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ORCID

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Program

Regional Planning

Degree Type

Master of Regional Planning (M.R.P.)

Year Degree Awarded

2020

Month Degree Awarded

February

Abstract

This master’s thesis examines how the density of food-based businesses in New England’s post-industrial urban neighborhoods relates to neighborhood demographic characteristics. The relationship between food-based businesses and demographic change has been examined in larger metropolitan areas like New York City and Chicago and has found that younger, wealthier, and more highly educated residents tend to live where there are greater densities of food businesses. However, there has been little research on the topic in New England’s post-industrial cities that have historically struggled to attract highly sought knowledge workers. I find that food business density and the share of residents employed in creative class professions is positively correlated in most cases; however, over time, the share of creative class workers and food businesses per capita has a negative relationship. Additionally, the share of residents living below the poverty line and food business densities have a significant and positive relationship. Neighborhood racial composition is a less significant factor, overall. In sum, the findings from this study suggest that food business density and creative class populations have a more nuanced relationship in regional post-industrial cities compared to larger metropolitan areas.

First Advisor

Henry Renski

Second Advisor

Mark Hamin

Third Advisor

John Mullin

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