What now? The post disaster experiences of small inner city retail businesses
The Christchurch earthquakes brought to an abrupt halt a process of adaptive reuse and gentrification that was underway in the south eastern corner of the central business district. The retail uses that were a key to the success of this area pre-earthquake could be characterised as small, owner operated, quirky, bohemian, chaotic and relatively low rent. This research reports on the progress of a long term, comprehensive case study that follows the progress of these retailers both before and after the earthquakes. Findings include the immediate post-earthquake intentions to resume business in the same location as soon as possible were thwarted by government imposed cordons of the CBD that were only lifted nearly three years later. But, businesses were resilient and generally reinvented themselves quickly in alternative suburban locations where government “rebuild” restrictions were absent. It remains to be seen if this type of retail will ever return to the CBD as government imposed plans and the rents demanded for retail space in new buildings appear to preclude small owner-operated businesses.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsrevitalisation; gentrification; CBD; disaster; earthquake; retail; owner occupied; case study; Christchurch; rebuild
Fields of Research12 Built Environment and Design; 120507 Urban Analysis and Development; 1205 Urban and Regional Planning
TypeConference Contribution - published (Conference Paper)
Copyright © The Authors.