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Gentrification through Green Regeneration? Analyzing the Interaction between Inner-City Green Space Development and Neighborhood Change in the Context of Regrowth: The Case of Lene-Voigt-Park in Leipzig, Eastern Germany

Ali, Lena; Haase, Annegret; Heiland, Stefan

Green regeneration has become a common strategy for improving quality of life in disadvantaged neighborhoods in shrinking cities. The role and function of new green spaces may change, however, when cities experience new growth. Set against this context, this paper analyzes a case study, the Lene-Voigt-Park in Leipzig, which was established on a former brownfield site. Using a combination of methods which include an analysis of housing advertisements and interviews, the paper explores the changing role of the park in the context of urban regeneration after the city’s turn from shrinkage towards new growth. It discusses whether the concept of green gentrification may help to explain this role. As a result of our analysis, we argue that Lene-Voigt-Park has indeed operated as a trigger for structural, social, and symbolic upgrades in the growing city of Leipzig, but only in combination with real estate market developments, which are the main drivers of change. The concept of green gentrification does help to better understand the role of different factors—first and foremost that of green space. We also discovered some specifics of our case that may enrich the green gentrification debate. Leipzig serves as an example for a number of regrowing cities across Europe where green gentrification might represent a challenge.
Published in: Land, 10.3390/land9010024, MDPI