What factors lay behind the rehabilitation of central city districts across the world? Set against the contexts of international transformations in a post-industrial postmodern society, this book examines the creation and self-creation of a new middle class of professional and managerial workers associated with the process of gentrification. These are amongst the privileged members in the growing polarisation of urban society. The book examines their impact on central housing markets, retailing and leisure spaces in the inner city. Taking as its focus six large canadian cities, the author identifies a distinctive cultural new class of urbane social and cultural professionals inspired in part by the critical youth movements of the 1960s for whom old inner city neighbourhoods served as oppositional sites to assail the boureois suburbs. The study looks at their close links with reform movements, neighbourhood activism and a welfare state that often provided their employment, in a progressive aesthetisation of central city spaces since the 1980s.
The New Middle Class and the Remaking of the Central City offers the first detailed and comparitive study of gentrification which locates the phenomenon in broader historical and theoretical contexts.