Gentrification, Inequality and the Struggle for the City
More than half the world’s population lives in urban areas. Today’s cities are celebrated as sites of economic dynamism, creativity, culture and sustainability. But contemporary cities are also complex and contradictory entities and places of exclusion, displacement and polarisation.
Gentrification—the creation of urban space for more affluent users—is occurring in cities around the world. Many policy-makers and civic boosters see it as the saviour of cities. But Canada Research Chair in Urban Change and Social Inclusion, Dr. Brian Doucet, highlights the negative consequences of gentrification, including displacement, injustice and its contribution to growing social and spatial inequalities. His research is asking: Who profits from today’s urban renaissance?
Doucet and his research team are focused on understanding the experiences of those who are affected by gentrification. What does it mean to watch your neighbourhood radically change around you? Using a variety of qualitative methods, including interviews, observations and visual methodologies, he and his team are engaging with those who are living through gentrification to uncover the nuanced, complex and multi-layered perspectives that rarely feature in academic, political or policy debates. In particular, Doucet and his team are documenting inspiring practices, powerful resistance and grassroots struggles in diverse places such as the Netherlands, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Ultimately, the insights and perspectives gained from Doucet’s research will provide innovative lessons for planners, politicians and policymakers as well hope for more equitable cities for all.