Academic journal article The Town Planning Review

Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement

Academic journal article The Town Planning Review

Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement

Article excerpt

Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement, Loretta Lees, Hyun Bang Shin and Ernesto López-Morales (eds). Bristol, Policy Press, 468 pp., £27.99, ISBN 987-1-4473-1349-8

Global Gentrifications is a compilation of studies which interrogate the notion of gentrification, providing a new foundation for understanding urban transformations across the globe. The authors point out that most theorisations and conceptualisations of gentrification have been shaped by an Anglo-American view, with limited attempts to take into account experiences outside of these regions. Responding to this issue, the book includes various lenses to view the urban transformations outside of the 'usual suspects', discussing how gentrification is framed in particular contexts and drawing from the new literatures on comparative urbanism and policy mobilities.

The book is a compendium of rich empirical illustrations of gentrification, with chapters organised in alphabetical order of the authors, rather than being structured by region, or theme. The editors point out that regional groupings were not the most effective for revealing theoretical and conceptual insights, and that this also avoided indicating any regional or city hierarchies. The editors make no apologies for the varied nature of the chapters - a reflection of the varied career stages, disciplines, educational training and native languages of its authors. It would be impossible in a review of this length to do justice to the range of rich empirical case studies and contributions included, but while it is unusual for a review to make reference to each chapter in turn for an edited volume, I do so to illustrate the diversity of material discussed in this book.

In Chapter 2, insights from Athens at the micro-scale show how gentrification takes a specific spatial form; a reflection of the Athenian socio-economic context where gentrification is 'punctuated' and 'scattered' in space. In Chapter 3, the case of slum gentrification in Lisbon explores displacement and resistance. Insights from Abu Dhabi in Chapter 4 reveal the impact of policies causing gentrification in the city centre. Favela gentrifications in Rio de Janeiro are discussed in Chapter 5, comparing the discourses of favela residents and newcomers and the influence of state-led urban restructuring. Moving to India in Chapter 6, analysis of the factors affecting unequal urban transformation and the distinct processes of development in Indian cities are discussed. Chapter 7 explores how Cairo's gentrification has involved a proliferation of gated developments, and how the particular conditions of the city do not encourage conventional processes of gentrification.

Chapter 8 focuses on the various forms of gentrification in Israel and how its geographical spread does not necessarily follow the same pattern as in Anglo-American cities, taking place across metropolitan regions. Urban renewal programmes in Seoul are the focus of Chapter 9, analysing the impact of aggressive residential renewal, as well as anti-gentrification activities. Chapter 10 considers gentrification in Pakistan, and how it is linked to city networks and the influence of civil society resistance. In Chapter 11, a study of gentrification processes in Buenos Aires explores how in some Latin American cities gentrification has become widespread and integrated into wider urban transformations. Chapter 12 provides an examination of the state-led privatisation of public land in Taipei, and how this is creating new forms of social inequality. Chapter 13 then examines local political contexts of gentrification in Istanbul, comparing two neighbourhoods from different municipalities showing how even within the same city processes of gentrification can have different outcomes. …

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