|M.Sc Student||Yair Yablovich|
|Subject||The Gentrifiers: Developing a Research Tool to Evaluate the|
Intensity of Gentrification in the Case of
Florentin, Tel Aviv-Yafo
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Dr. Jabareen Yosef|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
The Gentrification phenomenon, transformation of neighborhoods from low to high value, becomes a salient dynamic upon urban surroundings in Israel and worldwide. Poor or static urban areas uprise in the social-economic rate and rebrand themselves in public discourse, often under great debates about benefits and costs. Along with it, academic interest in gentrification has grown tremendously, focusing in documenting and explaining the phenomenon. Gentrification research has attended also to quantitative evaluation, yet the indexes at use were based on partial definitions, therefore representing only specific aspects.
Using a systematic review of academic definitions for gentrification, current research revealed them to be constituted on few elementary components, differing only in interpretation or in the components' mutual relations - complementary or substitutive. Therefore, attempts to narrow down gentrification's meaning, either by excluding a component or by limiting its interpretation serve as a weak base for measurement and were highly criticized in the literature.
Furthermore, without a comprehensive and acceptable index of gentrification power, academic research has minor ability to establish discourse and policy on strong elements. For those reasons, it was the current research goal to develop and demonstrate the use of a multi-dimensional index.
The index of gentrification power was based on a wide literature review and validated by experts and professionals' judgment. Analyzing experts' replies through a construction of a Likert Index turned literature-based indicators to a coherent and homogeneous index. At the process, the indicators were evaluated according to their level of adequacy, which was rated by the experts, and of internal consistency, as reflected in each item correlation with overall index.
Results included the most suited set of indicators, within it indicators expressing population's purchasing power, while other had a spatial or real-estate nature and are suggestive of the demand for more build and housing area in the neighborhood. In contrast, the neighborhood branding, education level or culture activity was not considered important by the experts. These results support a new definition of gentrification as mostly founded on economic changes.
The index was then demonstrated on the case of Florentin neighborhood in Tel Aviv- Yafo, showing the empirical magnitude of local gentrification and enabling to compare it with similar processes citywide.
The research offers a new approach towards the definition and measurement of gentrification alongside with a novel and original research tool, both needed in times when gentrification keeps spreading and changing our urban arenas.