- the buying and renovation of houses and stores in deteriorated urban neighborhoods by upper- or middle-income families or individuals, raising property values but often displacing low-income families and small businesses.
- the process of conforming to an upper- or middle-class lifestyle, or of making a product, activity, etc., appealing to those with more affluent tastes: the gentrification of fashion.
Origin of gentrification
She noted that once started, gentrification can progress “rapidly until all or most of the original working class occupiers are displaced, and the whole social character of the district is changed.” As gentrification spread to other cities around the world, especially in the 1980s and 1990s, the term also surged in use to describe these urban transformations.
Gentrification finds its etymological roots in the term gentry , or more specifically, landed gentry , a British social class of wealthy landowners who lived off their land by collecting rent from tenant farmers in cash or as a portion of the produce. The landowners also acted as local magistrates and as the caretakers of their tenants.
Glass observed that although the middle class were “uplifting” the status and condition of previously run-down residential areas, gentrification was not a simple issue by any means. The displacement of poorer families and small businesses and the disappearance of their local culture and history were among the problematic outcomes of gentrification from the outset, and this continues to be a major point of debate today. So much so, that among some critics of gentrification the term is viewed as a code word for the destructive removal of the poor in urban neighborhoods. In light of this cultural history, it is important to keep the various connotations attached to gentrification ’s meaning in mind when using the term.
Examples from the Web for gentrification
Contemporary Examples of gentrification
And gentrification is fine, the problem is the consequences—the people outside your line of sight—which is very troubling.Julian Casablancas Enters the Void: On the Strokes’ Friction, Why He Left NYC, and Starting Over
October 9, 2014
Hip trendsetters are blamed for everything from gentrification to expensive beer.Why Do We Hate Hipsters So F'ing Much?
July 13, 2014
This is gentrification of the fashion seen everywhere from Minneapolis to Mumbai.'It's Better To Jump' Tackles Gentrification in Akka
November 20, 2013
Back at Columbia Heights Village, Mary bemoans the rising rents that gentrification has caused.The Target Effect, or, How Big Box Is Bringing Washington D.C. Together
May 11, 2013
But the pace of gentrification was accelerating all through the aughties (and as far as I can tell, continues to rocket ahead).Predictions are Hard, Especially About the Future
April 23, 2013
- British a process by which middle-class people take up residence in a traditionally working-class area of a city, changing the character of the area
Word Origin for gentrification
by 1977, noun of action from gentrify.