Artist-led Gentrification of SoHo in New York City:

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Other Title
  • ニューヨーク市SoHo地区における芸術家街を契機としたジェントリフィケーション
  • 1965~1971年における画廊の集積過程に着目して
  • The Birth of the Art Gallery District from 1965 to 1971


<p>This paper examines mechanisms of culture-led, especially art-driven, gentrification. Existing sociological and geographical theories generally focus on the economic aspects of gentrification. Such theories, to put it simply, analyze gentrification only from an economic perspective. These theories are useful for examining gentrification in relation to housing issues, but are insufficient for the analysis of current culture related gentrification. This paper will argue for a new framework to deal with the issue of culture and gentrification.</p><p>In order to achieve this purpose, I have been conducting qualitative research on a case study of SoHo in New York City from 1965 to 1971. SoHo is the most wellknown case of artist-led gentrification both in its scale and process of spatial transformation; therefore, it is worth exploring. Key factors causing gentrification in SoHo are low rent and physical advantages, such as good location and spacious buildings. However, through my research, I discovered another factor that is critically important. It is the cultural and symbolic conflict between the upscale and commercial art world of Uptown and the grass roots and avant-garde art world of Downtown in Manhattan. During the symbolic struggles of post-war Manhattan, young avant-garde artists established their territory in SoHo, and then cooperative and commercial galleries moved in to exploit such avant-garde representations.</p>


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