Architecture Dissertations and Theses

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    A space for the displaced: An analysis of gentrification on Karangahape Road
    (2023) Santico, Joaquin; Unitec, Te Pūkenga
    RESEARCH QUESTION How can alternative housing models respond to the impacts of gentrification? ABSTRACT The notion of gentrification is often loosely defined as the process where a wealthier social class takes over a lower-income district improving and increasing the value of a neighbourhood, albeit frequently at the expense of displacing longterm local residents. The urban phenomenon of gentrification and its development over the years has seen a seemingly unforeseen process transform into a planned strategy for the economic improvement of urban centres. Unfortunately, through this now institutionalised process, the detrimental impact of displacement has also intensified, often completely altering a neighbourhood’s urban identity and culture. Karangahape Road, also known as K’ Road, is an inner-city neighbourhood of Auckland that embodies the meaning of a genuinely diverse mecca of urban culture. From its early pre-European period to its present-day form, the area has remained an essential passage route into the city of Auckland. The importance of this link to the city has seen K’ Road foster a series of different cultures and eras. However, K’ Road has also seen examples of different catalysts of urban renewal, which has seen multiple generations of gentrification processes occur throughout its history. A prominent example of such a catalyst is the development of the central motorway junction, which has divided the main strip into two sides. Such effects of gentrification on K’ Road have seen the neighbourhood evolve from a prominent shopping district to a red light district and, more recently, into a hipster contemporary uptown district. This research project aims to understand the urban phenomenon of gentrification, what it means, how it is caused, its effects, and who are the agents involved in this process. The theories of gentrification are used as a lens into the history of K’ Road to understand the periods of change in its history and how the main strip has continued to evolve. By understanding both gentrification and the history of this important thoroughfare, the project seeks to respond to the impacts of this process, revitalising the existing community on K’ Road through a new and diverse housing model that aims to cater to all demographics in the neighbourhood This housing model will provide communal facilities and a variety of residential typologies such as social housing, transitional housing, and private market housing. Design theories such as defensible space and third place are essential to the development of the housing model. The project seeks to enhance the neighbourhood’s diverse culture and maintain its vitality, enabling existing residents to remain on K’ Road and reap the benefits of an inevitable process of urban intensification.