Gentrification in Spain and Latin America — a Critical Dialogue


Major social and political transformations such as the shift towards neoliberal urban policies have widely altered the contemporary structuring of metropolitan areas in Spain and Latin America. One key consequence is the recapture of city centres by wealthy tenants and the eviction of poorer households, a phenomenon usually designated by the term gentrification. In comparison to the comprehensive documentation of gentrification in the Anglophone environment, few scholars have paid attention to this phenomenon in this area of the world so far. This article responds to this gap, providing an exhaustive revision of the debates about gentrification occurring in Spain and Latin America during the last decade and tracking two theoretical motivations. First, it stresses the necessity of characterizing gentrification discourses in Spain and Latin America, preparing a conceptual appropriation and contextualization of the term itself. Second, it confirms that gentrification in Spain and Latin America varies substantially from processes observed in the Anglophone world. As a result, the review develops insights into emancipating and challenging debates that remain useful for the mainstream gentrification discourse too. Addressing this, it proposes a reconsideration and repoliticization of gentrification through the territorial and linguistic lens of Spanish and Latin American researchers.