In the name of Development: Gentrification and Domicide The case of redevelopment programs of three low-income neighborhoods in Addis Ababa

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för kulturgeografi och ekonomisk geografi; Lunds universitet/Humanekologi

Abstract: Gentrification is a process of neighborhood change where the low-income group is displaced to leave the space for middle or high income residents or investors, whereas domicide is the killing of homes. The political economy and its basis operate where there is private ownership of major production on land and rent-seeking behavior of the capital and social. This is a very powerful primary influence for processes of gentrification and domicide. Because the powerful actors see there is potential yield, and say if we push these people aside and put on a built environment where these people can use the place there is a lot of wealth in there. The increasing influence of neoliberal policies on the Ethiopian land-market has made displacement and gentrification an imposing obstacle in the development of Addis Ababa. In Addis Ababa both the government and the rich elites are the gentrifiers for renewal/redevelopment program and facilitating investment. Therefore, the majority poor low-income groups are easily being displaced from their old inner-city neighborhoods and the wealthy investors and well-connected people enjoy these land and better infrastructures. In this research, therefore, I will try to investigate the implications of the government housing program on the lives of the inner city Addis Ababa residents. By reviewing previous researches in the topic and carrying out qualitative semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions, this thesis exposes the ongoing gentrification and domicide. Based on evaluation and qualitative description of observations the thesis concludes that the low-income groups in Addis Ababa are highly marginalized and affected by gentrification and domicide. Overall, the research outputs suggest the need for extensive land reform and bottom-up approach should be taken into consideration.

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