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WPS No.22 | Van Gent, W.P.C., Boterman, W.R. & Hoekstra, M.S. (2016) | State-sponsored gentrification or social regeneration?

Symbolic politics and neighborhood intervention in an Amsterdam working class neighborhood.

This paper discusses state interventions in a poor former-working-class area in Amsterdam – Van der Pekbuurt.

Even though the residents have been successful in resisting redevelopment and renovation plans, state and housing association continue their efforts to change the area through symbolic politics. By introducing and facilitating cultural entrepreneurs and artists in the area - as part of regeneration and gentrification strategies -, the representation of what the neighborhood is, and ought to be, gravitates towards the planners’ future vision. As such, these representations undermine the legitimacy of long-term residents. Interviews with residents reveal that the change in the neighborhood instill a sense of loss of place, exacerbated by cuts in local service provision.