Trajectories of neighborhood change: the case of gentrification

17 Jan 2018, 3:11 p.m.
R A Beauregard

Abstract. Our understanding of the comparative dynamics of neighborhood change is relatively undeveloped. In order to disentangle various trajectories, the complex processes which constitute gentrification are explored both quantitatively and qualitatively in four neighborhoods in Philadelphia for the postwar period. The analysis reveals quite diverse forms of gentrification, varying in potential and pace, that pivot around the structural forces of capitalism and the particularities of place. Emphasis is placed on the actions of agents of property and finance
capital, governments, and individual households in bringing about gentrification; and those of neighborhood groups in resisting it. The implications for the merging of structure and contingency in neighborhood theory and for political action are addressed briefly.

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