Gentrification as a Global Urban Strategy - Is there an Alternative ?

Prof. Snežana Djordjevic
Miss Milena Dinić

1. This article investigates is there an alternative to gentrification as a global urban strategy and policy, which creates great spatial and social inequilities and injustice. Gentrification practice has been implemented in cities all over the world. Neo-liberal urban policy, in global competition for investments, development and jobs, often forgets their own citizens. In this process, poor and even middle class population, is directly or indirectly removed from their settlements to free the space for new buildings and regeneration. City leaders often avoid the dialogue with local population, which often causes protests and riots and even direct conflict including violence. Nowadays one can find all over the world shameful practice of maltreatment of poor population, prosecuting them as criminals (revanchist urbanization).
2. Research methods are description of conditions, analysis of gentrification consequences in a two great world cities (comparison) and analysis of benefits from alternative urban policy. The aim of this article is to describe how globalized world economy strengthens authoritarian political culture, stimulates gentrification, causing great spatial and social problems.
In first part, article analyzes forms and consequences of gentrification in a two great world cities: London as European city, and Shanghai as an Asian, Chinese city, both with specific, cultural, social and ethnic characteristics. We expect that the comparison can show some similarities (great influx of population, both rich and poor, economic migrants etc) but also differences related to political system, democratic tradition, culture, economic position in world economy etc. The research focus will be the position of citizens which are displaced from their settlements to periphery, decreasing their living conditions, and leaving them without any good and just choice.
As alternative to this neoliberal urban policy, we will point out to good examples of democratic urban policy (good practice from cities from developed and developing world) where projects on urban regeneration totally exclude or decrease bad practice. In creating a city for people urban leaders and planners include citizens in creation of redevelopment projects and plans, asking for their participation, suggestions and final consent. These are good lessons for re-affirmation of open cities, just society and satisfied citizens.