Bio-Gentrification: Vulnerability Bio-Value Chains in Gentrifying Neighbourhoods Forthcoming in

Download 153.21 Kb.
Date conversion29.04.2016
Size153.21 Kb.
1   2   3

This paper has argued that critical gentrification studies can be significantly extended by including assessments of urban biopower as an integral part of capitalist urbanization. Such a task requires more systematic investigations into knowledge production and the milieus they help to shape, with specific attention paid to the ways in which populations are singled out for analysis and interventions. The findings herein raise questions about gentrification struggles trained solely on questions of land and property. As this evaluation has shown, gentrification pressures in the east end have been met, as is the case in many parts of the world, with sustained resistance against corporate and state interests, but these struggles have not extended to human development milieus. And yet, as the example of Vancouver points out, the latter have been, at least in one case, integrated into a fully funded state-funded and corporate friendly research endeavour. Even more problematic, human development research has remained almost completely beyond critique and embraced in a manner transcending ideological differences.

The disruption of the hierarchies of power shaped through bio-gentrification would require attention to human development lexicons, practices, and milieus – both within and beyond the state -- that have become so ordinary as to be beyond concern. Such a task would train attention on human development domains for governing reproduction and parenting that have taken shape in tandem with gentrification; it would also more thoroughly examine spheres of urban biopower relating to food relief and medical interventions, which similarly target populations as biological beings, as well as the cottage industry of research on the urban disadvantage that flanks these activities (Elliott 2007; Fairbanks 2009; Murray 2011; Willse 2010). The vulnerability bio-value chain comprises a broad set of practices that assign value to people’s minds, bodies, and souls in complex ways. To investigate these in depth is to take up fundamental questions about the types of humans we are collectively becoming when whole swaths of people are not only or necessarily threatened with physical removal but also with the much quieter and less visible techniques that turn their very humanity into raw material for profit. To ignore urban biopower and its relationship to gentrification is not only to miss a fundamental aspect of capitalist urbanization, but also to entrench its naturalization and the profiteering it creates.

For sharing their thoughts on this paper’s development, appreciation is extended to Laam Hae, Leslie Kern, Vannina Sztainbok, and students in my graduate seminar on Governing Urban Poverty: Kurtis Adams, Annelies Cooper, Karl Gardner, Ryan Kelpin, Nicolas Lux, Wiliam Mccullough, Jenna Meguid, Luckshi Sathasivam, and Vanesa Tomasino Rodrigruez. As the paper entered its final stages, two anonymous reviewers offered generous and thoughtful feedback that significantly enhanced the analysis herein. All mistakes are, of course, my own. This research could not have been completed without the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Grant number: 832-2002-0114) and York University.

Abbott, George (2011). Official Report of Debates of the Legislative Assembly, Third session, 39th Parliament, Hansard, Tuesday, May 17, (accessed 30 May 2012).
August, Martine and Alan Walks (2012). From social mix to political marginalization? The redevelopment of Toronto’s public housing and the dilution of tenant organizational power. In Gary Bridge, Tim Butler, and Loretta Lees, editors, Mixed Communities: Gentrification by Stealth? London: Policy Press, 273-297.
Barnes, Trevor and Tom Hutton (2009). Situating the new economy: Contingencies of regeneration and dislocation in Vancouver’s inner city. Urban Studies 46 (5-6), 1247-1269.
Bauder, Harald (2002). Neighbourhood effects and cultural exclusion. Urban Studies, 39(1), 85-93.
Berelowitz, Lance (2005). Dream City: Vancouver and the Global Imagination. Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre.
Berg, Jaap Jan, Tahl Kaminer, Marc Schoonderbeek, and Joost Zonneveld (2009). Houses in Transformation: Interventions in European Gentrification. Rotterdam: NAi Uitgevers/Publishers.
Blomley, Nicholas (2004). Unsettling the City: Urban Land and the Politics of Property. New York: Routledge.
Boyle, Phillip and Kevin D. Haggerty (2011). Civil cities and urban governance: Regulating disorder for the Vancouver winter Olympics, Urban Studies, 48(15), 3185-3201.
Bridge, Gary, Tim Butler, and Loretta Lees, editors (2012). Mixed Communities: Gentrification by Stealth? London: Policy Press.
British Columbia (2003). 2002/2004 Annual Service Plan Report, Victoria: Ministry of Children and Family Development.
British Columbia (2008). Province Doubles StrongStart BC Early Learning Centres. News release. Victoria: Ministry of Education, 2008EDU0078-000944, June 19, (accessed 29 May 2013).
British Columbia. (2009a). Premier’s Technology Council, 12th Report, April. Vancouver: Premier’s Technology Council,
British Columbia (2009b). Strong Start BC Early Learning Centre. Victoria: Ministry of Education, --Updated 2010,
British Columbia (2010). Skills for Growth: British Columbia’s Labour Market Strategy to 2020. Victoria: Ministry of Regional Economic and Skills Development.
British Columbia (2011). Tips for Parents/Caregivers Attending a StrongStart BC Program,, (accessed 30 May 2013).
British Columbia and University of British Columbia. (2009). Sponsored Research Agreement between Her Majesty in Right of the Province of British Columbia and the University of British Columbia, May 25, XLR182420, 16.
British Columbia Teachers’ Federation. (nd). School closures, (accessed 30 May 2013).
Brown, Robert Craig (2007). A Generation of Excellence: A History of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Calleja, D. (2001). The mother of invention. Canadian Business 74(2), 56-60.
Canada (2001). Budget 2001: Strategic investments: Bridging to the future. Ottawa: Department of Finance), (accessed 16 May 2012).
Canada (2005). Presentation by the Honourable Ralph Goodale, P.C., M.P. to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance (November 2005) (accessed 16 May 2012).
Canada (2010). Community Action Program for Children, Public Agency of Canada website,
Canada (2011). Evaluation of the International Student Program, Audits and Evaluations. Ottawa: Citizenship and Immigration Canada, (accessed 30 June 2013).
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (1992). The Learning Society. Toronto: Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research. (2011). Internal Assessment for 2011 International Review – CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health, (accessed 30 June 2013)
Canadians for Health Research (2011). Dr. Clyde Hertzman, February, (accessed 30 June 2013).
Child, Family and Community Service Act [RSBC 1996] Chapter 46, (accessed 11 June 2012).
Children Need Care Now CAPC Coalition (nd). Britiannia parent/caregiver feedback form checklist.
City of Vancouver (1990a). Memorandum to City Manager for Council, re: Civic Childcare Strategy, 31 August 1990.
City of Vancouver (1990b). Memorandum to Vancouver City Council, re: Civic Childcare Strategy – Summary Report, September 12, 1990.
City of Vancouver (1992). Vancouver’s Children Policy . Vancouver Social Planning Department.
City of Vancouver (1993). Childcare Design Guidelines. Community Services Department.
City of Vancouver (2002). Newcomers Guide, available at (accessed 19 August 2010).
City of Vancouver (2005). Administrative Report to Vancouver City Council from Director of City Planning, re Child Development Hub Infrastructure Proposal, September 20, 2005, RTS No. 5221, CC File No. 4102.
City of Vancouver (2012a). March 19, 2012. Administrative Report Submitted to the Standing Committee on City Finance and Services from Acting General Manager, Community Services Group, RTS No.: 9436, VANRIMS No. 08-2000-20.
City of Vancouver (2012b). Grandview-Woodland Community Profile 2012 – Version 1,
City of Vancouver (2012c). Downtown Eastside (DTES) Local Area Profile 2012,
Darcy, Michael (2012). From high-rise projects to suburban estates: Public tenants and the globalised discourse of deconcentration. Cities, 35, 365-372.
DeFilippis, James and Jim Fraser (2010). Why do we want mixed-income housing and neighbourhoods? In Jonathan S. Davies and David L. Imbroscio, editors, Critical Urban Studies: New Directions. SUNY Press: Albany, NY, 135-147. (2008). Children Need Care Now CAPC Coalition. nd. 
Drake, Luke (2014). Governmentality in urban food production? Following ‘community’ from itentions to outcomes, Urban Geography 35(2), 177-196.

essed May 8, 2013.

Einboden, Rochelle, Trudy Rudge and Colleen Varcoe (2013). Producing children in the 21st century: A critical discourse analysis of the science and techniques of monitoring early child development. Health, 17(6), 549-566.
Elliott, Denielle (2007). Pharmaceutical Surveillance, Medical Research, and Biovalue among the Urban Poor. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Simon Fraser University. Department of Anthropology.
Fairbanks, Robert P. (2009). How it Works: Postwelfare Politics in the Kensington Recovery House Movement. Chicago: Chicago University Press.
Foucault, Michel (1990). The History of Sexuality: Volume I: An Introduction. New York: Vintage Books.
Freeman, Lance (2006). There Goes the ‘Hood’: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up. Temple University Press: Philadelphia, PA.
Gotham, Kevin Fox (2003). Toward an understanding of the spatiality of urban poverty: the urban poor as spatial actors. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 27(3), 723-737.
Gram, K. (2001). Neighbourhood poverty holds kids back: A research map links readiness for school with the wealth of a child’s neighbourhood. The Vancouver Sun, January 2, B1.
Harvey, David (2004). The ‘new’ imperialism: Accumulation by dispossession. Socialist Register, 40, 63-87.
Hertzman, Clyde (2004). Making Early Childhood Development a Priority: Lessons from Vancouver. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (May).
Hertzman, Clyde (2005). Transcript of presentation to the Canadian Education Association symposium: What Do We Know about Early Learning and What Are We Doing about It? May. Regional of Peel: Peel District School Board.
Hertzman, Clyde (2011). Investing in our children, investing in our future. Transcript of presentation given at the Australian Institute for Social Research, September, (accessed 8 May 2013).
HIPPY Canada (2010). HIPPY Canada Start Up Manual, Revised. (Revised). (accessed 30 November 2012).
Holden, Meg (2012). Urban policy engagement with social sustainability in metro Vancouver. Urban Studies, 49(3), 527-542.
Human Early Learning Partnership (nd). What is the Early Development Instrument? Available (accessed 1 July 2013).
Hutton, Tom A. (2004). Post-industrialism, post-modernism, and the reproduction of Vancouver’s central area: Retheorising the twenty-first century city. Urban Studies, 41(10), 1953-82.
Imbroscio, David (2008). ‘(U)nited and actuated by some common impulse of passion’: Challenging the dispersal consensus in American housing policy research. Journal of Urban Affairs 30(2), 111-130.
Janus, Magdalena (2010). A natural history of the Early Development Instrument. Presentation at Equity from the Start, 10 years of the EDI and Beyond, International Conference: June 16-17 2010, Hamilton (Ontario), Offord Centre for Child Studies, the Council for Early Child Development, and the Canadian Institutes for Advanced Research, (accessed 24 May 2012).
Janus, Magdalena and David Offord (2007). Development and psychometric properties of the Early Development Instrument (EDI): A measure of children’s school readiness. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science/Revue Canadienne des Sciences du Comportement 39, 1,1-22.
Janus, Magdalena and David Offord (2010). Early Development Instrument (EDI): A Population-based measure for communities, British Columbia and Yukon 2010/2011. Hamilton, ON: McMaster University.
Joyce, Patrick (2003). The Rule of Freedom: Liberalism and the City. London: Verso.
Keating, Daniel P. and J. Fraser Mustard (1993). Social economic factors and human development. In D. Ross (Ed.), Family Security in Insecure Times. Ottawa, National Forum on Family Security, 87-105.
Kershaw, Paul, Lynell Anderson, Bill Warburton, and Clyde Hertzman (2009). 15 by 15: A Comprehensive Policy Framework for Early Human Capital Investment in BC. Vancouver: Human Early Learning Partnership, (accessed 30 May 2013).
Klodawsky, Fran, Janet Sitlanen, and Caroline Andrew (2013). Urban Contestation in a Feminist Register, Urban Geography, 34(3), 541-559.
Langford, Will (2012). ‘Is Sutton Brown God?’ Planning expertise and the local state in Vancouver, BC Studies, 173, 11-39.
Lees, Loretta. (2008). Gentrification and Social Mixing: Towards and Inclusive Urban Renaissance? Urban Studies, 45(12), 2449-2470.
Lees, Loretta, Tom Slater, and Elvyn Wyly (2010). The Gentrification Reader. New York: Routledge.
Ley, David (1980). Liberal ideology and the postindustrial city. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 70(2), 238-58.
Ley, David (1987). Styles of the times: Liberal and neo-conservative landscapes in inner Vancouver, 1968-1986. Journal of Historical Geography, 13(1), 40-56.
Ley, David (1996). The New Middle Class and the Making of the Central City. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Ley, David (2012). Social mixing and the historical geography of gentrification. In Gary Bridge, Tim Butler, and Loretta Lees, editors, Mixed Communities: Gentrificaiton by Stealth. Bristol, Policy Press.
Ley, David and Cory Dobson (2008). Are there limits to gentrification? The contexts of impeded gentrification in Vancouver. Urban Studies, 45(12), 2471-2498.
Lipman, Pauline (2012). Mixed-income schools and housing policy in Chicago: a critical examination of the gentrification/education/racial exclusion nexus. In G. Bridge, T. Butler, and L. Lees (Eds.), Mixed Communities: Gentrification by Stealth? London: Policy Press, 95-113.
Lipsky, Michael (2010). Street-level Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Services. Revised. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Madden, David J. (2014). Neighborhood as spatial project: making the urban order on the Downtown Brooklyn waterfront. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38(2), 471-97.
Mahon, Rianne (2006). Of scalar hierarchies and welfare design: child care in three Canadian cities. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 31(4): 452-466.
Manley, David, Maarten van Ham and Joe Doherty (2011). Social mixing as a cure for negative neighbourhood effects: evidence-based policy or urban myth? In Gary Bridge, Tim Butler and Loretta Lees, editors Mixed Communities: Gentrification by Stealth? Bristol: Policy Press, 151-167.
Marcuse, Peter (1985). Gentrification, abandonment and displacement: connections, causes and policy responses in New York City. Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law, 28, 195-240.
McCain, Margaret and Fraser Mustard (1999). Reversing the Real Brain Drain: Early Years Study. Final report. Toronto: Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and the Founders’ Network for the Ontario Children’s Secretariat, (27 June 2012).
McCann, Eugene (2008). Expertise, truth, and urban policy mobilities: Global circuits of knowledge in the development of Vancouver, Canada’s ‘four pillar’ drug strategy. Environment and Planning A, 40, 885-904.
McCuaig, Kerry (2003). EDI: Current use in Canada and Australia, Presentation at workshop on Early Development Instrument: from data to action, Montreal, February 1, 2003, (accessed 23 June 2013).
McKeen, Wendy (2009). The politics of the National Children’s Agenda: A critical analysis of contemporary neoliberal social policy change. In Marjorie Griffin Cohen and Jane Pulkingham, editors, Public Policy for Women: The State, Income Security, and Labour Market Issues. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 71-93.
McMaster University (2009). Lecture named for McMaster Medical School pioneer, March 31, (accessed 29 May 2013).
Mendes, Wendy (2007).  Negotiating a place for ‘Sustainability’ policies in municipal planning and governance: The role of scalar discourses and practices.  Space and Polity, 11(1): 95-119.
Mullens, Anne (2004). All our children: How a research project in his own backyard turned one health researcher into a social activist. University Affairs, August 9, .
Murray, Karen Bridget (2004a). Do Not Disturb: ‘Vulnerable Populations’ in Canadian Federal Government Policy Discourses and Practices. Canadian Journal of Urban Research, 13(1), 50-69.
Murray, Karen Bridget (2004b). Governing ‘unwed mothers’ in Toronto at the turn of the twentieth century. The Canadian Historical Review 85(2), 253-276.
Murray, Karen Bridget (2011). Making space in Vancouver’s East End: From Leonard Marsh to the Vancouver Agreement, BC Studies, 169, 7-49.
Mustard, Fraser (2010). Early human development and later development. Presentation at Equity from the Start: 10 years of the EDI and beyond, Hamilton, Ontario, June 16 (accessed 28 May 2013).
Office of the Provincial Advisor for Aboriginal Infant Development Programs (2013). About us, (accessed 1 July 2013).
Offord Centre for Child Studies (nd). School Readiness to Learn (SRL) Project,
Polanyi, Karl. 1957 [1944]. The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time. Boston: Beacon Press.
Pratt, Geraldine (2005). Abandoned women and spaces of exception. Antipode, 37(5), 1053-1078.
Punter, John (2003). The Vancouver Achievement: Urban Planning and Design. Vancouver: UBC Press.
Rabinow, Paul (1982). Ordonnance, discipline, regulation: Some reflections on urbanism. Humanities in Society, 5 (3/4), 267-278.
Rabinow, Paul (1990). French Modern. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Rabinow, Paul and Nikolas Rose (2006). Biopower Today, 1, 195-217.
Roe, Gordon W. (2010). Fixed in place: Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and the community of clients. BC Studies, 164, 75-104.
Rose, Damaris (2004). Discourses and experiences of social mix in gentrifying neighbourhoods: a Montreal case study. Canadian Journal of Urban Research (13), 278-316.
Rose, Damaris. Annick Germain, Marie-Hélène Bacque, Gary Bridge, Yankel Fijalkow, and Tom Slater (2012). ‘Social mix’ and neighbourhood revitalization in a transatlantic perspective: comparing local policy discourses and expecations in Paris (France), Bristol (UK) and Montreal (Canada). International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37(2), 430-450.
Rose, Nikolas (1996). Power and subjectivity: Critical history and psychology. In Carl F. Graumann and Kenneth J. Gergen, editors, Historical Dimensions of Psychological Discourses. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Rose, Nikolas and Joelle M. Abi-Rached (2012). Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Roslyn Kunin & Associates, Inc. (2012). Economic Impact of International Education in Canada – An Update, Final Report, May 2102, (accessed 30 June 2013)
School Act (1996). Revised Statutes of British Columbia. Victoria: Ministry of Education, Governance and Legislation Branch, (accessed 30 May 2013).
Scott, James C. (1990). Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts. Yale University Press, New Haven.
Sheway (nda) webpage (accessed 30 June 2013).
Sheway (ndb). Sheway: A community project for women and children intake form, available at Missing Women Commission of Inquiry,
Slater, Tom (2013). Your life chances affect where you live: A critique of the ‘cottage industry’ of neighbourhood effects research. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37(2), 367-87.
Smith, Neil (1996). The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City. New York: Routledge.
Smith, Neil and Jeff Derksen (2002). Urban regeneration: Gentrification as a global urban strategy. In Reid Shier (ed.), Stan Douglas: Every Building on 100 West Hastings. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 62-92.
Sommers, Jeffrey (2001). The place of the poor: poverty, space and the politics of representation in Downtown Vancouver, 1950-1997. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.
Stanger-Ross, Jordan (2008). Municipal colonialism in Vancouver: City planning and the conflict over Indian reserves, 1928-1950s. The Canadian Historical Review, 89(4), 541-580.
Tarbell, Reaghan (1999). Prenatal care approaches in Aboriginal communities. The Canadian Prenatal Nutrition Program: First Nations Working Group backgrounder, (accessed 1 July 2013)
University of British Columbia (2010). Request for decision: To Board of Governors on recommendation of President Stephen J. Toope from John Hephurn, Vice President Research and International, May 5, Vancouver, University of British Columbia.
Van den Berg, Marguerite (2013). City children and genderfied neighbourhoods: The new generation as urban regeneration strategy. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37(2), 523-536.
Walks, R. Alan (2009). The urban in fragile, uncertain, neoliberal times: towards new geographies of social justice? The Canadian Geographer, 53(3), 345-356.
Wiegers, Wanda (2002). The Framing of Poverty as “Child Poverty” and Its Implications For Women. Ottawa: Status of Women Canada.
Willse, Craig (2010). Neo-liberal biopolitics and the invention of chronic homelessness. Economy and Society 39, 2: 155-84.
Windsor-Liscombe, Rhodri (1997). The New Spirit: Modern Architecture in Vancouver, 1938-1963. Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre.
Wynn, Graeme and Timothy Oke, editors, (1992). Vancouver and Its Regions. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Table 1
Vancouver’s Vulnerability Bio-Value Chain



Attracts highly skilled labour force needed for knowledge production, while promoting urban consumption.


Reinforces ideal of responsible reproductive choices and good parenting based upon individual self-sufficiency, thereby supporting limited public funding for collective goals in alignment with privatization, deregulation and marketization.


Renders gentrification and its attendant land and property value feasible not exclusively through displacement, but also through regulating people deemed diseased, disruptive, and disorderly



Calculative milieu produces knowledge about people and places


Vulnerable milieu produces and reproduces conditions of poverty and disadvantage

Raw Material


Clustered Vulnerable Populations

- Racialized -

- Gendered -

- Classed -

Table 2
Selected Human Development Programs, Totals for Vancouver and East End as at 2013, by Year of Creation

and Lead Organization

Federal Government


East End


Community Action Program for Children




Canadian Prenatal Nutrition Program




Aboriginal Head Start



Provincial Government


Aboriginal Infant Development Program




StrongStart BC



Non-profit Agencies


HIPPY Canada




Urban Aboriginal HIPPY






Sources: Table compiled from British Columbia 2008; Canada 2010; HIPPY Canada 2010; Office of the Provincial Advisor for Aboriginal Infant Development Programs 2013; Tarbell nd.

1   2   3

The database is protected by copyright © 2016
send message

    Main page