Following a period of sustained deterioration in the postwar period, many cities began to experience the gentrification of select central and inner-city neighborhoods. Initial signs of revival during the 1950s, most notably in London and New York, intensified in the 1960s, and by the 1970s these had grown into a widespread gentrification movement affecting the majority of the larger and older cities in Europe, North America and Australia. Although gentrification rarely accounts for more than a fraction of new housing starts compared with new construction, the process is very important in those districts and neighborhoods where it occurs. And it has had a very powerful effect on the rethinking of urban cultures and urban futures in the last quarter of the twentieth century.