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Mixed CommunitiesGentrification By Stealth?$
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Gary Bridge, Tim Butler, and Loretta Lees

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847424938

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847424938.001.0001

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The impossibility of gentrification and social mixing

The impossibility of gentrification and social mixing

(p.233) Fifteen The impossibility of gentrification and social mixing
Mixed Communities

Mark Davidson

Policy Press

Whereas gentrification once represented an unjust process of social cleansing, it is now widely viewed in policy circles as a progressive social-policy tool. Bringing the middle classes into ‘socially excluded’ areas is seen as a way in which the poor and anti-social can be incorporated into a tolerant and prosperous society. This chapter examines how these notions and their political logics have been constituted in London, in the UK. Drawing on in-depth research in a number of Thames riverside areas of new-build gentrification, it offers insight into how these policy prescriptions have impacted on different neighbourhoods. It is argued that the neighbourhood-based social relations emerging in affected areas show a lack of mixing and therefore signal an important social policy failure; but also that mounting urban changes are simultaneously generating worrying displacement pressures.

Keywords:   social cleansing, gentrification, socially excluded areas, London, neighbourhoods

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