Go on play with the words, the effect is the same: how gentrification and liveability feature in public discourses of neighbourhood change
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Despite its association with displacement, gentrification remains a persuasive model for encouraging economic development and growth. For gentrification strategies to remain politically palatable, policy discourses mask the exclusionary consequences of neighbourhood (re)investment. These discourses suggest that neighbourhood improvements are equally distributed, anesthetizing critical understandings of gentrification. This thesis contributes to contemporary scholarship investigating the relationship between discourse and gentrification. It analyzes the extent to which public discourses of neighbourhood change comprehensively consider inequality, affordability, gentrification, and displacement; specifically, the extent to which displacement is recognized within public discourse as a consequence of neighbourhood change. Each chapter uses discourse and framing analysis to investigate an area of public discourse: in the first, media discourses; in the second, neighbourhood planning and policy language. Whereas gentrification researchers studying policy often target the policy discourse itself as the tool that silences critical reflection, this thesis demonstrates that media discourses – used as a proxy for mainstream discourses more broadly – have evicted critical class considerations. Public policy discourses, liveability in particular, then perpetuate this eviction to encourage the types of neighbourhood change that benefit affluent groups and accumulation. In order to reverse this process, planning and policy practitioners should acknowledge inequality, different experiences of neighbourhood change, and make minimizing displacement a primary policy objective.
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Paolo Tolfo (2019). Go on play with the words, the effect is the same: how gentrification and liveability feature in public discourses of neighbourhood change. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/15162