Theses Master's

Creative Small Businesses and Their Economic Impact on New York City's Neighborhoods

Lee, Hyun Seung

Richard Florida’s idea on “creative class” in the year 2002 led many researchers from diverse disciplines to seek the value of “creativity.” In his study, Florida argued that the creative class is a potential engine for metropolitan economic growth. This thesis is founded on this earlier concept and investigates the extent to which the growth of creative small businesses can impact the economic conditions of neighborhoods in New York City. Rather than assessing the issue from a metropolitan scale, however, this study zooms in and focuses on the neighborhood level in order to detect impacts at a micro-level. Through the mapping of creative small businesses (CSB) in New York City neighborhoods over time, this study found that there was a strong growth of creative small businesses in Brooklyn from 2000 to 2012. Decreases in unemployment rates and increases in median rent values were evaluated through mapping and statistical analyses to find that CSB might affect the decline of unemployment rates at the neighborhood boundary level. Also, median rent changes studied at the borough level showed an inverse relationship between creative small business growth and increase in rent values in Brooklyn, while the opposite was found for the Bronx and Queens. Since original property characteristics and rent values are much distinct in each borough and yield divergent results from the analysis, this thesis found that it is important to understand the relationship between CSB growth and rent values at the boroughs separately.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Meisterlin, Leah M.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
May 12, 2017