The long history of gentrification in Vienna, 1890–2020

Justin Kadi, Walter Matznetter

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed


This article distinguishes between six historical phases of gentrification in Vienna. These phases emanate from shifting demographic, economic and housing policy circumstances that have decisively shaped gentrification dynamics in the city. Vienna is a rather unusual context compared to cities that are typically in the focus of gentrification research: for considerable parts of the 20th century, the city experienced pronounced demographic decline and economic stagnation. Meanwhile, strong state intervention from the 1920s onwards has shaped the urban housing market. We show how these particular circumstances have moulded gentrification processes throughout the past 130 years. We draw three broader arguments from our analysis: first, there is great value in historicizing gentrification research. Not only does it add empirical evidence to whether and how gentrification functioned prior to it first being mentioned in 1960s London, but also offers a substantial insight into current mechanisms of gentrification. In Vienna, institutions, rules and buildings from earlier periods persist and continue to exert considerable influence on the specificities of gentrification dynamics today. Second, the Vienna case highlights the need to develop more locally specific periodizations of gentrification that give more consideration to contextual circumstances. Third, the analysis points to two specific forms of neighbourhood downgrading since 1890, which are relevant in Vienna and possibly also in other cities: ‘incumbent downgrading’ for 1918–1938, and ‘reverse gentrification’ for the atrocities of Nazi housing policy between 1938 and 1945.

Seiten (von - bis)450-472
FachzeitschriftCity - analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action
Frühes Online-Datum4 Apr. 2022
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 4 Apr. 2022
Veranstaltungworkshop ‘Gentrification throughout the Ages’ - University of Amsterdam. , Amsterdam, Niederlande
Dauer: 9 Mai 201910 Mai 2019

ÖFOS 2012

  • 507020 Stadtforschung


  • Gentrifizierung