From the SFU Urban Studies program: a series on gentrification.

Gentrification is typically associated with change in inner city housing markets. The goal of this speaker series is to advance some wider perspectives on gentrification, recognizing that housing change is only one aspect of this broader social and economic process.


Gentrification and the arts
Norma Rantisi, Associate Professor in Geography, Planning and Environment, Concordia University
March 7, 2013, 7:00pm
Room 3200, SFU Woodward’s

Artists have long been viewed as pioneers of gentrification, and yet contemporary studies also point to how artists themselves have been displaced as a consequence of the revalorisation of property. This talk will present the case of a gentrifying neighbourhood in Montreal, where artists have successfully fought to secure affordable studio space, and will reflect on the lessons that this case suggests for a broader struggle against displacement.


Gentrification and the suburbs
Suzanne Lanyi Charles, Assistant Professor, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan
March 19, 2013, 7:00pm
Room 2600, SFU Surrey

“Suburban gentrification” of older, inner-ring suburbs is an emerging phenomenon that has the potential to transform metropolitan regions. It may foreshadow shifts in household location patterns and changes in the socio-economic composition of neighborhoods similar to examples of gentrification observed in central cities. Using evidence of residential redevelopment in the inner-ring suburbs of Chicago, in the lecture Prof. Charles discusses the unique manifestation of redevelopment/gentrification in the inner-ring suburban context.


Gentrification and social inclusion/exclusion
Loretta Lees, Professor of Human Geography, Department of Geography, King’s College London, UK
April 4, 2013, 7:00pm
Room 1900 (Fletcher Challenge Theatre), SFU Vancouver (Harbour Centre)

This paper discusses the displacement of low income populations in inner London due to state-led gentrification. State-led gentrification is occurring through the large scale demolition and ‘urban regeneration’ of council estates in inner London, a process sold to the public through mixed communities policy. This ‘new urban renewal’ (Hyra, 2008) is leading to the social cleansing of the final gentrification frontiers in inner London. Some disturbing stories of C21st state ‘Rachmanism’ are revealed by those forced to leave their homes. This state-led gentrification is in the process of being further escalated by the Coalition government’s benefit caps. Prof. Lees argues that if these processes continue London will end up being the ‘embarras de richesses’ that Ruth Glass (1964) predicted.

The Gentrification and the City series is funded from an endowment by the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.