Handbook of Gentrification Studies
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Handbook of Gentrification Studies

Edited by Loretta Lees and Martin Phillips

It is now over 50 years since the term ‘gentrification’ was first coined by the British urbanist Ruth Glass in 1964, in which time gentrification studies has become a subject in its own right. This Handbook, the first ever in gentrification studies, is a critical and authoritative assessment of the field. Although the Handbook does not seek to rehearse the classic literature on gentrification from the 1970s to the 1990s in detail, it is referred to in the new assessments of the field gathered in this volume. The original chapters offer an important dialogue between existing theory and new conceptualisations of gentrification for new times and new places, in many cases offering novel empirical evidence.
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Chapter 20: New directions in urban environmental/green gentrification research

Hamil Pearsall

Abstract

This chapter looks at ‘environmental gentrification’, also called ecological gentrification or green gentrification, and how it leads to the marginalization, exclusion, or displacement of vulnerable residents and community members as a result of sustainability planning or urban greening efforts. A mainstream perception is that sustainability and greening initiatives provide benefits to all residents across the city, and further, that they will address environmental justice concerns by benefitting those who have suffered the greatest environmental burdens. This chapter argues otherwise and shows how these initiatives tend to raise property values and attract wealthier and whiter residents. Low-income residents, homeless residents, tenants in informal housing, and people of colour have found themselves excluded from the benefits of these new environmental amenities and vulnerable to unintended, yet negative, consequences, such as residential, commercial, or industrial displacement. The chapter also looks at how communities and residents are addressing this dilemma in urban greening and sustainability.

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