Gentrification as a global urban strategy - is there an alternative?
Keywords:spatial planning, neoliberal and social democratic urban policy, gentrification, spatial injustice, resettlement, affordable housing
This article investigates if there is an alternative to gentrification as a global urban strategy and policy, which resettle poor population from their homes, in order to free space for building new, luxurious settlements for rich. Gentrification practice, strengthened by neo-liberal urban policy, has been implemented in cities worldwide, causing great spatial and social inequalities and injustice. City leaders often avoid the dialogue with local population causing protests, riots and even direct conflicts including violence. Nowadays, one can find worldwide a shameful practice of maltreatment of poor population, prosecuting them as criminals (revanchist urbanization). Research methods used in this paper are: analysis as description and explanation, contextual and qualitative analysis, comparison and case studies. The first part of the paper will include description of gentrification as a cause of great spatial and social problems, which is an indicator of authoritarian political culture. The second part of the paper, is dedicated to case studies of gentrification from two great world cities: London as European city, and Shanghai as an Asian, Chinese city, as a kind of contextual analysis. The third part of the paper and conclusion will analyze an alternative to this neoliberal urban policy basing on experiences of urban regeneration which totally exclude or decrease bad practice. In creating a city for people and not primarily for profit, urban leaders and planners should include citizens in creation of redevelopment projects and plans, asking for their participation, suggestions and final consent. These are good lessons for reaffirmation of open cities, just society and satisfied citizens.
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