Unpacking Gentrification 2.0

Format: Papers, RSD8, Topic: Socioecological Design

Author: Palak Dudani

This paper explores how despite progressive egalitarian policies, systems can have inherent power dynamics that gravitate towards systemic inequities. By applying systems oriented design (SOD) tools and methodologies to the topic of urban gentrification in Norwegian context, this study done with a systemic lens reveals the invisible power dynamics embedded within the Norwegian housing system which seem to favour one segment of citizens over others. When the urban context (within which such a biased system exists) undergoes gentrification, the negative consequences can be much more damaging than anticipated. This study finds patterns of disparity arise in terms of access and agency between two schematic groups, native Norwegians and immigrants, where inequities are then transferred over generations, with long term impact suggesting a poverty trap across ethnic lines. The paper highlights how systems oriented design and its approaches can be used to uncover the otherwise invisible undercurrents existing within our urban systems. A design response is conceptualised in order to critically reflect on the limitations and challenges of this approach and the evolving role of the designer.

Citation Data

Author(s): OCTOBER 2019
Title: Unpacking Gentrification 2.0
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Article No.:
Symposium Dates:
First published: 4 October 2019
Last update:
Publisher Identification:

Copyright Information

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (ISSN 2371-8404) are published annually by the Systemic Design Association, a non-profit scholarly association leading the research and practice of design for complex systems: 3803 Tønsberg, Norway (922 275 696).


Open Access article published under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the licence terms.

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Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design are published online and include the contributions for each format.

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In 2022, the Systemic Design Association adopted the scholars spiral—a cyclic non-hierarchical approach to advance scholarship—and in 2023, launched Contexts—The Systemic Design Journal. Together, the RSD symposia and Contexts support the vital emergence of supportive opportunities for scholars and practitioners to publish work in the interdisciplinary field of systemic design.

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