Geografie 2015, 120, 226-250

Inner-city transformation between reurbanization and gentrification: Leipzig, eastern Germany

Annegret Haase, Dieter Rink

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology, Leipzig, Germany

Received July 2014
Accepted April 2015

After the beginning of the post-socialist transformation, the eastern German city of Leipzig underwent various changes within a short time span. These changes have been especially dynamic in its inner city. Whereas it was hit by the loss of large parts of its population and increasing housing vacancies in the 1990s, the 2000s brought about a revitalization and new attractiveness of many inner-city districts. Since then, reurbanization and – in some places – gentrification have become the predominant trends in a rising number of inner-city districts. This development has also reshaped patterns of socio-spatial differentiation in the city as a whole and its inner parts. Set against this background, the paper describes the development of Leipzig’s inner city after 1990. The focus of the paper is it to show how various concepts – reurbanization and gentrification – help to explain this development. Of particular interest thereby is the impact of Leipzig’s specific housing market situation that is characterized by long-term experiences of supply surplus and shrinkage.


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