Table of Contents
Urban Studies Research
Volume 2014, Article ID 986961, 14 pages
Review Article

Gentrification in Latin America: Overview and Critical Analysis

Department of Urban Planning and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, 412 S. Peoria Room 223 (m/c 348), Chicago, IL 60607-7065, USA

Received 17 April 2013; Revised 29 October 2013; Accepted 5 November 2013; Published 17 February 2014

Academic Editor: Jianfa Shen

Copyright © 2014 John J. Betancur. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper offers a critical review and interpretation of gentrification in Latin American cities. Applying a flexible methodology, it examines enabling conditions associated with societal regime change and local contingencies to determine its presence, nature, extent, and possibilities. Questioning the uncritical transfer of constructs such as gentrification from the Global North to the Global South, the paper advocates analyses of mediating structures and local conditions to determine their applicability and possible variations. Overall, the review questions the feasibility of self-sustained, large scale gentrification in central areas of the region’s cities today tying it to each city’s level of incorporation into global circuits and the role of local governments. Rather than an orthodox hypothesis testing, this is an exercise in interpretation that calls for nuanced approaches to the study of urban restructuring in cities of the global South.