Gentrification meaning

Gentrification and Its Definition

Gentrification is defined as the active and deliberate process of repairing damaged metropolitan towns and neighborhoods by the entry of more aristocratic residents. It's a well-known term in political and urban planning circles. Most of the discussions about this topic date back to a time when many ancient societies were attempting to evolve into new civilizations. Gentrification can thus be seen as a substantial outcome of increased interest in a specific environment. Earlier "gentrifiers" or gentrification agents were low-income artist or bohemian populations (Brown, 2017). This paper will present in comparison and contrast how the same concept has been discussed by other sources, what were their points of convergence and divergence, finally giving a conclusion to which end thoughts will be illustrated.

Gentrification as a Shift from Agrarian to Industrial Centers

As Lydia in her book; World Regional Geography Concepts postulates, gentrification is a process that has been deployed by many economies to revolutionize their urban centers into more industrial centers as opposed to the original agrarian based ones (Pulsipher, 2009). This was translated to possibly mean that the urban centers were to transform into centers of production and the rural areas were to remain centers of consumption. Analyzed critically, the shifting of the wealthy persons into urban areas so that they can influence the modernization of those regions would have left the otherwise rural parts of a given geographical area populated with the less affluent. That shift of demography would be antagonistic to the entire essence of gentrification. Gentrification envisages the even distribution of the gentrifying agents within a given local to promote even urbanization. But in contrast to this Mr. Ley (another contributor) explains; gentrification according is more of an emigration of both the affluent and the low-income earners (Ley, 2017). His view is based on the fact that wealthy neighborhoods need low-income workers to employ run their chores if everyone is aristocratic, then who would run the mundane jobs in a given district? However, Blasius (another contributor) also contrasts Lydia's concepts and supports Mr. Ley’s idea by attesting that gentrification is the emigration of both the affluent and low-income individuals into towns to promote equal and equitable development. He also insists that some level of gentrification also occurs in the rural areas since most of the raw materials consequently needed to develop the urban areas would be sourced from the rural regions thus still stimulating urbanization within those areas (Blasius, 2016).

The Role of Gentrifiers in the Process

Another aspect of gentrification is the gentrifiers or the agents of the gentrification process. Lydia places more emphasis on women being the principal agents to this process (as mentioned previously). Women are the transmitters of culture and the principle propagators of family life, where they are, societies grow. With communities increasing by population, there arises the inherent need to have social services like schools, hospitals, shopping centers. This need compels a society to adopt the new changes and move towards urbanization as a conscious response to these requirements (thus urbanization). However, Blasius and Shin (another contributor) are of a different opinion; they view men as the principal agents of gentrification. As Blasius illustrates, its men who are primarily involved with discovery and conquering of new lands, he pictures them as the gender than stimulates emigration to new virgin lands and sow seeds of life thereby settling. It's only after that first gesture that women pick it up, but the latter cannot be acclaimed as to be the originators of the entire process (Shin, 2016). Shin also acutely supports the male gender as the principal agents of this process. However, he depicts of a more collaborative effort between both men and women as the agents to the process. He insists that men could be the primary instigators of the gentrification process by emigrating to new lands, but women are the catalysts of the same process. As mentioned previously, women are the transmitters of culture and where they are families are envisaged, and then the need for societal development to meet the communal needs arise.

The Significance of Artists in Gentrification

However, the three of them stand in contrast to the idea presented by Cardullo, his opinion centers on artists being the chief gentrifiers of a given locality (Cardullo, 2017). They are the group of persons that implement their creativity and imagination in structuring how buildings and other amenities of a given town are to look like. They are the chief architectures of principal cities, and the rest of the populace only comes to occupy and utilize the models already sculptured in by the artists. This idea charters a different course of thought when it comes to the agents of gentrification since much of the emphasis had prior been placed on genders and availability of funding, but no school of thought had enlisted the significance of the artist in place. Cardullo's view is also alluded to by Lydia, (mentioned previously), she ascribes little to the very negligible importance of the architectures of a given town and attributes more significance to the women, who are at best being wealthy. That would bring in the aspect of culture transmission and funding. She further argues that if the artists were to sketch and create blueprints of real estate developing they would still have to rely on funding to realize their drawings.

Key Points of Agreement Among the Contributors

However, the four contributors to this topic have aspects of the same that they agree of, they agree on the following merits of gentrification; that it ultimately brings in urbanization to less developed areas. Lydia in her way expresses that the emigration of women to new places brings in the aspects of family that roll in the needs to develop a given place to accommodate the communal needs of the people (as mentioned previously). Blasius and Shin who hold the opinion that men or both men and women respectively are the agents of the process, ultimately lead to the urbanization of a given place regardless the agents involved. Cardullo on the other hand, who introduces artists, also gunners up to an urbanized locality because women and the monetary aspects of developments left alone cannot plan cities and towns to ensure that all societal elements are incorporated in the architecture and future planning of a city. The five of them regardless their agents of the process, agree to one possible outcome that is urbanization.

Gentrification's Impact on Crime Rates

They are also in agreement that the process helps curb crime rates. With poor development comes the increase in unemployment which in turn leads to related criminal activities. Lydia describes that in any given community, the discriminated against gender when it comes to employment opportunities are the women and young, uneducated men (Pulsipher et al.'s, 2009). She, therefore, argues that with gentrification creating more developments and thus job opportunities, women would find themselves in this newly available opportunities and therefore more households would be stable and the possible propensities to crime mitigated. Shin and Blasius also attest to the fact that with both men and women having equal opportunities for employment and earning a decent living the rates of rampant crime would decrease (Shin et al.'s, 2016), (Blasius et al.'s, 2016). Cardullo also describes that with cities well planned for and land set aside for all communal aspects like playing fields and sports arenas, the idle men and women would get places to go and indulge in leisure activities thus reducing criminal statistics (Cardullo et al.'s, 2017).


Having analyzed the views of the five sources that have contributed towards this topic, some aspects are particular, and they include; gentrification must have gentrifiers or in other terms agents. The process is highly dependent upon the society for it to work. It incorporates the involvement of more than just men and women but even professionals who inject in their knowledge towards the eventual transformation of a locality. Funding is also another crucial aspect of the same process, other to which the entire process is hampered. Development needs agents, professional planning, and funding for its work. However it is essential that all professionals in a given locality identify their role towards the gentrification of a given section of their location, this process is not just about urbanization but also a psychological and ideological development. Every profession has a communal aspect that can be exploited to yield more merits than only simple urbanization.


Blasius, J., Friedrichs, J., &Rühl, H. (2016). Pioneers and gentrifiers in the process of gentrification. International Journal of Housing Policy, 16(1), 50-69.

Brown-Saracino, J. (2017). Explicating Divided Approaches to Gentrification and Growing Income Inequality. Annual Review of Sociology, (0).

Cardullo, P., &Kitchin, R. (2017). Living Labs, vacancy, and gentrification.

Ley, D., & Yang, Q. (2017). Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement; and Planetary Gentrification. The AAG Review of Books, 5(2), 112-115.

Pulsipher, L. M., Pulsipher, A., & Goodwin, C. M. (2009). World regional geography concepts. Macmillan.

Shin, H. B., Lees, L., &López-Morales, E. (2016). Introduction: Locating gentrification in the global east. Urban Studies, 53(3), 455-470.

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