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The evidence on the impact of gentrification: new lessons for the urban renaissance?


  • Rowland Atkinson


Does gentrification help or harm residential neighbourhoods and what are the implications of this evidence for current urban policies? This paper reports on a systematic review of the English-language research literature on gentrification which attempted to identify the range of costs and benefits associated with the process. It is concluded from this that existing evidence on gentrification shows it to have been largely harmful, predominantly through household displacement and community conflict. The paper then turns to the question of whether current UK urban policy developments are likely to engender gentrification. It is argued that, on the one hand, the language of gentrification processes have been used widely in regeneration policy documents to suggest positive forces for local housing and neighbourhood change. Meanwhile, policy instruments designed to deliver an urban renaissance suggest responses to the problem of gentrification in particular regional contexts and the promotion of gentrification itself in other localities. The paper concludes that the aims of an inclusive renaissance agenda appear to have been discarded in favour of policies which pursue revitalization through gentrification and displacement.

Suggested Citation

  • Rowland Atkinson, 2004. "The evidence on the impact of gentrification: new lessons for the urban renaissance?," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 107-131.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:4:y:2004:i:1:p:107-131
    DOI: 10.1080/1461671042000215479

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    Cited by:

    1. Ingrid Gould Ellen & Katherine O'Regan, 2010. "Welcome To The Neighborhood: How Can Regional Science Contribute To The Study Of Neighborhoods?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 363-379.
    2. Lia Karsten, 2014. "From Yuppies to Yupps: Family Gentrifiers Consuming Spaces and Re-inventing Cities," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 105(2), pages 175-188, April.
    3. Martine August, 2014. "Negotiating Social Mix in Toronto's First Public Housing Redevelopment: Power, Space and Social Control in Don Mount Court," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 1160-1180, July.
    4. Philip Lawton & Michael Punch, 2014. "Urban Governance and the ‘European City’: Ideals and Realities in Dublin, Ireland," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(3), pages 864-885, May.
    5. Tobler, Amy L. & Komro, Kelli A., 2011. "Contemporary options for longitudinal follow-up: Lessons learned from a cohort of urban adolescents," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 87-96, May.
    6. Lupton, Ruth & Fuller, Crispian, 2009. "Mixed communities: a new approach to spatially concentrated poverty in England," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27086, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M., 2011. "Blessing or curse? Appreciation, amenities and resistance to urban renewal," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 32-45, January.
    8. repec:bla:ijurrs:v:41:y:2017:i:5:p:767-785 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Max Rousseau, 2009. "Re-imaging the City Centre for the Middle Classes: Regeneration, Gentrification and Symbolic Policies in 'Loser Cities'," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 770-788, September.
    10. Lance Freeman, 2008. "Comment on 'The Eviction of Critical Perspectives from Gentrification Research'," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(1), pages 186-191, March.
    11. Hans Lind & Anders Hellström, 2006. "Market Rents and Economic Segregation: Evidence From a Natural Experiment," European Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 167-189, August.
    12. Sung Kin Pun & Chunlu Liu & Craig Langston, 2006. "Case study of demolition costs of residential buildings," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(9), pages 967-976.
    13. Ruth Lupton & Crispian Fuller, 2009. "Mixed Communities: A New Approach to Spatially Concentrated Poverty in England," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(4), pages 1014-1028, December.
    14. Gabriel Ahlfeldt, 2010. "Blessing or Curse? Appreciation, Amenities and Resistance around the Berlin "Mediaspree"," Working Papers 032, Chair for Economic Policy, University of Hamburg.


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