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New-Build Gentrification: Its Histories, Trajectories, and Critical Geographies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mark Davidson, Loretta Lees

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395 - 411
Number of pages17
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010

King's Authors


New-build gentrification has been the subject of renewed attention of late. The impetus was Lambert and Boddy, who asserted that inner-city new-build developments in British city centres should not be viewed as a form of gentrification. While the term has long been generally accepted, Lambert and Boddy, and, more recently, Boddy, argue that the demographic transformations stimulated by city centre new-build developments are relatively innocuous. They do not cause population displacement, and are not associated with the rent-hike and eviction processes of gentrification proper. Indeed, within a move to rethink the workings and consequences of gentrification more generally (e.g. Butler), there has been a new questioning of whether this, or any, contemporary form of gentrification produces significant displacement concerns. In this paper, we address these new debates. We begin by tracing the histories of new-build gentrification, highlighting its long-standing presence, and then we move on to look at its trajectories, focusing our lens on London to demonstrate the diversity and complexity of this process in just one city. We outline the presence of displacement both direct and indirect as a complex and nuanced process (not just a spatial moment), but one that has nevertheless had a real-life impact on real people. Copyright (C) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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