Habitat Unit

Friday, 28.04.2023, 6-8 pm | Floating University, Lilienthalstraße 32, 10965 Berlin

Gentrification Is Inevitable And Other Lies. How Gentrification is killing our cities, and what we can do about it.

Leslie Kern (Mount Allison University)

Friday, 28. April 2023, 6 – 8 pm
Venue: Floating University Berlin, Lilienthalstraße 32, 10965 Berlin

What does gentrification look like? Can we even agree that it is a process of displacement? It is a question of class? Or of economic opportunity? Who does it affect the most? Is there any way to combat it?

Leslie Kern, author of the best-selling Feminist City, travels from Toronto, New York, London, Paris and San Francisco and scrutinizes the myth and the lies that surround this most urgent urban crisis of our times.

First observed in 1950s London, and theorized by leading thinkers such as Ruth Glass, Jane Jacobs and Sharon Zukin, this devastating process of displacement now can be found in almost every city and neighborhoods. Beyond the Yoga studio, farmer’s market and tattoo parlor, gentrification is more than a metaphor, but impacts the most vulnerable communities and is part of the wider financialization of our cities.

Leslie Kern proposes an intersectional way at looking at the crisis that seek to reveal the violence based on class, race, gender and sexuality. She argues that gentrification is not ‘natural’. That it cannot be understood in economics terms, or by class. That it is not a question of taste. That it can only be measured only by the physical displacement of certain people. Rather, she argues, it is an continuation of the settler colonial project that removed natives from their land. Gentrification today is rising rents and evictions, transformed retail areas, increased policing and broken communities.

But if gentrification is not inevitable, what can we do to stop the tide? In response, Leslie Kern proposes a genuinely decolonial, queer- feminist anti-gentrification. One that demands the right to the city for everyone and the return of land and reparations for those who have been displaced.

Leslie Kern, PhD, is the author of three major books about cities, including Gentrification Is Inevitable And Other and Feminist City: Claiming Space in a Man-Made World. She is an associate professor of geography and environment and director of women’s and gender studies at Mount Allison University, in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada.
Her research has earned a Fulbright Visiting Scholar Award, a National Housing Studies Achievement Award, and several national multi-year grants. She is also an award-winning teacher as well as an academic career coach. Leslie Kern’s writing has appeared in The Guardian, Vox, Bloomberg CityLab, LitHub, and Refinery29.
The German edition of Leslie Kern's book was published by Unrast Verlag: Gentrifizierung lässt sich nicht aufhalten und andere Lügen in March 2023.

The event is organized and moderated by Prof. Dr. Anna Steigemann and Dr. Moritz Ahlert
The event takes place in cooperation with the ›Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Connect Project: Queer Spaces and Future Intimacies‹. 
The event will be held in English.
More Info: https://transformingsolidarities.net

Foto: (c) Monika Keiler