Density and diversity: Considering the impacts of mixed-use development on the retail culture of Vancouver’s Main Street

Date created: 
Retail gentrification, authenticity, neoliberal urbanism, social reproduction of space, cultural geography, small business, urban public policy

In the past decade retail gentrification, or commercial gentrification, has begun to receive more attention from academics and policymakers as commercial real estate in cities like New York, San Francisco, and Vancouver experience significant transformation through redevelopment and speculation. This has resulted in increases in commercial property values and lease rates, displacement of independent small businesses, increases in chronic vacancies and the proliferation of chain stores, or formula business. This trend has been coined “hypergentrification” or “supergentrification” and has resulted in residents and businesses organizing in affected cities and communities to retain independent small retailers as symbols of local culture and neighbourhood identity; with local governments employing various policy responses to mitigate these concerns. The research examines how real estate development on Main Street between 2007 and 2016 is influencing retail mix there, with a particular focus on the presence of chain stores and independent small businesses in relation to development.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Senior supervisor: 
Peter Hall
Arts & Social Sciences: Urban Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Research Project) M.Urb.