What is the relationship between public policy and gentrification in contemporary cities? Rather than analysing the effects of diverse urban policies or projects on the profiles of working-class areas, this special issue approaches gentrification (whether residential, commercial, tourism, productive, etc.) as an urban policy strategy. The six texts that make up the special issue analyse reconversion projects of former industrial and working-class areas, policies for regulating a popular market, street art projects or a purpose-built facility combining cultural and worship activities developed in working-class neighbourhoods. While each of these policies appears to be situated social construction, singular in many respects and not devoid of ambiguities, they nevertheless ought to be thought of together, for each one participates in local gentrification strategies. In this sense, we argue that these texts reinforce the analytical relevance of the 'gentrification policy' category, defined as a policy that intends to respond to selected political problems associated with popular spaces by a repertoire of projects de facto creating conditions favourable to gentrification processes.