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Gentrification

Having lost an industrial or rural raison d’être, cities and villages almost become functionally redundant. However, a new social group moves in, seeking a sense of authenticity in the shops and cafés of the historical core, high as well as low-brow culture, and the presence of a variety of lifestyles. Above all, they do not want to be associated with the suburbs.

The city initially represents an opportunity for less family-oriented individuals seeking high education. Consequently, they tend to come from further afield than those living in the suburbs. Those that build up a longer-lasting identity as a new urbanite or new villager, often have more cultural capital. However, this typically does not guarantee them a high status profession or a stable income. If all else fails, the city or the village still offers them a means to be different.

Paradoxically, this search for authenticity drastically changes local cultures instead of reviving them. Villages are redesigned with invented history and cities experience waves of generalised gentrified urban culture – altered identities as a result of their new position as oases in a functional urban desert.

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