UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Remaking place in Little Saigon : a proposal for the retention and evolution of the identity of an ethnic neighborhood in Vancouver Dinh, Long


Small-business entrepreneurialism has been an important characteristic of the immigrant and ethnic identity in cities. The Vietnamese community in Greater Vancouver, Canada is no stranger to this. Small-business entrepreneurialism in Little Saigon along Kingsway has defined the Vietnamese Canadian experience in the city and the metro area for more than four decades. The thoroughfare has proven to be a place nurturing Vietnamese upward mobility as it offers economic opportunities to those with limited capital. However, the vibrant scene of Vietnamese and other ethnic businesses on Kingsway is being threatened by a rapid wave of redevelopments facilitated by urban policies and financial practices that pit the real estate market against ethnic neighborhoods. Today young Vietnamese have to become more creative and technologically savvy to circumvent the high costs of starting their businesses. This thesis, by reimagining the designs of the neighborhood, proposes several alternatives in urban policies and business financing options for the city, the local community, and financial stakeholders to curb the negative effects of redevelopment, uphold Kingsway’s entrepreneurial spirit, and expand upward mobility among those with limited capital, including local Vietnamese.

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