Chasing the rent gap down on Edinburgh’s waterfront: State failure, devalorisation, and the enduring promise of potential

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Abstract

Despite the affluence of its city centre, Edinburgh’s waterfront remains a largely undeveloped patchwork of ex-industrial docklands. The Waterfront Edinburgh project in the early 2000s was an ambitious attempt to regenerate the former Granton Harbour. This paper takes a long-term view of the fate of that project—from grand potential, through stagnation and crisis, and back again to grand potential—to consider anew the use of the rent gap model in a context where gentrification seems to have failed. Threading together the changing fate of this site reveals the imaginary nature of potential and the limits to the state’s power, whilst reminding us that potential land values can (and must) go down as well as up.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-633
Number of pages19
JournalCity: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action
Volume25
Issue number5-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • rent gap
  • Edinburgh
  • crisis
  • gentrification

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