Restaurants and urban revitalization: The case of center city Philadelphia

2001 2001

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Abstract (summary)

Like other American cities, the City of Philadelphia and civic organizations such as a business improvement district (BID) promoted their hospitality cluster in the 1990s in order to revitalize their downtown area. During the same period, Center City Philadelphia coincidentally experienced a high restaurant boom. In general, restaurants play a role as part of the hospitality industry. However, we do not know how urban restaurants have contributed to urban revitalization as part of a city's hospitality cluster. What kinds of restaurants are more likely to encourage this urban revitalization? In order to solve these questions, this study examines the economic and physical contributions of restaurants in urban environments as an urban element and as an urban amenity as well as a commercial facility, focusing on the recent trends of restaurants and urban development projects in Center City Philadelphia. First, this study explores the roles of restaurants in urban development, urban society, and urban business. Next, this study scrutinizes the location trends and economic and physical characteristics of urban restaurants, using the US Census data and Center City District Retail Occupancy Survey data and conducting a questionnaire survey for Center City restaurateurs. This study finds that some Center City restaurants (1) interrelate with an increase in Center City residents; (2) create more jobs than other retail stores as a commercial facility; (3) encourage the reuse of retail spaces in the commercial district; (4) interact with hotels, a convention center, entertainment facilities, and other restaurants as part of a hospitality cluster; and (5) harmonize with public spaces with outdoor settings. Recent moderate upscale restaurants have tended to possess these features more than other price groups. Finally, this study concludes that urban restaurants have significant hospitable components of which local governments and their BIDs should make the most, not only for enhancing competitive advantages of the downtown area but also for attracting new residents and visitors.

Indexing (details)

Urban planning;
Area planning & development
0999: Urban planning
0999: Area planning & development
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Business improvement districts; Pennsylvania; Philadelphia; Restaurants; Urban revitalization
Restaurants and urban revitalization: The case of center city Philadelphia
Kurosawa, Takekuni
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 62/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780493441801, 0493441808
Birch, Eugenie L.
University of Pennsylvania
University location
United States -- Pennsylvania
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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