Under the general heading of urban renewal, American cities have undergone a wave of efforts to promote new investment into previously poor downtowns. This has resulted in extraordinary changes to the urban economic, cultural, and physical landscape, usually leading to what is commonly called gentrification. In this course, we will examine the phenomenon of gentrification as one of the fundamental social changes currently affecting American society. We will begin with a brief historical sociology of urban development and planning in the United States leading up to the redevelopment and renewal movement in the late '80s and early '90s. From then, the course will examine case studies of the effects of redevelopment over the past two decades and critical arguments about the alleged benefits and evils of the gentrification that tend to come with it. Finally, we will examine a variety of movements made in the name of economic justice and urban ecology to stop, change, or reimagine the redevelopment process. Although the primary focus will be on the United States, we may also consider similar impacts in global cities that have resulted from globalization.