Between gentrification and reurbanisation :the participatory dimension of bottom-up regeneration in Gdańsk, Poland
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Urban regeneration has become a key issue in the development of contemporary cities. The paper discusses bottom-up regeneration practices performed by inhabitants of a decaying inner-city neighbourhood under post-socialist conditions, which differ notably from the widely researched Western European context. Results of a qualitative study in Wrzeszcz Dolny, Gdańsk, have indicated the leading role of newcomers to the area in animating bottom-up regeneration efforts, which in turn translate into an activation and integration of the local community. Thus, it is argued that an in-migration into the inner city, usually interpreted as gentrification, does not necessarily generate losses for the indigenous inhabitants but can also bring a desired social change and significantly contribute to the building of inclusive civil society. The presented case study therefore signals the need for a careful investigation and precise labelling of the post-socialist inner-city transformation processes, as well as demonstrates how increasing participation might be employed as the potential antidote to ills associated with gentrification.