Fall 2024 - GEOG 362W D100

Gentrification and Urban Change (4)

Class Number: 3899

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 4 – Dec 3, 2024: Thu, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    At least 45 units, including GEOG 100.



Contemporary cases and conceptualizations of gentrification and related processes of urban change. Central themes include: political, economic, social, and cultural manifestations of gentrification; class, gender, and racialization; the role of development, planning, architecture, the arts, and resistance movements; and gentrification’s global geographies. Students with credit for GEOG 362 may not take this course for further credit. Writing.


How does the city change, where, and for whom? Who directs urban change, who benefits from it, who experiences its challenges & cruelties, and who resists it? This course focuses on gentrification, which is a common and particularly contentious form of urban change.  Gentrification is the replacement of the existing land-use, demographic, and aesthetic character of a neighbourhood with another set of land uses, people, and aesthetics in order to extract increased economic value from that place. Gentrification emphasizes how fixed concrete places are, simultaneously, restless social processes, that are tied up in relations of power, politics, and social justice. We will explore the geographies and politics of gentrification by taking an intersectional approach that emphasizes how various forces, institutions, and identities combine to produce uneven social and geographical effects in cities.  We will engage with the key concepts that help us analyze gentrification and we will explore numerous case studies from cities across the world.

Note: There will be no tutorials the first week of class.


Through lecture and discussion, the course will provide an understanding of:  (1) what gentrification was, is, and might become in the future; (2) how the state, capital, and social movements interact to produce urban change, spatial justice, and gentrification; (3) the relationship between identity, culture, and gentrification; and (4) current theoretical perspectives on gentrification and urban change.


  • Tutorial Participation: 15%
  • ‘Experiencing gentrification’ assignment 5%
  • Research proposal 15%
  • Research Paper: (First version = 5%; Revised version = 35%) 40%
  • Final Exam (take-home): 25%


Course evaluation (Tentative)



Kern, L. (2022). Gentrification is Inevitable and Other Lies. Between the Lines.
Lees, L., Slater, T., & Wyly, E. (2013). Gentrification. Routledge.
Other required readings will be online and/or available via the library.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.