Gentrification, displacement and the arts: Untangling the relationship between arts industries and place change

Carl Grodach, Nicole Foster, James Murdoch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The arts have long played a role in debates around gentrification and displacement, yet their roles and impacts as change agents are not clear-cut. According to the standard account, artists facilitate gentrification and ultimately engender the displacement of lower income households, but more recent research complicates the accepted narrative. This article seeks to untangle the relationship between the arts, gentrification and displacement through a statistical study of neighbourhood-level arts industry activity within large US regions. The findings indicate that the standard arts-led gentrification narrative is too generalised or simply no longer applicable to contemporary arts-gentrification processes. Rather, the arts have multiple, even conflicting relationships with gentrification and displacement that depend on context and type of art. These results have important implications for how we study the role of the arts in neighbourhood change and for how governments approach the arts and creative industries in urban policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-825
Number of pages19
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • arts
  • creative economy
  • cultural industries
  • displacement
  • gentrification

Cite this