It is with incredible sorrow that I write to share the news that we lost Neil Smith in the early hours of this morning. He had been hospitalized on Wednesday afternoon with organ failures, and despite some moments of hope, could not greet another day with us. Words cannot describe this sudden tragedy. Neil was larger than life, brilliant, an inspiration and loved by so many.
this is really sad news. Neil Smith’s work on gentrification has been a huge influence and inspiration to me. his work was key in getting scholars of gentrification to take a more structural analysis, and not focus on the actions of individual gentrifiers to the extent that we let the state and finance capital off the hook. if you’re not familiar with his work, you should take some time to browse his website; also to read his foundational 1979 article “Towards a theory of gentrification: a back-to-the-city movement by capital, not people”, which remains incisive and sorely needed to this day.