Ethnicity and gentrification. Exploring the real estate's perspective on the revaluation of a "dangerous" street in Leipzig (Germany)



The relationship between ethnicity and gentrification is understudied. However, it is a highly relevant albeit paradoxical relationship where upgrading due to “multiculturalism” and “authenticity” might be paralleled by discrimination and displacement. This paper takes up the case of Leipzig’s Eisenbahnstrasse as an arrival space  with one of the highest shares of foreigners in East Germany. The media has labeled Eisenbahnstrasse as “Germany’s most dangerous street”. Simultaneously, considerable dynamics on the housing market are observed that add to the juxtaposition between medial perception and real estate. Our paper takes up this paradoxical situation and investigates the role of ethnicity on Leipzig’s Eisenbahnstrasse, seen from the supply side of real estate, which is an often neglected perspective. By means of qualitative interviews with local stakeholders, our aim is to understand their role in the revaluation process, and how ethnicity is linked to this process.

Our findings reveal a gap between the predominantly negative news coverage and the neighborhood’s actual values from the real estate perspective. According to the interviewees, the image of the Eisenbahnstrasse prevents families from moving to the area but attracts students and artists who cherish the international atmosphere in the area. In this context, ethnicity plays a crucial but ambiguous role in the revaluation process. This paper also reveals how discrimination on the housing market takes place, and how real estate stakeholders construct ethnicity and apply strategies to promote a revaluation, which they consider as social mixing. Therefore, we present further evidence of the ongoing processes on Leipzig’s Eisenbahnstrasse and provide insights into the complex relationship between gentrification and ethnicity.

Research Papers



How to Cite

Hübscher, M., Kleindienst, E., & Brose, M. (2024). Ethnicity and gentrification. Exploring the real estate’s perspective on the revaluation of a "dangerous" street in Leipzig (Germany). Fennia - International Journal of Geography.