7 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2020
    1. alternative activities creatively solicit, collect, and even rank ideas without any assumption that community members should agree. By displaying the full range of ideas, they also put more pressure on public officials to transparently explain why they pursued a certain path without resorting to the kind of “community” talk I observed in Upham’s Corner and Mattapan.

      We did this when discussing the AM bus lane for Mass Ave in Arlington - there was an in-person presentation and people put sticky notes on a giant copy of the plan to note particular concerns. There was an online version after that meeting as well, where those who couldn't go to the meeting could submit further feedback.

    2. What if instead of public meetings—constrained by both time and space, where the optimal outcome is consensus and therefore “no” has more power than “yes”—we invested more in low cost, ongoing exercises that produce a high volume of information, persist even after particular projects are completed, make priorities transparent, and neither seek nor assume a singular position from “the community”?

      I remember Chris Schmidt making a comment about how the online meetings for the Cambridge City Council suddenly had much higher attendance when the pandemic kicked in. But of course that means the meetings themselves got even longer.

    3. In Upham’s Corner, the community wanted a park, didn’t want a park, wanted affordable housing, didn’t want affordable housing, and on and on—there was no single community position to juxtapose against the City or a potential developer. Similar scenarios are easy to imagine; in any neighborhood, opinions will vary. The Mattapan case is complicated for additional reasons. The community simultaneously “won” and “lost”: Middle-class residents were unable to block the new station, while low-income residents gained greater access to public transit. Supporting the community did not necessarily mean supporting poor urban residents.

      Conflicting needs, and the best we can do is "nobody is satiisfied, even if they got what they wanted, because it took so long to do anything about."

    4. It’s Time to Move On From Community Consensus Public meetings often disprove the notion that communities have a unified stance on any issue. With this in mind, we must move past trying to find consensus and focus on uplifting the most marginalized voices.

      Provocative summary. How does anyone determine the most marginalized voices in a given situation without turning it into competitive Oppression Olympics?

      Two informative case studies from Boston.

  2. Nov 2015
    1. ascending an escalator in a department store was moving in a space entirely captured and formedby industrialism

      If it weren't for industrialism they would just be there in that space without the ability that these developments have given them. Holiday gift shopping would be such a different experience in downtown Chicago if elevators didn't exist.. I honestly think people would spend less because they wouldn't want to climb the stairs to additional stores to "just see what's in there".

  3. Oct 2015
    1. The democratization of that right, and the construction of a broad social movement to enforce its will is imperative if the dispossessed are to take back the control which they have for so long been denied, and if they are to institute new modes of urbanization.

      Is this just becoming more of a competition between who ends up with control? I thought we were working towards beneficial social and urban reform here..