Crime Stats or Coffee Shops?

© UCLA Urban Displacement Project

© UCLA Urban Displacement Project

Gentrification is a word on many lips. Property values, rent rises, people displacement, speculative development, offshore investment; coffee shops, beards, bikes and vanishing nightlife. In the world’s big cities, gentrification and its discontents have become a cause célèbre.

But as that range of complex ideas suggests, gentrification is also a notoriously slippery concept. Is it a purely economic process, or is it culturally driven? Is every deprived neighbourhood that experiences an influx of wealthy residents an instance of gentrification? Must the change occur organically, or can governments gentrify areas according to a plan?

full article at the Guardian