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For my master’s at LSE’s Cities Programme, I wrote a dissertation on reinvestment in H Street, a commercial corridor in northeast Washington DC. It’s available for download below. (And I do apologise for the British spellings…)

Situating a New Main Street:
The Space and Scope of H Street’s Commercial Development

Download PDF (3.8 MB)

H Street NE is a mile-long commercial corridor in Washington, DC that has suffered decades of disinvestment. In recent years, its retail economy has begun a revitalisation with investment from new businesses, especially arts and entertainment uses. Drawing on the literature of retail regeneration, cultural districts, and gentrification, this paper argues that H Street’s current development is inextricably connected to its spatial qualities—its relative location, its linear shape, and its small century-old buildings—as well as to its context in the recent social and economic development of Washington, DC. These particular qualities have favoured a neighbourhood economy based on creative retail entrepreneurs and identity-conscious consumers. Despite this importance, development plans have generally failed to account for the particular space of H Street or for its role in the city. This paper concludes with a renewed vision for the next phase of development on H Street that takes advantage of the unique space and scope of its economy.