“They're Colonizing My Neighborhood”: (Perceptions of) Social Mix in Canada Academic Article uri icon

  •  
  • Overview
  •  
  • Research
  •  
  • Identity
  •  
  • Additional Document Info
  •  
  • View All
  •  

abstract

  • In recent years, urban neighborhoods in many Western nations have undergone neighborhood restructuring initiatives, especially in public housing developments. Regent Park, Canada's oldest and largest public housing development, is a neighborhood currently undergoing ‘neighborhood revitalization’ based on the social mix model. One tenet of this model is the idea that original public housing residents are benefiting from interactions with middle class residents. Based on qualitative interviews and ethnographic observations with original housing residents as well as new middle–class homeowners, we examine whether cross–class interactions actually occur “on the ground” in Regent Park. By examining an iteration of the model that differs with respect to the direction of resident movement—that is, the revitalization of Regent Park involves more advantaged residents buying into the once low–income neighborhood, as opposed to providing lower–income residents with housing vouchers to move out of the community (and into more affluent neighborhoods across the city)—our study provides a unique contribution to the existing research on social mix. In particular, our research examines whether the direction of this resident movement has any distinct or demonstrable impact on: (1) the daily perceptions, attitudes, and actions of original and new residents, and (2) the nature of cross–class interactions. Second, unlike the vast majority of studies done in Europe and the United States, which are conducted “postrevitalization,” we examine the effects of neighborhood revitalization as the process unfolds.

publication date

  • December 2017