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Government Policy, the Local State, and Gentrification: The Case of Prenzlauer Berg (Berlin), Germany

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Since reunification, Berlin planners have sought to find a niche for a post‐industrial New Berlin integrated into Europe. While great scholarly attention has focused on the grand projects that have dominated the reconstruction of the city's government and downtown commercial districts, only lesser attention has been paid to the city's housing and social policies. This article seeks to identify the extent to which Berlin planners have permitted unabated market‐led redevelopment to proceed and to what extent local policy has sought more balanced redevelopment and the “European city” ideal. The article looks at gentrifying Prenzlauer Berg, in eastern Berlin, to assess the extent to which public policy measures can be expected to constrain and temper, and not just promote, gentrification. The role played by community development organizations in mediating development is observed. The impact of the city's fiscal crisis and slack housing market are also noted.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Albion College

Publication date: 2004-02-01

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