"Weak-Center" Gentrification and the Contradictions of Containment: deconcentrating poverty in downtown Los Angeles

Int J Urban Reg Res. 2010;34(2):310-27. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2010.00900.x.


This case study of recent efforts to deconcentrate poverty within the Skid Row area of Los Angeles examines processes of "weak-center" gentrification as it applies to a "service dependent ghetto," thus filling two key gaps in prior scholarship. We document the collaboration between the government, business and development interests, and certain non-profit agencies in this process and identify two key mechanisms of poverty deconcentration: housing/service displacement and the criminalization of low income residents. Following Harvey, we argue that these efforts are driven by pressures to find a "spatial fix" for capital accumulation through Downtown redevelopment. This process has been hotly contested, however, illustrating the strength of counter-pressures to gentrification/poverty deconcentration within "weak-center" urban areas.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Economic Development* / history
  • Economic Development* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Homeless Persons* / education
  • Homeless Persons* / history
  • Homeless Persons* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Homeless Persons* / psychology
  • Los Angeles / ethnology
  • Politics
  • Population Dynamics*
  • Poverty Areas*
  • Public Policy / economics
  • Public Policy / history
  • Public Policy / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Social Conditions / economics
  • Social Conditions / history
  • Social Conditions / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Social Problems / economics
  • Social Problems / ethnology
  • Social Problems / history
  • Social Problems / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Social Problems / psychology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spatial Behavior
  • Urban Health* / history
  • Urban Population* / history