Local state dynamics and gentrification in Indianapolis, Indiana

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This article seeks to demonstrate that the creation of the rent-gap is not the only important variable which structures patterns of neighborhood gentrification in North American cities. A case study of Indianapolis, Indiana, between 1980 and 1986 illustrates the influence of the local state as an alternative variable. Its influence, directed toward the aim of transforming the downtown area for more affluent users, was twofold. First, government regulated upgrading, via the construction of rules and ordinances, to ensure the process's inevitable success. Then, to direct its spatial unfolding, subsidies were targeted to stimulate the production of gentrified dwellings. Thus, government provided investors the power to fulfill their redevelopment objectives and subsidized their operations. The end product of “politicizing” the marketplace was to shape its dynamics, and, ultimately, its market outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-40
Number of pages22
JournalUrban Geography
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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