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In Quest of the Good Urban Life: Socio-spatial Dynamics and Residential Building Stock Transformation in Zurich

Koll-Schretzenmayr, Martina; Ritterhoff, Frank; Siebel, Walter

This paper discusses socio-spatial dynamics and the transformation of the residential building stock in the global city of Zurich. It deals with five questions. Does Zurich exhibit the type of social polarisation outlined by the global city hypothesis? If so, how does social polarisation become visible in the context of a European city? Which actors in the real estate market are catering to the special tastes of the new urban middle class? With whom does the new middle class compete for space in the city? The paper argues that real estate developers customise the residential building stock and produce residential units for a targeted market—the new urban middle class. Furthermore, a new socio-spatial phenomenon—ennoblement—has evolved, as the new urban middle class takes residence in traditional upper-class neighbourhoods. By investing its own economic capital, this new middle class is hoping to profit from upper-class social and cultural capital.
Published in: Urban Studies, 10.1177/0042098009345536, SAGE Publications
  • Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.
  • This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.