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Sociale implicaties van stadsvernieuwing: een multilevelstudie naar de invloed van gentrificatie op sociale cohesie in Gentse wijken

Author: Eva Christiaens orcid logo

  • Sociale implicaties van stadsvernieuwing: een multilevelstudie naar de invloed van gentrificatie op sociale cohesie in Gentse wijken

    Onderzoeksartikel

    Sociale implicaties van stadsvernieuwing: een multilevelstudie naar de invloed van gentrificatie op sociale cohesie in Gentse wijken

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Abstract

As in many other cities, the Belgian city of Ghent regularly carries out urban redevelopment projects to attract middle class inhabitants and investors to its urban core. This urban renewal can cause gentrification, the revival of socially deprived neighbourhoods combined with a population shift from primarily low income to mainly middle class households. This article aims to examine which Ghent neighbourhoods have experienced gentrification between 2005 and 2012 and whether this shift has influenced the social cohesion within the area. Through the use of multilevel modelling, two possible indirect effects of gentrification are explored: the first through increased neighbourhood social mix, the second through improved neighbourhood socioeconomic status (data retrieved from the Ghent Liveability Monitor 2013 and the Ghent Neighbourhood Monitor). Social cohesion is measured as social capital and neighbourhood attachment. Results show that age, income and type of residency are key determinants of social cohesion at the individual level. At the neighbourhood level, gentrification is found to have a positive effect on both social capital and neighbourhood attachment. No indirect effect of social mix is found, neither can the effect of gentrification be ascribed solely to diminished neighbourhood deprivation. Rather, deprivation suppresses the positive effect of gentrification. This study concludes that many policy makers correctly assume that gentrification will benefit social cohesion, but mistakenly ascribe this effect to increased social mix or fully to enhanced SES of the neighbourhood. Gentrification in Ghent also shows a direct effect on social cohesion which has not yet been explained in previous studies.

How to Cite:

Christiaens, E., (2016) “Sociale implicaties van stadsvernieuwing: een multilevelstudie naar de invloed van gentrificatie op sociale cohesie in Gentse wijken”, Sociologos 37(2), 78–107. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/sociologos.86909

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Published on
20 May 2016
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