Viewing immigrants' neighbourhood and housing choices through the lens of community resilience

Ren Thomas
2013 SAPIENS  
Immigrants represent a rapidly growing segment of the Canadian population: 48 percent of the population in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) and 40 percent in the Vancouver CMA are immigrants, the highest foreign-born metropolitan populations in the world. Immigrants' settlement in postindustrial cities with competitive housing and labour markets has been explored with spatial, economic, and social theories, particularly in disciplines such as geography and urban planning. However,
more » ... e is a great potential for community resilience theories from the disciplines of ecology and psychology to provide a richer understanding of the choices of specific ethnocultural groups. This article introduces the literature on immigrants' housing and neighbourhood choices in Canadian cities, citing theories of spatial assimilation, housing career and structural change. These theories have contributed to researchers' understanding of how immigrants' patterns differ from those of non-immigrants. However, theories of community resilience provide a lens through which to view differences within the immigrant population. Using the definitions of simple resilience and psychological resilience, this article aims to view immigrants' housing choices through a new lens, and gives a different perspective to ethnocultural differences in housing patterns.
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