Groundstory seeks to answer such complex questions as:
a) Mapping drivers and impacts of the arts in contemporary gentrification and displacement
What are the contributing factors to gentrification? What neighbourhoods are gentrifying? Who are the most impacted by gentrification (by culture, ethnicity, region, income, etc)? Where are displaced residents and businesses of gentrifying neighbourhoods moving to? What sacrifices are being made to stay where they are, either by choice or by lack of viable housing/spacing alternatives? Are municipal plans being activated in affected communities to respond to these displacements and migrations? Do the roles of individual creative industries, and even specific businesses and venues, change in different regions and neighbourhoods across Ontario, including film/media, visual, performing arts, etc? If so, what are the factors that are driving these differences? Are there positive changes to local, regional and provincial economies due to gentrification? Are there linkages and connections to gentrification trends in other regions nationally and globally?
b) Interventions and policies that can mitigate the growth of income inequality and arts/non-arts displacement in major urban centres
Pressure-testing the effectiveness of emerging and traditional responses to the ripple effects of contemporary gentrification, including: developing multilateral charitable, land value, foreign investor, and vacant property taxation policies; municipal zoning and economic, urban, and cultural planning strategies; national and municipal housing policies, development and maintenance of social housing and co-operatives; laneway suites; storefront theatres, DIY/makerspaces, pop-up studios, creative entrepreneur hubs; diversity and inclusion strategies; tenant’s unions; community land trusts; decent work and fair-pay policies; arts income averaging; low or universal income assistance; and others.
c) Means of connecting independent and silo-ed stakeholders toward a sustainable approach
How may diverse partners come together to implement a shared agenda and theory of change? To what degree can non-profits, business, government, artists, and arts organizations play a shared leadership role in addressing gentrification that cultivates greater connections, collaborations, shared strategies and resources? What strategies, knowledge, and resources already happening or available on the ground can be brought together to deepen impact for collective benefit? How may those most impacted by the ripple effects of gentrification be engaged in the initiative? What tools and methodologies are necessary to sustain a positive shared measurement / impact evaluation process?