184.9 Contextualizing gentrification: A comparative study of Madrid and Buenos Aires

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 12:00 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Distributed Paper
Neoliberal urban policies have altered the contemporary structuring of metropolitan areas in North and South Global cities. The recapture of central areas in the city by wealthy tenants, by the tourism economy and by other leisure activities is a key consequence of this process. This phenomenon, combined with the eviction of poorer households, is usually addressed by the term gentrification. Our purpose is to characterise gentrification discourses in Spain and Latin America by contrasting two central cities such as Madrid and Buenos Aires. This paper analyses the powerful logics of private and public interventions causing gentrification in urban areas, and confirms that gentrification in Spain and Latin America varies substantially from the process observed in the Anglophone world. Both examples serve as a base to understand how neoliberal urban regimes intend to transform the central city in a highly segregated, commercialised and economised space by different ways. It highlights the necessity to have a conceptual appropriation and contextualisation of the term within this specific geographic framework. As a result, this paper develops insights into emancipating and challenging debates of the gentrification discourse reconsidering and re-politicising gentrification through two cities of Spanish and Argentina.