The New Middle Class and the Remaking of the Central City

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1996 - Social Science - 383 pages
What factors lie behind the rehabilitation of central city districts across the world? Set against the context of international transformations in a post-industrial postmodern society, this book examines the creation and self-creation of a new middle class of professional and managerial workers associated with the process of gentrification. These are amongst the privileged members in the growing polarization of urban society. The book examines their impact on central housing markets, retailing and leisure spaces in the inner city as well as their effects on urban planning and urban policies. Taking as its focus six large Canadian cities, the author identifies a distinctive cultural new class of urbane social and cultural professionals inspired in part by the critical youth movements of the 1960s for whom old inner city neighbourhoods served as oppositional sites to assail the bourgeois suburbs. The study looks at their close links with reform movements, neighbourhood activism and a welfare state that often provided their employment, in a progressive aesthetization of central city spaces since the 1980s. The New Middle Class and the Remaking of the Central City offers the first detailed and comparative study of gentrification which locates the phenomenon in broader historical and theoretical contexts.

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About the author (1996)

David Ley is at University of British Columbia.

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