# Gentrification

The process by which a place, especially part of a city, changes from being a poor area to a richer one, where people from a higher social class live:

Ordinary working people have been priced out of East London by gentrification.
Reference: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/gentrification

The term “gentrification” is first coined by British sociologist Roth Glass in 1964 to describe the demographic shift within the urban community – the middle-class people displacing lower-class worker residents using the example of London.

Once this process of ‘gentrification’ starts in a district it goes on rapidly, until all or most of the original working-class occupiers are displaced and the whole social character of the district is changed. (Glass, 1964, p.xvii)

According to Lees, L., Wyly, E.K. and Slater, T. eds.(2010:196), here are some of the positives and negatives of gentrification.

-Higher incentive for property owners to increase/improve housing
-Reduction in crime
-Stabilization of declining areas
-Increased property values
-Increased consumer purchasing power at local businesses
-Reduced vacancy rates
-Increased local fiscal revenues
-Encouragement and increased viability of further development
-Reduced strain on local infrastructure and services
-Increased social mix
-Rehabilitation of property both with and without state sponsorship

-Displacement through rent/price increases
-Commercial/industrial displacement
-Unsustainable property prices
-Displacement and housing demand pressures on surrounding poor areas
-Community resentment and conflict
-Secondary psychological costs of displacement
-Increased cost and charges to local services
-Loss of social diversity (from socially disparate to rich ghettos)
-Under occupancy and
-population loss to gentrified areas

As I already clearly feel the segregation of the community and the possible lost in the diversity of the community, I’m interested in finding out more about aspects in bold and speculate on that.


According to Hackworth and Smith, there are different states of gentrification:

Gentrification 1

I look for some cases in London and found some amazing maps from Graphic designer Herwig Scherabon.

Gentrification 2

Gentrification 3

Gentrification 4
Herwig Scherabon visualizes the data behind gentrification with an array of amazing styles. From these examples, we are able to find some patterns of income inequality and segregation in London.

I feel very strongly about the last map. The property is just across my studio and it’s hard to imagine this amount of displacement.

I’m interested in speculating on extremes of segregation and congregation.

What if the extreme example of gentrification being the community are formed only based on how rich or poor you are, no matter the color of your skin or your social beliefs?

What if the rich would like to build a wall to block the poor out?

What if people who are poor are constantly reminded that you do not belong to this community?

Ruth Glass (1964). London: aspects of change.
Lees, L., Wyly, E.K. and Slater, T. eds., 2010. The gentrification reader. London: Routledge.