The dilemmas of displacement : revitalisation and gentrification in inner city Wellington, New Zealand
Crack, Charlotte Emily
This thesis examines the processes of revitalisation, gentrification and displacement within the context of inner city Wellington, New Zealand. Revitalisation of inner city areas that have been acknowledged as underused or simply deteriorating has become an increasingly familiar mission. Gentrification is often a by-product of such revitalisation. By enticing in new residents and making central city places more liveable and vibrant, revitalisation may also serve to modify the existing demographic composition of residents toward the more affluent end of the spectrum, thereby increasing the potential for displacement of lower income residents. Although there are a number of international studies pertaining to the processes of revitalisation, gentrification and displacement, there are none that investigate these processes in the New Zealand context. The current research attempts to remedy this shortfall through an examination of the revitalisation of Wellington's inner city, particularly in terms of processes of gentrification and their implications regarding the displacement of existing residents and businesses. The reasons why, and how, displacement is occurring in Wellington's inner city is assessed, as are local government policy responses to the issue. Data was based on a series of semi-structured interviews with key proponents involved in the revitalisation of the Wellington city core. The results of this research have highlighted a number of key issues, including the specific revitalisation processes undertaken in the Wellington context, the increasing popularity of inner city living, the extent of industrial displacement in the downtown area, and how issues of justice and sustainability pertaining to these processes are being addressed in Wellington's inner city. From these results recommendations are given as to how revitalisation endeavours might be addressed in the future so as to ensure environmental and social justice for all inhabitants of the central city, and also for the long-term sustainability of these inner city areas. This thesis also highlights the need for further research to be undertaken in other New Zealand cities, in order to extend the findings reported in this study. The need for further research is particularly to determine whether these processes of revitalisation and industrial displacement are unique to the Wellington context, and also to assess the justification of broadening the term of gentrification to include both the restoration and re-use of the building stock and also new-built inner city development.
Advisor: Thompson-Fawcett, Michelle; Freeman, Claire
Degree Name: Master of Regional and Resource Planning
Degree Discipline: Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis
viii, 132 leaves :col. ill., maps ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. University of Otago department: Geography.