Thesis Defence: Poorna Patange

Friday, August 5, 2022 10:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

The Production of Space for Entrepreneurship: State-Led Gentrification & Innovation along the ION Light Rail Transit Line in the Region of Waterloo

Poorna Patange Thesis image


The Region of Waterloo is rapidly transforming along the route of the ION Light Rail Transit Line as expansions in the innovation industry and investments in public space enhance a new linear core. As the transit line facilitates greater density it increases socioeconomic inequity in terms of who can choose to be near newly connected public space. I argue that the co-produced public space environment of state-led gentrification and innovation is a means for the municipality to ossify and intensify existing structures of spatial and economic inequity. I ask how this transformed public space is presented and produced by the state and perceived by residents. I employ a mix of photography, mapping, and surveying to form a discursive relationship between public documents, in-place experiences, and the changing socio-economic geography of the Region of Waterloo. I find that the co-production of gentrification and innovation is fostered by provincial growth planning and an institutional response to post-industrial decline. In the network of public space more intensely connected by the new transit line, I document an aesthetic and spatial narrative of entrepreneurship that blurs the boundary between labour and life - foreclosing the political potential of these spaces. With this work, I extend the theorization of gentrification in relation to innovation labour—entrepreneurship—in the political economy of a post-industrial municipality.

The examining committee is as follows:

Supervisor: Adrian Blackwell
Co-Supervisor: Maya Przybylski
Committee member: Martine August
Internal-external reader: Brian Doucet
External: Greig de Peuter

The defence examination will take place:
Friday, August 5, 2022, 10:00 a.m.
This is a hybrid defence taking place in-person in the Ward Room at the School of Architecture as well as online via Teams. Please contact the grad office for the Teams link.

The committee has been approved as authorized by the Graduate Studies Committee.
A copy of the thesis is available for perusal in ARC 2106A.