Geography & Environment Publications

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Urban Geography

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This paper engages the increasing significance of urban platforms through the lens of the aesthetics of gentrification, a mode of place-making through the visual commodification of space. We report on ‘walks-with’ platformized bikesharing infrastructure across a selective sample of three Vancouver neighbourhoods, each differently positioned within the urban spatial hierarchy: gentrified Mount Pleasant/South Main, gentrifying Strathcona/Chinatown, and the gentrifiable East Village. Drawing on photographs, reflections, and observations of the visual fields of select bikeshare stations’ surrounds, we theorize that platformized bikesharing materialities (stations and cycles) function aesthetically through dynamics of serialization, which designates how urban platform materialities express a replicated aesthetics in their own right, and the ways in which they have emerged as a constitutive element of the repeatedly encountered networks of gentrification’s aesthetic referents in Vancouver. We argue that these dynamics of serialization contribute to and expand modes of visual place-making by commodifying and priming spaces of/for gentrification, and condition modes of visual recognition that inform the reconciliation of contradictory visual elements in the built environment as expressive of processes and/or prospects of gentrification as occurring in situ at the sub-neighbourhood scale.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Urban Geography on 2022-04-07, available online:

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Available for download on Wednesday, January 01, 2025

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