Gentrification, property and political capitalism in Poland Cover Image
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Gentryfikacja, własność i polski kapitalizm polityczny
Gentrification, property and political capitalism in Poland

Author(s): Kacper Pobłocki
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: KSIĘGARNIA AKADEMICKA Sp. z o.o.
Keywords: gentrification; property; under‑urbanization; Neil Smith; political capitalism

Summary/Abstract: My point of departure in this piece is the putative “under-urbanization” of East and Central European cities, still very much entrenched in the global urban studies literature. I explain this by harking back to the classic of Polish urban studies (such as Paweł Rybicki and Marcin Czerwiński) and their concept of umiastowienie, as opposed to urbanization. They employed it in order to explain the “urbanization without cities” that unfolded in the socialist Poland. I then turn towards an analysis of the idiosyncracies of the “territorial logic of power” (Giovanni Arrighi and David Harvey’s term) in Poland. I agrue that its stems from the way “scale” and “property” work in Polish cities. Drawing my examples form the city of Poznań, I describe what Katherine Verdery dubbed as “fuzzy” property regime and explain how this results in the absence of the “gentrification frontier” – a concept coined by Neil Smith. Instaed, I argue that gentrification is more scattered and we can speak of a shifting “gentrificaiton front”, wherein the speculative and largelly local capital initiates the gentrification cycle from the “weakest link” in the chain of property structure.

  • Issue Year: 11/2014
  • Issue No: 27
  • Page Range: 157-177
  • Page Count: 21
  • Language: Polish