The term gentrification consists of a process of transformation of an urban space that is in a state of deterioration or that is in the process of decaying from the reconstruction or building rehabilitation with higher heights than the pre-existing ones. This causes an increase in rents or the cost of housing in these spaces. This leads to the residents who traditionally inhabit the place abandoning it, locating themselves in more peripheral places. This is what makes this “new” space to be occupied by social classes with greater economic capacity that allows them to contribute these new costs.

What is gentrification?

Gentrification is an adequate adaptation to Spanish of the English term gentrification , which refers to the process by which the original population of a sector or neighborhood, generally central and popular, is progressively displaced by another with a higher purchasing power . Also used to analyze the potential tourism and trade situations in a specific area.


This process has a great and special relevance, mainly in recent years in capitalist countries and mainly in cities with significant tourist potential and economic relevance. Sometimes this process can also be used to analyze this situation regarding commercial or service uses. For example, the construction of shopping centers or stores belonging to large chains replacing small businesses.

  • Origin of gentrification
  • Stages
  • Types of gentrification
  • Causes of gentrification
  • Effects edit
  • Consequences of gentrification
  • Examples of gentrification
  • Argentina
  • Spain
  • London

Origin of gentrification

The English word gentrification derives from the noun gentry which refers to the upper bourgeoisie , small aristocracy, good family or good people. It is a term that has also been adapted to French (gentrification), German (Gentrifizierung) and Portuguese (gentrificação). The term gentrification was used for the first time by the sociologist Ruth Glass in 1964 when she dedicated herself to studying the social changes that occurred in London in relation to the rest of the territory.


The gentrification process is based on three phases that occur in the life cycle of a sector classified as urban . This cycle has been carried out by industrial neighborhoods in developing and expanding cities. The first phase of the process is known as birth and is based on its configuration as an enclave of the workers in a modern capitalist city . the industrializationIt is in charge of forming a new configuration of the urban center with the presence of the workers and of the productive activities and at the same time it forms industrial enclaves, which means the attraction of important immigration groups that come from rural areas. This, in turn, causes people who come to work to look for a place to live in the vicinity of their work. The second phase is the abandonment of the sector.  For the process to take place, the place must first suffer a devaluation generated mainly by the decapitalization of the area. As the decline of the neighborhood progresses, new elements are introduced in the area attracted by the low rents of the land. The last phase is known as revaluation and it consists of revaluing the centers of the developed cities that become the main base of the economic development of the system.

Types of gentrification

The types of gentrification are innumerable. This process has special relevance in recent years in capitalist countries and mainly in cities with significant tourist potential and economic relevance. Sometimes it is also used to build shopping centers or stores. The phenomenon is diverse and has taken many forms. A working-class neighborhood could become an upper-class neighborhood, a middle-class neighborhood with raw materials for design and art could also change completely. The neighborhood, which has been degraded on some occasions, becomes a historic site devoted entirely to tourism. And the working-class area, full of abandoned premises, will be a wealthy-class residential area.

Causes of gentrification

The causes of gentrification occurred when a group of people who had a certain economic level discovered a small neighborhood of poor people, which, despite being abandoned and economically and commercially depreciated , provided quality. These people decided to settle in the place taking advantage of the prices that circulated in the area.

Effects edit

The gentrification brings along with its installation process a process of migration residential of the resident parent population in the urban center to the more peripheral areas, which affects about changes in the social composition of the area and its residents, and a change in the nature and tenure regimes, whether owned or rented. The working class cannot live in these places and must go out and look for new homes as prices rise considerably.

Consequences of gentrification

Among the main consequences we have that the price of houses increases considerably making most of the people who live in the place cannot afford it. There are huge inequalities by social class and inequality in the territories. This progressive expulsion of the population is compounded by the inability of the evicted or emancipated young people, originally from the neighborhood, to pay for a home in it, as a result of the revaluation and the increase in prices in relation to housing. There is also a reduction in housing occupancy rates

Examples of gentrification


Buenos Aires is one of the largest agglomerations in Latin America, it presents significant urban transformations from the neoliberal economic restructuring , it was historically conformed as a European city, that is, with a “compact” growth. There are three cases of recent real estate investment in central areas, with different strategies by the local government such as:

1) The transformations that took place in the old market ” El Abasto “.

2) The various investments in the neighborhood of “ Palermo ”.

3) A strategy with shared responsibility between the local and federal government as was the case of the ” Puerto Madero ” project, to show some public strategies which seek to attract private investment by generating gentrification processes.


In Madrid it happens, has happened or can happen in neighborhoods like Malasaña, Lavapiés , Chueca and Tetuán . And it generates fervent followers and a lot of criticism. A neighborhood populated by attractive people, full of a hectic social and cultural life , modern shops, safe streets, designer bars and many gin and tonics, all this where before there was an abandoned and gray place sick with drugs and prostitution.


Dalston is a typical example of gentrification. Dalston is London’s old ‘new trendy neighborhood’ and one of those examples of gentrification. In 2009 Vogue elevated it to the category of ‘coolest area in London’ and, since then, hordes of modern establishments are placed throughout its organic stores, prices rise more and more and new stores open their doors increasingly. It is now the ‘new trendy neighborhood’.

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