Is the gentrification of our global cities inevitable?

Heygate Estate, London in 2013 before demolition. Robert Dimov (CC BY-SA 3.0)

This month’s episode of the LSE IQ podcast looks at the issue of gentrification and whether its steady march across our global cities is inevitable.

In 1964 the sociologist Ruth Glass coined the term ‘gentrification’ to describe the process of London’s working class neighbourhoods being taken over by the middle classes. Modest two-up two down terrace houses were bought cheap, done up and made into expensive residences. Once grand Victorian houses that had fallen on hard times and become lodging houses or homes to multiple families, were restored once again and sub-divided into luxury flats.

Soon the working class residents had been squeezed out of the neighbourhood and its character changed completely. Fifty years on and this process continues apace in London and many other cities.

The experts featured in this episode are Dr Suzanne Hall, Department of Sociology, LSE; Dr Alan Mace, Department of Geography and Environment, LSE; Dr David Madden, Department of Sociology, LSE; Emad Megahed, owner of Tekk Room and Chair of Elephant & Castle Traders' Association; and Dr Patria Roman-Velazquez, Chair of Latin Elephant and Senior Lecturer at Loughborough University.

Each episode of LSE IQ sees a range of LSE academics, and other experts, line up to give their perspective on one timely question. For all episodes of LSE IQ, and to subscribe on iTunes and SoundCloud, please visit or search for 'LSE IQ' in your favourite podcast app, or subscribe on Apple Podcasts.