The danger of green gentrification infopost

The creation of parks, green areas and ecological corridors in neighborhoods and cities can lead to the exclusion of the most vulnerable social groups, if “verification” is not accompanied by adequate housing policies. This is clear from a study by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Autonomous University of Barcelona led by sociologist and geographer Isabelle Anguelovski.

The study warns of the “green gentrification” process that occurs when the original population of a lower-middle or lower-class neighborhood is displaced by inhabitants with greater purchasing power, as housing or rental prices increase due to an increase in attractiveness due to the proximity of new parks and gardens. In this way, it becomes clear that the construction and recovery of natural spaces does not benefit all groups equally.

Anguelovski advocates improving the environmental quality of neighborhoods but accompanying it with “policies that control real estate speculation in the area, promote social housing developments, limit short-term rental licenses, or encourage the creation of networks of support among neighbors and local businesses”.

The Greenlulus (Green Locally Unwanted Land Uses) project, coordinated by Anguelovski, will develop a ranking of the most environmentally fair cities over the next five years, as well as their social and health impact on residents. Thanks to a grant of 1.5 million euros from the European Union, they will compare the situation of 20 cities in Europe and another 20 in the United States.

The project already has a pilot project carried out in Barcelona, ​​which has evidenced processes of “green gentrification” in some neighborhoods of Barcelona, ​​after analyzing the evolution of the socioeconomic profile of residents near 18 parks and gardens created between 1992 and early 2000s.