Buenos Aires – Gentrification and Displacement

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Mapping Displacement and Gentrification in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, has an influential global economy and extensive cultural reach. In the late 2000s the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, created an economic districts program that has been designated in lower-income neighborhoods in the city. Issues of gentrification and displacement are prevalent in Buenos Aires like many cosmopolitan cities across the globe. However, many scholars have cited that the mechanisms that drive issues of issues of gentrification and displacement have differed from the global north and the global south.

Through the support of the Urban Displacement project and Professor Karen Chapple, seven Masters in City and Regional Planning students at the University of California Berkeley embarked on a semster long mixed method research project to explore the following research questions:

●      What have been the patterns of neighborhood change in the district-designated Parque Patricios and La Boca neighborhoods in Buenos Aires, Argentina?

●      To what extent do external interventions like economic district designations generate neighborhood change?

●      By contextually modifying the UDP vulnerability index and typologies, can we characterize and describe displacement in Buenos Aires?

Key Findings

1. Vulnerable neighborhoods were chosen as economic districts.
2. Economic districts are one-size-fits-all policies, but do not result in the same outcomes.
3. The Technology District is place-blind. There are no government programs in place to accrue benefits from the Technology District to the people living in the neighborhood.
Community feedback was not incorporated into the plan. However, public investment in a subway line extension and remodel of Parque Patricios (park) are benefits to the entire community.
4. The Arts District does not support artists. 
5. Direct and indirect displacement processes are underway in Buenos Aires but lack visibility.
6. Real estate speculation is leading to more residential evictions.
7. Displacement in La Boca is driven by evictions. Displacement is mainly driven by judiciary evictions caused by housing price increases and speculation, and administrative evictions due to disrepair. Relocation programs are limited and mindful of displacement.
8. Gentrification in Buenos Aires looks very similar to gentrification in the Global North.