- Gentrification as a governmental strategy: social control and social cohesion in Hoogvliet, Rotterdam
- Environment and Planning A
- Volume | Issue number
- 39 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The emergence of gentrification as a ‘global urban strategy’ (Smith, 2002, "New globalism, new urbanism: gentrification as a global urban strategy" Antipode 34 427 - 451) is clearly visible in the peripheral boroughs of Dutch cities. We suggest, however, that the driving force of gentrification in these areas is not the local government’s need to strengthen its tax base or developers’ pursuit of profit. Gentrification is also not a response to the housing demands of a new middle class. Instead, we conceive of state-led gentrification in the Netherlands, and perhaps elsewhere as well, as an attempt by a coalition of state actors and housing associations at generating social order in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Gentrification is used to pacify tensions and to reduce concentrations that pose a problem for authorities. In many cases, residents support this strategy, either actively or passively. But, at the same time, interaction between low-income and higher-income households, and between renters and homeowners, in restructured neighbourhoods are often superficial at best and hostile at worst. Thus, gentrification undermines social cohesion and thereby reduces the chance that residents will find solutions for tensions in the neighbourhood.
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