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 24: Alternatives to gentrification: exploring urban community land trusts and urban ecovillage practices

Susannah Bunce


The intention in this chapter is not to champion or prescribe certain models or practices as ideal types or as cure-alls for gentrification, but instead to explore current progressive community-based alternatives to housing provision and land ownership and stewardship as methods to challenge local scale gentrification processes and encourage community self-determination. Through the study of community land trusts and ecovillages in cities, the chapter demonstrates how individuals and communities, largely at the neighbourhood scale, can engage in alternative practices of everyday urban living and how these may act as aspirational spaces for community-based empowerment and for shaping new urban futures. While not all urban community land trusts and ecovillages identify their rationales and mandates as resisting gentrification, the work of these organizations inherently challenges dominant relations of production and consumption through the de-commodification of housing and land and by acting as collective, participatory spaces for cultivating social and environmental justice and change in everyday life.

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