Date of Award
Planning and Urban Studies
Brand, Anna Livia
Since the 1970s, when neoliberal policies and changing consumer patterns began remaking cities, scholars have conducted research about gentrification. In New Orleans, these studies have helped explain the demographic and economic shifts in some neighborhoods. However, there has been limited focus on the built environment aspects of gentrification in New Orleans, specifically the interpretation of the external aesthetic shifts in streetscapes as part of the gentrification process. This thesis examines the relationship between these aesthetics, primarily graffiti and street art, and the gentrification process, as perceived by various stakeholders in two New Orleans neighborhoods: St. Roch and Bywater. Using empirical, qualitative evidence, this thesis argues that graffiti and street art signify a culture and aestheticization of gentrification. Research methods for this thesis include participant observation, semi-structured interviews and discourse analysis.
Keywords: Gentrification, New Orleans, Bywater, St. Roch, graffiti, street art, neighborhood change, blight, disinvestment, revitalization, creative class, neoliberalism, race, authenticity
Foster, Tara E., "The Streets are Talking: The Aesthetics of Gentrification in Two Downriver New Orleans Neighborhoods" (2013). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. 1736.