In this research paper, the relationship between gentrification in Rotterdam neighbourhoods and feelings of belongingness is investigated. Belongingness to the neighbourhood is divided in two predictors: attachment to the neighbourhood and connectedness to the neighbourhood. It was expected that gentrification has an negative influence on belongingness to the neighbourhood because of the (fear of) displacement of original residents and the disruption of social cohesion. Apart from the direct relationships, a moderation by the ethnic background was tested as well. It was hypothesized that longer established ethnic groups in Rotterdam experience the strongest effect of gentrification on feelings of belongingness, then less established ethnic groups, and last the Dutch native group. The feelings of belongingness to the neighbourhood of long established groups were namely expected to be largely related to their ethnic/racial identity, and when gentrification happens this could disrupt their feelings of belongingness the most. Analysing data from the Wijkprofiel (Neighbourhood Profile) 2015, this paper found that gentrification generally does not influence the level of belongingness to the neighbourhood. Only native Dutch residents experience a higher level of connectedness when the level of gentrification in their neighbourhood rises. As for the differences between different ethnic groups in Rotterdam, only people with a Cape Verdean background experience a weaker relationship between gentrification and connectedness to the neighbourhood compared to people with a Dutch ethnic background. The results of this paper thus nuance the discussion about the often-proclaimed negative effects of gentrification in the city.

, , , ,
Gijs Custers, Thomas Swerts
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Zijlmans, M. (2022, June 19). "The impact of gentrification on belongingness to the neighbourhood in Rotterdam, Differences between various ethnic groups". Sociology. Retrieved from