The impact of gentrification on neighbourhood food environments and residents' health
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The term gentrification is dynamic; the multitude of causes and implications related to the process mean interpretations differ according to location and context. In current academic literature, the term is decreasingly understood as one which is wholly positive or negative, but instead as a process which results in both positive and negative consequences dependent on the specific situation and group being measured. Overwhelmingly, however, debate surrounding gentrification concern the process at a structural level, failing to take in to account the lived experience of those whose lives are affected by urban developments. One group which is consistently excluded from gentrification literature is those that live through the process without being displaced. This group, termed non-gentrifiers, are the subject of this research. In order to establish a greater understanding of the intricacies of gentrification impacts, it is necessary to perform a range of in depth studies covering a breadth of issues. This thesis approaches one important aspect of this; health. The dietary health of non-gentrifying residents in two gentrified neighbourhoods of Amsterdam (De Baarsjes and De Pijp) has been studied. Land-use analysis of two neighbourhoods over the period of gentrification showed where physical accessibility to healthy food resources has been altered. Surveys carried out amongst non-gentrifying residents showed how this change has been perceived and whether their dietary health has been affected by changing physical proximity and affordability of healthy food. Results suggest that gentrification has had a negative impact upon accessibility to food resources in both neighbourhoods, and this in turn has had negative impact upon dietary intake. This impact was particularly apparent amongst those with limited mobility and those in the lowest income bracket. Affordability was not perceived as a barrier to healthy food resources. The process of gentrification in the Netherlands, despite being considered mild in academic literature, was mostly considered as a negative process amongst non gentrifiers.