“Qualifying Peripheries” or “Repolarizing the Center”: A Comparison of Gentrification Processes in Europe
Author(s)Samaneh Sadat Nickayin
Francesco Maria Chelli
Antonio Gimenez Morera
Environmental effects of industries and plants
Renewable energy sources
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AbstractReflecting a broader form of neo-liberal urban policy underlying the progressive return of capital investment, gentrification is a key issue in urban studies. Although earlier definitions of “gentrification” focused mostly on socio-cultural processes, recent works have qualified gentrification as a mixed political–economic issue. Clarifying whether inner city gentrification should be supported, controlled, constricted, or prevented is a key debate in urban sustainability and metabolism, contributing to managing and, possibly, enhancing metropolitan resilience. To define the causes and consequences of gentrification, understanding the intrinsic linkage with different social contexts is crucial. There are no universal and comprehensive gentrification processes, displaying similarities and differences at the same time. A comparative analysis of different forms of gentrification and urban change provides basic knowledge to delineate complex, non-linear paths of socioeconomic development in cities, shedding light on the increased socioeconomic complexity and the most appropriate policies to fuel metropolitan sustainability in a broader context of global change. From this perspective, our commentary focuses on the main issues at the base of gentrification in Europe, starting from basic definitions and providing a regional vision distinguishing three “gentrification ideal-types” (northern, eastern, and Mediterranean). The implications of these different socioeconomic processes for the policy and governance of sustainable and resilient cities were discussed, evidencing new lines of investigation to frame (or re-frame) the increasing complexity of urbanization patterns and processes.