The Dynamics of Multifaceted Gentrification: A Comparative Analysis of the Trajectories of Six Neighbourhoods in the Île‐de‐France Region


In this article, we propose to examine the diversity of ‘gentrification’ trajectories taken by six neighbourhoods in the Île‐de‐France Region. To apprehend the dynamics of the different gentrification processes, we investigate the manner in which changes in the urban environment render it accessible to certain residential aspirations and lifestyles and inaccessible to others. Our findings, based on a combination of a quantitative survey and socio‐historical analyses of six inner‐city and suburban neighbourhoods, suggest that ongoing gentrification largely depends on ways in which newcomers are able to maintain their lifestyle, and consequently on the elements likely to disrupt this. Thwarted gentrification, observed for example in the Goutte d’Or, can only be understood if we consider the not inconsiderable difficulties of daily life in such neighbourhoods and the relatively low level of social tolerance of newcomers. Static analyses attentive only to the structure of the property market do not account for the nuisances that, over time, make an environment intolerable and drive residents away. The dynamics of multifaceted gentrification relate, therefore, not only to the diverse structural characteristics of the various neighbourhoods but also to the differentiated — functional, social and sensitive — everyday experiences, perceptions and evaluations of the built environment.