Abstract The paper starts with the observation that gentrification literature gives different accounts of the social consequences of gentrification. Whereas some observers underline the negative consequences of gentrification for indigenous residents or even equate gentrification with ‘displacement’. If gentrification does not result in the actual out-migration of local residents, they often do not feel at home anymore in the neighbourhood that has changed due to the influx of middle class households (‘displacement pressure’). Other authors relativize the negative consequences of gentrification arguing that indigenous residents benefit as well from improvements in gentrifying districts (more shops, more safety due to increased police supervision, etcetera). This theoretical discussion leads to the research question how local residents of three Rotterdam districts perceive and evaluate (starting) gentrification in their neighbourhood. Our findings are less unambiguous than these theoretical perspectives would suggest. On the one hand, indigenous residents appreciate what they see as improving living conditions in their neighbourhoods. These neighbourhood improvements are partly the result of a greater attention and stricter policies of public institutions in gentrifying districts. However, these improvements also result from single-handed interventions of local residents and community organizations themselves. On the other hand, some respondents regret what is seen as the loss of old habits and the traditional working class culture and identity of these neighbourhoods. The question is, however, whether the working class culture of these areas disappeared as a result of gentrification or following the earlier out-migration of native Dutch families from these areas and the influx of immigrant households.

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CIMIC: Citizenship, Migration & the City
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Snel, E., Aussen, S., Berkhof, F., & Renlo, Q. (2011). The struggle to belong. Dealing with diversity in 21st century urban settings.
Views of gentrification from below: how Rotterdam local residents experience gentrification?. CIMIC: Citizenship, Migration & the City. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/31718