Blessing or curse? Appreciation, amenities and resistance to urban renewal
This article investigates the 2008 referendum held in opposition against the "Mediaspree", a major urban development project in Berlin that has been perceived as a threat of displacement of local residents and culture. Using precinct level data we find a high degree of localized resistance around the project area, conditional on socio-demographic characteristics. A comparison to local appreciation rates shows that in an environment of very low owner occupancy public (re)development projects are opposed the more residents associate them to an increase in area valuation. This effect is, however, not strong enough to explain the localized resistance. Considering a micro-level data set on music nodes, our results suggest that this effect is instead attributable to a feared loss of specific cultural amenities and neighborhood character.
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