Ethnicity and gentrification. Exploring the real estate's perspective on the revaluation of a 'dangerous' street in Leipzig (Germany)

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung



The relationship between ethnicity and gentrification is understudied. Nevertheless, it is a highly relevant albeit paradoxical relationship where gentrification driven by the desire for authenticity may, in fact, be accompanied by discrimination and displacement. This paper examines the case of Leipzig’s Eisenbahnstrasse as an arrival space with one of the highest shares of foreigners in East Germany. The media has labeled Eisenbahnstrasse as “Germany’s most dangerous street”. Simultaneously, considerable dynamics in the housing market are observed that add to the juxtaposition between the media’s perception and real estate. Our paper takes up this paradoxical situation and investigates the role of ethnicity on Leipzig’s Eisenbahnstrasse from the perspective of real estate supply. This is a perspective that is often overlooked. By means of qualitative interviews with local stakeholders, our aim is to gain insights into their role in the revaluation process, and how ethnicity is linked to this process. Our findings reveal a gap between the predominantly negative news coverage and the neighborhood’s actual values from the real estate perspective. The interviewees indicate that the image of the Eisen- bahnstrasse, as portrayed in the media, prevents families from moving to the area. At the same time, the area attracts students and artists who cherish the international atmosphere. In this context, ethnicity plays a crucial but ambiguous role in the revaluation process. This paper also reveals how discrimination in the housing market occurs, and how real estate stakeholders construct ethnicity and apply strategies to promote a revaluation, which they consider to be social mixing. Therefore, we present further evidence of the dynamics on Leipzig’s Eisenbahnstrasse and provide insights into the complex relationship between gentrification and ethnicity.


Seiten (von - bis)1-20
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 11 Juni 2024

Externe IDs

ORCID /0000-0003-0488-7297/work/161888295
unpaywall 10.11143/fennia.143526


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