Karen J. Gibson

Date of Award

Fall 10-21-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies

Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 322 pages)


Food security -- Case studies, Convenience stores -- Oregon -- Portland -- Case studies, Community development, Mixed-income housing




The Village Market is a nonprofit Healthy Corner Store that has been open since May of 2011 in the mixed-use, mixed-income New Columbia housing development in Portland, Oregon's Portsmouth neighborhood. The venture began as a "community-led" effort in partnership with Janus Youth Programs and Home Forward. The project was conceived after a private enterprise in the small grocery space designed into the development failed, leaving the neighborhood without easy access to healthy foods. This dissertation is a case study of the development process, the operation of the market, and the degree to which it addresses food justice and health equity concerns, among others, of residents. It is a case study of the Healthy Corner Store movement that uses food regime theory and political economy perspectives to critically examine the translation of Healthy Corner Store movement theory into practice, highlighting the perspectives of New Columbia residents on the endeavor. It explores the transition of the store from a community-led project to a management-led social enterprise, and the impacts of that approach on local autonomy, food justice, health equity as well as its successes and shortcomings. The store's situation in a mixed-income community meant that it had a particularly diverse set of expectations to navigate, and the changes to the store over time reflect Village Market's growing understanding of the implications of that situation but also a limited capacity to accommodate residents' differing tastes and the price sensitivity that many of them exhibit in their shopping habits.

Persistent Identifier