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Linking the gentrification of traditional retail markets and the resilience of centres of commerce
1  Centre for Geographical Studies, Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, Universidade de Lisboa


Within an evolutionary process that has been more intense since the middle of the 20th century, retail has changed dramatically and new retail concepts have been putting into question the stability of urban retail systems. Using the adaptive resilience perspective, some recent studies have been discussing how the retail structure of some urban districts and neighbourhoods has adapted to changes in the respective retail systems. Within these studies, retail resilience is broadly understood as the ability of a certain retail system to adapt to shocks and disturbances and be able to supply the population. Currently, some of the main changes in retail are related with the rehabilitation of some retail stores and precincts that transformed them into gentrified retail spaces. Nowadays, retail gentrification has been gaining prominence in a great degree due to the global increase in world tourism, putting added pressure on old stores that still serve local residents and traditional passersby.

This presentation arises from an ongoing investigation. Using a case study methodology, we will focus on Campo de Ourique, a Lisbon traditional neighbourhood. Although located outside the main tourist routes of the city, at the beginning of this decade, its enclosed traditional retail market was rehabilitated, which eventually culminated in its gentrification. Following an intervention model seen in other countries of Europe and Latin America, Campo de Ourique traditional retail market is currently a medium and high class leisure and consumption destination. Based on theoretical considerations on retail resilience and retail gentrification, in this presentation we aim to examine the impacts that are produced by the gentrification of that retail precinct in the commercial fabric of the district and in what way these impacts questioned the stability of the neighbourhood’s retail system and its resilience ability, thereby threatening the ability to supply the local community.

Keywords: Retail resilience; retail gentrification