Finally, it’s with great pleasure to be able to announce the forthcoming special issue on Latin American gentrifications. This is part of the collective project that I have been working on with Loretta Lees and Ernesto López-Morales. Previous outputs included a co-edited volume Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement, a co-authored monograph Planetary Gentrification, and a special issue from Urban Studies “Locating gentrification in the Global East“. The forthcoming special issue from the journal Urban Geography marks the conclusion of our project, and the following is the co-authored introduction to the special issue:
Currently, Latin American cities are seeing simultaneous processes of reinvestment and redevelopment in their historic central areas. These are not just mega-scale interventions like Porto Maravilha in Rio or Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires or the luxury renovations seen in Santa Fé or Nueva Polanco in Mexico City, they also include state-led, piecemeal, high-rise interventions in Santiago, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Panamá and Bogotá, all of which are causing the displacement of original populations and thus are forms of gentrification. Until very recently, these processes have been under-conceptualized and little critiqued in Latin America, but they deserve careful scrutiny, along with new forms of neighbourhood organization, activism and resistance. In this introduction, we begin that task, drawing on the work begun in an Urban Studies Foundation-funded workshop on Global Gentrification held in Santiago, Chile in 2012. Our aim is not just to understand these urban changes and conflicts as gentrification, but to empirically test the applicability of a generic understanding of gentrification beyond the usual narratives of/from the global North. From this investigation, we hope to nurture new critical narratives, to engage sensitively with indigenous theoretical narratives and to understand the dialectical interplay between state policies, financial markets, local politics and people. The papers in this special issue deal with the core issues of state power and urban policies (exerted at metropolitan and neighbourhood scales), the enormous influx of financial investment in derelict neighbourhoods that produces exclusion and segregation, the significant loss of urban heritage from rapidly “renewing” neighbourhoods and the institutional arrangements that can enable anti-displacement activism and self-managed social housing production.
- “Selective modernization of Mexico City and its historic center. Gentrification without displacement?” by Delgadillo, V.
- “Gentrifications in pre-Olympic Rio de Janeiro” by Gaffney, C.
- “Contemporary Latin American gentrification? Young urban professionals discovering historic neighbourhoods” by Inzulza-Contardo, J.
- “Gentrification in Latin America: addressing the politics and geographies of displacement” by Janoschka, M. & Sequera, J.
- “Gentrification in Santiago, Chile: a property-led process of dispossession and exclusion” by López-Morales, E.
- “A city for all? Public policy and resistance to gentrification in the southern neighborhoods of Buenos Aires” by Rodríguez, M.C. & Di Virgilio, M.M.
- Commentary: “Gentrification in Latin America: some notes on unity in diversity” by Marcelo Lopes de Souza
- Commentary: “Looking comparatively at displacement and resistance to gentrification in Latin American cities” by Sara Gonzales