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Investigating the Geographies of Community-based Public Art and Gentrification in Downtown Eastside, Vancouver

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Title: Investigating the Geographies of Community-based Public Art and Gentrification in Downtown Eastside, Vancouver
Author: Szoke, Teréz
Department: Department of Geography
Program: Geography
Advisor: Parizeau, Kate
Abstract: Infamous as Canada’s poorest postal code, Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) is considered a blank slate fertile for urban redevelopment. In response to this narrative, visually expressive demonstrations and community-based public art (CBPA) actively reclaim urban space for its inhabitants, and boldly resist gentrification. This thesis advances scholarly understandings of the impact of CBPA by exploring artists’ intended impacts of CBPA projects and how they are interpreted in the minds of the public. Through semi-structured interviews and two consecutive circle discussions, I identified three significant social functions of CBPA in the DTES. The 301 surveys completed by passersby at three CBPA sites revealed that CBPA projects act as both a barrier and a conduit for gentrification. Key concepts that emerged throughout this thesis include: therapeutic landscapes and visual democracy. This research seeks to challenge dominant discourses that construct the DTES as a passive community subject to externally-prescribed solutions to local issues.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/9203
Date: 2015-09
Rights: Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada


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Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada