4 Reasons Why Gentrification Concerns All of Us

Most of us fantasize about buying a property in an up-and-coming neighborhood where we can afford our dream space (garden anyone?) — but while we realize our dreams, we might just be our neighbor’s worst nightmare.

Marie Dicott
4 min readMar 29, 2021


What is gentrification?

You might be familiar with the term gentrification, if not - here is a quick explanation:

Def.: Gentrification — the process by which a poor neighborhood in a city is changed by people who have money, including esp. the improvement or replacement of buildings

Why is it happening?

Having established what gentrification is, we might wonder — is it new? Are the popular house-flipping videos on YouTube to blame? The Millenials who don’t want to take on huge loans for white picket fences?

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

No, the phenomenon of gentrification is as old as our ancient societies, dating back as far as Ancient Rome. Yet, the term was only coined in 1964 by sociologist Ruth Glass. She described this process by the example of Islington, a former working-class London Borough, where displacement of the local community through middle-class people happened especially fast. But why is it only becoming a problem now? Well, it isn’t. But it has been sped up by a globalized economy where wealthy developers use the housing market to achieve extreme profit margins and by the process of urban de-industrialization. De-industrialization of our major cities, a process happening in waves since the 1970s, is a major cause of the deterioration of former industrial areas and blue-collar neighborhoods. Now, depending on your financial situation this might translate to you …

  1. being pleased that your property value is going up.
  2. begin displeased that coffee is getting more expensive.
  3. having to move because your landlord or landlady is raising your rent.

But I am pleased my property value is going up — why should I care?

#1 Unsustainable speculative property prices with



Marie Dicott

Junior Doctor & Feminist, Coffee Addict and Writer