Geografie 2015, 120, 164-187

New-build gentrification in the post-socialist city: Łódź and Leipzig two decades after socialism

Andrej Holm1, Szymon Marcińczak2, Agnieszka Ogrodowczyk2

1Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Germany
2University of Łódź, Poland

Received July 2014
Accepted April 2015

This contribution focuses on the role of new-build gentrification in the socio-spatial re-differentiation of shrinking second-tier post-socialist cities in Germany and Poland, countries that differ in terms of the pace and character of post-socialist transition. Our main goal is to compare and contrast the unfolding of new-build gentrification in different post-socialist settings with the examples of new-build gentrification known from international studies that mostly cover “Western” cities. One of the main findings of our study is that the tempo and scale of new-build gentrification is sensitive to the pace of post-socialist transformations and to institutional contexts. Regarding the international debate on newbuild gentrification, our findings from Łódź and Leipzig highlight a rather distinctive mode of the process. Despite the undeniable similarities with the spatial patterns detected by previous studies illustrating the “Western” contexts, the new-build gentrification detected in our case cities points to different economic roots as well as specific social consequences. Irrespective of identified differences between Leipzig and Łódź, the new-build gentrification appears to be economically independent from the former (other) forms of gentrification and its dynamics.


The research reported in this article was made possible in part through the financial support of the Polish National Science Center (Research Grant No. 2011/03/B/HS4/02302).


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