Gentrification as a global strategy. Neil Smith and Beyond



Edited by Abel Albet and Núria Benach
London and New York: Routledge
First published: June 2017 (© 2018)
Routledge Critical Studies in Urbanism and the City, Series
ISBN: 978-1-138-23425-3 (hbk)
ISBN: 978-1-315-30751-0 (ebk)
304 pages


This book pays homage to Neil Smith’s ideas, offering a critical approach and rich collection of insights that draw on Smith’s work for inspiration and debate. With interdisciplinary and international contributions from leading experts, the book demonstrates the impact of Smith’s ideas on understanding the role of urbanisation in general and gentrification, in particulate, in contemporary society. The book demonstrates how gentrification varies significantly from city to city, across different cultural and political-economic regimes, and in terms of the timing of urban transformations.

This collection of texts provides a forum for debate for those working in urban regeneration and citizenship, and those directly affected by the processes and problems arising from gentrification. It will be of interest to students and scholars in urban geography, urban sociology, cultural studies, and wider social and urban theories.

Abel Albet is an Associate Professor at the Department of Geography, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.

Núria Benach is an Associate Professor at the Department of Geography, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain.



Part I. Neil Smith: A tribute

  1. Neil Smith and gentrification (Abel ALBET and Núria BENACH)
  1. A political-geographic project against capitalism: An essay on the work of Neil Smith (Luz Marina GARCÍA HERRERA and Fernando SABATÉ BEL)
  1. The apocryphal diary of Neil Smith (Fernando SABATÉ BEL)

Part II. On gentrification and the rent gap theory

  1. The state of gentrification has always been extra-economic (Hamish KALLIN)
  1. Gentrification: Disaster, necessity, opportunity? Notes for a critical use of the concept (Francesco INDOVINA and Oriol NEL·LO)
  1. Toward a theory of gentrination: Global capital flows and the reshaping of the global semi-periphery. The cases of Greece and Brazil (Antonis VRADIS)
  1. Making rent gap theory not true (Eric CLARK)
  1. Rent gap theory is a political resource (Ernesto LÓPEZ-MORALES)

Part III. Dispossession and class struggle

  1. From Boise to Budapest: Capital circulation, compound capitalist destruction, and the persistence of homelessness (Don MITCHELL)
  1. Revanchism, ignorance and class struggle in austerity Britain (Tom SLATER)
  1. The class gap in gentrification: A political reading of the rent gap hypothesis (Marc MORELL)
  1. The new urban frontier of everyday evictions: Contemporary state practices of revanchism (Vickie COOPER and Kirsteen PATON)
  1. Capturing urban rent through evictions: Home dispossessions in the historic centre of Palma (Majorca) (Sònia VIVES-MIRÓ and Onofre RULLAN)

Part IV. Policies and strategies

  1. Financialised rent gaps and the public interest in Berlin’s housing crisis: Reflections on N. Smith’s ‘generalised gentrification’ (Laura CALBET i ELIAS)
  1. Beyond the ‘revanchist city’: When public policies softly support gentrification in the name of social mix. The case of Inner Paris (Anne CLERVAL)
  1. Urban regeneration, rent and labour: Insights from Barcelona’s ‘Knowledge District’ (Greig CHARNOCK, Hug MARCH, Thomas PURCELL and Ramon RIBERA-FUMAZ)
  1. A disappearing world: The ever-expanding ‘frontier of gentrification’ through the eyes of Porto’s historic centre long-time residents (João QUEIRÓS)
  1. Architecture of violence: ‘Anti-beggar architecture’ as the ‘eureka’ of urban regeneration (Sonia Maria Taddei FERRAZ, Luis Gustavo Rosadas CAMPOS, Mayra Duarte LIMA, Paula Ramos Corrêa Carvalho de MENDONÇA and Leticia Lyra ACIOLY)

 Part V. Activism and resistance

  1. The urban frontier: Gentrification as ideology and class politics in the remaking of marginal urban space (Catharina THÖRN and Katarina DESPOTOVIC)
  1. Alternative geographies for social action in Medellín (Eryka Y. TORREJÓN CARDONA)
  1. Alternative narratives from an invisible city: Gentrification, counter-proposals, and women activism (María del Socorro PÉREZ RINCÓN FERNÁNDEZ)
  1. The onslaught against the Greek squatting movement and the value that it produced (Myrto DAGKOULY-KYRIAKOGLOU)
  1. Revanchism and the racial state: Ferguson as ‘internal colony’ (Deborah COWEN and Nemoy LEWIS)

Part VI. Neil Smith and beyond

  1. Gentrification and the urban struggle: Neil Smith and beyond (Núria BENACH and Abel ALBET)