New paper: The long history of gentrification in Vienna, 1890-2020.

I have a new paper on the history of gentrification in Vienna out in the journal City. It’s a collaborative piece I co-authored with the geographer Walter Matznetter from the University of Vienna. We attempt to account for the changing state of gentrification in the city over the last 130 years. Furthermore, we draw three broader arguments for gentrification scholarship from the Vienna case. The abstract is below, you can read the full paper open-access here:

The paper is part of a special feature on Gentrification in historical perspective. Thanks to @CodyHochstenB and @TimVerlaan for putting it together, for useful comments and for including our paper. Thanks to the City editors for helpful feedback! You can find the full special feature here:

We do more work on gentrification and housing system change in Vienna in our Housing Research Group at TU Wien. You can find more on our work here:

Kadi, J. & W. Matznetter (2022) The long history of gentrification in Vienna 1890-2020. City – Analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action.
This article distinguishes between six historical phases of gentrification in Vienna. These phases emanate from shifting demographic, economic and housing policy circumstances that have decisively shaped gentrification dynamics in the city. Vienna is a rather unusual context compared to cities that are typically in the focus of gentrification research: for considerable parts of the 20th century, the city experienced pronounced demographic decline and economic stagnation. Meanwhile, strong state intervention from the 1920s onwards has shaped the urban housing market. We show how these particular circumstances have moulded gentrification processes throughout the past 130 years. We draw three broader arguments from our analysis: first, there is great value in historicizing gentrification research. Not only does it add empirical evidence to whether and how gentrification functioned prior to it first being mentioned in 1960s London, but also offers a substantial insight into current mechanisms of gentrification. In Vienna, institutions, rules and buildings from earlier periods persist and continue to exert considerable influence on the specificities of gentrification dynamics today. Second, the Vienna case highlights the need to develop more locally specific periodizations of gentrification that give more consideration to contextual circumstances. Third, the analysis points to two specific forms of neighbourhood downgrading since 1890, which are relevant in Vienna and possibly also in other cities: ‘incumbent downgrading’ for 1918–1938, and ‘reverse gentrification’ for the atrocities of Nazi housing policy between 1938 and 1945. View paper