35 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2016
  2. atlspaceplacerhetf16.robinwharton.net atlspaceplacerhetf16.robinwharton.net
    1. To what extent do these mixed-income efforts providemechanisms to integrate low-income people into well-functioning communities withaccess to amenities and opportunities, and to what extent are they mechanisms to facilitatethe appropriation of urban space by and for more affluent residents and the interests ofcapital in the context of a broader neoliberal agenda

      From what I've learned this semester, this is the question at the root of urban planning and development: how will this effect the upper and lower classes respectively? To what extent are these projects meant to integrate these two vastly different groups of people? At what point do they just become money-making schemes? In the case of the BeltLine, the original intent of the project was to create a space accessible to and affordable for all. The popularity of and the potential profitability of the project has cause priorities to shift in favor of the upper class.

    2. Notions of social organization and concerns about social control and safetyprovide one important theoretical argument for mixed-income responses to concentratedpoverty and the problems of public housing, and also underlie many of the tensionsthat emerge in on-the-ground encounters between newcomers and established residentsin gentrifying contexts. As state-sponsored efforts at ‘positive gentrification’ and socialintegration, mixed-income responses to public housing reform complicate thesedynamics, raising particular questions about rights, appropriation, use values, thedelineation of public and private (space, ownership, action, responsibility), and tensionsbetween freedom and control.

      The issues surrounding integrative mixed-income neighborhoods are understandably complex and often call into question the rights of existing residents while facing considerable backlash from both income groups. The term "positive gentrification" seems almost an oxymoron these days, at least for current residents. Gentrification is more or less synonymous with whitewashing in the sense that poorer minorities are forced out of the neighborhood after it is revitalized. This often discourages gentrification. At the same time, the higher class is concerned with the the safety and upkeep of their neighborhoods, which may encourage plans to oust the lower class.

    3. As David Harvey (1988) makes clear, use value and exchange value are intimately tied in thecontext of land and development, the unique qualities of which distinguish it from other kinds ofcommodities. Use and exchange value are constructed differently by a range of different actors(residents, landlords, realtors, developers, financial institutions, government) and reflect a broadrange of (changing, situational) needs, idiosyncrasies and habits. Mixed-income developments areamong the ‘catalytic moments in the urban land-use decision process when use value and exchangevalue collide to make commodities out of the land and improvements thereon’ (ibid.: 160), thenegotiation of which plays out in concrete ways on the ground

      After searching for mixed income developments in the United States and coming up with results that more or less discussed how much of a failure they have been, I decided to search for public housing successes in other countries. The best examples were by far Vienna and Singapore, which both maximize urban space and succeed in integrating income groups. They offer residences for people of all classes, and there is a noticable difference between housing developments in the United States and these two countries.



      New York City

      Image credits: http://www.shareable.net/blog/public-housing-works-lessons-from-vienna-and-singapore


    4. Mixed income housing has the potential to overcome some of the barriers that are exacerbatedby segregation, but it will take more than just physical integration. ‘Right to the city’ providesa foundation for social integration that goes beyond a superficial level of social interaction.Through encouraging diversity, a respect for different cultures can be fostered.

      This reminds me of Sara Schindler's article about discrimination and segregation through the physical design of the built environment. In contrast to what Schindler address in her article, middle income housing seeks to eliminate segregation by physically integrating communities through middle income housing. As the article says, however, this is easier said than done. In order to enfranchise (if you will), members of the community must feel that they have a right to where they live and connect to their community.

    5. It’s important to note here the role that the Superblock at Westhaven Park plays in bothheightening attention to issues of gang- and drug-related crime, and serving as thepresumed source of many of these problems.

      This is an issue that seems to come up fairly frequently in our discussions of Atlanta and the built environment, although it's generally a fear that seems relatively unfounded. Superblocks are generally unappealing and unwalkable because they create areas that lack interaction and economic activity. That sort of desolation in a city environment generally means that gangs and undesirables are more likely to congregate in these areas, and therefore people are afraid to walk there. Here we see that fear validated--most of the crime in Westhaven Park originates from the Superblock. Areas like these can be improved dramatically by doing things like adding trees and narrowing the streets to encourage foot traffic.

    6. I’m an African American black female. I have a master’s degree. I mean I don’t stunt mygrowth because of the environment that I’m in, and I talk a little bit to the kids. I give themthings to try to draw some attention to myself so that I can communicate with them, but Ialso have — on the other side of that I can see that there’s some jealousy and envy from lackof understanding because I’m not going to revert to some of their negative ways which is, youknow, the talk, the walk, the clothes. I’m not gonna do that. I’m gonna be me. And my car’sbeen scratched up. My mirror’s been broken off. I can’t put my name on the mailbox. Theykeep taking it off. I mean going through stuff like that and it’s very frustrating and verydiscouraging because it’s my own people, you know?

      I think it's interesting to note the dynamic between community members. While the physical community exists and includes everyone who lives in the mixed income housing neighborhoods, the black community exists separately from that. The renter's attempt to separate herself from the "negative ways" of her neighbors raises a couple of questions in my mind. Why should her neighbors' behavior be considered negative? This question is similar to one the article poses: what's wrong with hanging out? This "othering" and separation between races and classes is at the root of segregation, and while we tend to believe that there is only response on the part of the "superior" residents, it is clear that the their counterparts react negatively to the separation and othering as well.

    7. Thus, we conclude that mixed-income development, at least as implemented andexperienced at these three sites in Chicago, fails to avoid fundamental social challengescommon to other gentrifying neighborhoods, such as differential influence over acceptedbehavioral norms, stigmatization based on race and class, and general discomfort anddistance based on perceptions of difference.

      The conclusion of the experiment was surprising and unexpected to me. I sincerely believed that the physical integration of the community would allow the residents to overcome the social challenges outlined in the article. It also makes me what the extent to which same income neighborhoods are successful in terms of overcoming social issues like race, or even general differences between neighbors. Are the problems surrounding the gentrification of neighborhoods rooted in class, or are they rooted in other issues, like race or the appropriation of space? I think it would be interesting to conduct studies that would serve as a standard of comparison for the Chicago mixed income housing units.

    8. the transformation of public housing

      Another reason why mixed-income development face particular backlash is stigma surrounding public housing. As Blumgart says in his article, "Public housing in the United States is associated with failure and misery," and I would agree. Most, if not all, of the "projects" in Atlanta have been demolished. A good number of them lack public funding and fall into states of disrepair while people are still living there. They are breeding grounds for poverty, crime, and troubled children. The public housing policies in the United States are terrible, but, as the author states, "there is nothing inherently doomed in the concept of public housing."

      Blumgart, Jake. "4 Public Housing Lessons the U.S. Could Learn From the Rest of the World." Equity Factor. Next City, 26 Aug. 2014. Web. 06 Nov. 2016.

    9. On theother hand, the fact that these efforts are essentially market-driven strategies thatprivatize former public housing developments — transferring property and responsibilityfor development and management to private developers and largely relying on attractinghigher-income homeowners — may lead to the privileging of exchange-valueorientations that are specifically opposed to Lefebvre’s notions of city life, whichprioritize use value and habitation

      This is one of the most frustrating aspects of urban development in my opinion, and it's completely at odds with Lefebvre's right to the city, which is rooted, as the article says, in value and habitation. The city is more or less meant to be public space, funded for the people and by the people. Unfortunately, the neo-liberal values of American culture come creeping in and private companies feel the need to swoop in and make a profit with no interest in the public good. In the case of real estate, they tend to gentrify struggling areas and effectively eliminate any possibility of the original residents living there by installing more expensive housing and businesses. Once established, these neighborhoods and businesses exclude the original residents from the community and the private companies profit off an area that wasn't really theirs to begin with.


      In her article, Maria Saporta explains the reported reason behind Atlanta BeltLine founder Ryan Gravel's departure from the BeltLine board of directors. Joined by fellow board member Nathaniel Smith, Gravel resigned in order to draw attention to the lack of attention the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership has given to "issues of equity and affordability." According to the article, the Atlanta Beltline Partnership is the private sector organization responsible for fundraising, advocacy, and affordability along the BeltLine.

      In the full story, which is published on the SaportaReport and includes the full resignation letter signed by Gravel and Smith, the two former board members express concern over the ABP's emphasis on fundraising above affordability. In their letter, they also expressed concerns and regrets over the loss of community input in the project, saying they believe that "who the Atlanta BeltLine is built for is just as important as whether it is built at all." Despite the increase in funding, the ABP has ignored its obligation to create affordable housing along the BeltLine. According to the letter, recently acquired funds will support fewer than 200 affordable units out of the required 5,600. Their resignation will, hopefully, result in "elevated concern" for the affordability and equal access of the BeltLine.

      Saporta, Maria. "Beltline Founder Gravel Resigns from Board." Atlanta Business Chronicle, 27 Sept. 2016. Web. 05 Nov. 2016.

      Saporta, Maria. "Ryan Gravel and Nathaniel Smith Resign from BeltLine Partnership Board over Equity Concerns." SaportaReport, 26 Sept. 2016. Web. 05 Nov. 2016.

  3. Oct 2016
  4. atlspaceplacerhetf16.robinwharton.net atlspaceplacerhetf16.robinwharton.net
    1. mixed-income developments

      Maria Saporta reports on the recent resignation of Ryan Gravel and Nathaniel Smith from the board of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership. The Beltline is a walking path around the city of Atlanta that is supposed to provide a space for everyone to live and use. Gravel is the founder of the Beltline, and he felt as though "not enough emphasis is being given to the issues of equity and affordability". He first proposed the idea for the Beltline as his Georgia Tech Master's thesis, and his original vision for the project was inclusivity. Smith and Gravel both felt that the project was moving too far away from this original vision. Both Gravel and Chaskin share a mutual interest in the inclusivity of built environments.

      Saporta, Maria. “Beltline Founder Ryan Gravel Resigns from Board.” Atlanta Business Chronicle. Accessed October 20, 2016.

    2. Oakwood Shores

    3. Instead, relocated public housing residents in these contextsare more likely to withdraw socially, isolating themselves and avoiding engagementor interaction

      Proximity alone isn't a catalyst for social interaction.

    4. low-income residents, who feel constrained, observed and at risk (‘walking on eggshells

      I remember my parents always complaining about the HOA (Homeowners Association) telling them what to change or fix about our house to make the neighborhood seem more desirable. While these regulations were now here near as strict as they are in this study, the verb "observed" perfectly describes the root of my parents' animosity towards the HOA. They felt like there was always this force looming over to keep us in check. Naturally, this generates frustration.

    5. You can’t go onto the front. They don’t want you on the front. They don’t want you on the back.You can’t barbeque. I ain’t never lived nowhere where you can’t go out to the back of yourhouse and barbeque. You a prisoner in your own house.

      I would be very upset about this too. If I wasn't allowed to sit on my back porch because it's "too ghetto" that would be considered ridiculous in my neighborhood (which is mostly white and Asian). To what extent does the race of these people play into the perceptions of what is and isn't considered desirable behavior?

    6. progressive criminalization of“quality of life issues” ’and an increasing tendency to censure legal behaviors (barbequingin public, fixing cars on the street, playing loud music in public)

      Why would these behaviors need to be censured? Perhaps because they are associated with the low-income neighborhoods and we automatically associate low-income with lower quality of life throughout.

    7. Another guiding assumption behind mixed-income development is that integrationwould exert particular kinds of influence on (low-income) individuals’ attitudes andbehaviors through the presence of middle-class ‘role models’ who promote and foster‘mainstream’social norms and expectations (e.g. Wilson, 1987; Anderson, 1990; Kasarda,1990)

      From what I've read, it seems that people who have been living in these areas their whole lives and have a strong bond with the environment and established community would look upon new middle-class residents negatively.

    8. A major goal of these efforts is to integrate low-income and public housing residentsinto the fabric of the developments and the surrounding (regenerating) community,among higher-income residents, and in contexts of greater stability, safety, opportunityand order

      This is what Ryan Gravel had envisioned for his BeltLine project. Sadly, he felt as though his original vision isn't being met, which is why he and Nathaniel Smith have resigned from the board.

    9. positive gentrification’

      I asked myself why gentrification is inherently viewed as negative. I found that some belive gentrification is an "unfourtunate desecration" of authentic, historical, or otherwise truly intereseting neighborhoods. http://web.williams.edu/Economics/ArtsEcon/library/pdfs/WhyIsGentrificationAProbREFORM.pdf

    10. In this context, outward signs of disorder (litter, broken windows,graffiti) and expressions of incivility (loitering, panhandling, harassment, public drinking)are often seen to indicate more fundamental problems with safety and crime, leadingresidents to assume that they are at greater risk of victimization and providing ‘cues’ toyouths and others inclined to crime and antisocial behavior that such action will betolerated.

      I find it interesting how we don't really need to see anything dangerous happening, we get "cues" from the built environment and make assumptions.

    1. men and women

      Kennesaw State University staff and students are up in arms over the appointment of their new president, Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. Olens protested a gay rights bill, and many opposed his decision to do so.He also opposes gender neutral bathrooms, which would strongly inhibit transgendered students at KSU. The problem with his appointment was that staff had no say in it, as well as the damage it would do to the safe space Kennesaw State was trying to establish. With Olens in charge, many students would likely not feel safe on campus from fear of harassment and even potentially violence. This is detrimental to the University as a whole.

      Brasch, Ben. “Kennesaw State Students, Faculty Hold Silent Olens Protest.” ajc. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.

    2. Gender is not going to disappear

      Just like race is not going to disappear. Race is a part of your history, culture, and values, and gender too has its effect on people's lives in similar ways such as biology.

    3. One path of reasoning that may be used to justify the difference between racial issues and issues of identity is that no one typically wants to change the race they are born as, but people think that if you are born a gender, you are stuck as that gender. There are very few trans-racial people, but a great amount of trans-gendered people.

    4. Queer

      Why is queer the preferred word here? Would "homosexual" or something along those lines be a more accurate and politically correct word?

    5. Nobody feels comfortable getting naked in front of strangers—especially teenagers.”

      This is essentially what I said in an earlier annotation. Locker rooms are a big part of bullying and anxiety, and they have no place in a modern system that values students' mental and physical health so greatly.

    6. At least in part, “men who are supporting this are reasserting a protective role.”

      The fact that the fear of rape is being used as an excuse is crazy. If women are scared of being raped in public restrooms, perhaps the real issue is lack of police enforcement and protection in these environment and not the people using them.

    7. These numbers suggest nervousness about fluid gender identities—and that America isn’t even close to a consensus that men and women should choose the way they act.

      Again, these sound like older times when people would prefer that blacks stick with their jobs and whites with the others. The refusal of people integrating and accepting others is downright horrific in a society as modern as America.

    8. they wear their gym clothes under their regular clothes so they never have to be naked at school; or they’re late for class because of the time they spend looking for an empty restroom.

      These honestly sound like problems that anyone would have with other people in general. I, personally, don't care if a person looking at me identifies as something else sexually, I don't like being seen naked at all. I'm sure many other students feel this way, and perhaps it's time for a change in how schools have people change clothes and get naked regardless of identification.

    9. a way of thinking about the Bible as the word of God.”

      It's also interesting to note that the Bible contains stories of same-sex relations as well, including the Romans. While many Christians may claim the Bible lays the foundation for traditional values, it also lays the frame for homosexuality as well.

    10. conviction rather than bigotry.

      In the older times, people would tend to claim that there are actual biological differences between Africans and Whites, which helped to justify their separation. Similar treatment is present here, which helps people try and cover up bigotry with phony reasoning.

    11. While these bathroom bills may be a temporary flare-up, the divisions underlying them are foundational, and unlikely to be resolved by the Supreme Court or the Justice Department.

      It is interesting to not that race relations began with trivial matters such as train cars and bus rides, but eventually moved on to bigger issues. Perhaps the focus of these smaller things is to initiate a change, regardless of how small they are.

    12. “religion.”

      Religion has no place in government, as the separation of church and state is a major principle of US government, The fact that religion is essentially the sole reasoning against these laws is a bit preposterous and should be addressed.

  5. techwritingf16.robinwharton.net techwritingf16.robinwharton.net
    1. With the first notion dispelled, that women do not contribute significantly to science and technology, we turn to the second assumption, that men's and women's experiences of technology are identical, thus relegating women to inferior technological roles. Addressing this second assum ption—that women's traditional work is not technological — involves a different strategy: departing from conventional history to challenge existing definition, seeking "a new narrative" that focuses "on the causal role played by women in their history and on the qualities of women's experience that sharply distinguish it from men's experience (Scott 20). Men's and women's experiences of technol­ogy are quite different.

      We start to move from the idea that women's place is in the kitchen and taking care of children to women actually being users of technology. This relates to the Pimental article, because women like minorities are often left out of the technical world because of the lack of research.

    2. While it is true that we have yet to agree upon what constitutes modern technical writing, popular definitions often exhibit either or both of two key characteristics: first, a close relationship (in subject matter or func­tion) to technology; and second, an understanding that technical writing is associated with work and the workplace.

      So far we have only looked at the definition of tech communication, as a type of communication that is lingusitic, visual, auditory, etc., with having the end users needs as the end goal. Technical writing is, at the end of the day, about work and workplace, two things that women have been excluded from which is another reason why women have been absent in the world of technical writing.

    3. The problem with regard to adding women to our disciplinary history lies in the assumption that technology, work, and workplace are gender-neutral terms, and that addressing gender and the history of technical communica­tion is a simple matter of searching the annals of science and industry and tacking on articles about a few women who have distinguished themselves in scientific, medical, and technical fields.

      We should acknowledge the fact that technology, work and work place are not gender neutral terms because for so long it has excluded women.