Currently, gentrification is progressing with de-industrialization and urban regeneration, and with that, new urban food deserts are arising due to the economic disparity. The purpose of this study is to analyze the mechanism of shopping difficulties for low-income households in the gentrifying areas. We investigated the background and factors that worsened low-income households' access to affordable fresh foods in central Tokyo, where population flowed in, and commercial agglomeration progressed as a result of redevelopment.
According to the questionnaire and interview surveys with the residents, they switched their main using stores from shopping streets to supermarkets since 2000. Many low-income households used distant stores in the areas of shopping distance more than 500m, because the supermarkets in the area within 500m or less —the primary shopping area— were expensive.
We hypothesized that the main factors of shopping difficulties for low-income households and their selection shopping destinations other than the primary shopping areas are “decline of shopping streets” and “upgrading supermarkets” in the neighborhood. These two factors are caused by changes in the socio-economic environment (economic changes, lifestyle changes, retail market changes). Also, the redevelopment in gentrifying areas and the increase of high-income households have a big impact on upgrading supermarkets.
The result of the multiple regression analysis showed that the upgrading supermarkets had a correlation with the increase in high-income households. Furthermore, since 2000, “unaffordable food access areas”, which had only high-priced supermarkets within 500 m, was induced by the decline of shopping streets and the upgrading of supermarkets in parallel. In particular, in the area of a significant increase in high-income households by redevelopments, there was the constructions of luxury apartments and the opening of luxury supermarkets at the same time, so there was not the opening of affordable supermarkets.