Voices of downtown Dartmouth: A study of urban decay and renewal
LE3 .A278 2014
Bachelor of Arts
Urban decay and renewal have been studied in the North American context for about a century, most notably by urban studies pioneer Jane Jacobs. This thesis examines the most prominent theories of urban decay and renewal that are relevant to my case study of downtown Dartmouth. With a review of the literature on theories of urban decay and renewal, I determine which theories hold strongest. However, with my qualitative case study, I further determine how accurate the prominent theories of urban decay and renewal are, and if there are any major elements missing. I uncover opinions often unheard from community members with different backgrounds and ideologies, including residents, former politicians, non‐profit organizers, businesspeople, and municipal planners. When it comes to urban renewal, an almost inevitable occurrence is gentrification. What my case study of downtown Dartmouth demonstrates is that urban decay and renewal does follow many of the prominent structural theories; however, the hostility that can unfairly push lower‐income residents out is less from big business and developers, and more from a stronghold of conservative long‐term residents who have been a powerful force in local politics, implementing zoning policies based on conservative values and discriminatory thinking.
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