Scholars on Bilbao

Articles that cite, in their broader topic, the case of Bilbao


Art, Gentrification and Regeneration: From Artist as Pioneer to Public Arts.


ABSTRACT: The role of art and the artist has played a part in both of the main long-established theories of gentrification, looking respectively at ‘culture’ and ‘capital’ as key drivers. Cultural analyses of gentrification have identified the individual artist as an important agent in the initiation of gentrification processes in old working-class neighbourhoods. Alternative theorizations have recognized a second stage where capital follows the artist into gentrified localities, commodifying its cultural assets and displacing original artists/gentrifiers. The paper will argue that more recently a third key model of gentrification can be recognized where the main driver of gentrification is ‘public policy’ which seeks to use ‘positive’ gentrification as an engine of urban renaissance. This involves the use of public art and cultural facilities as a promoter of regeneration and associated gentrification. This will be examined in relation to the arts-led regeneration strategy adopted in Gateshead in north-east England and critique whether the linking of art, regeneration and gentrification as public policy can be extended beyond the usual ‘Docklands’-style localities of urban renaissance. In particular, it will consider whether this might play a role in the transformation of unpopular and stigmatized urban neighbourhoods and the renewal of urban housing markets.

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