Tagged: boutiques

[Podcast] Chinatown: The Next Yaletown? // Vancouver Loses Independently-Owned Festival Cinemas

Screenshot of the Keefer Block condo development (www.keeferblock.com).

“Condo for sale minutes from downtown.” Screenshot taken from keeferblock.com.

Social mix is a euphemism for destroying low-income communities. This is a community that fought for – and won – the only safe injection site in North America. This is a community that had to occupy a Police Board meeting in order to get the Police Board to put out the same reward for the missing women that it put out for garage robberies on the Westside. This is a community that had to fight for seven years to get a community centre like other people have. This is a community that had to camp out on a beach for a whole summer in order to get a waterfront park like other communities have. This community has a history of fighting for human rights, and the City destroys that by condo-fying the whole [neighbourhood] and displacing low income people – that will be destroying one of the most valuable assets it has.

–Jean Swanson, Carnegie Community Action Project

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Vancouver’s Chinatown is undergoing increasingly rapid gentrification. The Carnegie Community Action Project’s Jean Swanson (author, Poorbashing: The Politics of Exclusion) discusses why a significant influx of condominiums and high-end retail  are threatening to displace the neighbourhood’s low-income residents – and why the city is approving these major developments before the completion of the Downtown Eastside local area plan. You can check out a past podcast, From Poor to Yuppie: Artists, Boutiques, and Neighbourhood Change, if you are interested in hearing more about gentrification and social dislocation in the Downtown Eastside.

On the second half of the program, we hear why the independently-owned Festival Cinemas has been sold to Cineplex. We talk with co-owner Leonard Schein about why he is calling it quits, the challenge to operate cinemas independently, and what he believes the City and province should do to help arts and culture thrive/survive in Vancouver.

[Podcast] From Poor to Yuppie: Artists, Boutiques, and Neighbourhood Change

Why do aestheticized urban landscapes attract higher income groups? What role do artists and boutiques play in neighbourhood class transformation?

“Creative people need creative space.” Photo taken in San Francisco’s SoMa district by Andy Longhurst.

On this week’s edition of The City, we critically evaluate the connections between artists, galleries and boutiques, city policy, and processes of neighbourhood change. Artists have long been implicated in processes of neighbourhood socio-economic upgrading, and their preferred locational choice of affordable, (lower-income) inner-city neighbourhoods is implicated in early stages of major neighbourhood class transformation. We examine how artists and cultural workers themselves view these processes, the role of city planning policy, and the potential barriers to gentrification.

The City critically unpacks these issues from the following perspectives:

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[Show Preview] From Poor to Yuppie: Artists, Boutiques, and Neighbourhood Change

Do aestheticized urban landscapes always attract higher income groups?

On this week’s edition of The City, we’ll critically evaluate the connections between artists, galleries and boutiques, city policy, and processes of neighbourhood change. Artists have long been implicated in processes of neighbourhood social-economic upgrading, and their preferred locational choice of affordable, (lower-income) inner-city neighbourhoods is implicated in early stages of major neighbourhood class transformation. We’ll look at how artists and cultural workers themselves view these processes, the role of city planning policy, and the potential barriers to gentrification.

The City speaks with the following people to critically examine these issues:

  • Tarah Hogue (Curator, Gam Gallery)
  • Richard Newirth (Director, Cultural Services, City of Vancouver)
  • Dr. Harvey Molotch (Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and Sociology, New York University)
  • Wendy Pedersen (Carnegie Community Action Project)

Here’s a preview of the upcoming episode, featuring Sharon Zukin (Sociologist, City University of New York) (via BigThink.com) and Tarah Hogue (Curator, Gam Gallery in the Downtown Eastside).