The revitalization of downtown St. Stephen

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University of New Brunswick


This study and research was conducted to revitalize downtown St. Stephen, New Brunswick. St. Stephen is facing a myriad of challenges - a stagnant population, out migration of the younger generation, aging population, business downsizing, closure and relocation, expansion of big box stores, a strong Canadian dollar and a decline in traditional tourism markets - in addition to a new border and highway bypass that were opened in 2009 and 2010 respectively. The goal of this research is to help mitigate these challenges and identify opportunities in Downtown St. Stephen. The approach taken is to develop a downtown revitalization process that incorporates sustainable development principles and is community driven. Thus the study is designed to engage the local community in addition to reviewing secondary literature on the downtown revitalization process and sustainable development principles. The research findings suggest that optimizing land use, adopting policies and practices which are sustainable, pedestrian friendliness, developing open spaces and adopting measures to reduce, recycle, reuse and refuse were seen relevant factors for sustainable downtown revitalization. This thesis also provides recommendations and implications for practitioners for developing a sustainable downtown revitalization process.