West. on Woos ter Street , st rives
f(r a pu rer dese rt loo k. On t he sjdewal k
ou tside the fro nt d oor . a pat rici an Indian
chief complere with tomahawk and Ieath-
ered headgear stands guard, The window
clsplay features a bleached bu ffal o skul l
fer 5500 while insi de the store arc sores
and chairs made from longhorns and cattle
slc ini\ galleS"y as mu ch as a st ote... \ mericana
We st pun eys images of nohle s,w-
ages, dt">t'fl scenf:'S a la Geu rgia o t.: t't'ffe,
pt' 1Il\! lyphs and piclogra ph s, wblps and
spurs. Cac ti and coyot e!! are everywhere
(none real): a neon prickly pear is ava i.l able
fel" $350. In lett ering on the fron t windm....
America na West announces its O\'m th eme,
a crossover cultur al gffigTaphy he lween
cit y "!ld d eser t: "Th e Evolving b KJk or the
South wes t. Design ers Wek olllt:' . . . Nol for
The frontier is n ot always American nor
i ndec d male. At La Kuedcs ({eves t he th eme
is jungle eclec tic, Leopard coat s (faux of
Ctltll":'ie). antelope lea t her skirts, find r hflm
ois blouses stillal he, slinkingoff t llt'ir
hange rs towa rd the cash registers. Fashion
accessories dangle like Ha nas from the
junglc canopy, Ast utfcd gorilla and several
Jive parrots roun d out t he ambience. La
Rue des mayha ve been "100. too"- il
was a casua lty o f the la ce 1980<; srock mar- Clash-but the tbeme h as surot ved Jn
clothlng cha ins as well as boutiques. At
the Banana Republic cus tomers have their
safari pu rchases pecked in brown paper
begs sporting a rhinoce ros. On t he silver
screen. meanwhile. movies such as Our of
Godl1n.s i n tlleML<1reinforce l he
vis.i UlI of pkrneerlngwh lt es ladarkestAfnc a,
but wlth heroines for heroes. As middle-
class wh ite women come to play a
cant role in gentrifica tion their pr ominence
on earlier frontiers is rediscovered an dretn-
vented. Thu s designer Ralph Lauren bega n
t he 1990s wi th a collection cen t ered on
"thl" Safari woman." He explains thus. the
romanuc lind nostalgic ur-envhunmen-
talism that drove him to it: "I believe that
a lot of wonderful things are disa ppearing
from the prese nt. and we have to take care
of t hem: .\ mahogany (our-poster draped
in em hmidered mosquito nett ing. jod h-
pu r... (<,.ux ivOly, a nd a -Za nz lba rvbedroom
st't pauemed whh Zebra st ripe s surr ound
Lauren's "Safari \ \oman," herself presum-
ably an endanl;e red speci es. Ori l;inally
Hal ph lifschitz bo rn in th e Bronx. but
now ensconced on a Colorado ranch half
t he size of that borough, has never
ht-t' ll to it 's ilt'tt er i f
you l1 vl"ll't IIt"t:"Il thpre"-hul feels wd l
able to it in an d for OUl ur ban
fant asies. 'Tm tr yi u R to evoke a world
in which there was this gracious ness we
could touch. Don't look at yest erday.
\Ve can ha\'c it. Uo you wan t to make t he
mnvie yn u saw a rm lity? I lere it is" (Brown
EVl;'l t as Africa wlden leveloped by
lnternational capital, enf\ulfed by fam-
ine and wars, It is rema rketed in Western
cons umer fantasies-but as the preserve
of privi leged and enda nge red whitt's . As
one reviewer put it, the safar i ccllecucn
"sma cks of bwana style, of Rhodes ia ra ther
th an z imba bwe ' (brown IH9IJ). Lauren's
Africa is a country retreat for and from th e
gentrified city. It provid es the deco rative
utensils by which the d ty is reclai med from
\\'iJdt"rn t"Ss and rema pped for white upper-
class set tlers wit h global Iantasles of agaln
owningthe wond-c recotontzingu from t he
neighborhood out
xature too is rcscn prcd on the urban
front ier. The front ier myth-originall y
engendered as an hiMori d 1.a rion of
na t ure-c-Is now It"dl' plit"l.! as iI na turaliza-
t ion of urban history. Even as rapectousec o-
nomi c expan sion destro ys deserts and rain
forests, t t l' new urban fron tier is na t ure-
friendly: woods used in [Laure n's Sofari]
collection arc grown in the Phili ppines
an d are not enda ngered" (ltrown 1990).
The :'iaturt" Company, a chain store with a
branch In South Stft.'t'tSea port at th e sout h
end ofthe Lower East Side, Is the aporh eo-
sis of th is na turalized urban hist ory, selling
maps and globes. whal ing an lhologies and
telesco pes. books on da ngerou s repti les.
and etortes of explora l ion a nd conqu est.
Tht" "10It'''' unabashed na ture idolatr y and
slllt.lil:"t i al"oida nn' of allythilIH urba n are
the perfect disappearing minor in which
cont ested urban hist ories are refrac t ed (:'01
Smit h 1996b). In arn rming the con nect ion
with na ture, t he ne w urban frontier crases
t he socia l e nd geogre-
phtes th at mad e it.
TIIt" nint' It't"lIth renmr y a nd ils a ssoci-
ated tdeology were "gene rat ed by th e social
confhcrs th at aue nded t he 'mo dernlza-
no n' of the Western nati ons," according to
Slotkln, They are "foun ded on the desire 10
avoid recognition of t he perilous con se-
qu ences of capitalist development in t he
NewWorld, and the y represent a displa ce-
ment or dellert ion ofM u-ial r-unfllct i 1\ I0 1he
world of my th" (Slotkl n 1985: 33, -17). The
fronti er was con veyed In the city as a safety
valve (or the urban class warfare lllt' wiug
in such event s as the 1863 Ne w York dr alt
riot, the 1877 railwaystrike, and Indeed the
Tompkins Squa re riot of l 871. "Spectacular
violence" on t he fronticr, Slat kin concludes,
had a redempt ive eff ect on the city: it was
"the alternative 10 some for m 0( civil cle w
war wh k-h, if allow ed 10 hwtll out within
the metropolis, wuuld briuij a W1i1a secu -
tar Qlrrerditmmerung"(Stot kin 1985: 375).
Projected In press accou nts as extreme but
comparable versi ons of even ts in t he cit},
a magnifying mirror 10 the most ungodly
depravity ci the ur ban masses. report age
of t he front ier posited easter n d tie:s as a
par adigm of social wUIYand hannon y ill
the face of external threa t. Urban social
connlct wasnot so much dented as externa l -
ized, an d wnosoever disrupted Ihis reign -
ing urban hamxmy commi tt ed unnatural
acts inviting comparison with the external
TUllay t he frontier iueology continues
10 dis place social conflicl in to the realm
of myth, and ar the same t ime to reamrm a
set ofclass-specificand race-spec ific social
norms. As one res pect ed academic has
proposed . unwittingl y replicat ing Turner' s
vision (to not a murmur of dis-wnt). gt' 1l-
trifying neighborhoods shou ld ht> see n as
comblnt nga"ctvtl class" \\ Itorwognlze IIICl t
"t he neighb or hood good Is en ha nced by
submitti ngtosocial norms,"a nd an "uncivil
cla ss" who se be havior and attitudes reflect
"no ecceptence of norms beyond t bUlle
imperfect ly specified by civi l and crimi-
nal law." Xeighlxu holK-Js mighl tlu-n
classitted ' by th e extent to which civil l.
un civil beha vior dumlnares" (Clay 197% :
37- 38).
The fronti er imagery is neit her merely
decorative nor in nocen t therefore, but
carries considerable ideological weight.
Insofar <IS genr rfficarion work-
ing-class corumunlt ies, di"J1la t:t.. I.JtJOl
househol ds, and convens whole neighbor-
hoods int o bourgeois encla ves, the fronti er
ideology ranona hzes social dittcrcntiatiun
and as nat ur al. inevitab le. The
poor and working class are all luo easily
defined. as "uncivil;" on IIII..' wWllg !>ille uf
a heroic dlvidl ngl lne, as savages an d cum-
munists. The subst ance a nd consequence
of the frontier imagery is to ta me the wil d
city, to soci ali ze a wholly newan d therefore
challenging set of proc esses Into safe ideo- focus. As such. the front ier ideol ogy
monstrous incivility in t he he art uC
me d ty. I. . .)
sc rttes, R. (1972) Myth%f'j.u, :>lewYork: Hill and
wao g
Ilrow n, r L. !l990J"Lu lI1:II, winkf.lthe wildsi dc," Sew
1"0'" fj mu l'ebr uar I'8.
( !dy. p. 11979: X!igM."Iu....J Rent:w.
MaS9.: D C.Heath
SIoTt ln, R (1985) Farll1Em/rrrlml,'fll: The.' 11)1"11 oI rill!
f rontir:r i" fht:M e<7{I ' idu.. otria!irmiOlJ 1800--1f19O.

SllIllh . (l 9'lA) --rile pltl dOClilll or IIilIUle: ill
G. HoberlsoDIIDd M. Masb (cds. ) FWIJU Na: lUdJ.
Lo"joc, Kootledge
From Arts Production to Housing Market
Unt il the late 1960s the re was no history of
funding housing forartists. lust as ar tists no
longer worked exclusively for a parti cular
patron but sold their work on the art market.
sothe ywere abo expected t ubuy or rent ti le
housing and studio that they could afford
Although successful art ists like Rodin and
Picasso, or de xoontng and Calder, could
afford to set up comfortable csta blishments,
mosra rtists suffered from a perennialsearch
forcheap butwel l-lightedspace. In Newvork.
thej ast philanthropist who set lip living and
work space for ar tists was nin eteenth -cell-
turyreal esta te developer Iame s I, johnson.
The Tenth Str eet Studio, which Johnson
built in 1857, had large, loftlike spaces that
accommodated studios for portrait sittings
(as well as prop rooms for the costumes and
accessories that portra it sitters of the day
requlredj and adjacent living areas. After
serving as headquar ters for (hemost famous
Greenwi chVillage artists of the 1860s to the
1880s, the Tenth Street Studio was eventu-
al ly sold on aco-op basistoits artist-tena nts.
Significantly. the period when it became a
co-op- the 1920s-1."as when gentrification
priced most worktng-dass and artist resi-
dents out oft his part of the Village.l
Years later, in the wake of August
Heckscher's report on the arts, the Federal
Housing Administration (FHA) allocated
funds to subsidize artists' rent payments
wherever they happened to be living.
However. this subs idy turned out to be
impractical, or impracticable, for several
reasons. On the one han", artis ts did not
race to apply for funding. They wen:' prub-
ablyunwilling to submit to t berigld admin-
istrative regulations that the Fi lAimposed,
for example, on room sizes and room divi-
sions. On the other hand, the local govern-
ments that administered H{A fund s were
probably reluctant. in the face of greater
complaints frum ghetto communit ies, to
use the muney for a sma ll, unpro\'en ar ts
const it uency. Otherwise. the artists who
most need ed rent subsidies may have had
incomes that act ually feJl below the "mod-
cra te" minimu m income levels mandated
by FlI i\ guidelines for aid recipien ts. So
unti l the middle of the 19f>Os, neither ind i-
vidual phila nthropynor national stat e sup-
port had made a significant advance toward
subsidized housingfor art ists.
The breakthrough came in the fonn of
local initiative an d institutionalized phi-
lanthropy. Again NewYork was the incuba-
tor. Around 1967. Geor ge Maciunas had t be
notion of get ting a rich patron of the arts to
subsidize his dream of Fluxhouse Number
2. He approached the r. M. Kaplan Fund,
a private founda tion established and run
by members of the Kapl an famil y, weal t hy
collector s and amateur s of t he art s, and
was gra nted a $20.000 loon to buy three
loft bui ldi ngs in Sol lo. Alt hough xtaciunus
succeeded in set nng lip only one of t hree
projected the Fun d eventually'for-
tilt' ksan. BUI aro und li lt !' same t tme
thal theyellcount eret.lthl' vlsionary Aurl st,
t he Kapjans ha d also begun to wrest le wit h
t he practical problems of art ists' ho using .
An Argent ine artist with whom the famil y
had a longstanding pat ronage rela tionship
needed la rger qua rters. part ly because of
hi.. family an d par tly because of hi<. -culp-
t ure, an d t he Kaplans wanted IUhelp him
with out overstepping t he patr nsr tie.
They thought that a low-cos t loft co-op
mi ght sofvcajl tbc problems. So t he Kaplan
Fund bought a klft building on Green wich
Sln'f"t, in th eWe!'t ViIlagt', an d immediately
resold it at l."Ost lu a group of twel ve artists
tha t Included the Argentine scul ptor.
E' i dm tJy encou raged by their sue,
cess, t he Kaplan Fund bought a much
lar ger bui lding in 1969 ..... it h t he inten tion
of repeating the exper ience. \\"est bet h, as
the vacant office building beside th e West
Stde lIighwilYat Bethun e Slrt't' l was soon
called, was renovated a rnl conve rted inlo
nearl y four hundred large living and work
spaces for over a thousand t enants. But t he
Kaplaos' phi lanthropic intent ion of making
an ar t ists' housingco op inWcs l bct h sccms
to have coincided ,\i th cert ain of
bul h na tional i:llld local pulilical d iles.
Fir..I, 1Ilt"Fund ball llt't' li elll"UlUagt'l1to buy
Wesl btoth byRogel \\ ho'Sucueded.
.. \ URust lI ed :.scher as Presldem Johnson's
special adviser on the arts and t hen served
as chairman of t he Nat ion a l Council for
t he Arts, from 1965 10 1969, and chairman
of th e Nationa l Endowment for t he Arts,
from l8f.9 to 1972. SWvt"ns had already
lIlHde Hfort un e ill the pl'ivHlc St'ClUt, from
the 1930s ItJ the 1960s, asa real estat e dew l"
oper. In addition, t he Ka plan Fund's work
on \Vest bet h en joyed an un usual dCJ':ree
of support from the city, st ate, and federnl
governments. rcor only were the Kaplans
personallyweUconnec t ed i n all t hree capt.
tal s, but thi s wa s also the period when tht'
tcew York arts esta blishment wa s ably rep-
resen t ed hy Je vtrs in Washington, D.C.,
ROCKefeller in Albany, and Lindsay a t G ,v
Hall Fin <tlly, the Kapla ns ma y ha ve t--n
well placed t o rea lize this sort of patronage
because t hey held extensive prop erti es in
Manhattan, and the stra tegic placement of
artists' housi ng could not ha ve damaged
their own real estate int erest ...'
Alt hough the impelu" fOI ..uh..idi,.-
ing a li b Is' housin g in Infl nei ghb ur huods
ortgjnared in th e u pper -cla ss pat ron-an-
isr connection, t he idea bec ame po pular
because of the active su pport cI.a middl e
Cla5S err s cons tit uency. Thi s constituency
played th e mtdwffe s role in th e cuoous
seq uence of event s that It'd tip to rhe birth
of lhe Greenwich SIIet:1 cu -op.T heir back-
ground is slgnl fkant to the sto ry. .. \ t the
er.d of the fifties and t he beftlnnq:: of the
sixties , a number of mjddle-class famil ies
had bought homes amor.g th e Pedcml-
stvle brick and mid-nineteent h-century
brown stonerown bousesin
aro un d Greenwich St reet . Tbe- rf'!'>id ml",1
properties that these new homeowner s !ill
proud ly renovated ab utted the area 's ware-
hom es. printir.j:t plant s. and !la raj:;es-the
commercial and light indust rial facilities
which, t oget herwit hthe houscs,crca t ed lhe
ideal type ufmixed -lL'>e neighborlmod that
Jane Jacohs pra ises in her hook Tl lt' Deat ll
(m d Life of Grellf ..4m..rictm Ci t ies. In filCI,
Ihi s was the neighburhood Jaw bs
ll\"edat the t ime. The mldd le class fami lies
who were her neighbo rs formed the base
oflbe grass roots movement for neighbor-
hood preservat ion t hat she ins pired, It is
import ant to know that t ht"a rea's rf'Si dent s
owed tht"ir 1ll0hili1:i\tioll to a pla n IntI flit-
ward by .!\layorWagncr. Sha ring tlte ub jt'(;.
dves ofl oeal business and poUt1cal elites In
ma ny declining cities of th e and
MiI!west. Wagner wanted to have the West
V1l1<tge declared a "blighted area" in orde r
coqualify for fed er al urban redevelopme nt
sum.klit"s. Once the are a esta blished an
entitlement 10TItle I fund s, t he city cnu kl
use the IIII l( W y to build low-Inco me hous-
illg there. Isolated be tween the unused
piers on the Hu dson River and the ware-
nooses of Greenwich and Hu dson streets,
the ' pro jects" wo uld be pract ically tnv rs -
Ible. Nor woukl theyenc roa ch upon poten-
tiaUv revalor ized Lower Man hattan land.
to say. this plan sparked op pmi-
ti tXl a mon g t he wes t Village's middle-dan
homeowners. They saw th ar if th e pro jects
were bui lt next -door ro t heir homes, their
mode st investments wou ld be eroded by
dtrl inir.gpropen y ,alues and their mixed ,
use neighbo rhood would be destroyed by
hl(. :khu stin g rea l est ate agen ts, Organtzed
byIane Jacobs, the West Village hOIJl1"OV.l1-
CIS fough t Cit y Ha ll When wagner ran for
reelect ion as a liberal in 1961, hewasforced
to concede t he is/me.
l'his initiation into loca l politi cs left two
imp rint s OCt tbe West VilLage.. First. the old
Jilllt"Jacom. con stuuency remai ned mohi-
lind an d formed a new, more per manent
base in the area's Reform Democra t ic Club
and t he community board Second. t he
homeowners rem ain ed sensitive to issues
of neighborhood prescrvation. When
buildings in their pun; ew were put up for
5a1e or vaca ted, they were vigilant. In 1967
the local ri ty rou nd) memhf'1 slan t'll a
l hain It'al'li on when she tha t a loft
hui ldinj:t in th e neip;hbo rhood was RotnR
t o be auctioned off by th e city j:to\,emment
for pay ment of back t axes. The cha in ran
through t he WeslViliage liberal const it uen-
cy's organiza tional links and perMlnal coo -
nee- tions t o th e J. M. Kaplan Fu nd. At t he
:J. lllt iun, a Fund repl eseutativt! bougbl l lJe
kit lJuilding on Greenwich Strt't' t with Ille
idea of tuminj:t it over to an artists' co-op.
RefolL' th e Fund an nounced it s intention,
howc\' cr, a Committee for Artis ts' Ilousing
from t he commun ity boa rd issu ed a call
for a rt ists' housing in the West Village. With
grea t t imeliness, the Kaplans were able to
respo nd to thi.. rall.
,hide Irom Ilw. dt"Vt' lopt' s of Uncoln
Center, the We'Sl Village hom eowners
showed a newawareness. at least implicitly,
t hat an arts presence would affect real est ate
development in the ci ty. The middl e-class
constituency was most concerr. ed about
t wo i....ues: t he use of space and propert y
valu es. Fearing disru ption by, on t he on e
hand. high-rise new construction and. on
t hent her hand.subdl vision ofexis1ir:Runi tS.
t he homeowners sought a strateg.... t hat
would count er th e spatial conseq uences of
current hou sing market trends, But as the
homeowners' fight against Mayor Wagner
had ..ugges t ed, th ey also wa nted to mai n-
tain t heeruergi ngmlddle.. class cha ract er of
the nei ghbo rl u.. . od wnhout either Increas-
Ins: or decreasin g property values. So in
th is sense, too, t he West Villagers wanted
stra tegy to fight ma rket forces. Th e art -
ists' pr esen ce in the neighborhood as both
prod ucers and residents see med t o hedge
a ll ht-t!\. Hff au<;t' antsts wan t ed 10 live a nd
work in lofts the WfJ}' II lI'y uere. Iht' yoCfered.
the pc ssfbilit y of having a
than an Qrceleraring eff ect on a neig hbo r-
hood in tr an sition. Surely th is seemed rea -
sona ble at t he t ime.
Initiallv, the same dream
also dOln"i na ted the efforts of SolI o's art-
ISI-resluent s tu SCl.'Ure Ihe riHht to Iheir
lofh. But 50110 diffewflI from the West
VlllaR:e. In con t rasl to t he na rrow st rip of
land along the Iludson, Sol 10 TOok up a siz
able chunk of the middle of l he island .\ s
a future gatewa y to a redeveloped Lower
:\1a nh att an , ar.t"a attracted the interest
of hig rt'al t"...tatt> hlVt' stor S and plan ners
ThcIl' wl're alsu lite w ning lt'gulat iom that
prohi bIted residential use In a manuf ac-
tudnA zon e. So In Older to ass ur e a
ing subsidy in Sol 10, att ists had t o tely on
the direct intervention of powerful forces:
t he up per -cl ass arts consti tue ncy an d th eir
patri cian poli ticia ns. "Peop le wit h money
sav ed Sol Io," an earlv ar-tivisr in the Soll o
Art ists' Tenant s' ;\sSl;ciat ioll sa ys_Anot he r
Sul lu art ist no-calls, "We all ha d 'upto wn
friends: " JIe expla ins:
\ ve h ad gatlervowners. Many of us worked ln
schools and universit ies.There were wealthy
collectors we had sold to. There were some
very influential artists in t he are a-c-Ilober t
Rauschenbcrg, Robert Indiana, Julie Iudd
Iwife ofMinimillist artist DonaldJuddl-who
could call on curators and museum board
members.Others ofus had onlyan occasional
wealthy pe rson who had bought some thing
from us,We all put together the names (Ifwho
we could talk to and found t hat between us
wehada ra ther impressivelist. It rangedfrom
peop le who had nothing to do with art , like
the chairmen ofthe boardsof b anks, t ocura-
tors and international art dealers. We started
tocall these people up to let themknow, ' Hey,
there's a unique phenomenon going on right
hPH' tha t nobndyknows about, and ifWI"don't
do'll be destroyed."
Desp ite initi al misgivings about a com-
mun cause, the Sullo art is ts also allied
themse lves wit h the his torical preser va tion
cons ti tuency in t he form of the Friend s of
Cast Iron Architectu re (FCI), An offshoot of
the pat rician Municipa l Art s Society this
organ ization was formcd in 1970, in the
mi dst of thc struggle for "saving" So110. The
group wa s mad e lip of people wit h money
and power. Seve ral ti mes during the 19CiOs,
t hese p eopl e had tedthat a lan dmark
"Cast Iron Distri ct" be declar ed in Sullu
to protect th e dist inctive lof t build ings on
Greene St reot from being torn down. But
t he big rea l estat e developer s who wanted
to red evelop th e area had hel d th e hist oric
preserva t ionists rosma ll-scale taffies. Once
the art ists juln ed the m. t he preserva tionis ts
launched a real offensive. Artists did much
of the archival research t hat buttress ed
the ar gument for a landmark dist rict. "\Ve
compounded the developer s' difficul ties by
usi ng historic preservation," anarust-a cne.
tst says, and when the smoke had cleared
over t he rui ns of th e developers' plans, an
offu-ialla nd r na rk dist nc t rem ained.
Sullu ar tists also lea rned th e value of
th e prin t media, beginning with th e highly
favorable 1970 art icle in L(fe ma gazine,
"Living Big in a Loft : ' "Suddenly,
t he Life st ory, we were a nationa l phenorn-
enon ," an artist says. "We were too big for
th em t o ignore. webecame known per son-
any. Then rco nld call up Dunahi Elliott [t he
ci ty plan ning commissioner] and some.
ti mes get through to him. we ha d a deputy
ma yor assigned to us: "We lea rned to use
th e foreign media ," anoth er art ist reca lls.
"St ories about us appeared in newspapers
in France or rermenv. Our embassies sent
th em hack to the Sta te De pa rtment. and
t he Stat e Departme nt sent th em to Ma yor
Lindsay." Pacing a city adm inistra tion that
had visions of presidi ng over a world capt
tal , t he artis ts realized tha t t hese news sto-
ries had an effec t on City Hall . 'we mad e a
poli cy decision to cooperate with pub lic-
ity," an activis t says. "Many of th e group
were aga ins t it and we agonized ove-r it. We
saw what publicit y and legalization [ufluft
living] might lead to. But if we hadn't done
it, Sol 10 woul dn 't exist at all to day."
Despite their anxiety, t he Sollo art ists
enjoyed certain political advant ages in the
struggle. "One thing t hat has never been
adeq ua tely ac kllmvl,edge tl: an early ar ttv-
ist says, "is t he imp or ta nce uf Iohn Lind say,
We ha d in th e mavur a cultured, sensi tive,
educated man wh o understood t he value
of art in the life oft his city. SolI o would not
have been esta blished und er Wagner and
certain ly never und er ueeme The Lindsay
administra tion was abs olu tely vital to our
success. Throughout t he stru ggle, we had
the support of Lindsay and his persunal
aides. It was ai des to the ma yor wh o t old us
how to ar gue our case before the Plann ing
Although th e artists' original patrician
,upport had been bas ed o n eleme nt s ofcut -
t ural patrona ge, their bid for open polit ical
suppOrt depended o n an econ om ic argu-
I1lpnt . The advice that Ma yor Lindsay 's
' aides gave t hem was "to show our wor th in
'., terms of money.Some of th c art ists balke d,"
anaclidst says, "but the rest of us ca me up
with statistics on art employment. tourism.
supplies-numbels t he commission cou ld
underst a nd." In t his di scus-io n. Art evi-
dcntlv yielded to the arts ec onomv. "When
weworked fur the zoning cha nges \ve never
talked aesth eti cs," another acti vist says.
"We let them t alk aes t he tics. We t ook th e
approach that we were workers who need
to wor k wh ere we live for bot h economic
reasons and t he nat ure of our work . We hit
them with vacancy rates and employment
figures. We offered to put prop erl y bac k un
the tax rol ls: ' A cert ai n amount of organi -
zational conf usion a lso a ided their efforts .
"We ha d friend s on people's st affs,"an earl y
Snllo loft dweller sums up, ' especially on
the City Planning Commission .. . We u.... ed
interagel\(:ynegotiat iun a nd cuu nt en 'ailing
area s of responsi bility to muddle burea u-
cratic efforts to harass us.
Moreover, by t he 1970s, ar t suggested a
new platform to polit icians who we re t ired
of dealing with urban poverty. "I' ll tell you
a nasty little story" an authorita tive source
on t he Sollo art ists offers.
At the rurar hear ing where t he Board of
Estimate vote d 10 approve SoHo as an art-
ists' district, there were lot s of other groups
giving testimony on other matters. POOt
people fromth e South Bronx and Bed. Stuv
complaining about rats, rent contr ol, and
thtngs like that.The board just shelved those
matters and mo ved ngh 1a toug. They didn't
knuw howto p rnceed.The-n theycarn e to us.
All the press secret aries were there, and the
journalists.The klieg lightewent on, and the
cameras started to roll. And all these guys
started making speecbes about the impor -
tance of art to Ne..... York City, Those same
guys who had fought us every inch of the
It was sickening.'
Ast he state un Lot h loca l andna tiona l levels
inter vened more and more in th e ar ts ec on -
o my, t he natu re of t he loft subsidy cha nged.
It evolved from an indirect subs idy for art -
ists' housi ng to a direct subs idy for arts
production. This was consist en t wit h the
reason ing behind th e city government's
switch to sup por t zonlngfor artists in Sol to.
But it was alsu cull sistent with a general sup -
port for rea l esta te development. Subsidies
for arts production gave art ists no clai m to
a particula r place in t he ci ty. So they did not
interfere wi th ma rket for ces. After t he arts
pr esence helped to revalori ze a secti on of
th e cit y like Soll o, t hen th e artists cou ld
t ale thei r su bsidies a nd ruuve to anot her
decli ning area. Regarded in t he shor t run
as a bonanza for creat ive and performing
artists, product ion subsidies for t he arts
infrastructure proved, in t he long ru n, to be
a corn ucopia for housing developers. The
use of loft s as performance spaces offers a
good example, parttc nlarl y in the develop-
ment uf the movemen t known as Loft Iazz.
Beginning in t he earl y seventies, some
musicia ns who played and comp ose d
"experimental," or "non-mainst ream,"
jazz gather ed to perform in lofts inst ead of
bar s or concer t ha ns. To some degree, their
work, like that of the art ists who forme d
co-op galleries, was unmarketa ble. But t u
some degree, also, t hese mu sicians deli b-
erately cut th emselves off from t he tra-
dit iona l access poi nt s to t he jazz market.
"th ey didn 't like the commer cialism of hus-
t1ingf or recordcon tracts and concert dat es,
and as Blac k Muslims, man y of them didn't
approye of th e boozy at mosphere of jazz
cl ubs. LuIt Iazz was more serious. IItmepru-
vocative, a nd more self-cum;ciously artistic
t han t he jar2 scene ha d bee n. In 1972, when
the ann ual Newp ort [azz Festival mov ed t o
Newvork, sever al Loft Jazz musicia ns orga-
nized t heir own "alternative festival," The
New r or k Muslcla n s' Fest ival Significantly,
t heir perfor ma nces were fun ded by the
Nat ional Endowmen t fortheArtsand .\1ayor
Lindsay's Parks Depa rt men t. The following
year, the Loft Jazz movement wa s i ncorpo-
rat ed i ntot he regul ar Newport Festival p ro-
gram. Hal tthe perform ance s look pla ce in
three jazz lofts: omene Coleman's Axns ts"
I louse in Sol lo, Sam Rivers's ne arby Studio
Rivbea , and a loft in 1i:iBeCa. Because t his
part of t he fest ival was billed as a "com-
mu nity" effort, th e ot her concert s were
sched uled in community centers in vari-
ous neighbo rhoods. Hut the press confer-
ence t ha t ann ou nced the festival within the
Festival was held at Arti sts' House. Ther e,
the New York Tim<>Slloted, th e surrou ndi ngs
were much more comfor tablet han a smoky
littl ejazz club. Artists' I louse was al ar ge loft
with pillowcovered parq uet floor s, wher e
the audience could lean hark, sippingwine,
whilethey listened to the music,'
Byth e end of the seven t ies, Lon j aza ha d
died as amustca l moveme nt, but It li vedon
in th e performing of jazz in loft s. \!t hough
the entr cpr eneurrausm involved in esta b-
lishing t hese performance spac es was no
more for mal t han it had been, t he organi-
zat ion of the perfor ma nces became mo re
inst it ut ionalized, thanks larg ely to new
state subskttes on all levels. Geuerallv the
new jazz clubs were set up by a newgen era-
t ion of ja zz musicians. You ng and impover-
ished, ed ucated, ambitious, these wou ld. be
performers lacked a place to ope rat e. like
the art ists who had alre adv learn ed to
combine living a nd wor k s pace, the must-
clans adapted lofts to their needs. Not onl y
did they use part of their luft as a rehearsa l
studi o, but t hey often rent ed it ou t for the
same purpose to ot her impecu nious youn g
musicians. Eventually the ne ed for practice
space led to a need for perf orman ce space,
andei t he rfor th eir own sa ke or in response
t othe entreat ies oftheot he r musicia ns, the
loft t enants tu rned t heir prem ises into jazz
clubs andlit tlethea ters .They kept rents and
ent rance prices low-e-and us ually operated
on th e fringes of th e local Jaws gO\'etnin g
ent ertainment spots an d cabaret s- an d in
time they captured a following. They were
known, they were wri tten up in th e enter-
tainme nt gu ides, and they even got fund-
ingfrom the government. On th e one hand,
the mo re serious and avant-garde perfor.
man ce spaces were a ble to qualify for NEA
grants, Th e more the performers showed
college credentials as an indi cation oft heir
pr ofessional t raining, or in t he case of jazz,
a degr ee from t he Berklee College of Music
0 1"th e New Engla nd Conserva tory, the more
qualified t hey appea red for slate sUPIJ:Jrt.
On the oth er hand, a varteryoftocal mecha-
nisms was developed to help with operat-
ingexpenses. In NewYork City, for example,
thi s sort of aid flows th rough the Theater
Development Fund nun. TOP organizes
th e sale of discount tickets for t heaters and

to be in marginal economi c circums tances.
Through a system of "TDF vouchers," a
theater or a club is reimbursed for ever y
di scount admission ticket tha t it sells. In
practice, a performance place ma kes more
money from a TOF voucher than from an
ordinary discount t icket , say, for stud ent s.
TDF is funded bv NEA th e New York State
Council on the.Arts, and cor porate and ind i-
vidual donors. As t he young owner of a club
whose jazz performances ar e subsidized by
bot h sorts of government gran ts acknowl-
edges, "This cat named Cy from Brooklyn
tu rn ed me on, Om yo ubelieve it?! Exxon,
For d, an d the Nat iona l En dowment for the
AIl s are subsidizing my club!"
Unfortun at ely for su ch entrepr eneurs,
state subsidies an dpubli c acceptance failed
to preserve their lofts as pa rt of the urban
art s inf rast ructu re. Like a rt ists in Sol l o and
th e West Village, by th eir presence t hey
he lped to ma ke their loft nefgbborboods
wure visible and more acceptable to the
cenerel public. With live-in musical pe r-
'forJuel:S as "anchor," their lan dlo rds were
'able tu convert th eir buildings informally
,0residential use. Perf orman ce companies
I and performance spaces were evicted in
favor of resid ential t enants who coul d pay
a higher rent an d, even tual ly, for com plete
andlegal residenualconversions. Ironically,
some of the buildi ng owners profi t ed from
the arts infrastru cture in more t han one
way. In quit e a few c ases, th e people who
decided on a residen tial conversion bad
inherited or buught their buildi ng from
the old genera tion uf loft buildin g U\VneIS,
and these new land lords wo rked in t he art s
economy t hemselves, Many of them even
lived in lofts.
But th ese building owners arc on ly t he
edge of a la rger process of cha nge.
Inlllany loft nelghbnr hnods a new type of
cott age ind ustry combi nes with lof t living
and the ar ts infra structure to create a mlxed
usc that remains entirely wit hin the ser-
vicesector, Generally t hese loft t enan ts are
graphics or clothi ng designers-who may
farm out t he actual product ion to wor k-
ers in other areas of the citv-and service
firms from the low end of ti le tertiary-sec-
tor spect rum, like advertising agencies ami
architect s. Part icu larlv when rent s rise in
the traditional office' market, t hese sor ts
of tenants seek cheaper space in marginal
areas. Though a corporat e headqua rters
could hard ly mo ve to a loft, in their case
a loft address is chic. Mean while th e loft
ar eas t ha t have been disr upted by a variet y
of product ive uses sett le down to a mor e
homogeneous vare tv of middle-class
mixed use. .
In t his process of social and neighbor-
hood change,a single loft buildingmayrep-
resent. in spati al terms, a cross-section. For
example, a building in Greenwich Village
t ha t was conve rted "illegally" to co -up lofts
shows a mixture of uses on everv floor: th e
ground floor is half resident ial and ha lf
a rehear sal space fur a theat er company;
t he second floor is hal f residential and half
a dental equ ipment business; t he third
floor is split bet ween two mixed-use lofts,
one in which a nur se and an architect live
and which the architect uses for his office,
and une occu pied by <I stuckbrok er and a
woman who runs a plan t business in the
loft; the foun h floor is entirely residen tial;
on the fifth floor, halfi sa doctor's home,and
the ot her halfi s a living and wor king loft for
a graphic art ist and a fine artist; the sixth
floor is half residential. where t he original
buyer, an arc hltect, sold nut to a bustness-
man,ami half is for both Ii viuga nd r unning
a catering: business owned by a school-
t eacher and a ma n who di rects th e food
department of a hospit al (this couple also
has a loft in anot her bui ldin g which t hey
rent out for parties); on t he seventh floor,
half was sold by an architec t to a doctor
fur a residence, and bal f is used by t wo
men who live there and run a mal l-order
busin ess in t he loft ; t he eight h floor is
divided in to a li ving loft for a you ng widow
wit h children and a living loft for a city
planner with work space for her hus band,
who is a pott er; t he nint h floor has t wo liv-
i ng loft s. Such is t he physlra l infrastruc-
t ure th at supports the con version uf an old
manufacturing center to a new service-
sec tor capital.
For a while, var ious sort s of"non produc-
rive" use can coexist in t his infrast ruc tu re.
Tilt: creative dishar mo ny is Interestin g
an d some t imes even elega n t. But sooner
or la ter, a cont radjc t lun develops bet ween
th e prod uction of art and other, hi gher-
rent uses.At t hat point, real estate develop-
ment reassert s its dominance over th e ar ts
econo my. The developmen t strategy th at
has been repr essed , delayed, or masked by
th e burgeoni ng arts infrast ruc t ure shows
th at in t he final cou nt. any use of space is
expend abl e. Naturall y, the reemergence or
the int ensification of a development stra t-
egy in the loft market arouses resent ment
Forging the Link between Culture and Real
Estate: Urban Policy and Real Estate Development
and opp osition amo ng loft dwell ers. The
organ izations that havc been for med over
t he years t o defend t he i nte rests oft his con-
stituency have ha d to formulate an incr eas-
ingly ant i-development oppostuon. Hut as
the mar ket has changed, so has till' luft-
dwelling constituency. Th eir sta nd on real
esta te developmen t cont radicts, t o some
degree, their ownliving in lofts. [. . .[
The B eard uf Bsthnace, made u p ul the highest
cilywide elected officials, acts J.SJ. court of f inal
al' p"AI on limd uS>' The SmIt h Rnmx and
Bedfor d Stuvvesanr . in Broosl yn are racial and
ethnic ghettos
1. The Tenth Stft':"(Studio with stuod Mt:'adily rh ing
propertv velues un til the 1950s. Then it W(ISsold
to reatesra se devetopes, who d emcltshed It and
put up an ewa partment house, Foritso rigins, see
MaryS_ Haverstock,"I heteotnStreet Stud io, .411
'r' ..'
!flAm eria" St'tll em her p. 'Ill.
Perso nal intervi ews on Fluxus ami Green""kn
Str eet, Apnl-j une IY80; onwestbeth see
Fan amI Artisl>e Th e
York Experience" (Study prepar ed for \"oluu!et:'r
Lawy.-'" for Art<;, 1976), I'P- 34-35
Bvenrually Westbeth wee developed lIS MIN I'
rental hou sing ratner than a co -op, and the emu .
lug pc obrems createdur ",\ a= OOI>'(1 rertal u leu

tl1e bulldlng.
Unlessotherwise noted. the perso nal material in
e uscha ptes comes frominterviewsconductedtn
New'rurk In llllyallol AugliM1980
The City llall-patrtctan conne ction contrasts
with more dtstanr rela tions between polItical
official s and ""d dl clites in mhe, Lit i"" such as
Philadelphia, where artists ' access to loft bui:d
tugs had a mu ch roug her road (see Jim Str att on,
Pioneering in t he Urban lHldemess York
Urizen , 19771, p. 87).
New li"k Tir>/J. Mal. 19. 1973; illso S\o'e
Wildf Jowers: Loft fa:;;; in NWl York (Oou,;:os
Records. 1977)
In the midst of artists ' and muslcians' self-
promotion and hype, t he social and built
environmen t of the East Village was fur -
ther objectified in representat ions as a
backdrop of a flouri shing downt own cul-
rura l renaissance. In Steven Spielberg's
19B7 film g ot Included, wh ich
was filmed in Loisaida, tiny robot ic betngs
from out er space help a grou p of distraught
residen ts fij::ht against t he demolition of
their tenement by devel opers. The film's
happy ending suggests a humane form of
urban restructuring in which minorities
and Whi tes, rich and poor, and old- t imers
ami new comers coex ist ha rmoniously in
a pluralist ur ban landsca pe. Ot her media
coverage present ed expe rimental cultural
forms as an awakeni ng an d salva tion from
the years of neighborhood decline and
decay. The blocks between Avenues A and
n t ha t had con stlrured Loisaida beca me
known as "Alph abet Cit y" in the mor e play-
fill mai nstream media represent at ions . The
real estate sector brought into the image of
decay an image of danger, seed iness , and
t he mystique of "living on the edge," at the
same t ime its invest ment ventu res sought
t o displace it.' In ret ail, restaurants, and
other commercia l spa c-e, t he a rm's raw-
ness W<lS cleverly packaged as suspense,
intr igue, and adventureforthosew huimag-
inedrh eirvish 10rhea rea as an ou nngt othe
underworld. Ber nard's, a restaurant locat ed
on the comer of Aven ue C and East Ninth
St reet, specialized in French organ ic cui-
si ne and cat ered to th e uptown advertising
execut ive crowd whose cha uffeur-drivcn
limo usines were parked out front. The cor-
ner of Avenue C and East Nimh Stree t was
also an outdoor dr ug bazaar where crack
cocaine was primarily sold. w hat went
on inside Bern ard 's an d what happened
outside were relat ed as pa trons consumed
a "glamour of pove rty" a long wi th t heir
Th rough out t he mid- 19flOs, t he down-
town scene was tra nsformed by medi a,
specta tors , anti part icipant s from the
marginal an d rebellio us to an m oon genre
well suited tor urban revit alizati on . Bot h
real esta te developers an d t he city govern-
men t employed represent ations of th e
downtown scene to legitimize neigh bor-
hood rest ructuring pract ices and poltc jes,
to excul pate the social costs of community
di spla cement , and to cha llenge th e valid-
ity of resistance effort s mounted by t hreat - ./
ened resident s. First, lhe rhel oriCOfCUl1; 1
renewal facilitated va rious development
poli cies that encouraged real estate invest-
ment and threat ener! to wrest control
public spa ce awa y from low-i ncome..
dents. Second, symbolic represent-
pos ltfvely redefined th e Image
Christopher Mele
Forging the Link between Culture and Real
Estate: Urban Policy and Real Estate Development
ami opp osition among loft dwell ers. The-
orga nizations thai haw been formed over
t he years to defend t he interests of thi s con-
stitue ncy have ha d to for mulate a n incr eas-
ingly anti-development opposit ion. Hut as
t he market has changed , so has t he loft-
dwelling constituency. Their stand on real
estate developme nt cont radicts, t o some
degree, the hnwn livlng inlnfts t. I
The Hoard at Esti mate, made up oltbe
rlly..... llle elec ted oIDdal" acrs as Hcoun " f fillal
appeal on land usc issues, Th e Sou th Bronx and
Bedford Sluyvesant , in Brooklyn, are racial and
euink ghcucs.
I . TheTellm Street Stud iowith&t ood stea dil y r i&lnfl
prop.. rty valuPSllnl l1t he 1950s . Th..n it was ' 01<1
torcalestatc developers . who dem clls hcd it a nd
pu t up anewapanraent house. t-ents e
M<lIYS. Havel , wck. ' TheTelll h Stree t Sl lldin."Art
in America, Scptcmber 1966, p, 48.
2, PCloona J int erviews on FJUXU,I a nd G=lIwich
Street, APltI- llll ll' 1980; on wesuern "'1' Willie
f auand Gallagh er,
York Bxperjence" (Stud\[ prepared for volcntecr
la..... yers f" l the An " !\'ew Ynrk. 19761, Pl' . 34-15
E\'entuallv Westbeth was developed lIS artists'
rent al housi ng rat her th an a co-op, and the ensu
ing problems created or exacerbated certa in ten-
sions tnvojvmgteasesand enuucmcnt to spacetn
rhetnnld tng.
3. Unless ot herwise noted, the persona l ma tcr iaJin
uns ch:lpter come s fr om illl el\'lews conducted In
ln lul ydnd AllgLlSt 1980.
4. The Cit y HalJ-patrici.w connec tion contrasts
with mo re n>latlrms h<>lWPl'n pollticaJ
officiaJs and social tl ites in othel ci ties, such as
Ph iladelphia, wh ere alt ists' access to 10ft bttild-
ill!::"had a much mu ghe r rOdd (SL.... lim Strati"",
Pionccring i ll the Urban [r-:cw YOlk:
Url",n, 19771,o. 87)
5, llle w YOn\: Tfmes, .Mdt. 19, 1973; also see
Wil dJ/ooIers: wft Jazz i ll New YQrk [Douglas
Hecnrd s 1977)
In the midst of a rt lsts' and m usicians' self-
promot ion and hy pe, t he social an d buil t
environmen t of the East Village wa s fur-
t her ob jectified in represe nt ations as a
backdrop of a flouri shing do....'nt own cut-
rural renaissance. In Steven Spielberg's
1987 film Batteries Not Included, which
was filme d in Lolsaida , tiny robot ic bei n gs
from ou ter space help a group of distraught
residents fight against t he demolition of
their tenement by developers. Tho film's
happy en din g suggests a humane form of
urba n rest ru cturing in which minorities
and Whites, rich and poor, ami old. timers
an d newcomers coexist ha unonio uslv in
a pluralist urba n lan dscape. Other
coverage present ed experime nt al cultural
forms as a n a, vakent ng and salvation from
the years of neighbo rhood decli ne and
decay. The blocks between Avenues A and
D t hat had constituted Loisaida became
known as "Alphabe t Cit y" in th e more play-
fuhual nsueam media representations. The
real estat e sector brought into t he image of
decay an image of dan ger, seediness , and
the mystique or'uvtng on th e edge," at the
same t ime its investmen t ventur es sought
to displace it.' In retail, resta urants, an d
othe r commercial space, the area's raw-
ness W<l S cleverly pac kaged as suspense,
intr igue. andadventurefor th ose whoimag-
lnedt hel rvtsnto rhe a rea as an outingtot he
under world. Bernard's, a res taura n t locat ed
on th e corn er of Avenue C a nd East Nint h
Street, specialized in Frenc h organic cui-
sine and cat ered t o th e uptown adver tising
executive crowd, whose chauffeur-driven
limo usin es were parked out front. The c or-
ner of Avenue C and East Nint h Str eet was
also an out door drug bazaar where crack
coca ine was primari ly sold. What went
on inside Bernard 's and what hap pened
out side we re rela ted as pat rons cons umed
a "glamo ur of poverty" a long with their
food .
Th roughou t t he mirl-19AOs, th e down-
town scen e W<l S transformed by med ia,
specta tors, a nd part icipant s from the
marginal and rebellious to an ur ban genre
well suited for ur ban revitalizati on, Bot h
real est ate developers and t he cit y 80vern-
merit employed representations of th e
downt own scene t o legitimize neighbor-
hood restructurin g practi ces a nd pollctes,
10 excul pate th e social costs of communi ty
di splacement, and to cha llenge the valid-
ity of resistance ef for ts mounted by th reat -
ened resident s. First, the rhetoric ofcultura l
renewal facilitated various de velop ment
policies t hat encoura ged real estat e invest -
ment and threate ned to wrest co ntrol of
public spa ce away [rum low-income re sl-
dent s. Second, symbolic repr esentations
posit ively redefin ed t he image of t he East
villa ge t o att ract on ce-skeptical middle-
sized real est ate developers, br oke rs , ami
large lending lnsthutions. Finally, East
Village devel opers em ployed the allure of
downtown to attract mcstfvwmte, middle-
and upper -income, well-educat ed people
as tenants.
1\t the height ofthecit y'sfisc-'<\ I cr isis, poli-
ticiansamipulk yanalystsrecu llce pmalizt'd
post-world war II urban pollcles in genera l
and subsidized low- income housi ngin pa r-
neuter as too econ om icall y inefficient and
overly generous to the poor . Under the ide -
ologica lleadersh ip of th e Hcagan adminis-
tration , the (few remainin g) Great Society
ur ba n plOgrams and pol icies were su bject
to extensive cri t icism, di savowal, an d ult i-
matelyblame for th e lack of pri va te growth
in t he centralcity.The new urba n initi ati ves
and polici es developed in the 1geos were
sha ped a nd defined by a post-fiscal crisis
discourse that emphasize d incr easing tax
reve nues th rough development incenti ves
and the rollb ack of g overnmental pro vision
of low-income housi ng. Political leader s
and policymake rs drewlessons from t he fis-
cal cri sis, which was reconfigured as a crisis
ofdisincentivesfor ur ba n invcs tment rather
t han the city's inability t o add ress or contain
mount ing social pr oblems. City agencies
with a ny degr ee of au thor it y over pri vate
or publ ic land I N' and de velopment were
broug ht in line wit h an aggr essive entr epre-
neu ria l and pro-growth ideology. Duri ng
the budge tar y cri sis, for exa mple, th e city's
planning depart ment was restructured
to be less acquiescen t to costly neighbor-
hood and community tnntauves u oug bly.
tile 1960s democratic pla nni ng model ) and
mor e a mena ble to private redevelopment
needs (e.g. gran ting developers excep-
tton s t o zoning ordinances) ,' With respect
t o low-income neighborh oods in particu-
lar, the city's position was t o encourage and
subsidize efforts by th e middle-sized and
large developers and lendi ng institu tions t o
enter and transform working-class hou sing
market s for middle- and up per-class COn_
sumers. '
In the 1980s, th e lit y administra tion
sought to undo must of t he Programs that
ha d tra nsfe rred some control over neigh.
borhood spa ce to low- and modcmo,
income residents. The Koch admi nistra tion
utili zed its authorityovcr a lar ge percent age
of housmg stoc k to levera ge en t repreneur,
ia l middle- to upper-cl ass rede velopment
of hous ing in t he East Village. The agency
ostensibly created to protec t low-income
neighbor ho ods from the ravages of dis-
investment. t he Dep artment of Housing
Preservation and Developme nt UJPD),
became th e institutional strong arm for
private revitaliza tion . Man y ri the city's
tenan t self-management and ownershi p
progra ms were severely curtailed, under-
fina nced, or totally elimina ted t o promote
private redevelopment ra ther tha n com-
munity empowermen t.' Throughout the
1980s, Il PD de moli shed city-owned build-
ings (some occupied by squa t t er sj leaving
empty pa rcels that were more at tracti ve IIJ
developers seeking 10ccnsrru ct uew hous-
Ing. Jn additlon to undermining th e gains of
comm unlty act ivists ove r land use , t he city
adm inistrat ion devised ways t o transfer its
con trol of in rem unit s t o privat e develop'
ers. In 1982,1[PI) anno un ced itsplan t oauc-
tion pout of its stoc kof TlL (Tena nt-Interim
Lease) buildings to the highest bidders.
Protes t by commu nity groups and housing
organizat ions t hwarted t he aucti on plan,
forcing the cityt oreinstat e a moratoriumon
sales. In a similar vein, the city's position on
t he urban garden movement shift ed dras-
t ically. In th e 1970s t h e-cily was suppor t ive
of garde ns, often lea sing unkempt lOIS to
residents to WOw vegeta bles and flowers.
\\l it h t he rebound of the hou sing market ,
however, th e city placed a mora tori um on
lcasinglots to gardeners."
\ \' hile cityofficials devisedwaysto retract
the gains of low- ami moder ate-income
residents and their repr esentat ive ho using
organization s, they explored new ways t o
rake full advantageofthe med iaaHentionon
the East Village's mi dd le-class cultu ral set-
deme nt. In 1981- 82, th e Koch administra-
tion proposed the Art ists tt omeownersmp
Program (AII OI' ) to convert in rem prop -
- crti es into art ists' housi ng. The program
called for conversion of aba ndoned huil d-
ings into cooperat ive housi ng for artists of
mode rate incomes ($40,000-$50,000 per
year) an d was billed as a means 10 prevent
displacement of East Village artists." The
cnvs Depart ment of Ilousin g Preservat ion
and Development chose a site on East
Eighth Street between Avenues Band Ctor
the program's first phase. Ten con tiguous
teneme lll s were to be gu tted a mi rehuilt
into sma ll lofts for living an d worki ng. The
city'SBoard of Estima te defeated AIIOP in
1983, however, aft er community groups
prot est ed the availability of subsidies tor
middle-income rather than low-income
ho.lsing development. Th e lower East Side
Joint Plan nin g Counci l mobilized against
t he pla n on th e basis Ihat Irs obvious in ten-
tion was 10 heighten t he neigh borhood' s
allure t o investors an d priva te developers?
The councilwoma n representing Loisaida
and t he sur rounding dist rict refer redt o the
plan as "a front for gen trffication .: " Allor
was a blatant a ttempt to re-create Sol Io -
styled de velopment-c-thar is, 10harness t he
downtown cul ture scene 10 tr igger a dom-
ino effect oru pscale redevelopment.
Municipal agenc ies sought t o promote
thei r own interests an d th ose of developers
through man ipu lat ion of certain symb ols
representative of the East Village a rt scene
ami not ot hers. That is, the cit y's gestur e to
promote t he 10L.<l 1ar tswasno t a nunequi vo-
cal acceptance of down town subcul ture but
rath er of its milder repre sentations condu-
cive t o t he development agenda. Ind eed,
the Koch administration's pro -develop -
ment agen da conta ined draconian poli cies
to rid th e netg hb orhood of its "unsavory
elements," to sanitize irs public spa ces , and
to rein in the area's t ree -wheelin g. chao tic
social environment. Clty pol tcles. in short,
t h rea tened to fundamentall y under mine
the subcultural basis uf the downtown
scene tha t was completely enmeshed
in th e local drug cult ure and reputedly
derived its creative ene rgy from an envi-
ronment of despair. In t he early 1930s, the
police mounted an antidrug effort called
Ope rati on Pressure Poin t, sending uver
230 office rs and 40 detectives along wnh
nu me rou svehicles andhelicopters to begin
what loca ls descr ibed as a mi lita ryinvasion
of Loisaid a. To drive out t he entr enc hed
two-decade- old dr ug economy, the poli ce
occupied street s, corn ers, empt y lots, and
pa rks: wit hin a month 14,285 (n people
were arr est ed Oil drug-related charges
Opera tion Pressure Point was a public rela-
tions victor y for the Koch admini str ati on as
sensat ional scenes of drug busts and police
occupat ion we re widely circulated by t he
med ia an d played we ll wit h th e image of
a neighborhood renaissance. Oper a tion
Pressur e Point had a less significant effect
on t he elimina tion of the local drug econ -
omy, pushing tr an sact ions farther un der-
ground and into apa rtments and tenement
hallways. Under the guise of enforcement,
the police also peti od ically cracked down
on ad hoc outd oor flea markets along St.
Mark's Plac- e, Secon d Avenu e, and Avenue
A. which were a sour ce of income for some
residents a nd man y homel ess persons.
Anti-loitering campa igns al ong neigh bor-
hDOd st reets an d corners,ost ensiblyt0 curb
the drugan d prostit ution trad e, rest rict ed a
long Lower East Side t rad ition of "ha ngi ng
out," especi ally ilmong yout h. In the mid-
19805, the area's ma ny lots were fen ced in,
preventing thei r u se as gardens or make-
shift junkyar ds, aswell as for nefa rious drug
tr ansactions, \Vhile poor and minority resi -
dents felt the bru nt oft he city's policingand
surveillance, the subcul tural communit ies
were not left untouched. The downto wn
scene was, after all, t horoughly st eeped in
' 31
th e drug cun sumprinn cult ure. City puli-
cles sought to sani tize th e area's seamy
reput at ion and to rein in t he verysame free-
whee ling, ch aotic social env ironment that
initially gave impetus to t he down town ere-
ative scene. Police ra ided and closed down
sev eral of t he neighborhood's illegal after-
hours d ubs, dampening t he area's hedo-
nistic atmosphere The surveillance an d
regulation of activities wlthln Tompkins
Square Park t hat escalated t hroughou t the
1911 0s f ueled intense neighborhood res is-
t ance beginning in 1933, as discussed in
ch apt er 8.
Most of the ,mbUe socia l and cult ur al
pract ices of Lolsalda emerged within the
landscape of wide- scal e aba ndonme nt
and disenfranchi sement in t he 1970s. As
discussed in t he preceding chapter, such
practi ces wer e an assert ion of co mmunity
identit y an d a collective challenge to th e
drugs and cr imes t hat plagued th e area. All
of th e city's social cont rol pract ices in th e
1980s were aimed ost ens ibl y at eliminat -
ing illicit activit ies, but no effort was made
byt he cit yto stipu lat e for Latino social an d
cultural funct ions that ha d occurred in
t hese same public spaces. By proclaiming
to have improved t he "quality of life- for aU
residents through social con trol of public
spac e. the cit yabo complicat ed t he poltucs

opme nt. Operation Pressure Point cleared
not oriou s drugblocks, such as East Secon d
Street, a nd benefit ed residen ts, suc h as the
elderly or couples wit h childre n, who felt
trapped by t he drug trade, Yet t he neigh-
bor hood's tncr ea stng ab o made its
ho using more attrac t ive to developers ami
Increased t he threat of displacemen t for
t hese same popul ations. Support for "qual-
ity oflife" conce rns amongth ea rea's th reat -
ened low-in come residents frequ ently led
to t heir al liances with wealt hier newco m-
ers on such issues. City pol icies shrouded
t he obviou s polit ical econom ic cleavage
an d, consequently, diluted polhlca l oppo-
sit ion t o th e inte nd ed outcome, redevel_
opment . "Quality of life" improvements,
such as those mad e to par ks, streets, and
public buildings. were often used to justify
and exculpat e the social cost of residential
displaceme nt th at was t he consequ enc e of
private redevelopmen t efforts.
lIy controlli ng t he use of public spac e,
the d ty hel ped constr uct (Ill ident it y more
inclined towar d t he middle-class residents
that developers ult imat ely were seeking
to attr act . Less subtle were city programs
that direct ly encouraged displacement of
low-income communities and promo rer
private upscale residen t ial and corn-
merclal initiatives. In th e earlv 1980s, the
cit y ca pitalized on tile bur st economic
act ivitv and launched several initiati ves to
subs id"ize new business , commercial, and
residential constr ucti on as well as rehabili
t ati on. Corporations and large developers
received ext ensive ta x aba tements for t he
buil ding of office t owers, such as AT&Ts
multimill ion-do lla r tax brea k for its new
headq uar ters on Madi son Avenue (later
sold to t he Sony corporatt onj' or t he more
recent redevelopment ofTim es Square.The
city also subs idized lar ge multiuse devel-
opment projects, includ ing Sout h Street
Seapor t and BatteryPark City, bot h in lower
Manhat ta n." Alt hough neither as obvious
nor as spectacula r, ot her government inter-
ventlon policies were geared toward small-
scale, piecemea l redevelopment of t he
city's older neighborho ods. Th ese incen-
tives sought to dra wrea l esta te money into
low-income an d capital-deficient neigh-
borhoods to radicall y transform their
landsca pe s into middle- and uppe-r-class
enclaves. Development programs known
as r.1C1, J-51, and 421-a were the founda-
t ion of an ambitious coali t ion between clry
agencies a nd private developers t o renew
the older housi ng stock unit by unit, build
ing by bui lding.
The city's pro -development agen cies
instituted incentives and subsidies for
{1\\lners t o substantially renova te unit s in
their bulldlngs.'! Beca use of the design of
the incent ive programs. they were proflt-
ahle t o landlo rds only if t hey could char ge
sute tentially higher rents for th e renova ted
units. A program offered by t he Division of
Housing and Commu ni ty Renewal (Dit CH)
called tbe Major Capital Improvement
(r.-JeI) subs idized bulldlngwlde Improve-
ments such as new windows, furnaces,
and boilers." The program allowed own-
ers to pa ss on all dir ect and indir ect costs
of improvement to tenan ts b)' increas-
ing regulated rents gra dually and perma-
nently (on ce the costswere paid , ren t hikes
remained as profit).)! 1\\'0 tax reduct ion
programs, J-51 l or old buildi ngs an d "\21-a
fornewconstruction ,alsopromo ted neig h-
borhood upgradmg. offered two forms
of benefits to owners in retu rn for certain
improvemen ts: (1) tax abatements t hat
lowered the amount of prop ert y t ax for a
period rangingfrom twelve to t wen tyyear s,
and (2) exempt ions frum any tax increases
tha t resulted from reassessments bas ed on
capital improvement s made. The Sect ion
421-a pr ogramwas part of t he St a te of New
\ork's Heal Property'Iax Law. For propert ies
const ru cted und er 421-a subs idy, prop ert y
taxes were phased in increme nt ally over a
ten-year peri od, includin g a total exemp-
tinn du ring construct ion and t he first two
years of opera tion. Eligible owne rs agreed
to offer rent -stabilized units during th e
period in which the t ax abat ement was
applied. The const ru cti on of Red squar e,
a massive apartment complex loca ted on
Hous ton Street betweenAvenue Aan d Firs t
Avenue, was subs idize d by t he Secti on 421-
a program.

building renovations or new cons tr uc t ion,
they directl y encouraged the displacement
ofminority a nd! or low-in come residen ts."
Significan t "looph oles' in rent regulat ion
laws also provided own ers a means t o
quick (rejdevelopment. The "subs tantial
alterati ons " exemprton clause to regulated
rent s was a popular tool in t he Eas t Vjllage.
Ren t regulati on procedur es det ermine th e
new rent when a unit is vacated, t ypicall y
a 12 percent increase of the former ren t.
Lan dlords circu mven ted this regulat ion,
however, by substantially altering vaca ted
apart me nt s." In add it ion to "gut" rehablli-
tat ion, developers Frequently redesigned
interior spaces te.g., combining t wo units
or conven ing tenement dum bbell airsha fts
into eteverorso). If ap anments were altered
so t hat t hey no longer approximated th e
size or dimension present when t he base
(origin al) rents were first determined, then
landlords were ehgtble t o charge milch
higher 'f lrst ' rents based on the cu rrent
free-market value." Signifi cant modifica-
tions allowed landlords to escalate rents
unit by unit , crea ting wide discrepa ncies
in rent s cha rged wit hin the same building.
When regu lated one- bedroom apart men ts
t hat rented from $90 t o $125 per month
became vacant , the incentive 10 renova te
was strong. [. . .]
1. I' i/Iage\.t"'''''. Dece mbe, 14, 1982..
2. Huxtable 1887,
3. 1987.
4. Siles 1!hl: 201.
5 Schmelzkopf t YY5: 377.
6. Neu. ' YrJrl:'[imes, Augu ! t1.T981.
7. ThcVillagcr, :'lay13, 1982:S
8 N, wYo.. 198.2
9. Sleeper 1987: 437.
10 patnstcm 18\14: 49
11. bLll
certain programs abo allowed landlords (0 puss
t he or renoceuon on toten ant s
12, Division of Housing and Communtty Renewal
13. Apart mem t900: I .
14 Int crviewsb vuu thor with rrol est at e developers,
15, The seuing of rhe base tent Ior rent stabilize-
lion was determined not .o lel) by the year the
InhkJl k.,..,e t:.'gdn hUI Hl, o hy !lIe migluHI spa -
t ial dimen sions of t he apar tment The nlterntion
clause In {he logulation road !ha{a ncwfi rs{rom
Ga ry Bridge
Estate Agents as Interpreters of Economic
and Cultural Capital: The Gentrification
Premium in the Sydney Housing Market'
surpassed the miginal base ren t when a un it was
sub6tantially altered to the exten t that it W3S not
in ex steuce ill its preeeut form emthe hase da te.
Land lords could charge a new 'fi rst" ren t only if
the oute rwails of a regulat ed apa lt r.Il. nt had been
chan ged. '1fter renovation. t he ep amaent's outer
dimension s were requited t o be euher Iargcr or

16. ."'cwlOrk Times.lmu lUry 3, 1988
17. .4partmrntLa wImliler, December IY8ll: 1.
Apartment Law insider, IY89. "Get Froo MarkN Rent
fOi SLJLJstallt ially .\ hel ed Al' arl111elll: D"c embet:
Di\'i<lon of ncostng and co rnmnnny Renewal.
1967. "Majer CIp ita l Improvements (:>te ll ,"
Naw York: Ui\ision of Housin g and Commun ity
Renewa l,
I'arnstein, Susan S. 1994. The Cit), Property.
Politics, and Pl<mmng in London and New York.
Camlxidge, :>tasse Blackwell
Huxtable, Ada Louise, 1987, "Stum blmg toward
Tomorrow' The Decline and Fall of the
veaon," (fa 1l), .J5,1-62.
NOiI1J Y<Jrl Time" 1981. "The "'aym's Lower Sicc
Tenements int o Co-ops for Arti sts: AUJ: llSI
1l : 9
-, 1981 "16 Tenements to BeeomeArtiit Unit, In
Crty P1:lD." May t : 6.
- . 19f18. 'T e nements o f ]fI80, Ad" l)t to ]980s.-
Janmuy 3:RealEstate Section: 1.
SChm"ILkopl , Karon, t 995. "Ur lxln Community
Gardenses ContesredSpec e."GtxJgmphiealReview
85, DO, 3 (luiy): 364 -81.
SII... , William. 1994. "Pub llr: AcTloo: Vorl;: C1IV
Policv and t he Gen tr ification of the Lower l:a; t
Side : In From Urban VJUage 10Fa" VIllage: The
Bmlle/ orNewYorl!sLower Em f Side,lanel L.Abll -
LUj!;hod ct at Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwcl t 189_
Sleeper . li m. 1007. "Boom and Bus t with Ed Koch,'
Vi s.sem34 (faU):413-5l .
The Villager. 19i12. "Arli, (s' HousmgProgram M'1'tS
Rcsjsta ncc from Local Residen ts Who Fear
Displacemen t," xrav 13: 5
t'illage\.0ice. 1982, "Space Invade rs: Land Grab on the
Lower " asISi de:' Decem ber 14: 10
There is renewed vigour 10 the argume nt
about the causes and char acter of gent rifi-
cation (Lees, 1996; Ley, 1996; Lyons, 1996;
1998; Smith , 1996; Butler, 1997; Redfern,
1997a ; 19' J7b; Bondi, 1999). Thi s article pur -
sues the social, economic an d cult ural con-
sequences oft his pro ce ss and. in parti cula r.
how it b maintained. The economic deltn-
eations oft he rnarketforg ent rffled housi ng
and the social expression or rasre bygent ri-
fiers can be investigat ed in th eir dynamic
relationships using Bourdieu's concepts
of mater ial and cult ural capital. The way
in which hou sing tast e results in price at
the market reveal s the boundary marki ng
of gen t rlflra t iun (IS (I form of dis t inc t ion
Aest het Icsa re imIlon ant in cun shlera t ion of
wider issues in gentrif1cation- for instance
the degree to whi ch t his taste is const ituted
from with in gen trified dist ricts or enforced
from without (by'the mar ket', or class con-
stituti on prior to gentrificat ion and out side
the gent rffled nelghhourhuod -c-Brldge,
1994; 1995)
Esta te agents are t he key int erme diar -
ies in the enco unt er between hous ing t aste
an d price. Thi s research investi gat es est at e
agents ' understandings and rep rcscnt a-
nons of th is relat ionship in Sydney's inner
west. It marks out the aes the tic an d sncia l
bo un daries of gentrificati on and its eco-
nomic premium fur gentriflers.
The research was con ducted in t hree
districts in Sydney's inner west- Halmainl
Rozelle, Glebe an d Newtown. These areas
consist of Victorianl Edwar dian t erraces
and deta ched hou ses, many with t he iron-
lace balconie s so characteristic of Sydney's
gentrifica tion. They are within 1- 2 miles
of the CBD, whh good conununlcatlons.
These are distr icts which have gent rified
over the last 20 yea rs or so. llalmain is th e
most established and expe nsive. It is situ-
ated on a peninsula and so has no through
Iraffic and plenty of water views. Glebe
abut s Sydney University and was initially
gentrified by academics and other pub lic
profession als. Newtown gentrified most
rece ntly a nd still has a large student popu -
la t ion and 'bohemian' atmosphere.
Average c apit al growth rates of return
on resident ial pr opert y in th ese districts
of the inner west from 19R7 to 1997 st ood
a t 1l .5%, higher than the rate for Inner
Sydney (11.39'* and cons idera bly higher
t han in the Sydney metr opolitan area as a
whole (8, 1-1%) (Hesldex Pty, 1997). Median
house prices ranged from $300,000 in
xewtown to $365,000 in Glebe to $500,000
in Balma in. The soctode mogre phtc profile
(If t he Incomers is overwh-lmtngty profes-
sional (see Horvat h et ai., 1989). Typical
entries for occupat ion i n the book of regi s-
tered prospect ive purchasers (th e pros pec t,
o r key book) of an inner-west esta te agent
were: cor porate communicat ions special-
ist, dt recror of a real esta te com pany, fund
man ager, consulta nt for Deloi tt e Touche,
assistant vice president of a ban k, sen ior
civil engineer , execut ive director of a video
filmi ng company,
The role of estat e agent s in gentriflcatlon
has recei ved sur prisingly litt le att ent ion in
th e literat ure. Where the yhave been a pan
of the analysis it ha s normally been in an
inst it utional context wh ere thei r act ivities
havebeen seen a t a generauevet t o encour-
age gentnflca t ton and ass ist t he di splace-
ment of working-class tenant s ami own ers
(Williams , 1976; lIamn ett a nd Randolph,
1986) orthe niche-marketing of neighbour-
hoods (Lees, Th is is la rgely an insti-
tutional and funct ional approac h. Yet , at
the level of mi cro-sociology, estat e agen ts
IICCUpy a critica l rule as bo th financial ami
sociological Int er media ries.
One rea son for th e limit ed nature of aca-
demic resear ch usi ng est at e agents is t hat
they are conside red to be un reliable wit -
nes ses. Some of thei r met hods invol ve eva-
siveness at best and duplicit y at worst. In
addit ion, academic research has poi nted to
exampfes o rexnem- . illegal and deploi a ble
practices in the real esta te Industry such
as blockbusting and racial stee ring an d
segregat ion (Massey and Denton, 1993),
Neverthe less, manyindi vidual est ate agent s
consider th at th eyaim to achieve probityin
their dea lings, Indeed, it has bee n argued
t hat th ei r reputa tion as 'sli pper y custom-
ers' is in part an out com e of t heir role as
intermedia ries bet weenvend or a nd poten-
tial purc haser, part icularly in th e UK and
Aust ralia where t hey must represent the
interest s of th e vendor but buil d up a rela-
ti nnship wit h poten tial purchas ers (Qarke
et aL,19941.
In t his article I argue t hat th eir role as
fi nancia l and socia l int ermedia ries calls
upo n th e use of social skills and t he abil-
it y to 'int er pret' and translat e bet ween
different tastes and differ ent cl asses. Th is
situation is particularly pr onou nced in a
gent rifying neighbour hood wh ere mid.
d te-class pur chasers and t ast es encounter
working-class vendors and t as tes. In this
sit uation estate agent s must also transl ate
between taste and price. In what ways will
the display of differen t t astes in the struc-
tur al and cosmetic a ppearance of a house
tr ansla te into its price on t he market (and
in order t o set a reserve price for auction in
the Australian case)? This translat ion work
is implicat ed in t he relat ionship between
cult ural and economic ca pital:huw cult ur al
capital conv erts into ec onomic capit al;
how tast e is reflec ted in price. Agent s must
negotiate th e boundari es of cl ass demar-
ca tion and di st incti on. These boundaries
ar e at once fluid (like th e edges of flames,
accordi ng to Bourdieu. 1984J and rigid. The
fluidit yof these bounda ries is shown in t his
arti cle through th e sub t let ies (If the gt' n-
trlflcat h maesthet ic, and rigidities emer ge
when tha t aest het ic is tra ns gress ed, in the
examples given, by over-gentrifi cation and
ethn ic rehabilitation.
Est ate agentsmust int er pr et and workon
th ese social dynamics to succeed attheirj ob
and M J t heir piau ices and spoke n arcuunts
of t hese Issues is pot ent iall y of great value,
Certainly the accou nts gi ven t o me by
agents in Sydney showed a ROoddecr ee of
consi stency and sociological awareness.
As finan cial imermedlarles, est ate agent s
must fir st 'make a price'. In the Sydn ey a uc-
t ion sys tem, th is means comi ng to agree-
ment on a reserve pri ce for the vendor.
This is a highly con t est ed process t ha t ca n
involve dummy bids by th e vendor's agents
and buyers hiring profess iona l bidders,
The prorerty ma y he .......tthdr aw n hy t he
vendor at a ny t ime. Agents get ro uuuis-
sion on sa le onl ya nd so a re kee n to make
anvsale. ven dors must pa y t he ad vert ising
wheth er there is a sa le or not . These
additional complexities- add to t he 'inter-
pretative' nature of pricing a prop erty,
Unlike othe r commodities, the price ca n-
not be fixed in advance of sa le, Prop erti es
are un iqu e (alt ho ugh they have features
in common) and t he market is essentially
local. and so market forces are insufficiently
strong to give a clear signal on pri ce. Given
these ci rcu msta nces, val uati on 'is based
almos t entirel y o n cornparahility, with gut
fEJelingcoJJlpe nsat illg for t hose area s where
cumparisuu is impossi ble, and frequently
being use d as the leadingbasi s Iorva luat ion'
(Clarke et al., 1991: 76). Valuation is cri ti-
cal in obtaining instr uctions (the vendor
:oelpcting t he agent to ta ke on th e property:
in compet ition wit h other estate agencies
and <IS a ba sis for neg ot iat ion of sa le. The
price is 'not a single figure but a series of
meanings affecting t he partie s Involv ed'
(ibid.: 75). l n the case of gennificati on. this
price must also reflect t he aest hetic mark -
up to capture the fact t hat anot her class of
purchaser s value t he properties in a differ-
ent way. l\ s one Sydney agent explains:
If you IIct back a nd look 'It it as a valuer and
I savftne, the land isworth $100,000and the
cost t o build the house is $200,000 and the
L1:111 is su muc h, rerumlng rhar pr ope rty HI 8%
IJf 7% lITwhatever il is, I can sa yt hat pmpe r t y
is worth- land and house worth 300, build-
ing a little bit of increase for the rent-e-so it's
probably worth 320. Th at property can x ll
for S500,000 because it's been restored cor-
rectly (\VN).
Estate agents are also social iutermedla r-
ies (House, 1977), When selling in gent ri-
fying neighbour hoods , est ate age nt s must
typi cally move between working -class
vendor s and middle-class purchasers. 'r ho
la tt ergrou p have t heir own characteristics,
Asa Sydneyagent relates:
nowadays we have t o write ads that appeal
to people t hat urewelleduc a ted and who are
,. . in theupper economic bracket and sothey
ha ve to betreated fromthe start (I M) ,
if I'm writing an ad for a property, 11l go
throu gh the property and 111 look at the
character and the Victorian history of the
home and write the ad around that, rather
than write about howmany bedrooms, how
many loun ge rooms, what It's got. I'll look
at th e charact er flrst. And we're finding t he
buyers who are buying it are soplus tlcat ed.
and they're looking for character, The)' buy
it because of the history, Theybuyit because
they're turned off by the modernization of
a terrace, so you're looking at a cultural-
different type of person who Is looking for a
home which hascharacter (WG).
Agents showa sensib flity ro the varying rela-
t ionship bet wee n t ast e and price, The fol-
lowing stateme nt is a lmost Bourdl euian in
its art iculat ion of the relat ionship between
cultural and economic capital:
what hi1 JlPOOlIs is a lot of the pt'ople who live
in Glebe, a lot r:t our clients, whether theybe
customers, purchasers or owners who have
a background or roots in Glebe, they might,
they've been to uni versit y so they have an
academtc, mor e sophtsnc ared backgr ound ,
more cultural backgr ound than an average
suburb has ,, [t heyl don't hi1vt"i1lot uf monl"Y
butt hey have the knowledge, the y also have
the ability t o convert these old homes which
were, 20 years ago, turned from beautiful
old victorian homes to just money earn ing.
devoid of character, alumi niu m-windowed
properties and they convert them back into
thevtcr onan home. It's II dif fer ence !J".tWI"t'lI,
iJ'si1difff:'1ftIJsucill ldass,it's llgl"nu ifil:at ilJIlOf
ir.A lot oft hepeople in Glebearen't aswealthy
as they'd like to be but culturally they're very
wealthy so consequently you, , . don't get,
well,you don't get, thev'renorvervexpensive
homes, a dear home here would be$700,OOO,
$800,000, that'sadearhousei n Glebe,Youset
the odd home wh ich is worth over a million
but t hey' re spect acular horn-s ami t he y gen-
emilydon't chang e around (WGl.
Agent s' appraisals of tast e provide aeontrast
in terms of how working-class and middl e-
class selle rs andbuyers 'see' value. Looking
at th e decisions by the children of working-
class reside nts concerni ng t heir pa rents'
deceased est at es in gent rified neighbour-
hood s, many of th e est ate agents inter-
viewed ar gued th at val ue was constructed
differently. Thi s was shown in cont rast ing
reacti on s t o t heVictorian t err a ce s.
whe-n you lonk at peu[Jlp who are passing
away-c-they are usua lly itt thei r 70s and ens.
90s whatever. If t he children are in their 50s,
60s- when you look at the age when they
were growing up-they were living in small
terraces,it was working class, theywere con -
sidered inferior you know, whatever, and
it was always the drenn that you have your
dream house with a block, your bl r__.k ofl and
and you goout to the suburbs-c-and that was
thedreamyouknow,tha t wasthethingevery-
one wanted. Sothey've all gone out too, they
aspiredto doit andthey have, so the last thing
t heywant rc doist ogoback to their roots 'cos
th eystillsee 11 as worktng class [F\ ).
Another agent put it like th is:
WG:Theysell it [deceased.estates] .. . 1think
where they live are cheaper area s and they
seethe priceofa home in Glebe t hat theycan
split the money Ul' if it's a family . . . and put
it somewherewhere theysee value, and the)'
don't seevalue in Glebe.
GB: Sot hey're different .
WG: Different groupof people, yeah.
GB: It's a different percept ion uf what ?
WG: Dfwhatvalue Is.
Th ese observations suggest that in order t o
understand th e class dynamics of ne igh -
bour hood change involving working -class
displacem ent or voluntary depart m-e
th e aesthe tics of working- cla ss reskler\l;
must featur e mo re st rongly in account s of
gent rification The relationshi p bet weer,
work ing-c lass a nd middle-class tast es and
var ious economic imperatives is especially
important .
Th ese cont rasts in t he cla ss-base d
judge me nt of t aste must be neg otiate d by
th e agent when movin g between working.
cla ss vendn r a nd middle-class
Th is negot latiun is put into <I public and
perfonnativecomext bythe auct ion system
of house sales in Sydney.
Aucuous in Sydney co me in two forma ts.
They can he conduct ed on the sit e of the
house itself and concern that single prop
ertv .Alternatively, la rge numbers of prop er-
tie s can be sol d at auctions hel d by the large
est ate agencies in various hotels around
Sydney. At t hese auctions each property
is unreduced by the a ucuone er using a
slide show and verbal desc ri pti ons of the
pro perty.
I att en ded a number cf such block auc-
tions in November 1997. The pur pose was
to compare price wit h aest hetic 'condit ion'.
In rnanycases t hesesales involved working-
classvendors and middle-class purchasers
present in the aucuun room , The auction-
eers' public present ations thus ha d to draw
the potent ial middle-class purc hasers
with out offending t he wor king-class ven-
dors. Agents operati ng as a uctionee rs used
a number ofl inguistic devices t o bridge this
tast e divide. III some ca ses, nuddle-d ass
vend ors \WIe sel li ng to mi ddle-class buy-
ers ami so the desc rip tion em phasized die
commona lities of taste; 'a hom e from a by-
gone era, leaded wind ows ext reme ly good
tas te; it' s got apple pie right th rough it; a
lady that ap preciates goo d taste'.
III other cases, the taste line has to be
-crossed. Arange ofeuphe misms arc used to
signal acknowledgement of t he percepti on
of the propert y by t he middle-class buy-
ers without aliena ting t he wor king-class
vendor s (for whom th e agents ar e working
- - ''after all). Th ese included 'well pr esent ed',
'beilUlifullypresented' , 'carefully presented
hOllle'. ln somewhat st rongercascs,de scrip-
tions include 'full of character but might
J1Ced a bit of updating', Des cri bing 'a high
pitched-roof cott age' con taining reproduc-
tion furni ture, t hick pil e ca rpets an d 1970s
fittings, th e auct ioneer recommended that
the propcrt y'could be renovated' and t hen
added has tily, 'but don't get me wrong, it's a
very well presented propert y folks' (hotel-
based a uction, November 1997),
Th is reveals the class aesthet ics of t he
process. To be success ful. esta te agents
must aL1: as int erme diar ies bet wee n peo ple
ofdifferent cl a sses wh o have different t astes
inhou sing ,house int eriors and furni shings.
'th ey must have a sensit ive unde rstanding
ofthe subt leties of tast e differences. These
taste differences ar e at t he hea rt of what
Rour dieu ident ifies as cult ural st rategi es to
maintain distincti on.
In his import ant art icle, 'Class defi ni-
tion and t he aesthetics of gen t rificat ion:
v luor tana in Melbourne', Michael Jager
sta rte d to pull toge ther the links between
socia l class, aest hetics an d housing form:
'The gentrifier is caught bet ween a former
gentry eth ic of social re presen tat ion bei ng
a nend in it self, an da mor e t radit ional petty
bour geois et hic of econom ic valo rtsati on'
(Jager, 1986: 83 ).
This points to the t ension bet ween ecu-
numic capita l an d soci al represe nt ation.
It is a tensi on th at is originally th ought to
arise from the desire for cert ain sections
of th e new middle cla ss t o ach ieve social
disti nct ion. They have insufficien t ma terial
capit al to do so through obvious displays
of wealth (considera ble wealt h is its O\ \TI
social marker). The new middle class mark
themselves out th rough a cultural str ategy
that Involv es displays of discernment and
'good taste'. This cultural strategy relics on
t he deployment of cultural cap ital.
Bou rdicu's (1979; 1884) argument s are
poten tially usefu l in understa ndi ng el e-
ments of gentrificat ion. Gen rrtflcatlon can
be see n as a 'field' in Bounlieu'a t erms , a
terrain where the particular mixtu res of
economic and cultural capital an! deploy ed
by different classes to main tain dis tincti on
from each other. These rela tionshi ps exist
bot h in social spac e and over time. This
again applies to gen t rificat ion where t he
arglllltell t in th is pa pera lid el sewhel l' is that
economlccapital becomes more significant
than cultu ral capit al as gent rifica tion pro-
ceeds . This, t oo, captures Bourdieu's idea
that econ omic and cu lt ura l ca pital can ,
t o a certain extent, be exchange d for one
anot her. Dou rdieu also offers gent rificat ion
rese archers the conceptual framework to
as kwhet her t his reside ntial stra tegy is part
of a newcultural habitus of a put ati ve 'new
midd le class'. Habi tus is both 't he ab ility to
produce class ifiable practices and works,
and t he capacity to different iate and appre-
ciate those pract ices and prod ucts (ta ste)
[by which] the rep resented social wor ld,
l .e. th e spaces of lifest yles, is cons tr uct ed'
usoun ue u, 1984: 170). Tho se with social
power have a monopol yo verways of seei ng
and class ifying ob jects according to t hei r
crite ria of good taste. The ability to creat e
ne w systems of discernmen t is class power.
Gent rificat ion ca n be seen as one suc h
reclassificati on (away from the work ing-
cla ss cit y and t he d esirabil it yof' the midd le-
class suburbs) in whic h in ner urban living
became once again invested with ideas of
st at us, style an d cosmopolitanism. This
inn ovati on in t aste could be viewed as an
act of 'symbolic violence' over others, in
this case, the worki ng -class residents of
th e inner city. This is t he aes thetic bord er
that is t he equi valent of gent rification-
lnduceddtsplacemenr in those inner urba n
nei ghbourhoods t hem selves (alt hough
this process might be more comp lex when
working-class taste is t aken int o account, as
I have suggested) .
Gentrification can be seen as a collection
ofclass strat egies involvingvar ying depl oy-
ments of cult ural and econ omic ca pital in
time and space. Bourdjeu (1984) argues
that cult ural capit al is gaine d t hrough edu-
cation and family bac kground The cult ura l
capital of the middle clas ses cont rasts with
th at of th e uppe r cla sses. Whereas aest het ic
ap pr eciation of t he up per classes is innate
and intuit ive, based on social backgrou nd,
for t he mi dd le classes it is learned a nd self-
consci ous. Thls make s the mi ddle-class
aesthetic more open t o self-cons cious dis -
cussion an d other influences. It makes it
more public, mo re reflexive, less cert ain. In
contrast, t he aesthetic sensi bilit ies of th e
upper class are private, un disput ed, invis-
To adapt Bour dieu's assumptions , what
makes t he new middle class 'ne w' is a
particular combination of economic an d
cultural capital that enables th em to dis-
tinguish th emse lves from other cla sses on
a number of front s. Their aest het ic sen-
sibilities ar e drawn from th eir education
and have to be consciously established
an d reproduced (most notably as reflexive
Cul tu ral capital makes up for the sho rt -
fall of mat erial capital that wou ld be neces-
sary to have the str aightforwa rd di st inction
of capitalist s. The objects an d ar t icu lat ions
of goud taste are varied hut are part icularly
exhibitedinspheres ofcomumplion involv-
tng food, clot hi ng, the media and ce rtain
locat ions for bvtngand leisur e. Of th e latt er,
an inner ur ban lifestyle is the most charac -
teristic of th e new middle cla ss. Writing 20
year s ago, Gouldner (1979) prophetically
ide ntified t he distinctive cbaractcnsnc of
th e new class as its 'cosmo politanism'.
The aest hetic redefi niti on ofthe cen t ral city
as desirabl e is an act of class power. Ye t the
consu mption of inner urban space bri ngs
into conflict the cultura l strategy of t he new
middle class and the-ir class rela t ions, An
inner ur ban lifestyle is di stinct in two ways.
In its location at the historic core of tile city,
close t o th e cen tr e, at t he heart of things
it is defi ned against t he lack of distinctive
ness, th e homogeneity and 'anywh ercness'
of th e suburbs (Ley. 1996). This is a separa-
tion oftbe new middle class an d the 'mi ddle
middle class' who U(TllPY th e sub urbs. It
brings them in to direct conf rontation with
working-class neighbour hoo ds and work-
ing-class history and taste in the central
city.The culturai errat cgvtn sup port of class
distincti on is direct and uncompromi s-
ing. It is t o transf orm worki ng- class hom -
ing into a di splay of bourgeois good taste.
This Involves emphasizing the historical
qualities of th e house by st ripping back to
the original. Floorboards are stri pped, sash
windows reinst alled, firepla ces restored or
reinsert ed in what is familiarly known as
the gentr ificat ion aesthet ic.
One of the featur es of ge n tr iflca tion has
been tha t t he deployment uf a cultural aes-
th eti c to provide social dist inct ion has In
turn enhanced material capital. The legiti-
mation of this proc ess ha s been seen in
considerable house price rises in t hegentri-
fied neighbourhoods of most lar ge west ern
capitalist clr ies (as noted for Sydney's inner
west). In this sense, 't aste' has convert ed
into 'price'. Part of the reason for sustained
rises (allowing fur general housing market
fluctuat ions) ha s been t he fact tha t gentrt-
ficat ion has increasinglyinvolved wealthier
member s of t he middle cla ss. This is repre-
sented by th e stage model of gent ritl cat ion
(such as Harrison, 19A3) based on ea rlier
ecological neighbourhood lifecvcle mod -
. els (Hoover and Vernon, 1962). In th e early
davs, gent rification is carri ed out by lower
paid professiona ls (t eachers, acade mics,
nurses) and Involv es modest upgrading of
the pm perty. As the pr ocess con solidat es,
higher pa id profe-ei onalsare att rac t ed. The
process is also mure com ruodlfl ed, invnlv-
ingloca1builde rs turnhig over properties in
agc nt rified st yle.When the neighbourhood
is fully'esta blished',farge developer s might
get involved in conver ting former indus-
trial or commercia l properties to inner -city
lofts. Larger and larger am ounts of capital
follO\v th e gen t riflcation aestheti c. At the
scale of t he city economy, culture attracts
capital (Zu kin, 1982) .
At the leve l of t he persona l finances of t he
gentriflers in t he ea rly and consolidat iun
phases ofgentrfflcano n, we ha ve a mutually
reinforci ng relationsh ip between cultural
and mat erial capi tal, or taste and pri ce. In
the early sta ges, cultural capi tal 'ca pt ures'
rnaterial capital.The relativelysma ll invest"
men ts by lower-paid professional s in 'risky'
in ne r urban neig hbou rhood s reap con-
siderable mate rial rewards th rough large
house price gains. However, as gentrifica-
tlongoes on , t hese socia l grou ps have been
increasingly excl uded and th e wealthier
professiona ls have bought into the aes-
th et ic.1n thi s sense, the quot ient ofmat erial
capital required to mee t the gent rificat ion
aesthet ic has risen.
The aesthet lc itself abo cha nges in rnate -
rial terms. As Horvat h and Engels (985)
noted , in t he early days of gcnmncauon,
the mark of social dist inction was a lick of
paint (in a certain pas t el shade of cou rse).
Asth e process progresses, mare an d more
is done to t he home, from the str ipping of
floorboards an d reinsta llation of flreplaces
t hrough to consldera ble internal structural
alt eratio ns. Much of t his WOL"k is changing
t hehistori c st ruetur eo ftheVictorianterr ace
and th e quest ion arises as to howmuch t he
gent rificat ion aest het ic based on hi st orical
qualit ies of the hou se can encompass or is
in tension with this modernizat ion acti vlrv.
Jager (l9 Afi) noted th e tension between
history and modemfzauon in his analysis
uf press ad ver ts for housing in Melbourne
(see also Mills, 19B8). " Vict orian with
mode rn add itions. "count ry lito" but a well
appointed kitch en " (1986: 821. Jager goe s
on to arg ue:
The combin ati on an d ' history' is nor cou flic-
tual, but rather compl ementary. Por evcnwith
renovati on, modernisati on takes the form of
neo-arch aism-anattempt to return to a pre-
industrial pas t with handmade bri cks, and a
ref utati on of mass produc t s. vktortana dis-
tingu ishes Itself from an Ind ustrialised low
culture. III th is way t he retrieval of history
hec ome s an instance of modernity.Thi s new-
romanticism of urban con ser vati on incorpo-
ra tes the mos t modern functional elements,
Historyi s not restored in urban conservation,
but recovered in a dist ort ed and partial form
(ibl d.:88).
There is an extensive literature on t he ori-
gins and composition of th e 'new mid -
dle class' (Carchcd i, 1977; Ren ner , 1978;
Lhrenreichand lihrenreich. 1979;Gouldne r,
1979; Goldthorpe 191 2; 1995;Wright, 1905;
Resnick a nd Wolff, 19A7). I have applied
t hese deba tes to the gentrttlcauon lit-
erature else where (Bridge, 1995). Here we
focus on the mix of cultural and economic
capital as a key featurc of the consti tution
and charactcnsncs of t he newmidd le class.
The cha nging mat eria l cost of the gentrifi-
cat ion aest hetic raises the questi on about
the degree to which the gen rriflcationHt er-
arurehas relied Ull a fa irlysta tlcvl ew ofjust
what rhe displ ays ofgll' lI. l ta s te a re th a t ( 01\ -
sunne this cult ura l stra tegyot rheu ewmid-
dle cl ass. Here I argue t ha t t he relationship
between ma te rial and cu ltural capital (or
tast e and pr ice] continues t o cha nge. The
gen trification aest het ic contains a tensi on
over time and space that has implicati ons
for ou r u nderstand ing nf t ht> relation-
sh ip l..t \u't"lIl11a t l"l ia l ami cu ltural ca pital
an d t he class rela tions of t he new middle
rbc aes t he t ic sensttahnes of the new publiclydiscus... "'Cd.Beca use
of th eir compara tive eco nomic wea h h a nd
t he self-co of thei r aesth eti c
real m, 0 11e r ha rac rerist ic of ti lt"newmiddle
cl ass is ill> taste and I l1:! nJ seners, As lager
(1986: 8 1- 5) expresses it:
vjctcnana is J fetish , in Marx 's sense, in that
the objects of cul ture are made to bea r th e
bur den of a more on.-rous 5Oc1<l.1siBnitlamct.",
and }t't It'lai n a dist l nrt rnat..ria ) fUIIL'1 io!1
This is d l"d Tl"S1 with hu,:n lal r...Klvatiomi..
where aetw.l ly the authenticity of th e 20th
century worjdng-cless home W<1$ as unde-
sirable as tha t of the l!lth cen tUf} \ ktorian
home wa s ur.rt'a!isab!e. f-or tire eco no:nic
b\-estme:lt In \'ktOliar.a dejll;' n ded upon
thoroughly mod ern tenovatlons, espedally
in tht' kitd ll"II, of 1Il 0l1.. m
app lia nce s. The \ ' k tot ian ha d its
limits; itlegi timlltes bu t amn ot be 11.110\'/'00to
compromise econom ic in vestment.
I ler e we have the np.\Vm iddle a s t a st e-
makers. part of the i r iden -
ti ty. Nt'w lll illtll.. Bl' ll1l lf i.. rs rt"t. :ogll ire
the need fur a histurica l but <I1su
need to be at the edRe of tas te-ma ld oR This
balance of symb ols of t he old and the new
is at the heart of the so cially ditferentiati ng
nature of the gentri ficat iun aesthet ic, This
was nOll"r1 hy 11 11 tht> Syn nt>yesta w agt'n ts
illl l' r lo'il' \vt"ti. f ' ll t"Xitlll llll":
lll11stl' t'up l.. llt' rt' wallt. tilt'}, luvt' t hl:'t'xt t' ri" t,
hut tl!!') jnst want 1ll11l.1otl1 fUllClitlllal styl...
They'll kee p the lof ty ceilings. th e cornices
are great , , , the best capital im provemen t to
be ma de to p roperti es is to include
functional kitchens and ba throo ms , , , They
appreci ate vjc tonan architecture from the
ours jde 'cos tilt' SlI'l:'O:' t>l::apt' ha s to t... llIain_
tained. TIlal mai ntai ns thl"vahlt"nf th.. hnn,..
They won't pa int it in the wrnng m lnun.
I hey wil l go to II correct colour che rt and do
the exterior i n a colo ur that wou ld sui t. Bot
internally you will ha ve . . , recessed ha logen
lif::hbtg but fin>p1<l.ct'Swil l be retained, m.m,
tel pleces-c-thtngs tie trult-but th e colOUr
sch .. mes will be very. vt'JY con lempot'"dl)
( \ IT).
they're giving the vlctocian Image .. i th the
year 200[) amennles and the y're mill y
over rbe too [JH),
the ma jority of th em Me renovated 1n faL1\"
'>imilar . . . tht-f\' '' got , sure, th..y\ "
rho-Ilourbeanls a nd .. . d lt'Vm' lI. l..tni.... ll
but try to main tlJI' origina l Iearures, T1rre's
no r many people that reall y gut t hem core-
pletel.y and just complet ely modernise them
and do that; Mos t people are tryin$l: to retain
i:s tradmeaal teel , There are a feweJ: l:t'pUCf'.5
to tha t rul e, Also, becau!lt' sale ... lse sell
bet lt'r . . . most people are IooklnBfor a uadi
liOll<!1 rVlo-stm..y l..rrac.. lhal ha " lhl"Urlla l,
cri! ings and the rll1.' place alld I'oli:o. hl"<l
and those soctsoft hing s. so propk wa.'lt that
they t er.d ro mai ntnin tha l TlK')' might
ch ange tiE kitchen am b.lthrooms. m ille
ttlem modem and open j:ian and 1lJ10opc'fl
things up a btt more. But the y're faIrly stan
dard. just ligh t va riaTiom on th<om 1F\-' ).
I-V : overl)' tizzv. Vcry sim ple
GB: Wh at d o ynu m l:'"<tll hy ti1.1.y?
I'V: like it' s not sor t of comple tely 90n of
tlouncy,if smore,youk now,lIkfi' cIt'a ncolours,
d ean HIll'S but with the ori gina l featu rt'S
int act. So you might have tllt' whJlt' walls an i
the Iwautifu l ceilings and fiJ"'llac..s, pulis)ll'd
Doors, simple lines, modern- da y kit chen,
This bal ance of hi st ory and modern ity ca n
ht"ve ryfine.
[would just sayln myex]x-rl..nee mos t nfth..
Jlood st uff th at's been sold has been som bre
culuurs, like in creams and pa stels nnd sc on.
marri ed up with may be a rather ri ch, bold
. ohalt blue wall or a blood red one o r some-
th.InglJ ke th at-or ma ybe a colour that harks
bark 10 tilt' old..n o.Ia)s whic h mlgf u Ilt' a \ ..ty
ri ch bUlgUlldy. whi::h wo uhl ma rry w ry w..1l
00........ a fireplac.. with a gilt-e dged mi rr or
and thlngslike that -hut th e rest of the room
....'01.110.1 be in a very pa je colou r beCILuse you've
got to look at the light situation. we cent cre-
ate LiWlt in the cjassjc joun ge Istcl of
a \ ' ictorian terrace-you can ' t do anrthiql;
aboel lt topur mor .. l ght in (\ IT).
lege- explai ns the fine-tuning of t he aes -
menctntermsonbe size of mat eri al capi ta l
andthe needt o ma tch expectations in orde r
to gain a good resale price, As he argues:
dom estic capital inrele -
lio n to othe r larger economic forces pres.
ent in the In n er city area s ensures t ha t th e
esth etic di sposition will b.. circum.
!!trib...d. This also ..xplalns the con unuan r ..
Ilf stri<:t1y economic imp..rlltivt'S IIlld 111"11"1"-
mir.anu embedd ed in the e-sthet iciza tion of
\ ' ictor iana. The sligh:!}' tri nm p hal ist fllOldes
ofMelOOum eVicto :i llllIJl re mntchcd bymo re
:noCeUed i:tteri ors U9i36: 891.
Howewr, the ae; t heti ccan bebroken down
into eleme nts whe re a goo d deal of cha nte
is and are as in which stable
symbols o f good t aste mlL'St be held in place.
In Syrlnpy, hPhino:t t h p t rorli t inn:l l fll.r.:lrlP!O,
Hll isid t' la b le i n te rn a l wa s
tolerated . As one agent dl'Sl:l ibe-,; it:
WhJt th ey ", Ill even do is In an old style
1'Iaft' for I"xalllple, <III utd pl ac..
duwn Oil ' Du mont' 5lre t't wht' r.. VII I] wuuhl
halo' '' II. loung.. roo m, dini ng kitche n,
bathroom- someone could oome i n dnd
turn tha t all around so you ha ve your kitchen
thew [fron t of house) because it's the cl oses t
p lace to the noise and nor mally If YOU're in
the kItchen you' re not goin g to be distu rbed
hy traffic nlli* llt'Caust' YIlU'tl' glliu!! tIJ lit'
doing somethingin you r kitchen and . . tbe y
will open it up lind so rut her t ha n having your
kitche n lind your bathroom at the back . . . and
then pas t those to your bcckvard-c-it's
all reversed ., . and lounge a nd dini ng Is open
plan as much as possible and th en ope nin g
uu t unto the co urt yanl (T M).
There an.' a number o f re'dSOI1S fu rhe,e
alt eratio ns, The Ilrst is that greater infor-
mality In cont emporary Iivill: mea n s
th at separate dining and living rooms are
un necess ary, Furt hermore, the open-plan
living space leading in to a cou rt yard or
veranda most of t be sunlight, ' to
bung the ou nloors in', as uue agent put i t.
whereas the or jgina l des ign and cultural
reso nances o f vlctonana was pri vacy, t he
co nt emporary gentrificati on aesthet ic in
Sydney seek s 10 capit alize on the natur al
resource of the Aus tral ian sun and open
up t he house to th e light. Th ere has be en a
m"Vt> Croll Iseclu-kmto d ispla y.
Youdon't need the kit chen ill the back ot the
neuse. wer e kitcher. s at the ro ck or rte
houst"i Probably beca u!lt' they were busy
wtrl: lr.g aff' as a:ld if you're ha vL,g gut'Sts 1n
th" ydidll' lltllll.. lu th.. kitdlt'fl . _. OOI Il OW
are un d bl' lay .. . a romas o r ",lMt-
t'\er. it doem't nw.ter if the) fel the ho use
now, tha t's pilrtof it [Tro ll.
In t heir form, sta tus was sec lu-
sion in these Vict orian terraces. nowstat us
mea ns opening up tht' home to the outside
and the appropria tion of t he outside wor kl
wi thin t he hom e_ Several age n ts talked
abuu t l i le illllJUJ tann ' to 'oJl..n
up' t h e
The hl Rhest st atu s inclusion of t he out-
side in Sydney is a harbou r view. The struc-
ture of t he Victorilln t er ra ce rna y und ergo
co nside ra ble st ructu ral renoyat ion to cap-
tu re t his asset:
t hi s Is a two storey p ropertyand the outl ook
h from up;ta lrs, IMng is ups tairs , kit chen,
IlJIlngt' lIhlltlg ami bak lJn y is all upstairs atld
it's not a fantastic water viewbutit's just a dr y
skyline view, maybe the (Sydney Har bour]
bridge or something like that, so rather than
having that given to one or two bedrooms
wh ich are nor reallygoing to appreciatei t, all
the bedrooms are downstairs, there's a bat h-
room downs t ai rs . .. bedrooms downstairs
and your liVing upstairs 'cos it captures the
view- thill' s what you impress yuu r vis itors
wit h, the view. You don 't say. yeah. we' ve got
a view, come int o my bedr oom have a look at
that, theygo inro the lounge trj kl . r.. I
1. The research repor ted here was conducted
with the SUPPOl1 of a xrcneiee Bicente nnial
h llowsh ip. 1am verygwwlul (0 Robyn Dowhn g,
Bob FagaJl, Rich if' Hoodll, Kevin McCml en and
ot her coJlcaKUcs at the Department ofGeography
at Macquane Uni\'ersit y who h osted my trip and
d iscm.. ..... 'Cl ideas. ROll Hor valh's geHl/ ifiLal hm
tDur ct Syd ncvwas in\ moo blo. Ray
FOJIt'Sl, Suza nn e Horlge anrlTeny RI'<'S wh Dcom
mcn ted on ear lier drafts of th is piece. The usual
disclaimer. apply.
2. I am very grateful rooneormeanonvmocs rerer-
cos for highl ig:hting theflC
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city, Allenand Un win, london.
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Tourism Gentrification: The Case of New
Orleans' Vieux Carre (French Quarter)
KevinFox Gotham
Summary,This paper exam ines the process
of tour ism gentrification' ust nga case stu dy
of the socto-speua l transforma t ion of New
Orlean s'Vieux Carre (French Quarte r) over
t he past half-cent ur y, Tourism gentrifica-
t ion refers to t he transformat ion of a mid-
dle-class neigh bourhood into a relative ly
affluent and exclusive enclave ma rked by
a proliferation of corpora te ent ert ainment
and t ourism ven ues. Histor ically, t he Vicux
Carre has been the home of diverse gr oups
of people. Over the past t wo decades,
however, med ian Incomes an d property
values have increased, esca lating rents
have pushed out jower-tncome pe ople
and African Americans, and tourist aurae-
lions an d large entertai nmen t clu bs now
dominate much of th e neighbour ho od, It
is argued that the changing flows of capital
tutu the real es ta te ma r ket combined wnh
tile growth of tourism enhance the signifi-
cance of consumption-or iented activities
in resident ial space and enc ourage gen tr i-
fication . The paper con tests explanations
that view gen trification as an expression of
consumer dem ands, individual preferences
or market la ws of sup ply a nd deman d. It
examin es howt he growt h of sec urhizat iun.
changes in consumption and increasing
dominance of large enterta inment firms
man ifest through the development of a
tourism indu st ry in New Orleans, giving
gentrificati on its own distinct dynami c an d
local quality.
Recent years haw witne ssed the growth of
a va st and expanding scholarly literat ure
concerning the novelty, causa l dynamics
and socioeconomic impact of gentrifica-
tion (for an overview, sec Atkinson, 2003).
Since the early 1990s recession , researchers
have no ted a 'thi rd wave' of gen rrifira tion
III many cities, includi ng {he formation of
ne w alliances bet ween private develop-
ers and loca l government. a 'reinvent ion' of
public institutions, and a 'restructuri ng' of
t he gentrificat ion process itse lf (Wyly and
l lamme l. 1998, 2004;Wyiy, 2002).According
to l Iackworr h (2002), the growth oflarge cor-
pma le rea! esta te in ves tment
trusts (REITh) and new ne tworks of mort-
Ragebrokers is crea nng new forms or'cor po-
ratised genmflcanon', For Smith tzoozj. rtie
impulse behind gent rificati on is no longer
rest ricted to the USor Europe, but is aglobal
and generalised process. As a "global ur ban
strategy",gt"ll trification is now'uenselycon-
ne cted intothe circuit s of global capital and
cult ur al circulation" (Smith, 2002, p. 80).
Whatever the differences of emphasis and
inter pretation, common to ana lyses of gen-
trification is a focus on new mechanisms of
commercial rein vestment, ne w public sub-
sidies for private investment and a greater
interconnectedness ot lccal andglobalforces
(for an overview, see brenner and Theodore,
2002). A key feature of recent research on
gentrificat ion is t he attempt to situat e gen-
trificati on within larger econo mic and polit-
ical processes, including the deregulati on of
nati onal markets, shiftingpatt ern s of global
finance and the power of t ran snational cor -
porations (TNCs) a nd globa l producti on
networks (\\ Vly, 2002; Wyly an d Hammel,
1999, 2000). Yet despit e much research an d
debat e, few scholars agrE'eon how analysts
s hould conceptuallse gentrillcat ion, what
should be t he appropriate levels of anal ysis
for assessing the causes and consequences
of gent rificat ion and wha t dat a sources
researc her s shoul d use t o measure gent ri-
ficat ion empirically. While many schola rs
con tend t hat genrri flcat ion t oday is different
from t ha t of the 1970s and thev di s-
agree over ns form, incidence and Impact.
This paper cont rib utes to recent urban
scholar shipont he causesandconsequences
of gentr ification, using a case study of the
transfor ma tionoft'ewOrleans'sVieuxCarre
(French Quart er) since t he 1950s. Since at
least th e 1930s, the Vleux Carre has been a
site of intense conflicts oyer commercial
revltalisation, histori cal preservati on and
nelghb ou rhoodjntegury. tn 1937, th e neigh.
bourhood was designated as a historical
di str ict and remai ned the city's only land-
mark dist rict unt il the 1970s. In t he 1960s,
th e local environmentalists and neighbour -
hood act ivists joined fur ces witha burgeon-
ing natlona l anti-expressway movement to
halt the planning and constru ct ion of an
elevated expressway along the Mississippi
River (Baumbach and Borah, 1981; Lewis,
U1J7). Since this t ime , resident s and busi-
nesses have tea med wit h historica l preset-
vationists and ot he r activists to pro test the
growth of fas t-food restaurants. ma ll-like
shops and chain- like clothing stor es tha t
cater al mos t exclusively to tourists (Foley,
1999; Foley and Lauria, 2000; 2003). bl 1995,

identified the v teux Carre as one of the 10
most endangered places in the country
due to the threat that commercial busine. s
growth posed t o t he residential character of
the neigh bourhood, In recent years, rest.
dents and neighbo urhoo d
have lament ed tire increase of ho tels, bed
and breakfasts, time-shares,cond om iniums
and large entertainment clubs (Vesey, 199<J;
Kaufma n , Both median incomes
and propert y values have increased, espe-
cially dur ingt he 1990s, and escalat ing rents
and conv ersion of afforda ble stngle-Iam-
ily resiliences to expensive condominiums
have pushed out lower-i ncome people and
African Americans. As I poi nt ou t, for mat
of its histor y, the Vicux Carre fun ctioned as
a resident ial neighbourhood composed of
diverse groups of peopl e. Since the 19G0s,
however, t he area has been transt orrnec
into an enterta inment destina tion, mar-
keted vigorously by touri sm prom oters and
redesignedt o brmgvrsnors into the clty.Asa
central component of New Orleans' promo-
tion as a tourist and entertainment crrv, the
analysis of gentrificati on in the Vieux Carre
offers a unique case for underst andin g t he
connect ion bet ween global economic pro-
cess and local act ions in the transtormatlon
of urban space.
In t his pap er, I situate t he gentrifi cat ion
of t he vtcux Carre within the larger trans-
formati on uf New Orleans intu a tourist d ly.
I first speci fy t he conceptual problem and
ou tline a th eoret ical framework t hat will
gui de my an alysts. I then pro vide all over-
view of residential an d commercial change
in the vt eux Carre over the past 60 years
using data from t he US census Bur eau and
other govern ment report s. I then focus on
t he connection between tour ism an d gen-
trification. My analysis focuses on the why
and hOl11 ques t ions regarding t he mot iva-
tion for using tour ism as a st rategyor urban
regen era tion, bot h of which are central to
eXPlaini ng the process of gent rificat ion.
I develo p the conce pt tour ism genntfl ca-
t foll to highlight the role of state policy in
encour aging both gen tr ification and tour -
ism development; an d t he actions ofla rge
corporate enter tainment firms in redevel-
oping the Vieux Carre into a space of enter-
tainIIll' nt and co nsumpt ion. I argue t hat
flov.'S of capital in the real estat e mar ket
combined wi th th e sht n ro tourism explai n
b>t' ntr ificati on more fullyrhan do alternative
accounts that focus narrowly on con sumer
lk mand or cultural preferences for upscale
neighbmrhoods. Tourism is about t he pro-
duction of local difference, local cultures
and dllferem local htstor tes that ap pea l to
visitor s' tas tes for the exotic and un ique
(Colema n and Crang, 2002; Hoffman et aL,
2003; u rrv.zouzj.Atthc sameumc, t he tour -
ism indust ry is one of the largest industries
in the wor ld an d is incr easingly dominated
by globa l hot el firms and ent ertainment
companles-c-Disney Universa l.Suny, el c.-
who have the abilltv to exploit a wide ran ge
of ' brand synergies' to transform locales
into spaces for cons umption (Hollands and
Chattert on, 2003; Fainstein and Judd 1999;
Mee rhan, 200l). Hannigan 's (l 99/ll dis cus-
sion of t he 'maverick:' developers of t he
new emenatmuent-based 'fantasy cnv'
points to how nat ional or Int ernat iona l
corpo rations t oday dominate ur ban rede-
velopment an d have t he economic and
political powe r to take their investments
elsewhere sho uld local officials [lot prove
comp lian t, a t rend observed by Feagin and
Parker ( 990), Smi t h (1996) and others. In
this light, I view tour ism as a globa lised
process that connects the exogenous forces
of multin ational corporat ions a nd capi tal
flows,wit h the locaily based powersorrcst-
dents, elites and consumers.
Resea rch on gentrification has exploded
over t he past two de cades. Economist s.
geographe rs, sociol ogists ami ot he r urba n
scholars have studied t he cau sal dvnarn-
lcs, consequence and trajectories of gen-
trification using diverse sources of da ta
a nd t heoret ical orient at ions (for overviews,
sec At kinson , 2003; Brenner an d The odore,
2002: Feagin and Parker, 1990, eh. 5;
Gntha m, 200lh; Hutchison, 1992; Smit h,
1996; w luberg, 1992; Wyly an d Hammel,
2001). In the Us, scholars have identified
t hree waves of gent rificat ion (Hackwort h,
2002: Smith, 2002). The first wave, begin-
ning in t he 1950s and lasting to t he 1973
recession, was an outgrowt h of the I lousi ng
Acts of 1949 and 1954 t hat pr ovi ded federal
funds fur loc al redevelopment authorities
to designate 'blight ed' ar eas, acqui re and
clear land, and t hen sell t he lan d to pri-
va te de vel oper s (Got ham, 2000, 2001a). ln
t he process, city governments and federa l
moni es support ed private efforts to build
new ups cale urba n housing, the reby allow-
ing a new urban 'gentrym mo ve into areas
previous ly dominated by the poor an d the
working class. A secon d wave followed
in th e 1970s and 1980s as new publi c-pri-
vat e 'par t nershi ps' a nd ma rket -cent red
subsidies (such as tax abatements an d t ax
increment financing (TIFs)) financed gen-
t rifica t ion (Squi res, 1989). Two significa nt
fea tur es mar ked this second wave. The first
was the integration of gen trificat ion with
new 'cu ltu ral strategies' of economic rede-
velopment, including new investmen ts
in museums, 1111 galler ies an d hist orical
preservation (Zukin. 1997, 1995). A sec-
ond significa nt feature wa s t he increa sing
enmes hmen t of gentrificati on into global
systems of real est ate and ban king fina nce.
Thi s enmeshment was evident in t he ere-
ation of new, ma ssiyed evelopments incl ud-
ing rccw York City's Sout h Street Seaport ,
Bos ton's Fan euil Hall, Baltimore's Inner
l lar bor and Phil adelph ia's Society Ili l1.
In recent yea rs, scholars have arg ued
that inner cities ar e expe rtencl ng a third
wave of gentrification and a resurgence
uf lnvestme nt but disa gree un th e sources
and ca uses of th is cenu tncanon and rein-
vest ment (for overviews, see Bondi , 1999;
Lees, 2000; Ley, 1996; Sout h, 1996). Wyly
and Hammel (1999, 200ll, for example,
maint ain th at the reMlI"gence of gent rifica-
tion in many ctt les emanates from recent
transforma tions in federal regulator y pol-
icy an d mort gage fina ncing. Specifically,
local efforts undert he federal JlOP E\ll pro-
gramme that deccntrahses public hou sing
administrat ion and establishes public-pr i-
vate vent ures to fun d publ ic housing rede-
velopmen t have hel ped spur a new round
of'gerurlflca uon fnmanyctnes . In thi s con-
ception, th e federa l government's mor e
decent rallsed and prtvatis ed low-Income
housing poli cy has alte red key facets of t he
gentrification process itself, opening new
ma rkets for low-income and minorit y bor-
rowers and neighbuu rhoods, and increas-
ingaccess to convenuonalmongage capital
through automat iun and standa rdisa t ion
(see al so Kasarda, 1999; Marcuse, 1999). In
a case st udy of New York City's Lower East
Side, Smit h, and Del-illippis (1999) argue
t hat th e 'economics of gent rificat ion' was
transform ed in t ile 1990s as br and-nam e
firms, internat ional developers ami mul-
unauo ual ban ks incr ea singly sup plied th e
capital to flna nce corporate-led gentrlfl ca-
uon. Lees' (2003) study ofBrooklyn IJelghts,
Newror k, suggests t ha t a"new genera tion of
sup er-rich 'fina ncifiers ' fed by t he fort un es
from globa l fina nce a nd corporate service
ind ust ries" is the leading edge of "super-
gent rification" which refers t o "t he trans-
formatl onof'alreadygent rlfled, pros perous
and solidly upper-middle class neighbour-
hoods int o much more exclusive a nd
expensive cnclavee" Ip. 2487). In a compre-
hensive survey of t he literat ure , Ilackworth
(2002) a rgues t hat four novel changes di s-
tinguish the gentr ification process in th e
1990s and later: corporate de velope rs are
now the leadi ng initiators of gen tr ification,
federa l and local govern ments are more
U ~ I I and assert ive in facilitatillggeulIificn_
lion; antl-gen triflcat ion movements Ilave
beco me more marglnalised t han in earlier
decades; and, gentrification is diffusing
t o more remote neighbou rhoods. Overall,
according to Ilack worth (2002, p, 839), gen-
triflcation now is "mor e cor pora te, mure
state facilitat ed, and less resisted than eVL'f
In this pa per, I develop and apply the
concept of tourism gentrifi cation as a
heurist ic device to explain t he transt or-
rnat ion of a middle-class neigh bourhood
into a relatively affluent and exclusive
en clave marked by a proli feration of cor-
porate ent ert ainment an d tourism venues.
Scholars have note d that gent rificat ion is
a "chaotic concep t" (Lees, 2003, p. 2'19J)
t hat lacks t heoretic al and empirical spcci-
ficlrv. In a critique of t he empirical litera-
ture on gent rificat ion, \ \'yly an d I Iammel
(199B) obse rved tha t "recen t ottlclsms Ii
till' coherence l.i t heories of gemrmcauon.
. . . and meth ods for assessingit s extent and
significance have cast doub t on the utility
of f urther resear ch on the subject" (p. 303)
Five years later, in a comprehensive review
of t he literat ure on gent rificat ion, At kinson
(2003, p. 2343) noted that t he "ma p of gen-
triflcat iun a ppears to he extending steadily"
with dozens of scholar s around the world
undert aking a variety of case stu dies, com-
pari sons and stat istica l analys es of gentri-
ficati on. A major ob jective of th is pap er is
to cont ribu te to t his burgeoning literature
by exam ining t he process of tourism gen-
t rificati on Folln" ing Wyly and Hammel
(199B, p. 302), 1argue that research on tour -
ism geruriflca tkm is warr anted nut by t he
intensity or magnit ud e of gent rification,
'b ut by t he dist inct iveness of th e patt erns
inscribed by the process" (original ernpha -
sisj.Specitical ly, I maintai n that t here are at
least t wo reasons to consid er t he nature ci
tour ism gemriflcat iun
First, tourism gentrifica tion highlights
th e twin processes of globallsat lon and
localisation that define mud er n ur ban i-
sation and redevelopme nt processes, On
me one hand, tour ism is a 'globa l' Indus-
try dominated by large intern ational hotel
- - chains, t our ope ra tors, car ren tal agen-
des a nd financi al services compa nies
( Express, Visa and so on). In
addition, tour ism sustains man y occupa-
tions, advertis ing campaigns, recognisable
attractions and diverse forms of financial
On the ot her hand, tourism
is a 'local ' industr y characterised by grass-
roots cultura l product ion, spa tial fixity
of the touri sm w mmodity an d localis ed
cous urnptton of place. T_ C. Chan g and
colleagues' resea rch on Singapore and
Mont real suggests that vartous publfcagen-
cies, private firms and tourism Int erests
deploy locally specific images, th emes and
motifs to st imulate t our ist demand t o buy
and consume local products and serv ices
(Chang, 2000a, 2000b; Cha ng 1'/ aI., 1996).
These points buttress studies by Teo and
Urn (2003) and Teo an d Yeah (1996) who
find that while tourism may be a 'global'
force, it is also a loca llybased set ofactivit ies
and organisat ions involved In the produc-
tion of local distinctiveness, loca l cul tures
and differen t local htsrones that ap peal to
vtsttors' ta stes for the exot ic an d untq ue. As
Ipoint out below, the nexus of globaltsanon
and locali sati on Is appar ent In the Vieux
Carre where corpora te entertainment firms
and retail chains are plugged int o globa l
financia l circuits to leverage cepitano rede-
velop residentia l ami commer cia l space. In
t he process, ente rtainment and reta il firms
accent uat e th e place-th eme in t heir com -
modit ies an d act ivities by valo rlsing the
milieu where t hey are locat ed , using place
images and symbols th at connect t he loca le
with pleasura ble experien ces. At th e sam e
time, tile growt h of tounsm has an 'elect ive
ilffinit y' with widespread cultural and aes-
t betic changes incl udin g the emerge nce of
style as Identi ty, t he proliferat ion of adver-
t ising images and med ia, and dev elopment
of sophisticated mar keting schemes t hat
seek to create demand for gentrified hous-
ing (Ley, 1996, 2003).
Secondly, the concept of t our ism gentri-
ficat ion presents a challenge t o tr ad itional
explanations of gent rtftca tton that assume
deman d-side or pr udurtlon- slde Iacuus
dri ve the process . During the 1970s and
1980s, scho lars develop ed differing expla-
na tions of t ile etiology, proc ess an d con-
sequen ces of gentrificat ion. ( lay (1979,
pp. 57-60), Berry (1985; 1999, p. 783) and
Kasarda (1999, p. n 9) out lined a series of
deman d-side factors, including dem o-
graphic and econom ic factors, an d individ-
ua l prefere nces and consumer choice for
gent rified housing. A secon d product ion-
side pers pective emphasised the Impor -
tance of stat e policy an d regulati on, t he role
of disinv estme nt and tile actions of pow-
erf ul act ors and or ganised interests in t he
gent rificat ion proce ss. This later- approach,
focused on "capitalist roots of gent riflca-
t ion" (Smi th , 1996, p. 41) and viewed gen -
trification "as pa n a nd pa rcel of t he class
dynamics of urba n t ransformat ion associ-
ated with capit al investment and dlsln vest-
rnenr" (Betancur, 2002, p. 781). Th eexample
of tour ism gent rificatiou provides the con -
ceptua lllnk between product ion-side and
deman d-side explanat ions of gen tr lfiealion
while avoiding one-sided and reductive
concept ions. On th e prod uction side, for
example, tour ism is a bout shi fting pa tterns
of capital investme nt in the sphere of pro-
duct ton, new forms of fina ncing real esta te
developme nt and th e creation uf spa ces
of co nsumpti on. On th e dema nd side, the
soci o-physical spaces asso ciat ed wit h gen-
tr ifieati on are also t he "highlyvis ual exp res-
sion of changing pat t ern s of cons umpti on
lncit les" (Carpenter and Lees, 1995, p. 2B8l.
I' nelysingtour ism gent rificat ion shedslight
Oil th e complementary nature uf the diffe r-
ing explana tions , provides an Import ant
opport uni ty for theoretic al development
and offers a un ique pers pective on t ourism
slve conven uon centra newcfflce towers i n
the cen tral busin ess distr ict, a maj or theme
park and a World War II mu seum. The city
has also staged ma ny mega-events, includ -
i ng t he 1984 World' s Pair, periodic Super
Bowls ami (Nukiaj Sugar Bowls, t he NCAA
basket-ball tou rnament s, t he Ja7.7. and
Heri tage Festival and t he Essence Festival
According to data gathered by th e New
Orleans Convention and Visitors Bur eau ,
therewere82 mi lliomi sit orstoNewOrlean s
in 2003, ineluding 216intern at ional vis-
tt ors. Total visitor expendi tur es amounted
t o $3.8 hillion with $198.34 million in tour-
ism tax revenues.t The hotel indust ry has
grown considerably over recent decades
as ind icat ed by th e skyrocket ing number
of hotel rooms in the metr opolitan area.
with at least 250 000 res idents, t he Cens us
Bur eau found t hat t he Orleans pari sh was
one of the poorest, ranking fou rt h, wlrh 25
per cent ofi ts working pop ulation living in
poverty. Only 5 other counties in t he na tion
had a poverty rate of 25 per cent or greater
in 2000. In a study of media n hou sehold
incomes in t hos e 216 count ies an d pa r-
ishes. Orlea ns Parish again ranked a lllong
the poorest , third from t he bottom at 213,
with $27 111(New Orleans Timet -Picayune.
Over-the decades, thc crryotrccworfcene
ha s pu rsued tourism as a st rat egy to gen-
erate ur ba n re vitalisation a nd ho lster t he
tax-ba se. The va rious com ponent s of th is
tourism st rategyha ve included t ile bui ldi ng
of a domed st adium, a festival mall, a ma s-
Souroo.Censu. c>f Pq:uslIOr . nd Hou",ng 119'1 0 20001
Table t 3.1
neo s lor OrBGIlSPar ish. toosa na. 1940- 20Xl
''' 0
1950 1960 1910
199 0 2000

494 537 5/0 445 627525 503 4/ 1 557515 496 938 484674
't"/N:e p::llJulatbl 69,7 68.0 62,6 54.5 42.5
Black popula:bn 30. 1 3 1.9 3 /2 45.0 55,3 61.9 66,6
(pfcenl ag:ol
Other lpercont age) 0.' 0.' o.a 05
3.2 3 7
l/Iedanf-ousenod N'A 2 267 3 822 7 445 11 814 12 239 19 453
h'l'9 ($1
t ousero' d N'A 14 9 t 4 20 439 31 021 247 15 16 125 19453
incorns, 2000 lSI
___ fovt:flV
st at U
Fwnil 06l nurr tlef) N'A N'A N'A 20 see 29 359 326 t6 26988
f a", i18s[pel cenl age) N'A N'A N'A 21.6 21.8 27,3 23<
I"dvidJols (numbor) N'A N'A N'A t 56 776 143 793 152 042 130 896
tldvldLEls (percell tage) N'A N'A N'A 26.8 26A 31.6 21,9
IoAJuian household 3 033 9 711 70000 27 000 50600 59 600 87300
valJo ($1
"1030011 rouseroc N',' 68 88B 68 062 B" OO 105 858 91 700 8r 300
valiJe, 2000 ($)
Median rEJ1l ($) 15.38 25, 18 60.00 67.00 153.00 211 .00 3 / 8.00
rer t 2000 1$) N'A 165,66 320,86 279.17 320.08 31'\4.95 378 00
TorHlrcusillg U1ll t s 137 W5 173 M8 202&13 208524 2264 52 225573 21509 1
Oi<ner occooec . 31 552 56 09t 71297 73 517 81970 822 79 8758 9
REInter_occupied 10 14Be 109 962 118 504 117 EW3 124 465 105 956 100 662
Number vacaot
7 SS5 12 842 17 161 20017 3r338 26 840
Porcontapav uccnt 3.0 ' A 6 3 8 2
16.5 12.5
level, urban out lays decli nedfrum 12.4 per-
cent ofall federal expenditures in 1978 to 7.fI
per cent in 198-1 (Gaffikin and Warf, 199.1,
p. 73), In shor t, red uced federal monies
fiscal constrai nts i mposed on t he city by
the st at e government and the suburbam.
sat lon of people and businesses ra used a
slgni flcan t eros ion in the ability of the city
to raise revenue t o fund basic govemmem
operations and provide public services. As
a result, by t he Iate 1970s, New Orlea ns Was
experiencing a fiscal crisis, forced to slash
funding for public services while Finan-
clafly pressured to expen d greater funds to
leverage capital Inves u ue n r and develop
new st rategies for eng inee ring ur ban rede-
velopmen t.
Dur ing th e 1980s, New Orleans gained
att ention as an econo mically declining city
in th e prospero us Sunbclt region (Hir sch,
1903). The oil market crash from 1982 to
1987 dep ressed the local jobs ma r ket, ca us-
ing a dr amat ic increa se in housing forecl o-
sures and th e out-migr ation of th ousan ds
of middle -class familie s from th e city and
met ropolitan ercaucunc enduaxtcr, 19' J9).
whne t he suburban areas grew in popu-
la rton. the population of Orleans Parish
dropped from a high of 627 525 in 19ril to
an all-time low of 4S4 674 in 2000. The city
10000 t more than 34 000 residen ts during the
1960s, more tha n 35 000 dur ing the 19705,
mor e than6 0000in th e1980sa ndmorethan
10 000 from 1990 102000 tecc'tabtc I3.1). ln
recent yea r s, local public officials, scho lars
and journa lists have acknowledged the del-
etenous effects of t he racia l segrega tkm in
area schools and housi ng, the loss li man u-
facturing jobs and increasing bligh t and
rising poverty while down town redevelop-
ment an d suburban growt h have been tak-
ing place (Lauri a et aL, 1995: Whelan and
Young, 1991; Brooks and Young, 1993). As
of 199:;, mor e than half the chi ldre n living
in New Orl eans , 51.6 per cen t, were living
below the federal poverty level. In a sur -
vey of 216 counties and parishes in the US
During t he immediat e post -World War II
years, Ne w Orleans city officials an d elites
began devising st rateg ies to increase tour -
ist travel to enha nce the econ om ic pros-
pe rlty and fisca l stat us of t he cen tra l cit y.
In the 1960s, dwindling urban population
an d burgeoning subur ban developmen t
raised th e spect re of economic stagn at ion
and created t he context for city leaders to
furt her t he development of t ourism in t he
dry. From 1967 to 1977, manufacturi ng
jobs in New Orleans declined in every year
exce pt one. By 1977, onl y 11 per cent of the
labour forc e was employed in ma nufactur -
ing, a situ at ion th at placed the cit y among
t he lowest in industrial employment in t he
nati on (Smit h a ndKeller, 1900). In 1974, t he
Louisia na State legislatur e passed several
stat ut e; t hat signi ficantly red uced t he ab il-
ity ofloeal i n rhe state to raise
re venue. Thee fiscal constraints includ ed:
a reducti on in t he ability of local govern -
ments to collect income taxes, t hereby
increasing th eir relian ce on revenue from
sal es taxes; a statute t hat two -t hirds of
borh houses ofthe Slate legisla ture had to
approve any increase in a n existing local
tax; and, an expa udedexeur ptionon home-
owners' propen ytaxes Thestate legislature
increased t his homestead exempt ion, from
$50 000of assessed vahrat ion i n 1971 to $75
UUU in 1982 (Smit h and Keller, 1986, pp. 150-
154). At the local level. New Orl eans' long
tr adi tion of elected assess ors who owned
th eir assess or dat abases, and d lst rtbn non
of asses sed prope rty values, me ant th at
ass essors appralsedfew homes uver $75 000
(Knopp, 1990a; Lauria, 1981). Att he federal
and ur ban redevelopment d yna mic s.While
my empirical analysis is sp ecific to New
Orleans and thevt euxc arr e, I argue that the
analysis has broa der theoretical generality
and ap plicabi lity to understanding gen t ri-
100 I K[VIN r e x GOTHAM
In 1960, t he ci ty ha d a tota l of 4750 rooms.
This number inc reas ed to 10 686 in 1975,
19 500 in 1965, 25 &l0 In 1990 and al most
34 lXJO by 2000. Th e convent ion mar ket has
also grown hom 764 co nven t ions in 1976 to
moretha n 32f.o ronvennons !n 1999. Ot her
tourtsmdevelopruent s iUlht> incl ud e
the lega lisal ion of gaming ill Lou isiana ,
t he crea tion of t he New Orlea ns Touri sm
Mar ket ing Cor porat ion, t he est abli shm ent
of t he New Orlea ns Mult icultur al Tourism
Networ k. t he creation of t he Mayor' s Otn ce
or 'Iourism a ndATt 'l. and t he expa nsio n of
C.onve'lllion a 111.1Vi..ill.-' s Bur eau t>fftKts 10
market t he n."giUl: 1Io hne rnauonal tuur jst s
(O ty oC!\:ew Orleans, 2000).
In sum, t he erosion of bot h federal an d
state government reven ue over t he past
tew decades mea ns t ba t New Orleans is
more reliant on sa les t ax reven ue th an ever
before. This ronstrai ned fisca l environ-
ment has pressured the chy gover ument t o
lntenslfy part nershi ps \\ It h private ca pit al
to promote t he growth of a con sumption-
based t ourism inf rast ruct ure. Today, t he
locus of New Orlea ns ' mult ibillion doll nr
touris m business is in the downtown and
thevleu xf e rre, Tc. lTi...m iOi a wa yofimport-
ing sl't>nding aml t'xl'0 lting the tax burd en
to gt' nelat e tilt' to fad lila lt' urba n
red evelopment and gemrtncauoe.
The Vieux ('.fI 1U' , til Hid Frt' nch Quartt' l
of Nt'w Orlt>all s, is Jll'Ohahly Ollt' of thl:'
mo st famous hMorlcal di stricts In the u s .
Esta blis hed In 1718, Ihe area is bou nd ed
by Canal, Rampart an d Espla na de Str eet s,
and th e Mississippi River. The nei ghbour -
hood itself consists of a mi x of resident ial
and commen:ial land u.'it's in a rect angle
grid of 120 hltlt:ks a lllllg tilt'
Ri ver. Th b ,u ea fOl'llletl t he
ori lol inal French colonia l town that had
been deslAned by Pierre LBlond de la Tour ,
engi ne er-In-c hief of Louisian a , and laid
out by his assistant , Adrlen de PauAer, in
March 172 1. the early history of t he Vicux
Carre was th at of a f rench tradi ng centre
and later, aft er 1762, a Spa ni sh colonial
out post. With t he Loui siana Purchase in
1803, the US tnher tred a Ihriving rommer.
cial centre suppor tedby river trade, DUling
t he first half of t he 19th century; RlOwt h in
x ew Orleans expanded beyond the Vicux
Carre. but the neighbourhood contin ued
as accntre of culturnJ and soci al life dw ing
t he century. By the mi d 19th century, Ihl'
cit v rivalled New Yorl: iI-" a commercia l and
fin'alld al huh Tbe Clvil wa r devast ated the
city and result ed in a period I.i prot rac ted
economic decli ne that would last int o the
20th century. By the mid 20th cen tury, the
veux Carr e had acq uired 11 reputa tion as a
channir.g res kient ialneighbourhood \\ ith a
un ique histori cal bac kground and arr hhec-
rura l st yles, Tode y.thevtec x Ot n e indlkll."j
all ttl' land within the origi na l FIt'II[h and
Spanjsh d ty. It funcncns as a specia lltv
shoppi ng area, an en tert ainment complex,
a cent re for arts and crafts. a reside nt ial area
ar:d a focus of culture and hi stori ca l pres-
ervat ion of regjonal and national tmpoe -
ra nee.
Hlstortcally. t beVieluCa rre has beenthe
borne or diverse groups r.:l people. Yet over
the past few decades ttl" neighbour hood
has become mor e socially homogeneous.
Dem ogr aphic trends show t he social trans-
formation of th e VieuJl Carre frum 1940 to
2000. Accord ing to the US Ct' ns \l-" UUlt>.aU,
t hl:'Vil:' ux Carre c:olIsist s uf 38,
42 and 47. Between 1940 and 1970, t be pop-
ula li on oftheVleux Carre plummet ed from
11 053 t o 4176, a loss of more t han 50 per
cent of its population. In ,:o mparlson, the
City of New Orleans grew by ap pr oximately
26.9 per re nt from l !HO to 1960, from 494
[" ,,17 t o 627 525, whil", Irr;ing pOjllll11. tinn
over the next periods.While thl'
percentage of Whit es liVing in tht' Vieux
Carre increased from 79 per cent in 1940
t0 91.9 per ce nt in 2000; the percentage of
Blacks dr opped fto m 19.7 per ce nt to 1, 3
Vt"r ce nt. Int erestin gly, a s the White seg-
!llt' nl of popula t ion has incr eased in t he
V[l'UX Cane, it has declined for t he city of
NewOrlea ns. In 1960, whites ma de lip G26
per cen t or t he ci ty's pc pularlona nd Blacks
were 37.2 per cent. As of the 2000 census,
Blacks made up 67.3 per cent of the d tv s
popula tion an d Whi tes were 28. 1 per cent.
Teday;almost 11per cent of t he po pulation
of the Vieux Carre lives bel ow t he poverty
level, compa red with 27.9 per ce nt for the
00oCt\'I"WOr le:am..
From 1940 ( 0 2000, the percentage of
vacan t housing units in the vteux Carre
increased born 9.5 per cent to almost 38 per
cent. Accor ding to a 1992 Uni versit yof Ne w
Orlcans stu dy, the highvaca ncy rate in 1990
was co ncentrated in s peculative apa rt -
ments constructed d uring the 19fW \\"oTld'!>
Fail (Uniwrsit y uf New Ore -ens, Cullt>gt' of
Urban and PubljcAtfajrs , 1992. ch . 2, P. 10).
Theconunutog high ra te of vaca ncy in the
199CE is beca use the high rental 005t orcom-
mercia! units discourages property o....'ncr s
fran ma intairJng residential apar t ments
ebwe t he flrst floor .
In rensus t ract 38. median huu sing
value in constant 2000 doll ars Increased
more thar: seven times, from $64 -17-1 In
1950 to $-160 000 In 2000, The cos t of rent
also Increased dramaticall y ener 1950,
from $193.82 per month i n censu s tract 3l:l
to $549 per IlIolll h in l OOO.
42 ilnd 47 showsimil<l r t rend ...As Tahlt' AI
shows. median illco me. lll00iall
hous ing value and medi an rents an>hi)!:her
In t he Vleux: carre t han Orlean s Parish as
a \\hole. Over all, the cens us da ta show a
slight decline in median hous ehold income
(In cons ta nt dollars ), a loss of population ,
a dt>Grt'ase in percent age of minority l esi
dplits ,md hllge iUClt'asps med ia n houst'-
buld value and cost of ren l, from 1940 to
2OOQ-changes associated wit h p;ent rifylnp;
Today. only 116 children less t han 18
years of age live in t he vtcux Carre. This
number represent s onl y 2.7 per cen t of t he
tot a l popula t ion of t ilt' neigh bou rhood. Of
the ahn mt JO()() hUlISt'holds in th e Vieux
Cant', nwre tha n !Jl pt>1 cen t 110 not have
child ren less tha n 18 years of age. This is in
cont rast to &1.7per (Em for Or leans Paris h,
6O.Hper ce nt for t he state of Louisia na and
63.9 per cent for the entire Us.'
The demographic a nd populat ion trans-
fOimat ion o rt bevleuxCarre coincideswith
it dr amatic resruct ur t ng ofthe commercial
base of the neighbou rh ood . Vesey (1999),
fOl example, foun d tha i from 1950 to 1999,
t he number of souvenir and t -shlrt shops
Increased from 26 to 110; retail apparel
stores increased from 14 1042; music cl ubs
Increa sed from 7 to 27; hot els Increa sed
from 21 to -lCl; a nd art galler ies increased
from l Otu-lO. Inad dlrl cn.from 195Oto 1999,
t he number or grccenes decreased from 44
to 4; mi scella neo us food stor es declined
from 44 to i 9; hard .....are st ores from 31 to 1;
lau nd ry services from 24 to 2. During this
ti me. seve ral 'mom-a nd-pop' operat ions
t ha t had been sia hll" fixtures in the neigh.
bourbood fOI decades closed Includ ing .
Lajcasa I Iardware. Reu ter's Feed and Seed
and PuW- Ia's grocervs tore. rmeresun gly.uie
number of warehouses, industrial ser vices ,
freight distr ibu tion and menufact uring
services plummet ed from 131 t o 2. Today,
souvenir shops are the most preva lent retail
ill lhe <In'' .<I. Over"dl. h OIll 1950 10
1999, It'sJden tlal-or iell tw busilll' \OSt'S, \O uch
as barbers, depart.ment st ores, shoe shops,
sma ll Hroce ries and laundry se rvices,
dec reased by more th an 15 per cent , while
t ourist -oriented business. such as t shirt
!>hops, po.'lter shops , daiquiri sho ps. and
cOlllll wrda l lourism infor ma tion
expalilll' lilly 3l pel' cent.
The !lUBe Increase in median house-
hold val ue an d median rent in the Vleux
Carre during th e 19!:Kl s suggests that the
nei ghbou rhood ma y be experiencing a
ne w IOUIlU of intensified. gentrificat ion, or
what Lees (2003) call s 'super-gentriflca -
l ion'- for exam ple, t he movement of even
wealt hier resident s into a previously gen-
t rified neigh bourhood. While t he da ta in
Table AI sh ow upward tre nd s in median
household income, median household
value a nd median rent , they do not imp ly
t ha t gentri fica tion is a c resclve pr oc ess nor
tha t it h as a sta ble out come or specifi c e nd -
point . Quantitati ve da ta do no t provide an
explanat ion for t hcundcrlyi ngcauses oft he
pop ulat ion, dem ograph ic and commercial
transformation of th e neigh bour ho od. As
I show bel ow, the p romoti on of to ur ism
has been a major stra tegy for encouraging
comm ercial development, a ttr acting high-
income resident s and bolsteringgentr ifica-
tion in rhevt eux Carre.
In t he past , reinves tment i n thevleu xCarre
was associa ted wit h t he activ ities of indi-
vidual genmners, small commercia l firms
(art galleries, museums and so on) an d
small property developers (Knopp, 1990a,
1990b; Lauria, 19MJ. Befor e t he 19BOs, fed-
erally insur ed and regul ated savings an d
loam and smal l hanks suppliedmuch ofthe
cap ital for comme rcial and resident ial con-
st ru ction andlnvestment.Asa result, onlya
limited amount of capital funds were ava il-
able for new construction an d renovati on.
In contra st. t he 19805 and 1990s have seen
t he development of national and global
ma rkets fo r mongage-ba cked sec urt ne s
(MRS) an d commercial-backed secur i ties
(C'\'IBS) that ha ve expanded the investo r-
base to finance resident ial and commercial
real estat e, and ha ve allowed more fund s to
flow int o t he mortgage market and com-
mercial real estat e sect or from broa der
capi tal ma rkets. Securir isarion implies t he
transformati on of ill iquid financi al asset s
Into liqu id capit al market secur ities an d
bas been t he cr itical financial lllllOVatiOti
t ha t has en a bled privat e a nd public actor,
to finance local property developme nt in
global markets (Logan, 1993; sessen. 2001
ital t hro ugh socuri tisation received added
impe tus in the 1990s with t he growth of real
estatetnves t ment t rus ts (Hlil 'Is}, sharehokl-
ing compani es that in vestl n different types
of rea l est ate Including shopping cent res,
office buildings, apar tments and hotels.
While urba n redevelopmen t inv olves many
small players using local fina nce mec ha-
nisms, they are increasin gly operat ing in
a lar ger context of global
domina ted bylarge in vestor s, a trend docu-
men ted byweber (2002), Dymski (1999)and
Smi th (2002), ln t his gtobattstng context of
loca l propertydevelopment , it is the supple
and demand for housing an d commercia]
development fu nds, rat her t han the supply
<Ind dema nd itself that determine the value
of local propert ies . In sho rt, t he growth of
securlt isatlon a nd t he developm ent of new
sour ces of financing have mad e it possible
for a substantial porti on of the commercial
real estat e ind ustr y to invest in entertain-
ment, tourism an d leisure-based consump-
tion acti vities (Ha nniga n, 1998; Nevarez,
2002; Cha tterton and Holla nds, 2003;
and l lammel, 2004, pp. 8, 35).
This long-run and complex restrucrur-
ingoft he real est ate ind ustry con nects wi th
instit ut iona l changes on t he local level to
encoura ge com me rc ia l development and
gen trificat ion in th e Vieux Calle. Three
developments have been importa nt . First
in the 1970s, the d ty government rool gan-
l sed the French Market Corporati on, one of
t he oldest pub lic mark ets in the nation, as
a de facto privat e corpora tion to promote
commerce and entertainment in t he View:
Car re. The rati onalisation of the leasing
st ruct ure an d tenant mix. the construction
of several pa rking lots a nd th e renova t fon
of buildings focused on res ta uran ts and
sho ps frequent ed by tourists (Reeves, 2000.

: h h"pp. 40-4 3). At this point in t he mark et's
as the we bsite of the Citv of New
pdeans government ment ions,
';,Zh. ment and tourism became primary aspec ts
mar ket life (www, frenc hma rket .orgl
While t he French Mar ket
been a pnb lto-cpriva te entit y since the
t,", 193G.s, pr ivat isa t lun in t he 1970s and lat er
','.attempted to reconstit ut e the organisation
as a for-profi t organisation un der t he la bel
of ent repreneuria l govern ment . Secon dly,
the mid to late 1970s SJ W th e buil ding of
Canal Place, a high-r ise mixed-use retail
development on the upriver side of the
vteux Carre The pl anni ngan d construct ion
of Canal Place reflected trends towards prt -

sector to promote economic compet itive-
ness, attract investment capital and creat e
afuvourable 'busin ess clima te' (Brooks an d
Young , 1993; Lauri a et ai, 1995). Thirdly,
in 1992, city pla nners rezoned th e first t WI)
blocks of Decatur Street as a Vieu x Carre
Bmen atnme nt District, a muve me ant to
spur redevelopment of several vacant com-
mercial propert ies and creat e an anchor of
commercial revitalisati on tha t could have
spillover effects into sur rou nd ing ar eas,
Large firms such as t he House of Blues,
Co yote Ugly Ilar, Planet I Iollywood, Jimmy
Buffet's Margaritaville Cafe, Audubon
Institut e's Aquar ium fo r t he Americas and
Harrah 's Casino have all opene d since th e
early 19909.
The creation of new real estat e f lnanc -
ing mechanisms t hrough secur itisa tion
combined wit h local sta te acrton to enco ur-
age tour ism have together pmmured the
growth ofcha in-like enterta inment ven ues
in t he Vieux Carre. Bourbon Street be ga n
to experience a new wave of invest me nt
with the openi ng of the Chat eau s on csta
Hotel in 1995, Larry Flynt 's Hustl er Club
(225Bourbon) in 1996. Hedfish Grill in 1997
and the Storyville Dist rict Iazz Club in l 999.
In 1998, Don Kleinha ns, a national adult
entert ainmen t investor, opened Utopia,
a music and dance d ub at 227 Bou rbon,
an d Opul ence, a night club a few door s
away. Bour bon Stree t has long been one of
rcew Orleans' most va luable commercial
real esta te st rips (Marks Lewis t erre and
Associat es, 1977). Nevert heless, space on
th e st ree t has beco me mor e desira ble as
the tourism industr y has expanded since
the 1980s. Th e consrru ctlon of upscale
hotels along Canal St reet and i n t he cent ral
business district has increased foot traf-
fie wi thin th e Vieux Carre and encouraged
invest or s to renovate prope rt ies in t he first
few bl ocks of Canal and t urn old ba rs on
Bourbon Street into upscale t hemed music
d ubs. As a result, rents on the street have
risen by at least 50 per cent since the mid
1990s and in some cases have more t han
doubl ed. As of 2002, real estat e agents were
sellingspa ce on the stree t for SI75-S250per
square foot.
Real estate agents admi t to wa ging bid-
di ng wa rs with each other to acce lerat e
property tur nover an d some meet with
fami lies who have owned propert y for gen-
erati ons to sec if t hey wou ld be in terested
in selling. If so, they go an d find nat ional
investors wbo wa nt to invest (Xell' Orleans
Times-s-Picayune, 2002). Outside investors
and en ter tahirnent firms ar e at tra cted to
the Vieux Carre because of many diverse
kind s of tourist sthat visit t he a rea. Touris m
officials note t hat tou rists who come to th e
Vicux Car re arc of varying age levels, have
high levels of affluence and exhibit differ-
ent t ypes of lifestyle. The chance to gain
int ernarlonal visibility through the ann ual
Mardi Gras celebra tion, the ability to do
business 7 nights a week and sell drin ks
21 hour s a day, an d t he constant flow of
tour ists allow businesses to achieve quick
profi ts. As large entert ainment firms have
become th e mainstay of capital invest-
ment in the area, t hey ha ve broken down
the barri ers between resident ial an d COIll-
me rcial use on particular str eets-a tr end
a lso observed by Cha tt erton and Iiolla nd s
(2002)In t helr analysis of nfgh t-t tme urban
ptavscap es In t he UK. where t here used to
be a buffer be tween t he retail comme rcia l
zon e of Cana l St reet and the entertainment
zone of Bourbon St reet, rbese t wo streets
are nowfust"ll tugt't bt' r ill t heir use ufenu- r-
tairunen t anti tourbmto aurae t consumer s.
What is Important Is th at the enmeshment
of entertainment and tourism wit h differ-
ent land uses and spaces elides the dist inc-
t ion betwee n consumption-bused activities
an d ot her socia l act ivities. opening new
contexts and uppor tunlries fut powerful
actors to ma rket the v teux Can e fur pro fit
and economrc gatn. local and na rkmal
busi ne sses produce and se ll View: Gras
souvenirs a nd parapherna lia, mult ina -
tional companies me ViCtL'X Can e and New
Orleans imagery and th emes to sell their
products, and, pllblk - [Iin tt> organisa-
lions (tour icn lnark t"l ingcorponl lkms and
ta'>kforces) promoteVit.>uxCarre to suppon
inwa rd investment and economic growth.
In t he lat ter eas e, public an d pri vate sectors
overlap a nd place marketers and tour ism
boos ters increasingl y emphasise 'synergis-
t ic' oppor tunities for creat ing comme rcial
value Hla nnlga n, 1998).
ShalOnZu kln (1991) and Da\'idLey(2003,
p. 2538) sU&8es l lha l "learning t he field uf
gent rification Is facllhated bya cadr e ofcul-
tural int ermediaries in real es t at e, travel
cui sine, the art s" who crea te a nd reproduce
knowledge, t ransmit ima ges and dissemi-
na te Inforrniulon a b:mt '{"ool' a nd 'trend y'
neigbhu lII h(Kltls. Cuhll ra l ill tt'l lIIel.liar
ies do nOl exbl in a cultural or l'(;olLumic
vacuum, but operat e Ihrough OfJ;:ani!>ed
networks involviOJ: public relat ions firms,
adverti sing an d market ing corporat ions,
festival promot ers and city agencies. Thus,
like t he (',ound l of New
Fn'n rh Quar ter Ft>Mival... Inc., t he
NewOrleansMelrojluliIall COllvt' lltiull and
Vlslt urs Bure-a u, the New Or\e'<! ns Tour Ism
Marketln!; Cor pora tion , the New Orleans
Multicultural Tourism Network and t he
Mayors Offlce on ,, ' TIand 'Io url sm
ad vertisemen ts, attractive broch ure and
informat ion packages, provide l'undint:
and render services to sti mulate con sum"r
demand to t ravel to or uvc in t he Vi f'Ul
Carre. Foc exam ple, touri sm we bs it es, ver
t jral ba n ne rs and hillb lRHb t ha i adver.
rise v teux Carre also promule resla urants,
shops and hot els. SUl"t' ISin the v jeux Cane
are laden wl th hist or ical allusion s to a tra-
dtttcc at a nd nostal gic view of t he cit y as a
friendly end coherent place, lined wi th red-
bri ck town houses, cast -iron galleries over
pu blic sidewalks ar.d enchant ing back-
yard ga rdens and oJ a \'e 'l uaTlt"I!>. OIht'f
streets are ornamented whh neo n s\!o .
and punctuated by antiq ue lamP-P OSISand
cajun and zydeco music. These symbols
and motifs are selecti vel yincorpomted into
t ourist gu ides an d promot iona l material,
to represent cert ain visua l Images of tbe
ct rv One aim rithe!ot" adw l ti'it'lIlt"lltli is til
conjure up emot ional ly salilifying t hemes
of pas t t imes, t o promote an Image of nos-
talgia to a ttract tourists. Another aim is to
rema ke res iden tial space int o commercial
space by interl ocking visual artmct jons
wit h profit-making con..ump tion-baeed
opport un ities as eating, drink ing and
sh opping, therebyexpa ud lu g 11tt' rl"llt"l1uin;'
of consumpnon.
Images and symbols of roman ce, nos-
talgta, public sexuality, music,dan cingand
shoppi ng have a tt racted tou rists 10
Ihe Vieux Carre. Before:Ibe tbe
of adYerrising, ma rkt>t ing and ot hpJ pm-
mot ional 10 ilKt t'ase IU1l1is1l1wa-s mi
hoc, un coordin al ed and lacked suph istica-
t ion com pared with t he present. Not only
was t he socioeconomic contex t different
from that of t oday, but a150 the intensity
and scale of advertising an d t he organise.
tinn of proollct inn were vastly
different. Today, Jlllhli c and plivate grnllps
suc h as t he i'lewOrlt""<l ns l i Hlrlsllll\-lal J,;,t"tillg
Cor pora tion, th e NewOrleamMult!cult ural
Tour ism Network:, the I\-Iayor's Office of
rou rtsm a nd Ans and t he Convention and
Visitor's Bureau 'simulate ' the Vjcux Carre
using sophist ica ted advertisingt echniques
aimed at promoting desire and fantasy,
tilt and de:o; ign di rected to Iht' prod uct ion
of des irable lour ist exper iences and o the r
highlY refined techniques of Image pro -
ducti on and distri bulion. In the process,
mutism interests and advertisi ng agenci es
loca l traditions. fa mous build-
fogs a nd lan dmarks and other bertt ege
sigh ts t ot he poln t rha t t hey become' ' hyper-
It'2I', with the producti on urillusion5' uver-
ridir: g desc ri ptions of 'real ity' (Ba udrlllard.
1983). The implication is t hai lour ism
in&tilUlions are not nece ssaril y engaged in
promot ing a nd adverti sing wha t t he cit y
ha s to offer , They are involved in ada pt -
ing. resha ping an d ma nipulat ing
uf lht' place to he desi rable til til e ta l};el ed
consume r. Advenising the vlecx Carre as
a site of famous architect ure, romance,
cultural heritage, music and ot her ent er -
tamment activit ies affect s the prod uct ion
and consumpt ion of ur ban space for tour -
ism. The same symbols. moti fs and th emes
Ihal relate 10 tou rist adver t lslug all' equall y
applicable to peo ple tmeres ted in purchas-
tnga gent rtned ljfest yle,
The growth of tourism in the veux
Carre has r: 0I. been without negative con.
sequences a nd neighbourhood coalitions
ha ve opposed t be tr an sformation of the
neighbourhood in to an emertainment
i1esIJllil IIOI L The eJlll y uf I,u ge IlIUltlll<1'
tiona! hutd fin us into the \' ieux Carre---foI
e'Qffiple, has spa rked much local unr est,
leadi ng several neil;:hbou rh ood groups 10
lalUlch la\\'suits aimed at ha lt ing cons t rue
tion. 'lhe lur e of tourist prof its, 10\'1labour
costs an d an t i-union :>ent imen t have long
att rart etl large hot els t o New Orleami, On
Ihe ot her han d, loca l ami
neighbourhood grou ps ha ve JonH fought
t he intrusion of large hotels In Ihe Vleux
Carro, In 1969, th e a t l' Council imposcd
a mo rat orium on new hOlel building t o
protoct the histori ca l district. 'l he Cit y
Council enacted the mora tori um into law
in a comprehen sive zoning ordinance in
1976, a1011 Kwith heighu estr ict ions. In1 982,
t he CitvCounci l revised th e morat orium to
allow new hotels on Cana l Street an d in t he
Vieux Can e but in exist ing buildings only.
Over t he past few years, th e City Coun cil
has issued permi ts that allow hotel firms
to exceed the height resnlcu o n of 70 fret
a nd pn rrhase buildings next
( 0 hute ls and convert them into lodging
Despite veheme nt opposmon from busi-
ness own ers and residents , in August 2004 ,

voted 6-1to grant a sin gle except ion to the
as-year-ol d prohibit ion agains t new Of
t'xp,m rled in l he Vit>ux Carre (Fggler,
2001). Local residents anti lawyers repre-
sen t lng the French Quaner Ctu zens for t he
Preservation of Resident ial Quali ty and t he
Vieux Carre Prope rty Owners, Resid en ts,
an d Associates YCI'Oll:\ argue th at these
rece nt d..velop men ts ..... senrially nullify
rhe ortgtnal morarori nm, encourage unre-
str lct ed tlt-vt'loJlllwnl t ha t is nut open 10
public commen t and give hotel deve lop-
ers unbridled freedom 10 build bet els and
ignore t he histori cal int egrity of the neigh-
bourhood (01)' Business. 23 Octobe r 2000,
11 Dccem bcr zxxn.
In this paper, I have exa mined the ca se of
touri sm genl rificalion in I\ew Orleans'
Vicux Carre. To datc, most research on
gen trifica t ion ha s focused on issues of 5pa-
tia l cHffpl t"nr iation, class tJa mformation of
urhan lIt'ighhourlj ootis a nd t he
llIell t uf fUl mer by an incoming
Rent ry, By con tra st, tour ism p;entrlfication
Is commercial as well as resident ia l an d
reflects Ill:\\' inst itut ional connec tions
betw<- 'Cn t he 10000J inslitu tions, the real
estat e ind ust ry and th e glohal economy,
Thus, t he pheno menon of tour ism gen .
t rificatio n presents a challenge 10 tra di-
t iona l explana tions of gentrificat ion tha t
assume demand- ..ide OJ product ion ...ide
Farmrs dri ve t he process Gt"nlrifk a lion is
not au ou tcome of grou p preferences nor
a renecucn of market laws of supply and
demand. One parti cular myth Is the clai m
that consume r desires ar e torcesto whi ch
capital merely reacts. Cons umer taste for
gent rified spaces is. inst ead, created a nd
marketed , a nti depends 111\ t he altema-
rives oITl"It.'(1 by powerful capl rallsts who
are primarily Int eres ted in producing the
buil t environment from whi ch t hey can
extract t he highest profi t. As I have shown,
the t ransformat ion of the Vk.'UJ(Carre into
an ent ert ainment desti nati on enhan ces
the ...ignifica nce of consumption- oriented
art ivhles ill resldenrlal space aml encour-
ages gen ut ncauon. 011 t ill' one bau d,
entertainment an d tourism have brough t a
more up scale and affluent populat ion t othe
neighbour hood, have increased prope rty
values for hom e-own ers. and have a tt rarted
nat ional reta il cha ins. On t he ot her hand.
t'1llt"l tai ulllt"nt and tour ism ha vepno -d Ollt
wut klng-class residents and ha ve erod ed
t he bo hemian cha racter:of t he VieuxCarre.
Ftnaltv. the gro....'th ofcorpora te tou rism and
the increasing pe netration of globa l ent er -
tainment firms bespeak a shift in propert y
ownership away from many sma ll grou ps
and individuals towards a mot e tra nsna
IhlllaJ cOIpOIate in flul:' lIll:' III Ih t" Vlt"ll :<
Carr e_ l 11e pt et emious anti witl dy pro-
mulRared claim that the 'cread ve class' an d
'cult ural int ermed iarics' drl\'e gent rifica -
ti on elides t he complex and multi dimen-
siona lc1fcet s ofgloba l-Jcvel socioeconom ic
t ran sformati ons and the pov,cr ful role
cor pnr<'lte capital plays in t he orgl'lni'\i\linn
<l ull lle\"eloplllf:' llt uf gentrified
Fur I\ ew a nll uthet US cit ies,
malor socioeconomic changes overthe past
fewdl'Cades ha ve creatt-'da newcompctitive
cm'ironment in which citics fire increasingl y
forced redevelop new t ools and subsidies to
attract new investment and, more impor-
tant . market rbcmsctvcs as tourist dest ina-
t ions. In this new cont ext. more residential
and commercial spaces become cent re>of
spectacle and tOUriSI cnneumprion rather
than placesof mateilal prod uction, a derel_
opment noted by Lloyd and Clar k {20(1) in
their discussion ohhe"dty as an entertJin_
mcnt machtre", r hus, in many urban neigh,
bourhoods there has bee n a proliferation or
va ried but similarly themed
includ ing historica l dist ricts, cul tura l dis-
t nct s, redevelo pment :l lJl l e'S ant i en tert ai n-
ment destinat ions (Bures , 2001; Gomli ener,
1997, 2000; Reich l, 1997. 1999; Zukin, 1997).
What is import ant is that local or even
na tional real esta te mark ets cannot gen.
crate the huge amounts of capital needed
to fina nce urban revirahsatinn drives and
fcnns of tou rlsm de velopment The growth
of securtusanon ill till' 1980s and 1990s and
the develo pme nt cI new sour ces of real
estat e financing have drawn large insti-
tutional invest ors into fina ncing urban
entertainment destina tions lind priva te
residenr jal developmen t. A5 a result. gen-
trification and rourlam are la rgely drfven by
mega-sized fina ncial firms and entertain-
mem corporauons who ha ve f ormed Ill""
inst itutional connections with tradi tional
city boosters [chambers or commerce. cit}'
governmen ts, service indust ries ) to market
cities and the ir neighbo urhood s. As local
e1i1es lIIurl sm a.'I a strategy IIft'Conomk:
I1"vitali'lat ion, tour h m st"Ivice'land facilitle,
are incOIpOIa tet.linto rOOe\elopmen tZOl Je!>
and gentrifying areas. In this ne w urban
landscape,gent rifICa tion and tourismamal-
gamate with ot her consu mpti on-oriented
activit ies such as sboppi ng, rest aurants,
cultura l facilities and ent ertainment ven-
ues. That blurring of t' nt f'rtaimnf'nt, oom-
me rcial act ivit ya llt! rt'Sitll"lilial spat:e leads
to an alterl'tl reL.tiunship between culture
and economics in the product ion and con-
sumption of ur ban spacc.
Finally, t his pape r ls an auemptrnwhlen
tourism ana lysis a nd move the stu dy of
touri sm beyo nd a narrow concern wit h
OrM'S, impac ts and forms. It is also an
atlf>mpt to understand t he broader social
fon-r"S t hat affect gentrification and to
shed light on crit ical issues such as urba n
resullcturing and sccjo-culrural cha nge
in dues. Thus. ecccrdtng 10 Smi th an d
DeFilIppis (1999, P. 65 I) , "t he fromler of
genuificatl on is more than ever co-ordi -
nated wit h t he front iers of globa l capital
ewesmenr" making the newest \ \1l \'C of
gent rificat ion in cit ies anne pa n of a larger
sparlal rest ruct uring of u rban a rea..
ated with the na nsrcnna uous of pr od uc-
uon, social repr oduct ion and Ilnance",
Fcllowlng t his line of th inking, 1 believe
that touri sm anal ysis can shed light on
the causes and consequen ces of gent rifi-
ca rton better th an existing accou nt s that
1111 Identif ying t he populatinn an d
dt'llmgra ph ic var iable, for
resident ial and commercial change ill en-
res, Ilackworth (2002) has noted t hat direct
displacement no longe r seems to have as
much meaning in t he context ot ncw forms
of state action. corporate -Jed gentri fica -
tim and la rger poli ncal -ecr momi c shif ts
Tourism is about cons umpnon-led growt h
and t he Increasi ng importance of t he pro-
duc tkm c:i cultural goods, heri tage Images
and other simulacra. Also, TOurism devei -
opment is a dynami c process involving
::.oocial intel e.ct ion5, and conllicl5
that are global in scale an d highl y com-
plex in ch.u acter. As cont f'mporary cil ip.s
illo t"a s in gl y nu n 10 lUurb m a'S a lIlt'a ns of
economic dc\ elopment, and as gt'll trifk a.
tlon expands in many citi es, we need more
critical account s of th e nexus of touri sm
:md gent rificat ion. Indeed, tour ism stud ics
a m cunt ri butc much to on- going debat cs
of urba n ethnic t ransfor ma t ion, glnha liM-
lillll llll d gt' nt rifica tilln. Tht" ill \'t' sti ga tinn
uf tlll' VieuxCarre as a
t akes up t hls challenge of broa den ingtou r
Ism analyses and in dulngso cuntr tbu tes to
a mo re critica l urban sociology of cemnn-
ca tion.
In lhI> p,..t rlA-a t1f a t so. Ic. lrhm h:u
AS me dOIl:l 'o. n( le ctor ....'min t he ro nte rpo-
rary eco nomy in (hO! us and around th e
" 011<1 Ao:ord illl io U"TotIrN:l tlld'NIil's. 101Ir-
iIm 'Stlf port n[lal;Y15Oper
and 19'Jb,rrom 116 bil:lt oo to
m bi lliot l OlUICll wW:lil .s.doc. govl l_ Des pi te
the recent eco r.omll; $;o", d o" ll ar.d September
I I, IOlIr"II'. ;" .. 160(1Ion :lrm re peese m-
ing II more th an S <X: nl of the o. tion' s GDP
and . 1 1111UIllOpeople. r ecnen
;" a:""l it m<t jo l "" IKHl prod llcing a' 14
biUion po6iljvC bakloce of Hade i n 2000 (US
House of 200l : for overvipw"
see Hoffman et ul. 2003: Fa ins(cm and ]ud<1
1999) .
2. 1 ('JllIII"y hm h lll hn.ory .oml secondar y ,Ial a U>
develop my tllllumc nli\. The seco ndary data
come from plan nin g repor ts
issued by the Sew Orleans
Ccnvenuo n an dVil;jlors BLl reau (1"UMC\' R) and
lhe ""1' w Orl<" , ,, Pl<olln jllg Commb ,i oll .
. n-.onli: oth er tlli:cncks. l'\Jnhc rmore. 1consulted
the :\ e...' Orlcam fI_, _/'Jal yune newspa per
.011\1. 1Indea. 1S72- prncol. [or to
n ewspaper anicl.... c n tlllC Vicax: Carr e, murin e
In ""PW OrlPan. a n<lor Jw-rlllfor r a lb ll On rh e
local rcal CSltltci Dduslrl . od the roOc ofbusin cu
t li 'e< LD redfnlopD'.en l erfotllio. I sise perfollnoo
a l.exU-:\"u i- .e arch of the r"...,....Pil;aj-UIIf'
nl:'\'UpliX't for inf orma ,j(ln On the \'icu:a: Can e
tn th l' 1990. Th.. d ala come fror 7
yu n of po.nid plln l ObM: r Ulicn (as a re. iden t
of :-ie...- Ollcans) andtn-dc'pth'd
Illte:rvic,,!, .. ith361tJ:41 ...-bJ h.t.e Ildd
Il rsl -hand knowled,;c aDd Cltpericncewith (r. e
rKforJ1lallon of (he \' Ieu)!OIrre
I gu !Jered lhese Ime:rviel'u (hroog h a soowbal :
w n: p;e, To proten t oo eoa tidemia:lty of i mer
"'S. I II:, for lLon -pu blic pe l-
5cn s GII()(ed in lbepaper .
3. Figu res romefrom ,he;;.;e....
ComcHliul1 Vis' lors Dut e<lu (:-;' OM0 , Di
(w \\"w. ncworl ean scv b,coml ncw_sitc ll'i sltot I
TPSf'"" Jr.hf"f"\<.cfln l.
SOllrce: US Ccns, n llul'CElu, CCnsllS 2000 Fult
Coum CbaraclcrisllCli (SH) COII'.pllauo n by lhe
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Unive.., ity Pie, ,,
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t>l!. W'
VVho Are Gentrifiers and Why do
They Engage in Gentrification?
Image; of an d narratives abo ut gent rlfk-rs are proli fic. The y can he found in newspaper
profiles, such as a NewYork Times artid e about middle-aged, white restaur ate urs openi ng
aFrench bistro in Brooklyn's Ditmas Par k (McNei120OS).Another article feat ures a thirt y-
something White woman -a screenwr iter who sings in a band-who purchase d a house
in Los Angeles' Eagle Rock and hopes that aWhole Foods will move to her block (Timberg
Newspapers are not the onl y source of images and narrati ves about gcntr ificrs. An
image dominant in media represent ati ons ofgentrifi cati on is that of the gay male gentn-
fler, who seeks to restore or beaut ify prop ert y (Brow n-Saracino 2009). For instance, in the
midst of sat irical commen tar y about gaymarr iage, Stephen Colbert, the host of the popu-
larComedy Central program The Colbert Report ,warned that "the samesex chickens haw
come home to gentrify their roost " (Sf 16/ 09) . likewise, in 2005 the NBCsitcom IVUland
Graceincluded an episode inwhich awh ite,gayatto rneypurchases aweekend home in an
as-yet-ungcnt rified-village.Local s celebrate the prospect, believingtha t his presence will
ensure property value increases,
These images are no t limit ed to television comedi es; they reflect and inform experi-
ences of gentrification (Brown-Saracino 2009). Fur instance, whe n I was studying a gen-
lIifyillg smal l town in Mai ne, a grou p of longtime residents assu red me tha t desp ite thei r
discomfort with homosexuality the y welcomed gay gent riflers. Referencing one gay cou-
ple's elaborate Christmas decoration s, th ey explai ned that they believed that suc h men
would ensure the town's aesth etic appea l by restoring farmh ouses and artfully lnndacap.
Embedded in such represents nons and an ecdores erea number of assu mp tions wort hy
oronr at ten tion. Most obviously,theypaint a por trait of the gentrifier as a p ~ r s o l l who pos-
sesses certa in demogra phic traits.In t he first two cases, the gen trifier is depicted as white
and creative; as a chef, writer, mu sician, or some combinat ion of the above. In the next
two cases, the gentrifler is pr esumed to be gay, ma le, white, hlghlv educated, and affluent.
In other instan ces alternate demo graphic trai ts are emp hasiz ed. For instance, I l BO's Sex
and the Gityportrays a white, heterosexual couple-an attorney and a pub owner-who,
after the birth of t heir son, move from Manhatt an to Brooklyn and purchase a fixer-upper.
Thus, our colj- cnv etmagln att on contains more than nne image of the gentr ttter, hut most
sur h images emphasize genutflers' affluence, edu cation, and white privilege. Whe n a
friend phot ograp hed a London billb oard that read "Gen t rify'Thisll'" It was easvenougb to
imagine the artist's int ended audi ence, and for most viewers Steph en Colber t's joke did
not requ ire explanat ion,
Second, such images presume t hat gentr ifiers sha re a set of cult ural orientat ions and
motivati ons for enga ging in gennttlcauon. Note that t hree of t he above exampl es empha_
sire gentrtfers' int erest in lns rouc preserva tiouor home restorat ion, attent ion to property
aesth et ics, and deslre to save or uplift their newpla ce of residence. Must also payhomage
to their cul tural credentials, such as membership in a band, culina ry skills, or sophlen.
care d desig n t astes. These images suggest th at gentri fiers have t he ability t o recognize the
pot ential of down trodden places an d prop erti es and t o direct t heir t ransformation.
According to t he gentrifica t ion literature, the above images are not altoget her inanu.
rate. In fact, some gentrfftcanon schol arship. especi ally work pu blished in the late 1970s
and 1980s (e.g.. Gale 1979), offers descrtpt tons of gentrtt fers t hat are not wildly di vergent
from th ese med ia repr esenta tions (with th e one impor tan t except ion that most schol ars
concur that gaymen compose onlya mi nority of gentnfiersJ,Mos t sch olars agree that gen-
tri flers tend to be highly educa ted an d residentially mobile, that many are white, and that
an ideological justi fication tends t o accompany th eir mo vemen t into previously econom-
icall y depressed cent ral city neighbor hoods te.g.,Smi t h 1986, Zukin 19B7, Spain 1993).
Urban a nd env ironmental planningscholar Dap hn e Spain ter ms th is genrrifiers'
and salvat ion ideology" (1993); ge ntrtflers' bel ief t hat t hey ra n move into a downmx lden
neighborhood an d reinvent or restore it.
However, as with other facets of gentrificat ion, there is deba te about preciselywho gen-
tri fiers are, as well as about wh yt hey engage in gentr ificati on an d about th e character of
t heir relationship to gent rifying places and the longtime residents who reside t here, For
inst an ce, is a white, t wenty-som eth ingunderg raduate who supports himselfwith student
loans and a par t-time job a "gentnt ter" ifh e rents an apa rtment in a neighborhood whose
residents are pr edo mi nately Lat ino and wor king dass? Is he a "gent rifier" if he ts
self-consclou s about his influence on Latino ne ighbors and avoids pauoutztngue w busl-
nesses th at see att ract other young, whi te "hipster s' Tw hat of a mid dle -aged software
developer who pur chases a rnuln- million dollar home in a neighborhood t hat has been
steadily gen u ifying for a decade and t hat is home to few of t he poor and working class
individuals who onc e lived t here (sec Lccs 2003l?
Most gent rification scholars devote at least some attention t o such quest ions, for gentri-
fiers are qui te central tothe gen trificat ion process.While, as we have seen, scholars disagree
a bout whe rher genutners ti,i veur fl:">ptJr/(l wcomli lhuls 1Iial enaulegeurr trtcatton, with tilt:'
except ion of t hose wl regard gentriflcat lon as driven by commerce ()( corporauons te.g..
Gotham 2005), nearly all agree that gent rfflers are an essential component of gentrifica-
tion For thi s reason a variety of scholars examine t he set of questions this sect ion explores
Namely, who are these peop le [or we. as for some readers th e case may be)?Why do they
participat e in gentrificat ion? What is their relationship to their new place of residence?'
Embedded in th ese ques t ions is a set ofconcerns about th e sign ilicance and consequences
ofdemographic and ideological differences among genrrifl ers, as wellas a desire, on the part
of most scholars, to offer a precise definition of the gent nfl er.The paragraphs belowout line
each ofthe se qu esti ons, as well as t he concerns t hat underline them, and provide a prelimi-
nary roadma p of howth is sectio n's readings appr oach and answer t he m.
Whoaregentrifiers? This questi on has t hree elements. First, it seeks t o map the demo-
graphic cha racteristics of th ose whom scho lars identi fy as gcnmttcrs. Seco nd, it asks how
weshould define the "gentr ifier." Thi rd, it calls us t o con slder how gent rtrlers' traits shape
.' their relatiunship to their pla ce of restdence, as well as to gen trification.
Ear lv scholar ship emphasized hcwgent rtflers' demographic traits facili tated th eir par-
ticipation in gentnflcation, which, in t he case of home buyers, oft en entailed willingne ss
to accept financial risk, an abilit y t o invest ti me and labor in propert y renovation, and
flexihilityto reside in pla ces wher e local amenities a nd servi ces, such as public scho ols,
are not geared t o t he middle class (Rose 1934, Berry 1905, Smith 1986, Zukin 1937, Spain
1993). As a resul t, t he prnt otypk-al genu ffl er is not only tmag fned to he white and highly
educa t ed, but also to work in the central city and to be a part of a childless, dual-Income
CQuple (Hose 1984: 62)_
However, manyo fthe readings in th is sect ion challenge a monolithic vtewonhegenm-
fier as a whit e professional who is affluent and childless. While man y gentrifiers fit this bill
and such indi viduals ma y even compose the bulkofgentr ifiers, t he readings call us to rec-
ognize t he partic ipat ion of ot her actors, suc h a s African-American professionals (Taylor
2002),,<;ingle mo t hels (Rose 19B4), an d hohem ia n artists (Lloyd 2005).
what is th e importance a nd of acknowledging t he variety of actors who
engage in gent rification? Many of th ose who push for acknowledgement of gent rlflers'
diversity do so, in pan, because t heywish 10encourage consider ation of how a gemrtne r's
personal tr aits shape his or her relations hip t o gentrification. Speci fically, they debate
abou t the pr ecise rol e different types of gen t rifiers play in th e gentrificat ion process (see
Caulfield 1994, But ler & Robson 2004) and seck to understa nd th e extent t o which gen t ri-
fiers arc "trap ped" by t heir demographic t raits. At least implicit ly, t hey seek to determi ne
the extent 10 which gentrttlers ' int enti ons mat ter. For instance, are art ists, who ale often
displaced Irumt heir rentals as gentrification progresses (Lloyd 2005), perp etr ators or vic-
tims of gentrificat ion? Does t heir economic insecurity encour age empathy for longtime
residents (ibid.)?
Thus, scholars debat e about who gcntnfiers ar e, how to defi ne the term "gent riher ," as
well as about how gcnt rifers' t raits shape th eir relat ionship t o gen trification. In her selec-
tion, Damaris Hose reject s t he not ion t hat t here is a single answe r t o t hes e qu estions. She
writes, "th e ter ms 'gent rificat ion' an d 'gentri flers,' as commonly used in th e lite-rature, are
'chaotic concept ions' which obs cure t he fact t hat a multi plicit y of processes, rat her t han
a single ca usa l proce ss, prod uce changes in the occupation ofi nner-d ty ne ighbor hoo ds
from lower to higher income reside nt s" (1984: 62) .l\ly own research suggests t ha t gentr r-
fiers vary greatly in t heir att itudes t oward gent rificat ion and longtime residen ts, as we ll
as in t heir practi ces, but t hat th is vari ati on cannot be neatly attributed to demograph ic
differenc es. In cont rast. ot hers call for a ret reat from t his "chaos," urging gentrificati on
scholars t o reach agree ment a bout how to identi fy and define t he gentrifi er and, in tum,
genlrificat ion (e.g.,Zukin 1987, Sla ter2(06).
h 71y do gl!lltl'ifiers engage in gentrificatiou?Scholars debate about the possible mouva-
uons for gen tr iflers' engagement in gen tri fication.Some point to gent rification's economic
benefi ts, incl uding th e afforda bili tyo f hou sing in gen trifying areas and t he profit genm -
fiers may earn from purc ha sing in revitalizing area s (Smit h 1979, Gale 1980, I\lcDonald
1983, Beauregard 1986, Butl er 19!J7). Others argue that central cit y amenit ies, such as
proximity to wor k opportunit ies an d cultura l amenities, att ract genrrtflers (But ler 1997,
seealso discusston in Zukin 19( 7). Still ot he rs suggest that cult ur al t ast es. such as appre-
ciat ionfor his tori c hom es 0 1 urba n divers ity,dr awgenrrlflers (e.g. , Allen 1980, Znkln 1987,
Ber rey2005, Uoyd2005).
Shamn 7111:in's pioneeri ng work, Lof t Livi ng, a por t ion of which y OLl will find in
'i on, complica tes the prevai lin g assumpt ion t hat gen triflers' moti vatiun s at e primarily
economic. ZUkin accomplis hes th is by ouutnrng the infl ue nce c{ aest hetic values an d the
lifestyle att ributes of a p articul ar group of middle class urban dwell ers on the genu it"ica_
lion pr ocess. f or insta nce, she wri tes th at "loft living is part of a larger modern quest for
authenticity" (IU82: 67) t hat enco urages apprec iation for "the size of a house, the layout of
the rooms, th e passa ge from one room to anothe r, ind icati ng not onlya sen se of'home' but
also a sens e off he sel f t har is 'at home' there- (ibid. : 66).\Vit hout this taslefor "an t henticit y"
and a home t hat compliments a part icu lar sense of .self, Zukin aIlll t.e.s that "t he real estat e
ma rket in livin g loft s that ha s de veloped over the past ten years could not have begun'
tlbld.:58). Thus, she suggests t ha t it is n ot enoug h to say that eit her individual gen trif iers' or
real estate developers' desire for profit drove the loft movement t hat her book examines.
Tim Butl er's London research (1997) find s that some Lon don gentrifiers , like Zukin's
NewYork loft dwellers, move to gent rifying neighbor hoods out of a desire t o live in a par-
ticular type ofhome. l Iowever, lIutier ar gues that this is not the onlyimpe tus for gen trlfers'
reloca uou.His essay in th is secti on suggests that some geut rfflers ci te a desire to minimize
tlll!ir commute, ot hers sug gest that the y sought affordable ho usrngor hoped to earn profit
by purchasing in a gentrifying neighborhood, whi le st ill ot hers express appreciati on for a
sens e of vdiversit y" that the y ass ocia te with the central ci ty.
Selecti ons by Richard Lloyd, Monique Taylor and Michael Sibahs argue that gentrifi-
ers engage in gentr ifica tion beca use t hey wish to reside al ongside those who shar e their
traits; to he a part of a community co mpos ed of like-mind ed gen tr ifiers. For insta nce,
Richa rd Lloyd captmes t he de-tre of art ist-ge nt rfflers, whom he terms "ne e- bo hemia ns ,'
of Chicago'sWicker Parktores ide alongsi de oth er artists and Micha el Sibalis demonstrat es
howPari sian gay men sought to con stru ct a safe haven byInvesting in th e Marai s.
Aselec tion from my a rt icle, "Social Preservadontsts and th e search for Authent icity,"
suggests that , ironically, a subset of gentrifiers whom I ide ntify as "social preservation-
ists" engage in gentrifica tion bec ause they wish t o live alongside longt ime residents with
wh om they ass ociate "authen tic" com muni ty, while at the t ime th at I wro te the art icle I
argued that social preervettontsre' ideology and prac tices were so dis tinct from those of
ot her gent rifiers that theybel onged to a separat e category. in lat er workr propo sed that the
social preservauc nt st 1<; one type of ge utrjfler (Brown -Saracino 2007, 2009). Buildi ng 0 11
Damaris Rose, r argue th at gen t rtfiers' motivations for eng aging in gen trifica tion, relation-
shi p t o their neighborhood or town , and daily pract ices are diverse, Socia l preservation, I
now believe, is one wayof "doing" gen trifi cation.
\\-' ha t is tile character of gentnfiers relationships to their neighborhood or town?
Threaded t hroughout t he first two qu esti ons are concerns about gent rifiers' relationshi ps
to their neighborhood or town and howtrvanes byperson and place.Aut hors debat e about
t he character of geut rttlers' rela tions hi ps to t heir pla ce of residence. Some cha racterize
it as uniformly antagonis t ic (e.g., Smith 1996), while ot hers suggest th at some ti mes it is
quite the opposite (e.g., Caulfi eld 1994, Butler s, Robs on2 003, srown -saractnozoot , 2007,
20(9 ). Fur t her more, th ose who suggest th at gent rifiers vary in their rela tionship to their
neighborhood or town debate abo ut t he cha rac teristics of person or place that enco ur -
age this variation: that dr ive one gen t rifler' s interest in histori c preservat ion and an oth er's
enth usiasm for new-build construct ion ,
What are some of th e or ientat ions au thors identify a mong gentri fier s? Most appa rent
in this sect ions readi ngs is some gentrifers ' attachment t o local histo ry (Zukln 1982, 1987,
Butler 1997). This i s mo st evide nt in historic preservat ion efforts-which ra nge from th e
i" restora t ion of ind ividu al homes to efforts to cons tru ct hi stor ic districts. Some regard this
as part and parcel of gentrlflers ' effort t o"save" t heir place of residence by returningit to it s
heyday (Spain 1993). For ot hers, appreciation for a place's past is roo ted in taste for a par-
tirula r a rchitectural style (Zukin 1982, 1987, But ler 1997) or romanticizati on of a spec ific
dimension of a place's social past or present (brown-Saracino 2009J,
Othe r readi ngs identify gentrifiers ' a ppre ciat ion for di versity or "social mix" (But ler
1997, Uoyd 2005; see also Herrey 2005). These individua ls a ll "authenticity" that
they ass oci ate wit h places t hat pn seess a diverse arra yof residents-from poor ami work-
ing class long-timers to IIlOIe affl uen t newco mers.
In cont ras t, ot hers wish to live alongs ide those who sha re thei r social tr ait s. This is true
of many0f t he Africa n-American gen trifie rs MoniqueTaylor int ervi ewed wh o, after facing
years of discrimi nation in predo minately whi te envi rons, moved to Harlem to live along-
side others who share t heir racial ide nti ty (2002l.
Depart ing from this trend , just over half of t he eighty gen t rifiers I int ervie wed for my
bo ok, A Neighbor/wod That Nerer ClulIlges. suggest t ha t thetr par ticipat ion in gent rtttca-
ti un was motiva ted by a desire to reside a longs ide th ose unlike them. Specukally, the y
sought to live in a nei ghbo rh ood or t own populat ed by certain longti me residents wit h
whomtheyassociate"auth ent ic" commun ity,such as Port uguese fishe rme n orv lemamese
mer chants (2009),
What explains gcntri ficrs' distin ct orientat ions? While some sch olars de bate about
whethe r such diversity exist s, many ot hers offer competing expla nat ions for its sources.
Fori nstance, many suggest t hat orienta t ions to gent rfficat ion ar e class-based (Rose 19R4,
lloyd 2005): that less affluent gentrlfb- rs have more concern for longt ime resident s A
related argu ment sugg ests th at a gentr ffler's orienta tion emerges from the wave of gent ri-
fica tion of which he or she is a par t. For instance, Richard Lloyd document s the displ ace-
ment of the first wave or wicker Park's gentrifiers, sugges t ing t hat it enc ourag ed some to
protest t he filming of MTV's The Real Ir()fld in th e nei ghborh ood (2005: 119; see Cla y 1979
on gentr ifica tion's stages),
Other trai ts, such as sexual ide ntity, ma y also influence one's relations hip t o gen t rttt-
ca tion. For insta nce, Sihalis sugg ests tha t after years of seeking a safe place for commu-
nion in the clry, ma ny ga y ma le gentriflers of Paris' Marais nelg hburhood were relat ively
un selfconsct ous about their efforts to claim t he spa ce as their own (2004). Others counter
that gentrifiers ' orientat ions are a product of an int eract ion betwee n t heir traits and th e
character istics of t hei r place of res idence. for ins ta nce, Tayl or argues t hat some African-
American prof essionals' concern for prcscrvingl la rlcm's hist orical cha racter emerges out
ofa confluen ce of t hei r own an d the neighborhood's racia l ide ntity(ZOOZ).
Scholarly debates about whet her gent rifiers ' demographic tr aits-such as thei r class,
lace, occup ati on, and sexual ide nti t y-sha pe their orienta tions to gen trificatiun under-
line a more pressing question abou t how to def ine the gen triffer; a question this sect ion
encourages th e read er to tac kle. Namely, which ind ividual s shou ld we deem "gentrltlers"!
Should we identifygentrffiers bytheir sha red eco nomic position , demograph ic traits, ori -
ent ation t o longti me res idents and other gent rifier s, or by their monvattons for engagi ng
in gen trification? Do we wish to place t he afore mentioned college st udent and software
designer in the same cat egory-c-as gent rifiers-and, if so, wbat does th is suggest about
howgent rlflcatlon wor ks?
1. What is th e sign ificance, if any, of gcn t rificrs' moti vations for engaging i n gcntrifica.
2. What roles d o gent r ttfers playin t he gen t rificat ion process?Is the gentrifier as cent ral 10
gent riflca tinn as the readi ngs in t his sect ion sugges t?
3. If , as some of the readings suggest. gent riflers ar e demographicall y an d ideologically
di ver se. wh at influence might t his divers ity have on the gent rification pr ocess and its
ou tcomes? For instance, what do the readi ngs suggest about howgentrifiers' raci al and
class identi t ies shape t heir orientation to gent rifica t ion ? I low might this vary by con-
4- Drawing on this section's readings, draft a definition of the gen rrifier . Compare your
definition with t hose of your clas smates an d conside r th e roOIS of t he differences, ifany,
between your defini tion s.
1. Select a gemrifying neighborhood t o stu dy. Int erview three to five residen ts who vary in
terms of their lengt h of res idence an d/ or economic position, racia l or et hn ic identity, or
gender. Devel op a short se t of ge neral qu est ions about their response t o t he neighbor-
hood's transforma tion. Duri ng the-inte rview, listen ra refullyfor talk of the "gentrifler,"If
your informan ts use the tenn. ask t hem what theyme an by it and to offer a descriplion
of a "gentrlffer." Determi ne wheth erthei rdefinitions and descri pti ons vary. If so, along
what ttncst w hat explains th is ve rranont If t here is litt le vari ati on or your informants do
not use the term, try to develop an explana tion for whyth is is th e case.
2. View t he film Cutnceonero.wh ich is se t in a gentr ifying Los Angel es neighbor hood. ln
what ways are gentr ifiers portrayedt whar fact ors might inffuencet his portrayal!
3. Burrowing from th e anec dotes tha t frame t he first par agraphs ofl his st'oion's introduc-
toryessa yan d the previous excerctse, document repr esentations ofgentr if'Iersln news-
papers, no vels, television shows, movies, or in music. How do the sourc es you analyze
describe and define gentnnerst To what extent does the sympath y with whi ch gentrt-
fiers are portrayed vary with t heeconomi c, demographic, and cult ural trai ts t he sour ces
des cr ibe th em as poss ess ing?
01. Head a first person acc ount of an auth or's partici pat ion in gent rifica tion, such as
Kathlppn A Hnme in the HPtlrtnftlw Ci ly (I about her mnve to Jam:'!iea Plain
in Massachuset ts. IIow tines the a ruhor understand hers elf and lIt'r relat ionship 10her
neighbo rhood an d to gentrificati on?
See Lee s et aI. (2008: 90) Icr drscu sston ofa similar sec of quescions
Allen, I. 1980 ."1 he IdooJogyo IDense Kci ghbor h ood Recle\'eJopme nt: CuJlUral Diversit y and Tran scomdent Com-
munity ExjJCriellre." ClrlJwu\ ffai rJ
Anderson, E. 1990. Strearwi:;e;Race, ClaSJ,alld Chanl'e {na n Urlmn Comnnm ity.Chieago: umvcrenvcr
Pr.., s
8"ry.J .& Uelc\' bny, J. t987. l'uppies InvadeMy II ousea IDimrert ime;,\ Taleo!Drw,c h.Bom!JM."dC.em ri/i w liorl
in anAmenwlI Cily, R'g Rlver Publlsht ng.
BrowlI Sal'acino. J, 2009 . ANeighbo rhood TI"'I Never ClltIJ' ges:Gemri[u:mjUlr. SeKiu!Preservnrlrn ""rI rheSellrch
fo rAut hooti clty , Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Butler, T..&. RoIN ' " , G. 2003 [nlhbm rf ,m" S The MuM/e G asses (lfJdrhe Re-ltUlki nga! Inner London , Uxford;
C!lulficl d, f, 1994. Cll)' RJrm and E!'<!ryda}' Life: r oromos Gen!n!icat iOll and Cmtcd PraClice Toron to:
u"ivenity of'Forontopress.
Ley. D:lvid, 19% . '[heNewM i.tJd/lJaas and l heRcltUlkmgofrhe Cemral City. London: Oxford Uwererv Press
Sa/aI'101l. S, 2003 . Ne wcomer:; w nEd n",'n<:Sulmrlmnizallvn ofth.! tteantana. Chicago: Universicy otChtcago
Spain. D. 1983. "Been -Heres versus Come-Her es; Xegonanng Ccntucnng Community Identities: )ouma! of /he
AmericrmPfmmmgib'>lJfltu{,m. \'CJI 59
The Creation of a " Loft Lifestyle"
Sharon Zukin
Unt il the 19705, living in a loft was consid-
ered ueither chic n nr comfurt ab le----i.f th e
posslbllhy was cons idere d at <1.11. Making
a horne in a factory distr ict clearly contra-
dieted t he dominant middle-class ideas of
"home" and 'factory,' as well as th e sepa-
rate environ ments of family and work on
which th ese ideas were based. Sin ce t he
1950s, suburbia had so dornt nat ed popular
images of the American horne tha t it W<l.S
al most impossibl e to imagine how an yone
could conceive the desi re to move down-
town into a former sweatshop or print ing
plant. Yet th e real esta te market in living
lofts that has developed over the pas t ten
years could no t have begun wi t ho ut such a
desire, at leas t on the part of a few people.
The market could not ha ve gruwn so fast-
in the proce ss, transforming lof ts from old
factory spaces into hot commod ities- if
this peculiar desire had not also st ruck the
imagi na tion of mo re people in cities all over
the count ry. Whet her the y actua lly bed ded
down amongt he print ingpr esses or merely
accepted lott living as a possible restden -
tlal style, people began to find th e noti on
of living in a loft anracnve Thi s happene d
beca use of two ch an ges th at occurred in
t he 1960s: a change in lofts and a change in
middl e-class patt erns of cons umption.
Ont he one ha nd ,th e movement oftnd us-
try and tnvesunent our of old ma nutactu r-
ing centers made larger, more impre ssive
lofts ava ilable for a lterna te uses. Until that
point,l ofts that had bee n use d for living-c.
mostl y by art ists who were "living poor"-
we re fairly small, often unheat ed up per
floors of t wo- an d t hree -stor y storef ronts ,
a nd dist inctly uncomfortable. On the ot her
han d, an increasin g number of middle-
cla ss people moved into cert ain cultural
pal terns, part icularly all active appr ecta -
tion of "the arts " and historic preservation ,
whi ch had pr eviously been up per-class
domains. Their growing identi fication with
fine arts production and fine old buildings
led them first to tr yt o prot ect space for art-
ists and historic preservation and t hen t o
appropriate t his spa ce-cwhlc h was often in
loft huildings- for t hemselves. In th is pru-
cess. art an d hlstorlc pre serva tion tookon a
br oader meani ng. They became both more
commercial and less elit ist.
The cha nging appreciation of old loft
bu ildings also reflects a deeper preoccu pa-
tion with space and time. A sense tha r th e
great tndusutal age has end ed creates me l-
ancbol y uver th e ma chines an d the fact o-
ries of t bepast. Certainl y such sentiments
are arouse d onlyat the end of an era, or wt rh
a loss of function. As a percepti ve ob server
of "eccen tric spaces" point s out , "We visit
the docks in London but not in Hot terdam
because commerce is roma nt ic only when
h ha s vanis hed."! Only people who d u nul
know th e ste-am an d sweat of a real fac-
tory ca n fin d ind ustrial space romanti c or
interest ing. But ir; many wa ys indust ri al
s pa ces are more interesti ng th an "post -
indu str ial" offices, apa rtment hous es, an d
!>ho pping u on lt'fS_Th eir str uc t ure hev txllh
a and a gracefulness d UiI
a time when form stfll ide ntified. "place"
ra ther t han "fun cti on," Their facades are
often adorned with archaic emblems and
scu lpture. apparently showing t he equa lly
archa ic of mesons and carvers. Yet
nma menrarion is a cnnrelt If nlne-
It"t"l ll h-t:t'llI ur y technology, Tht' Ia cades o f
man y loft butldings tha t were con structed
between 1820 an d 1880 were cas t In stan-
dardi zed ir on part s th at could be or de red
froma ce ta logue, mounted , and taken 0.pert
at will . lronically, the ma ss prod uction of a n
I"allit'!" ind ustri al era looks t o our eyE' ,'i like
Indlvidua lity,
Du rfng th e 19605 it con sensus slowly
grew t ha t such buikl ings shoul d n ot be
torn d own to make r oom for new, h lgh -r lse
cons tructi on that bor e littl e relat ion to the
area or the peo pl e around it. Thoug h far
rnm the majorlry ..i ew. t his line of t hollgh l
'i1rt"<ld fUJln Jane Jacobs's lio rnt"\\'h<ll liub-
vt' u ivl" id e-<l s a luul nt"ighborhuot l pi t' s
t!f\'lIliofl an d ur ban ..ilali tv-whi ch haw
sold mor e than a quart er: milllon co pies
of her 196 1 b oo k- to h ighl y commercial
renovations like san Gh irardclli
Square. J}oston's I[all , cmd Ihe l'\elV
York a rt isl:s' of Sol 10. An apprf'Cia-
l ioll a nd o f Nlarg t"-
cmd "n l;"\v: 11. 1.'>0 a ppea ll!d to t he II)).
er al socia l con science, In America's inner
citi es, Ihe wholesale dest ructi on of te ne -
ment s for t he sake of urban renewal du r-
ing t he fift ies and carly sixt ies gave risc to
p rnt e.'\t anr! ha r.klash, Snme peo ple 111aml"cl
t ile (1t'.'\tahi1i7,at inn ofl ow-rent gl1ett n co m-
m un ilies, ill PHrt , forth eri ots uf l hl' lil id- 10
lale sixt ies. Se\'eral befor e, sod olo-
j;tIsIShad called attention to the AOod social
rela tions be t ween pt"o plt> who live in Such
COlli 111unit it's , j n art lcles Iike "SomeSources
o f Sati sfaction In a Reskl enual Slum" and
Her belt Gans'seteg von scsrons rtal lanWest
End, The Urban \ "i Ua/: cr5. Preservin g ratht"r
t han destroyingcit ynelghborboods took l:' :J
a broa der mea nin g in the 1970 5 because of
th e growing concer n wtr h the ea rt h 's ecol-
ogy. Even in t he t'arly the impend-
ing ot real demolhlcn of dl srlng uished ok!
buil din gs-like pennsvlva nja Stati on it,
New Yo rk O ry- threaten ed people .... ith a
sense of ir repar able loss. Like t he recycling
of scarce r esou rces. t he adaptive r e-use or
such buildings eventually attract ed greater
pu hlic "'Up pllrl .
In this context, lufl living is more sig-
ni ficant than t he releu vely small nu mber
ors ot tos or loft dwellers impH es. lt marks
a diffe rent pe rception of space and time
and a new rel at ion between art and indus-
tr y. In a narrower sen se, t he market in liv-
ing lofts th at developed aft er 1970 a L'iOfe lh
the social a ndcultural v<tlues of the 1960,
10 mi ddle-class co ns umers of l he sevemles
an d eighties. But ar e IivinRleft s rea lly su ch a
rad ical dep art ur e from con vent iona l hous-
ing? Although loft tiV'ing seems to reject
su bu r bia and all it represents. living Iota
have some c:i the same spat ial value5 as a
typical subllrhan humt", l'l<! rti cu la. ly a IICf-
t"Ienct! for luls I:l ai r, ligh t. acd open spaa' .
Certainly loft s are locall!d on busy d ty
rather than s ra syp lolS, but ins ide. a
loft h a:;; un ell of det achmen t fro m t he dty.
This sugg est s tha t loft hYing .isappealing,
in IErt, becau:.eitisparadoxicaLThe incOll-
gru ily of living in a fador)'dots nUl cease 10
su rpr i<;(;' us. FTl IIIl ti lt! olltside. o f a
10ft building look s like a facto ry, but in!;ide,
v.e find a home. Alt hou Kh h om es are con
sider ed pri va te spa ce, th e openness of a loft
makes it a public space. Lofts nre also pre
dom inan tlv homes for non-child- cent ered
sing le and cnu-
pies wit huul ch ikl rl"lL Yt' l lht' as.'illciati llll
be tWl't!1t loft living an d a home-orient e<!
jnlerest in st }1ish cu isin e and decor pro-
Jl101t"'i a ne w cult of domesti city. Beca use it
rePrese nt s bot h home an dwork. hedonis m
and a nd plIl>tic a nd pri vate
:;pace, loft llvtng is par adoxlcallts su ccess
in the u rban houejng market demonstrates
that at this time pa radox sel ls.
Discu ssin g t he lu re of any marke t is a
tricky metter. Consu mers' desir es are so
shaped hy t he co mm odtnes thai are avail-
able, a s well as by image- makin g and st a-
tus-seeklng, tha t constder tog rhem rna ybe
almo st Irre levant. Th e shrtnk l ng size orrvp-
ical new apartments an d t he mass medi a's
privileged t reatment of loft living ce rtai nl y
influenced the market in living lofts. Yet it
is a fact tha t this mar ket di d not exi st in any
signi fir.a1lT measure he fOl1" 19i 1. Since tha t
lime, "living lof ts" has become a h ou se -
hold word In ci ti es of t he Un ite d Sta tes
and West ern Europe, and loft living has
been elevated 10 a fashio na ble res ide nt ial
style. To some degree. decid ing to live in a
loft may reflect a fa irly narrow tOOlllumic
choi ce . Particul arly fo r art ists \'11 110 want a
large s pa ce at a cheap ren t, rt'llling a lof l
amid th e flotsam and je tsam of urban com-
merce ma y be jus t a qu esti on of marginal
utilit): But man y people choose to live in a
lo: t beca use the space ilself a ppe a ls to them .
On the on e hand th ey Iilce th e gia nt .'\C.a le
oc t he "raw." u nfinisht"d quality of a lufa. On
Ihe ot her hand, they id t"oli fywit h th e Slo'llSC
of alh' enl llfe or t hea n i'ils' a mhianre wh ich
stJIIcl ings to tr: a loft r.eighbor hood.
10 det ermin e whyt hese pe ople wa nt to live
in lofts involves more su bHe issue s then
mere supp ly and dema nd. l\ol only have
lofts changed over t he pas t lhiny yf'ilr!> hilt
so h it ve ellItmal a mi at' st ht't ie !;I,tIId ar d s.
In 1953, York arti st Robert
ltau schenberg ret urned from a tr ip to
Europ e and, practicall y loo ked
for a place tn live. "Wit h his cust omary
good luc k," a rt wrjte-r Calvtn Tompki ns
says, gauschenbergfouod a loft on Fulton
Street, nea r t he fish ma rket, a big att ic space
wit h twent y-foot ceil in gs but no hea t or
ru nni ng wa ter: t h e rent was fift een doll ar s
a month, bu t tie ta lked the landlord in to let -
ti ng h im have it for ten. A hose and bucket
in the ha d ya rd !>t-r\ec1 h is ba sln, an d he
bathed at friends' apanmen rs, somet imes
surr ep titiously, a!'kinRt o us e t h e bathroom
and t aking a liKJ1tnir.Rshower at the same
t ime, " Ten yea rs tater. when the Jewi sh
xtuseumon Fin h.'\\'enuc orgar. ized t he first
majo r retr ospecti ve exhibit ion of his work,
Bauschenbeg wa v living an d wor king in
another loft fal t ht'! UP IO\\.'t I. 0 11 the ed ge of
Gree n wich Village. 'lompklns reports tha t
when he vtsned Rauschenberg th ere,
the ( I U lf,' nf lht' freight ele-vator "]'1"))1"( 1
directly Into Rall'il:llt'nllt'rg's loft. , . . Sam,
the taciturn blacksuperintendent who oper-
ated the li tt during the d lY. had agreed to let
Rauschenbe rghavc the key af ter 6 P,M., so he
could up an d down, ... The ion was about
a hundr ed teet long by thlrty w'd e, Arow of
supportlngcolumnsran dawn themkldle,but
lXlM'l\vi ... it Wit- ' d ....r. ull ulN: nxrH! SIXlI'I'.
grim y winJo\\s 1t>1 in ti M'
while I:ght of dowotO\Vn the
roar oft rucks0 :1 Brolldway. window's
was a bi& mmm3Cklc \\ire cage contai n
ing a pair of lli.bjous. . , . &,ond tb cage
stood a group of l<t' I\Pobja u - a rat <100
a \\indo\\' frame, a roof \'l'ntiJator mo:.mtl'd
on 0: dll unri nish"1
:KUlpture. . . . Paintings. combbe5.
a:ld SCU!pt urel from the condudN
Jewish MU!lCUm retr05pcdive were slacked
Ilgainst tht"Mill fartht'along.There wasa bif:
table in Iht' middle of the room, its sorfaet'
cluttert'd WI lli mas azl nes, pictures d ipped
fmm magi17, i))t',,: fl"ll l"'lIs i1ILd <1l1 tl
lIf painl alld ntht'f tlli1 lt'rii1 ls_Tnwanl
the back of the room, II counter projecting
from the end wnll formed ,ill ak ove for the
refrigerator,t he elect ricslove, and thebed- II
mattres. s on the Ooor. All the rest ct the
loft was work.Spi ICt'.'
In H160, Rau schcn bergs slightly you nger
contempor ary, arti st lames Rosenq uist ,
re nted a st udi o for fifty dollars a mo nt h. It
was /llli far from Rausch t"llht' rg's fir!'i l loft
011 lilt' Lower :\Ianhall an wa tertroru. 11
beautiful area around Coenues Slip It used
to be [abst ract pa in ter] Agnes Marnrss stu-
d io andit ..... as all cra cked plast er _. no dec-
ora t ion .. very sta r k." After inventin g his
new Pop Art 5t)-le in that st ud io. Rosenqui st
wa ..d iSCOvf>lrtI bytwo a rt gallH y nwll elli. In
1963 he moved 10 a loft farther uptown. in
the a rea that eventually became Imo\\TI as
Sul lo.'
Dunn gthesamepe riod,th ree prnminen I
art istswhose st andard ofli vtngwas verydrf-
ferent tromt hat oft he unknown Hosenquist
and th e relativel y unknown Heuschenberg
lnvlte-d eight hundred members (If New
Yo rk's art communny to a soc lal gat her-
Inp;th at also "took place in a loft ." Bu t t his
1961 party amazed art writ er Dore Ashton
becau se it was held in "a loft wit h parque t
floors, spotless wa lls and a majest ic colon -
na de run nt nglts length .. . , Pinker ton men
we re stat knn-d anhe doo r." Fo r Ash lllll, thi s
luCl pa rt y symWiurl a change from "the
comforta ble old group" of anbts 10 "the
new l\ rtbusiness communitv." "It was a far
ay," she says, "from the da ys r:L pen niless
boh emia nism when the lean and hu ngry
art ists had t hCIll.- "elvcs resembled
By Ihe end o f t he dt'Cade. when pho-
lOj;mphs and of artists' lofts
lJtogall to l eada a wideI pu blic of magazine
rl""dden;, the jou rnalh lS declared Ihat loft
lhinAha d pa nache. A 1970 articl e in Life
mag azine, Big in a Loft: co uld ea s-
ily inspire eil her en vy or repugmmce, a nd it
is impossible to dedde which Life in tcnded
wh en it wrot e aoo nt th e art i.'it.'i living in
lufl huild illgs, llLt-'!'i1' Hruhb y
faca dl"s lurks an art b ls' coluny. . . . Sixlet'll -
f oor 15-foot lOoms, and com mu-
nit y spiri t." The large inte rior ph otograp hs
sh ow as much air, space, and light as any
subur ban home could dil im. ,\ lt hough
the lIa pez.etha t nile ar tisr had in st alled in
his lof t, or the I"ight- hy-IWf'lIly-fom-fOOI
pa inti ng on whidl amxher was work-
ing. exceeded the sca le of rnusr American
houses , the Orien tal rug tra ck liKhting.
polished woo d floors. comforta ble sofa and
cha irs, and bicyde in the backgrou nd of the
most prominen t phot ograph loo ked rea s-
surin g. Indeed, u ppe r-mid dle-cla ss lif t'
read ers could probabl y idt'll lify with art-
ists "Bill and Yvon ne Tarr Iwhol still live in
Sca rsda le, bu t pla n to join BIII's assonmem
of welded steel and bro nze sculptures in
IheTan s' 90-foot -longst udio la tor this Year.
TIlt' kitchen, ha th a nd fami ly rooms .....iJJIJro;
at ground level, wit h a Hving-dintng- bad-
roo m combi na tion perc hed 0 111heelevared
platform halfway betwee n the loft 's ancient
woo den floor and a curved skylight reach-
ing:to the 16-foo t -hi gh ceiJiug, "6
Several mon thslater, the glossy N ew York
magazine-t heti rstand mostw ide lycop ied
ch ronicle of ur ba n "lll estyle"- also
0 11 SuHo's arl iMs. Alt lllnlgh Ilny ha d cruue
to an tnd nsutat area in search uf chea p
space, t hese art ists evidently knew lx:M:
to lfve-c-whlch ma inly involved combtn.
ing Jiving and worki ng. "l bcv set up mod-
crn kit chcns, livi ng rooms, aIX!
bathrooms along wi th th eir studios. When
nighl ca methty dld no l gn homt' lib' I"\'eJY-
oll t' ebe in Sulio, ti Lt'}' Il.-WP hollll"..-
Home f or art ist Gt'rhardt Uebmann, foc
example, Is dh 1ded bel ween a studio in the
from ha lf a his loft and a fi fty-foot length II
living space in ba ck, with a rock garden. a
skyligh t, and sla te floo rs.'
Over Ihe next few yt"-<l rs, ma gazine'>
pm Ihe\erSalili lya Llli lhe r11'a tivityoflllft
dl"Sign.ln ma nylofts, lhl"iUll:'gJ" ation oh \Or k
space, living: areas and art ob ject s \vaspara l-
leled by a fluid ada ptat ion to s1ruct ural fea-
t ures (pri marilylight. floor, and volume)and
"incident a l" arrangemcnt s, Photographed
in the jnu rn ill Progressive
Arcllitertlll'f' , fll - t'xample, "t he luft of artb t
LuwdJ Nl'Sbiu is by eight-foot -high
panition s used to disp lay his own work.
\'arious livin g areas are defined by the semi-
Opt"l l hexagonal speces creat ed by the pa rt]-
ucus, bygrou ptngs uf'plaerts, and by paluted
ardes on the wooden Iloortng," Mi:too uses
and hiWt celflngs con tinued to invil t' mul-
tiJcVel desicn, In a loft that was fea tured in
me Sunday New l"ort" Times MagaZine in
19:"1. arch itect Han ford mug built a three -
ll"m li area t o display his art col lect ion.
Arli'it Ger hardt Liebmann, whose loft had
been plKuugl apherJ by Nt'w nul.'
in 1970, t ur ned up aga in in 197-1 wi th aile
cf "t he grea t ba throo ms of New York. By
nowhe "has a flourishing green house in the
bathro omof his Sol 10 loft. ' The bath roo m is
an ideal place to ra ise pla nt s if you have the
light .''' he savs And Sol fo, errnrdl ngto New
YiJrk magazine, was Ii OW t tu- ide.... 1 place to
live ifyou wanted exclte ment.t
A 1976 New York maga zine art icle on
extravagan t house plants- "Silt City Iun gle
Habita ts"-shows large tr ees growing in a
designe r's Sol 10 lott. Another ar ticle, on an
architect's elegant H u-foot -lcng loft . lauds
the design det a il as "a shnrt Cll U TSl' in uen -
classtcat an trolllpt' l :o.>i r that evokes "an
Iialian palazzo." Th e llesign of a
bet ween t he loft 's colum ns , orrcotonnade,"
is sa id to bc "1oosely de rived from a \' icenza
building faca de by the sixteent h-cent u ry
arch itect Andrea Pal ladio.'"
By 1978, women's sport wt'a r rl,...,j gn!"T
AdJiSl ecki ng (knowTlI,n of asAd ri)
was say tng to aN ewYork TImes reporter,
fell In love wi th Sul lo a nd walked t he pa ve-
men lS for mo nt hs, bu t I couldn' t find t he
b tl I So she re n ted a lolt - purely
for living- nca r midtO\n1. so uth of the
Rower :\Iark:et d istr ict. "f:ach floor con-
la im",i atxlll l 4,000 !'(Illart fft' t," Ihe
Ti ml!s; " 'a q uarlet of an au l" lsif ]!' says
Adri. "111ere were bip;window's fadnp;each
point of the compas s," and Allrl 's loft "was
hi gh en ough to St."C t he roof-tops of buil d-
ings o n each side and l\ ew lersey to th e
West , se pa ra t ed by a blue st rip of I lud!>(J n
River. The su n srreamed in at a ll hou rs ," nUl
the fneal l_Iinl (If Adl i Ster klng's SIMd u\I!'i
ne w horne is t' VI"II more remarka ble. "It's
an ei Kht-foot sq ua re Jacuzzi whirlpool bath
tha t accommodates ten people, is se t into a
white ti le platfor m reach ed by eight st eps,
and is eq uippedwt t h a cat board sh ou ld any
!sic] of the two resident felin es fall into the
pool" n.. TIml's rlt"\"oted afullpage t opho-
t o, of Adl i in 111"1 ' I-/lu i and her kitc hen.
the floo r plan of the loft. and an Imervt ew
with Adrl and her Interior d esigner.I' .
.-\Ith ough American living laCts gen erally
conveya sense of modern elegance thr ough
a spareness o f d esign thai is enh anced by
t he opul ence oflerger-t ha n-life d ecnranon
arul fndu-arial a ppl jaures, a!'i an ot her Time s
ar ticle, als o ill 1978, showed , the luf t style
was easil y adapta ble 10 an eclectic jun apo-
siti on ofseven teen th -ccntu ry,Art Deco, and
"High Icdi" design. This ti me the loft was
in Paris. but the language is famili ar : "Onc e
upon a ti me, t hermos hn u lt'S were manu-
fact ur ed ill the lofry spare shown above.
Then huerhn designe r Andree Putnam
moved in on II , co nnec ted it to her seven-
teenth-cen tur y Paris a part ment and t ra ns-
formed it int o elegant qua rt ers f or working
and entertairung.""
By1980,readerso fth e Timesha d bec ome
50 familiar wit h living lofts t hat a home fur -
nishings r!"lllll tt' lIUlls idt"n' d a tWl;' nty- fout
cei ling in th e liVing 100111 matt eI of
as one of Sl?\'pral "ro mmon dpsign prob-
lems: sca le was enormous and qui te
a pro blem,' '' says the of a model
loft -apart men t in a conv erted factory.
ha re wall.. . . . wt:re 'loo high, too overp: l\v-
ering.' rl' (_lrtt-'Irt'l:ollllll t' lldshis !'()lll-
lion as iueX}Jt"tl sivt' anll ingen ious:
nint' SI"para te pieces of can vas, thedesi p;ner
crea led an enor mous
ing t hat is delincu tcd wi th allhes ive ta pe
into two-toot -squar e grids. .. . The u pper
left squa re SPllIt s a black tr iangle. 'Tha t's
t he same f'ffect th t: , , , wiminw,' he not ed,
!, oillt ing 1IJ li lt' :-.kyligb t 1111 lhl' allja ll;'lIt
wal l Indeed, t he high ceili ngs, exposed
hrick wa lls, han ging plants, a nd ope n
s pa ces uf the luft l-tyle ha ve-1' t' n JIue w we ll
kno wn t ha t tbe y inspire parody. An issue of
the satirica l Nor the ,Yew } br k TIme n ha t was
published d uring the 1978 New York City
news paper str ike fea tured a bogus inter-
view wi th Carv Grant and Andy War ho l,
who ha d conv erted t heir Upper ltast eid e
aparl nJt>nls In t ht> "Infl IfI ll. "
With no intention ofi wny. the overstare-
merit of real est at e advertisements reveals
wha t loft now rep resent s t o asophis-
t ica ted, affl uent pu blic. Direc ted to "the
di scri mi r.ating buyers-cor e neest to some-
one who ca n afford t he S54,OOO to $120,000
purchase pr ir-eand a I1I r. llhly maintenan ce
charge beL\\ 1"1:'11$300 and S600-an ad fro m
the New }brt Times In May ) 980 promises
Lookingtor ee ultimate lott apcrtmentr Our
jarged uplexes gtveyeuev", ythlr.gthat makes
Joft U\'lng so gmtl . _. the expansiveness of
OPeN SP.-\CE .. . th.. HIGH
CEII.lSG.'i (upm 16 fl.) . . , tl... FRFF.DOMto
c(l'.'ate your CIWt1 !i\ ingt'nviro!UTlf' nl ... Pl US
We'vt' lidded li D dt'g llllCt' }'OU \"OUIdn't
expt"ct of the lot: lifl":ltyte . . .
inlerrom . . . carpeled hallways . ..
til'llUe appolntIDl:'Tl ts & amt'llltlt'S.. . luxu
hug.. I lt' \\ ild Lt'n & sfylioJl 0-11
sHippn l flurll"s, t'le.
An that \\ 3 5 plilcartl
style. on a i\1an hanan lam ppos t at about
the same ti me plays to both a sense o f stykl
and a sense of histo ry.
Th...."sIHt..n llaf Io 'i llo <t l" fu'
nt l,!It'rs, Ilt'l'fflrmiIlgani, rS<t1 1l1Ul halll' iuTl t' " rs
with n""tivt minds, At t he ( orner of Printt'
Stret:tin the SOI IOI lIs ronrc DISm ICT.
- .\LiRnlfict>ol R.l1It'fyspact's
- Only onl:'loft Jll:'r l1 oor- 5000sq. ft.
- Fill\last k" gal1t'f'y ;1/\(1 I'..rfnrmlllg arts
. .
Beneath a re prod uc ed drawi ng of t he hllild.
i ng as it looked in IB6O, t he
read s, 'The finest bus iness st mc rurs and
most famous sho p nf hs ti me-_. . the-fl rst f!Ie
proofbulldtng in Ne wYork . ..
of wh ite mar ble ... specieuv Ins pected bv
the Princeorwales on hisvisit to the UnitrJ1
States .
Athi rd ad that rnn in the Jimes. i nMardl
1980,appea Isto hot hluxury an d pract ka litv,
II re presents a real esta te devel u,...r
co-operative loft-apartments of appnrd-
mate lythe same size but "in th ree neigh bor-
hoods, in three disti nct pri ce ra nges,"Ibe
first and least expensive loft apartments
are in a converted factory near bu t cot In
a gentri fying. brick town house neigh bor.
hood of Hrooklyn. 11:eYl I uvirle"u ptn 1-10()
square fee t of upe n spa re , en hanred bv
hi gh ceil ings, oversize windo ws, and beau,
tiful parquet floors: Tbe second op tion.
in a converted office bui lding In Tri&Ca.
promises "up to I 185 squa re feet.the 5JXlCC
is open. and the feelir:g is larger th an life. .
. . Tt l' thi rd and most ex pensive offering.
in a CUI1n 'ru'li war ffioll !ol:' 011 Ihe fringe of
Greenwich Vill<:ge, marks - the rel urn of
Th e Great XewYorki\ pa rt ment. From 1370
to 2850 squa re fee t of t he mo st beautifuU,'
Iaid -ou t o pen s pa ce in the city. With brca th-
takin g'-'jcws, lerraces, garde ns,.\ lanhattan'$
only glass -wa lled elevator, and impecca ble
wor kmilTlship," Byt his l'Kli nt and
level., have moved Tht' lt'
Utt le left to dis linguish lof l liVing tram hl:<
ury housiDJ::.
:'Iievert heless, the adverti semen t s imply
tha t loft living sti ll reta ins several distinc-
tive charac teristic s: open space, a relatio n
be t ween art and a .'>t' n.'\eofh istof\',
ami a fascinat ioll r{ the imagi-
na tion wi Lh the an ist's stuuio.
A home. as French p hilo sup her Gaston
Bachelard says in The Poetics of Space,
can mean many contredlct or y things to
its Illhahila nl 5, lt evokes an imag e nf hot h
STabili ty and expa nslwness, a primal "hil l
drcaIn" t hat Inspires ca lm rooms t hai
seethe wit h In ner tur bulenc e, "The house
"vert more t han the landscape; Bache lard
:\" . .notos. "is a psy chi c stare.'?' In diffe rcnt
periods and differe nt culture s. the size of a
h l)l. I<;(', t he la yout oft he rooms. t he passage
fromone-r o om10 e mx her. ind ica I e n ut nnl y
asense also a sense self
that is at home there-In sfxtee m h -centur y
Pill Ope, for example, people thought Ihat
self -espressron was poss ible ocly in sma ll
rooms, yet by the eightee n th century, thei r
desce ndants pref erred large. aiq. rooms. In
the late nineteenth cen tury. tast es changed
once again. xtld-v k t or tan homes we re
warrens of small, specialized rooms se pa-
rated by wal ls. passageways , and closets
tha t "associa ted each spacewi t h a funct ion
or activity t hat assumed cultural ind eed
ceremonial meani ng ....
Needless to say. tast es in housing, like
all architect u ral styles, a rt' con strai ned by
avai la