PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2012, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (6): 825-834.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2012.06.020

• Original Articles • Previous Articles    

A Review on Gentrification in European and North American Countries


  1. Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
  • Received:2011-10-01 Revised:2012-01-01 Online:2012-06-25 Published:2012-06-25

Abstract: The gentrification research of Europe and North America represents the mainstream and direction of the world's gentrification research. On the basis of an introduction to the tradition and derivational concepts of gentrification, this article analyzed and summarized the main theoretical explanation schools developed since the formation of concept of gentrification, especially on the two leading camps: explanation from production or supply and the explanation from consumption or demand. This article introduced three development tides of gentrification of Europe and America, and divided all gentrification research conducted since half a century ago into four development stages. They are stage of phenomenon description on gentrification, stage of fireworks between two camps, stage of theoretical integration and stage of political reply discussion on gentrification. After a simple evaluation of gentrification serving as a development strategy of the global cities and of main social-spatial effects of gentrification, this article made an investigation into the prospect of the worldwide gentrification research, and pointed out that there was still enormous space for the gentrification research even though much gentrification research has been conducted. This is because, firstly, in the aspect of theoretical research, gentrification has become an important topic in urban research, city planning and urban geography, and has always been a hot topic and academic frontier in other related social sciences. Secondly, in the aspect of empirical research, gentrification was found in almost all the big cities in the world, the process, causes, features and effects of gentrification in different countries or areas are significantly different, as a result of various social, political and economic backgrounds among countries. Therefore, there is plenty of work to do in empirical research in each country or area. Thirdly, in the aspect of expended gentrification research, the research scope and the definition of gentrification has changed remarkably since 1964, and even the concept of gentrification in the 21st century is different from the concept in the 1990s. The construction of“geography of gentrification”should be attributed to the temporaniess and variability of gentrification.

Key words: Europe, gentrification, middle class, North America, rent gap