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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The past and present of Robson Street Elsamny, Afaf Makarem


This study investigates the prospects for survival of a small-business, high character area in downtown Vancouver, namely, the 1000 and 1100 blocks of Robson Street. The text includes, first, an extensive literature search into general characteristics of downtown commercial areas and various aspects of commercial rehabilitation. A brief history of the forces which shaped Robson Street follows, then information obtained from merchants through a questionnaire regarding customer attraction, store location and size, sales volume, attitudes toward the area, etc. After this background information, the paper continues with the results of an abstract simulation by computer of the area's future under three different circumstances. The findings of the study seem, essentially, to support the two hypotheses made that 1.) change in the area is causing imbalance and 2.) the area will not, without outside intervention, be able to survive, prosper, and maintain its unique character.

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