This chapter discusses what gentrification is and why it is the cause of urban inequalities. In the last fifty years, gentrification has grown from a few cities in the Global North to become a worldwide strategy for capital accumulation. The following pages explore this evolution and contributes towards explaining why it has become a prominent topic for urban geography research, policy makers and social movements. The chapter shows the role of the state and neoliberal urban policies in advancing gentrification, stressing the fact that the growth of the phenomenon is a central ingredient for the reproduction of capitalism. Finally, it assesses the way in which gentrification displaces residents from their places and so provides a critical understanding of gentrification as a process of social exclusion.
This chapter brings into conversation the literature on tourism and gentrification and shows how both processes intersect in several ways. Special attention is given to the extent to which tourism can be interpreted as a gentrifying process that causes different forms of displacement. Although tourism gentrification has especially been noted in cities, the process also affects non-urban spaces, in particular the coastal and rural contexts. In this regard, tourism gentrification can be seen as an example of ‘other geographies of gentrification’. Although some scholars have noted that tourism threatens the right to ‘stay put’ of existing residents, a conceptualisation of how this phenomenon occurs has not been fully considered. Tourism opens up possibilities for real estate investment, introduces differentiated lifestyles and poses several risks for indigenous residents. In other words, tourism plays a crucial role in the production and consumption of space and leads to different forms of displacement. It is for this reason that tourism needs to be seen as a form of gentrification.