From Destruction to Spectacle: Utilizing District Identity in Gentrifying Neighborhoods in Houston



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This thesis will study the two major approaches to gentrification via district revitalization that has occurred in the Midtown and East Downtown districts, in which no cultural identity was used as a reference point for redevelopment and the existing cultural group in the area was destroyed as displacement occurred. I will then focus on the Montrose and East End/Second Ward districts, which presents a spectacle of the culture being displaced as a means to redevelop and create a unique, marketable identity for the district. Through this focus, I aim to connect districts' intensification of the displaced community's culture with broader strategies presented by city-wide growth machines. I examine these changes over time through an in-depth analysis of strategic growth documents created by city, state, and economic elite organizations.



Gentrification, Growth Machine, Revitalization, Sociology