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The changing state of gentrification

Jason Hackworth and Neil Smith

Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 2001, vol. 92, issue 4, 464-477

Abstract: Gentrification has changed in ways that are related to larger economic and political restructuring. Among these changes is the return of heavy state intervention in the process. This paper explores heightened state involvement in gentrification by examining the process in three New York City neighbourhoods: Clinton, Long Island City, and DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). We argue that state intervention has returned for three key reasons. First, continued devolution of federal states has placed even more pressure on local states to actively pursue redevelopment and gentrification as ways of generating tax revenue. Second, the diffusion of gentrification into more remote portions of the urban landscape poses profit risks that are beyond the capacity of individual capitalists to manage. Third, the larger shift towards post–Keynesian governance has unhinged the state from the project of social reproduction and as such, measures to protect the working class are more easily contested.

Date: 2001
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