Master’s thesis on gentrification in Grandview Woodland

It has just come to our attention that a Paul Kasman wrote his Master’s thesis (Public Administration) in 2007 on gentrification of Grandview Woodland. The thesis is available for download here.

This is the abstract:

​The Grandview Woodland local area of Vancouver, British Columbia, is an area in transition. Retail, demographic, residential occupancy, and changes to built structures indicate that gentrification has escalated in the past seven years. Long standing impediments to gentrification, including industrial manufacturing, social housing, and crime, are not deterring change in this area to the extent they once did. This thesis examines how public policy has affected these changes in Grandview Woodland.

Public policies embodied in laws and regulations have the capacity to either encourage or dissuade gentrification; however, other variables also influence gentrification making it difficult to determine the importance and influence of public policy in the process. This thesis uses semi-structured interviews and a document review in a case study of Grandview Woodland, to gain a better understanding of how public policies can influence gentrification in a local area where gentrification was previously impeded.

The findings from this study suggest that public policies can have a substantial, but not autonomous, effect on gentrification in such an area. In Grandview Woodland, policy makers facilitate gentrification through city-wide and province-wide policies, including zoning changes, the Strata Title Act, and the Residential Tenancy Act. While these public policies have streamlined the advance of gentrification in Grandview Woodland, the iv catalysts for gentrification are the wider national trend of increased popularity of inner-city living, and the middle class moving eastwards in search of affordable homes in response to the massive property value increases in Vancouver’s West Side.