Gentrification and the City speaker series, Fall 2013

The Urban Studies program is hosting three lectures this fall on the topic of gentrification. See below for speakers and dates. Be sure to register!

Gentrification is typically associated with change in inner city housing markets. The goal of this speaker series is to advance some wider perspectives on gentrification, recognizing that housing change is only one aspect of this broader social and economic process.

Gentrification and the future of rental housing David Hulchanski, Dr. Chow Yei Ching Chair in Housing, Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto REGISTER

October 29, 2013 | 7PM

Canada’s increasing income inequality is speeding up the social-spatial “sorting” of who loves where in our cities with the almost sole criterion being money. Money buys choice, including choice of neighbourhood. The more money, the more choice. With huge income disparities not only are people with little choice being displaced but existing rental housing in many neighbourhoods is also under threat.

Gentrification and the waterfront Jasper Rubin, Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning, San Francisco State University REGISTER

November 7, 2013 | 7PM

Using the storied San Francisco waterfront as a case study, this lecture will examine the reflexive relationship that gentrification creates between the waterfront and the city.  That is, the transformation of San Francisco’s waterfront over the last several decades can be seen as a process of ‘industrial gentrification.’  In turn, new uses and activities at the urban shoreline support or encourage gentrification elsewhere in the city.  However, the process has not just displaced blue collar work, or been a source of new-build gentrification, it has brought with it the creation of public space and possibilities for civic life   –  places for people at the water’s edge – making it a little difficult in this case to describe development/gentrification as solely a harmful process.  Unlike accounts of state-led gentrification, many of the positive aspects of recent change along the waterfront have been the result of planning policy and public engagement.

Gentrification and the death and life of American cities  Suleiman Osman Associate Professor, Department of American Studies, George Washington University REGISTER

November 20, 2013 | 7PM

No figure has had more of an impact on American and Canadian cities in the 20th century than Jane Jacobs. In a era where city planners advocated massive urban renewal projects, Jacobs’ seminal 1961 text  “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” championed the rehabilitation of dense, walkeable, historic neighborhoods like her Greenwich Village. But was she simply describing an early form of “gentrification”? Today, ironically, many Jacobsian neighborhoods like Brooklyn’s Park Slope, Vancouver’s Kitsilano, and even Greenwich Village itself are high-income enclaves with wildly expensive renovated homes. This talk will discuss the legacy of Jane Jacobs in the gentrifying city. Was Jacobs a ‘gentrifer’? Does it matter

The Gentrification and the City series is funded from an endowment by the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

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