March 15, 2006

Mapping place meanings

Note: This post was edited on Jan. 20, 2007. Hotlinked image(s) were removed. Follow the link(s) to the image location(s). I am re-reading Place and Placenessness by Edward Relph. One of the illustrations I highlighted in the chapter titled "Space and Place" is one of Bunge's (1971) - the "transformation of cognitive space into abstract space." I assume this Bunge to be William Bunge of the Society of Human Exploration/Detroit Geographical Expedition, which emerged in the 1970s alongside other socio-environmental movements. Below I present some results from an online search of Bunge and the Detroit Geographical Expedition as well as other mappers of place meaning. http://gis.esri.com/library/userconf/proc95/to150/p1071.gif 1: Bunge, The geography of children, Bloomfield Hills and Mack Avenue, Detroit (from Wood 1992) http://gis.esri.com/library/userconf/proc95/to150/p1072.gif 2: Randy Hester, Manteo's Sacred Structure (1982) http://www.livingstreets.com/portfolio/donald_appleyard.jpg 3: Donald Appleyard, "livable streets" mapping Also, see the Imaginary Museum's collection of maps from The Power of Maps (Wood 1992).

March 14, 2006

Neighborhood Governance II

Note: This post was edited on Jan. 20, 2007. Hotlinked image(s) were removed. Follow the link(s) to the image location(s). In the post titled Neighborhood Governance I, I highlighted three cities with neighborhood-level governance programs. In this post, I provide information on the number of local governments (types of "municipalities") in the U.S. The information is taken from Local Government in the United States by Vincent Ostrom, Robert Bish, and Elinor Ostrom (table 8.2, 1982 Census Data). Counties................3041 Municipalities.......19,086 Townships.............16,761 School districts......14,957 Special districts.....28, 719 for a total of 82,564 local governments. I am not sure of the distinctions, especially among the first three types. Township is defined as "an administrative division of a county"[1] or "one of five types and one of eleven forms of municipal government" [2] in New Jersey. Alternatively, a township can be defined through visual narrative, as in the example of the Durham Township (Pennsylvania) photoblog: http://www.durhamtownship.com/index.html. Sources http://www.kunsman-eichlin.net/Maps/Thumbs/1876%20-%20Durham%20Twp.,%20Bucks%20Co.,%20PA.jpg [1] http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=township [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Township_(New_Jersey)

March 8, 2006

Neighborhoods: books I have read

I am a bibliophile and some of my favorite books (or excerpts) feature neighborhoods. Linden Hills, Gloria Naylor (1985) Greening the City Streets, Barbara A. Huff (1990) From Urban Village to East Village, Janet L. Abu-Lughod (1994) The Wedding, Dorothy West (1995) Black Corona: Race and the Politics of Place in an Urban Community, Steven Gregory (1998) Nature in the Neighborhood, Gordon Morrison (2004) Source: author 2006

March 6, 2006

Urban land: farming or commercial use? Whose rights?

This news article is posted on the NBC4 TV News website. Formatting changes made on 4/1/06. Midnight Eviction Deadline Approaches For Downtown Farmers Urban Farmers Could Be Kicked Off Land
POSTED: 7:46 am PST March 6, 2006
UPDATED: 9:13 am PST March 6, 2006
Hundreds of urban farmers in Los Angeles could be evicted from their 14-acre plot of land at midnight on Monday.Over the weekend, the farmers staged a protest to protect their greenbelt.The city of Los Angeles originally acquired the open space at the intersection of Alameda and 41st streets back in 1992, according to NBC4, with the intent of building a garbage incinerator.But the incinerator was never built and the city turned the property over to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, which lent the site to residents as a community garden.Under pressure from a lawsuit, city officials agreed to sell the land back to the original owner.Now he wants to build a warehouse on the site and the courts say the owner has the right to evict the local farmers.
Source: http://www.nbc4.tv/news/7743235/detail.html

March 5, 2006

"Next-neighborhood development" (aka Gentrification)

Note: This post was edited on Jan. 20, 2007. Hotlinked image(s) were removed. Follow the link(s) to the image location(s). This weekend's Sunday Times Magazine features the next-neighborhoodness of Bushwick in Brooklyn, NY. Bushwick is being gentrified but the word gentrification is used only once and towards the end of the article. The tag line of the article is "How an undesirable neighborhood becomes the next hot spot." The story of Bushwick's emerging gentry is told mainly through the figure of Tom Le, a local realtor. As the story unfolds, four primary variables in the gentrification process are outlined. (These variables might be specific to New York.) The variables are: (1) location, in this case, proximity to the L train; (2) price; (3) discovery, which is closely tied to the fourth variable; (4) artists. These four variables are essential to "next-neighborhood hotness." Bushwick is also a featured neighborhood on Forgotten-ny.com. According to Robert Sullivan (NYT feature writer), Bushwick translates to "refuge." Forgotten-ny.com translates the place name as "town in the woods." The Library of Congress Dutch Place Names lists Bushwick, NY as "originally called Boswyck, or "woods district" in Dutch." Sources Sunday New York Times Magazine, 5 Mar. 2006 Forgotten NY, http://forgotten-ny.com/ Library of Congress (Dutch Place Names), http://www.loc.gov/index.html http://www.lisawhiteman.com/pictures/signs/18bushwick6.jpg