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University of Nairobi Urban Landscapes in the United States Analysis Paper

University of Nairobi Urban Landscapes in the United States Analysis Paper

Question Description

American cities have a long and complicated history, so it is no surprise that we are seeing a new chapter unfold in the urban landscape. The process of gentrification is more complex than the appearance of high-end stores, or the displacement of lower-income residents, so we are going to try to understand it from several different perspectives. In this assignment you are going to use the Warehouse Arts District and Jordan Park neighborhood in St Petersburg as a case study to understand the different perspectives and outcomes of urban development plans. Additionally, you will practice data collection, take a critical approach to city documents, and learn to interpret news articles by answering the following questions.

The first step in our analysis is to get to know our research area, so read through https://psmag.com/news/can-southside-st-petersburg-fight-off-gentrification to get an idea of the history of 22nd Street in the Warehouse Art District and Jordan Park. Pay attention to who are the primary residents and the types (and reasoning) of businesses serving the neighborhood. This site also introduces you to the Brayboy family who are important actors (person who has interests in the project) in the development of the 22nd Street Corridor.

The next stop you will make is https://news.wjct.org/post/debate-over-preservation-growth-heats-st-petersburgto get the opinions of actors from the city government and actors who are developers, as well as the Brayboy family. While you are reading through this article, pay attention to the justifications used by politicians and developers. Also, notice that small businesses are concerned about increased rents and threats from big brand name stores replacing them.

Finally, it is time to read the plan for redeveloping the commercial (areas designated for selling things) zone in the neighborhood. The plan is found at http://www.stpete.org/economic_development/redevelopment/docs/WADA-Deuces%20Action%20Plan.pdf and can be downloaded. The plan is more than 100 pages long, so I don’t expect you to read the entire thing. Instead, you should focus on: pages 1-10 for the general direction of the plan; pages 14-23 for goals and specific projects involved with the plan; and pages 70-99 for photos of the future plans.

Questions

  • Use information from lecture and the internet to define gentrification and explain the difference between gentrification and revitalization. Describe two ways a city can benefit from gentrification and two ways a city can be hurt by gentrification.
  • After you have read through the first article and the first 10 pages of the city’s plan, describe the differences between how the history of the neighborhood is presented in the two readings. Why do you think there is a difference in how the history is presented?
  • Look at the photos on pages 1-10, and 14-23 in the plan from the city. When you look at the photos, what are your first impression of the neighborhood? Do you think the photos leave a positive or negative impression? Explain. (Do not be afraid to answer honestly—but respectfully—with this question, because this is important.)
  • One of the problems with talking about gentrification is that it cannot be directly measured, so we must use what is called a proxy measurement—a figure that can be used to measure something else—to see if gentrification is happening. Some scholars argue that certain businesses can be interpreted as a sign that gentrification is occurring in a neighborhood. Some of those businesses include coffee houses, craft breweries and distilleries, and art galleries. Using Google Maps or Apple Maps (both are available as free apps), go to our research area and search “breweries”. For this question, we are going to focus on the area between Interstate 275 to the east (right) and south (bottom); Central Avenue to the north (top); and 24th Street S to the west (left). How many breweries are within these boundaries? How many coffee houses? How many art galleries? Are there any breweries/coffee houses/art galleries found on 22nd Street S south (below) Interstate 275?
  • Most American cities are in the process of enacting plans that are similar to the plan from St. Petersburg. One of the key reasons they are doing this is to attract a very specific market of people to settle in their particular city, and guess what? You are the market. Cities want to attract college-educated people who have the potential to have high-paying jobs, because they are a source of increased tax revenue. Skim through pages 70-99 of the plan to look at some of the photos and renditions of what this neighborhood will look like when the plan is finished. Does this appeal to you? Explain why or why not. Is there a way to balance preservation of a traditionally black neighborhood and the plans of the city without causing displacement of the people who living there now? Explain.
  • Now that you have read all the documents and worked your way through the questions, use all of this information to explain if this neighborhood is undergoing gentrification or revitalization. Justify your answers.

Other sources you may find interesting, but are not required for the assignment

Deuces Live website https://deuceslive.org/

The website for the entire plan for the Southside http://www.stpete.org/city_departments/southside_cra.php


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