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Project August 27, 2023

Take Up Space: Gentrification in Amsterdam and St. Louis


View of a canal opposite the Anne Frank House in Jordaan, Amsterdam, a heavily gentrified neighborhood. Image by Lauren Harpold. Netherlands, 2023.

Across the globe, gentrification assumes many forms, but it universally subjects housing and neighborhoods to commodification.

This project focuses on gentrification as the creation of policies and infrastructure to benefit an idealistic group of people, typically wealthy, that will serve to revitalize or draw investment to an area for the benefit of the city as a whole, but often with disregard for the concerns of the existing demographic or businesses in the neighborhood.

In Amsterdam, gentrification refers to policies that prioritize tourism and private investment at the expense of a historically social and affordable-housing stock unique to the multicultural city. New housing stock develops pursuant to the demand of a highly competitive and luxurious market, rather than in response to the demand of day-to-day citizens.

How does this compare to St. Louis, Missouri, where changes are happening at a slower pace. Tax credits for large developers threaten affordability and the social fabric already present in places like the city's midtown.

Across the globe, citizens are fighting back.

This project aims to shed light on the multifaceted policies that create gentrification and to highlight citizen-activists who see a different way forward—one that fosters community enrichment without displacement.


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Land Rights

Land Rights