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Exploring Anti-GentrificAtion PracticEs and policies in Southern European Cities

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Informed practices and policies to support the fight against gentrification in southern European cities

The effects of gentrification are being exacerbated by the debt crisis and subsequent austerity in southern European cities (SECs). An EU initiative explored the relationship between gentrification and policy, as well as forms of resistance and alternative responses.

Digital Economy
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Fundamental Research

Gentrification resistance practices are emerging in SECs. However, these efforts appear to be fragmented, and there is a lack of systematic understanding of their potential and capability to counter urban inequalities. To address this gap, the EU-funded AGAPE (Exploring anti-gentrification practices and policies in southern European cities) project studied and compared the rise of anti-gentrification practices in Athens, Madrid and Rome. Project partners examined the relevance of gentrification resistance theory in understanding the emergence of anti-eviction, anti-speculative and anti-privatisation practices in SECs during the post-2008 economic crisis. They researched and contextualised different types of displacement within the political and institutional regulatory landscape and housing systems of SECs. In addition, to strengthen knowledge on preventing displacement, the AGAPE team investigated anti-gentrification practices. Findings were fed into an anti-gentrification toolkit aimed at policymakers and activists. It was introduced at a final workshop that attracted a broad range of stakeholders, including people under eviction and anti-eviction platforms, housing policymakers and researchers, planners, tenant unions, activists and neighbourhood organisations. They discussed the potential and limits of anti-gentrification discourse and practices in confronting expulsion schemes that characterise SECs under austerity. AGAPE outcomes will contribute to the way cities frame the issue of urban displacement and the institutional capacity to address it. SECs will be in a better position to successfully implement displacement prevention and mitigation measures amid growing concerns over eviction and its effects and socioeconomic cost.


Gentrification, southern European cities, AGAPE, eviction, displacement, housing

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