Rent Gap

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Book Chapter

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The rent gap refers to the difference between the capitalized rent realized from a plot of land and the potential rent possible if it were developed to its “highest and best” use. Introduced by Neil Smith in 1979, the rent gap provides a systematic production-side theory of urban rent and inner-city transformation. The concept has been critiqued, however, for dismissing the role of individual agents and consumption preferences in explanatory accounts of gentrification.


Author manuscript version of an entry published in:

Addie, J.-P. D., 2019, “Rent gap” in Richardson, D., Castree, N., Goodchild, M., Liu, W., Kobayashi, A., and Marston R. (eds.) The International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, The Earth, Environment, and Technology Hoboken: Wiley/AAG. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118786352.