Ahrens, Mareike (2015):
"“Gentrify? No! Gentefy? Sí!”: Urban Redevelopment and Ethnic Gentrification in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles." Eds. Bozkurt, Deniz; Conte, Ronaldo; Herrmann, Sebastian M.; Kittler, Katharina-Luise; Mittag, Lisa; Raviraj-Steinhagen, Rinilda; Rieß, Amelie; Rozhkova, Margarita; van den Berg, Elena; Wilke, Miriam; Wöll, Steffen Adrian. aspeers 8: 9-26.
Journal Article

“Gentrify? No! Gentefy? Sí!” (Farrell and Medina) is the slogan employed by middle-class Latino bar and start-up owners in Boyle Heights, a predominantly Latino, low-income, and working-class neighborhood in East Los Angeles that “[t]ries to [c]hange, but [a]void the [p]itfalls” (Medina) of gentrification. Alluding to the Spanish word la gente (the people), middle-class Latinos aim to improve the neighborhood from within the community in order to maintain the area’s Latino character and to avoid the displacement, exclusion, and sociospatial polarization typical of gentrification. Analyzing the potential and limitations of gentefication within the framework of neoliberal urbanization, the paper argues that the notion of gentefication marks a deeply ambivalent, contradictory interrelation of bottom-up momentum for neighborhood improvement and top-down real estate development. As upwardly mobile Latinos assert their desire to remain in the urban core, lower-income Latinos are displaced and class frictions within the ethnic community increase. Moreover, the residents’ momentum to positively reconfigure ethnic neighborhoods is often appropriated by redevelopment coalitions that try to render the area attractive for desired consumers via reference to its exotic character. Ethnicity is opened up for consumption as well as urban boosterism, and low-income residents face displacement due to the influx of affluent residents and consumers.