CED 109N: Gentrification in Everyday Life

CED 109N: Gentrification in Everyday Life


Frans Padt

Days Taught:


Time Offered:


Semester Offered:

Fall 2024

The concept of ¿gentrification¿ offers a framework to understand the rapid urban and rural transformations that have occurred over the past decades all over the world. Since the 1960s, the definition of gentrification as displacement of the working class by the upper-middle class (the "gentry") has evolved to become more comprehensive and open, recognizing the 21st-century forces of globalism, capital accumulation, class reconfiguration, and landscape transformation. Gentrification is mappable as a structural and public policy force similar to suburbanization, forming one of the major historical trends shaping global cities in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

In the first part of the course, students will learn about and identify global gentrification trends in the Global North and Global South using global data. These trends will be explained as a joint effort of cities and investors to remake the social class structure and urban landscapes. Social theory and cultural studies will be used to explain ethical aspects and social mobilization against gentrification.

In the second part of the course, different types of gentrification will be reviewed, as well as survival strategies of communities experiencing adverse consequences of gentrification. This is not to say that gentrification cannot improve communities or energize them to curtail unrestrained gentrification. Students will learn to analyze situations where there is debate and uncertainty about gentrification. Next, students will apply their insights to a city of their choice anywhere in the world, using web-based mapping technologies, to develop basic skills in gentrification research.

Finally, students will conduct basic community research to discover the everyday lived experiences of a gentrifying community they are familiar with. The purpose of these exercises is for students to learn about the many perspectives and uncertainties that communities, planners and investors must negotiate. The course will end with identifying options for democratic deliberation among communities, government, and investors for creating just landscapes for the future.


Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences