From toxic wreck to crunchy chic: A photo essay – Leslie Kern

Society and space

The following photo essay is a supplement to Leslie Kern’s article, “From toxic wreck to crunchy chic: environmental gentrification through the body”, that appears in issue 1 of the 2015 volume of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. As in the paper, here she draws on her research on Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood to consider how a polluted past can be mobilized as an asset for neighbourhood rebranding and gentrification. The paper will be open access until April 27, 2015. 

Gentrification is a global phenomenon that transforms cities, neighbourhoods, and everyday lives. Cities like Toronto, Canada have seen a variety of neighbourhoods – working class, commercial, ethnic – remade by an influx of wealthier residents and new retail enterprises. But what if your neighbourhood is better known for abattoirs, toxic chemicals, and diesel trains than Victorian housing stock, ethnic restaurants, or historical significance? For over ten years, (2000-2010) I lived…

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