North American gentrification? Revanchist and emancipatory perspectives explored

T Slater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)


By offering a response to recent calls for a 'geography of gentrification', the author attempts to move on from the intractable theoretical divisions and overgeneralizations that continue to pervade the gentrification literature. The research described in this paper takes the form of a comparative assessment of the gentrifying neighbourhoods of South Parkdale, Toronto, Canada, and Lower Park Slope, New York City, USA. A central part of this research has been an engagement with two contrasting academic discourses on gentrification, the 'emancipatory city' (a Canadian construct) and the 'revanchist city' (a US construct), to examine how gentrification may or may not have changed since these discourses were produced and articulated. The author combines narratives from in-depth interviews (with a particular focus on displaced tenants) with supplementary data from secondary sources and demonstrates that gentrification is neither emancipatory nor revanchist in either case. This has important implications for how gentrification is understood and evaluated in Canada and the USA. Although one can see crucial broad similarities both in the causes and in the effects of gentrification in each neighbourhood (which would appear to endorse casual references to 'North American gentrification'), the process is also differentiated according to contextual factors, and the nuances of the gentrification process are illuminated and clarified by international comparison. In sum, the author points to the need to exercise caution in referring to 'North American gentrification', especially as a geography of gentrification is only in its infancy.
Translated title of the contributionNorth American gentrification? Revanchist and emancipatory perspectives explored
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1191 - 1213
Number of pages23
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Volume36 (7)
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Pion


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