Posted in Cities

The Post World War II City: Use of City Space

In the Post World War II city there are many topics to study and learn. They cover a vast breadth of subjects that still hold true today and can give us insight into our cities today and how they came to be. This essay will discuss the use of city space in Post World War II cities. We will look at two people that talk about city space usage and how they agree and disagree. Then the essay will discuss how we use space in our cities today and what effect that has on our economy, based on a news article. Finally, the essay will tie the past and the present together and discuss the importance of these issues in the world and in New Orleans.

One of the constituents of the fight for city space is Jane Jacobs. She was a journalist and activist during the years directly after WWII. During this time, she revolutionized how we view cities. She gained her view on cities, not with professional training, but after a number of years living in New York City’s Greenwich Village (Editors). In her first work, The Death and Life of Great American Cities Jacobs discussed what makes a neighborhood, and by extension a city, great. In particular Jacobs had, what many called, and obsession with sidewalks. In Chapter 3, The Use of Sidewalks: Contact, Jane talks about how a city’s sidewalks serve a social function. She says, “Nobody can keep an open a house in a great city. Nobody wants to…Cities are full of people with whom, from your viewpoint, or mine, or any other individual’s, a certain degree of contact is useful or enjoyable; but you don’t not want them in your hair.” Jacobs point with this statement is that sidewalks give us a place to willingly engage in dialogue with the general public without having them invade on our private space. She argues that sidewalks are publics spaces just as stores, bars, parks, candy stores, coffee shops, etc. are. Her argument on why this is important is that the use of sidewalks as a public space increases people’s quality of life. According to Jacobs, a good city street that uses space and sidewalks efficiently balances what is most important to people: their privacy (Jacobs 59). She says, “This balance is largely made up of small, sensitively managed details, practiced and accepted…” The idea is that if city officials respect and allow use sidewalks the way it natural for people to use them then the quality of life of the residents goes up because they are getting all that they need out of their environment (i.e. through voluntary contact and privacy when needed). However, proper city space use doesn’t end at the sidewalk, congestion of public spaces, sitting spaces, and nature play a big part in city space use as well.

William H. Whyte also contributed to the conversation surrounding the use of city space. He was concerned with the life of the plaza, public sitting spaces, and nature. Through these interests he was able to narrow his thought down to three perspectives: The social life of public spaces, bottom-up place design, and the power of observation (Spaces). People’s social life in public spaces directly relates to their quality of life. When we create physical places that create and encourage civic engagement and community involvement then we are directly increasing people’s quality of life. Next, he believed if you design a space from the bottom using a through understanding of how people use the space and their desires on how they would like to use the space in the future then you have created a space that is easy to use. Lastly, Whyte believed that you had to observe people using the space in order to create easy to use communities (Spaces). Whyte studied plazas and found that the ideal plaza is within three blocks of office buildings (workers have a limited amount of time), should have a high percentage of women (that means its safe), a high percentage of couples or groups (this means its social), starts at the street corner, transitions well into open space, ideal percentage of sitting space, food vendors, water features, and public art (Whyte). ­Plaza’s are a point of attraction for people because, “what attracts people most, it would appear, is other people.” Due to this attraction there is, naturally, going to be congestion. Whyte attributes most of the congestion to the conversations held by pedestrians. He points out that for some reason when people stop to have conversations in pedestrian areas, instead of moving out of the flow of pedestrian traffic, the stay in the “main flow, blocking traffic, being jostled by it.” He also says, that people like to sit near the mainstream of pedestrian traffic (i.e. the steps of a building or posts/pillars); He observed that pedestrians never seemed to mind that they had to navigate around all the people sitting on steps, congregating near fixed objects, or borders. Whyte says that sitting should be physically comfortable, and have diverse options; such as: sun, shade, near the front, near the back, in groups, along, low heights, high heights, chairs, benches, stools, ledges, and the amount of sitting space should be relevant to the size of the plaza. Lastly, Whyte tackled nature: sun, wind, trees, and water. When observing the sun he discovered one key thing; There is only need for shade when there is sun to be shaded from. He discovered that people want to be sheltered from wind, and that this is as important as access to the sun. He encourages the us of trees for many reasons. As mentioned before shade is one of the reasons, but there are others. Due to climatic reasons New York City, where Whyte did the study, requires a tree for every 25 ft. of sidewalk. Whyte’s project determined that the sitting spaces that were most often used were those located near trees, and so he encourages developers to incorporate sitting spaces and trees. Whyte’s last nature frontier is the use of water in public spaces and plazas. He laments that it is not fair to place water features in front of people and then keep them from touching it an interacting with it. Nonetheless people love to look at it and hear it, so that is why he recommends the use of water features in public spaces.

Jane Jacobs and William H. Whyte have two different perspectives on city space and how & why it should be used. A third perspective is that of the writers at The Economist in the article, Space and the city: Poor land use in the world’s greatest cities carries a huge cost. They argue land isn’t scarce, it’s simply misused, and that the revival of the city is key in coming times. The article starts off by informing the reader that land is not scare because the entirety of America’s population could fit in the state of Texas (Leaders). What drives the idea that land is scare is metropolitan areas like London, New York, and Mumbai. These great, over populated cities, have HUGE demand and very little supply. “In the past ten years real prices in Hong Kong have risen by 150%. Residential property in Mayfair, in central London, can go for as much as £55,000 ($82,000) per square metre. A square mile of Manhattan residential property costs $16.5 billion.  (Leaders)” The article argues that limited space in cities could be prevented or relieved if zoning did not constrict building heights. These land use laws have a negative effect on individuals by causing them to find cheaper housing that is not as productive for them as more expensive housing, and by decreasing the amount of jobs available. “According to one study, employment in the Bay Area around San Francisco would be about five times larger than it is but for tight limits on construction (Leaders).” The writers also contribute the revival of the city to the changing use in city space. The 1900s saw a decrease in the cost of transportation which allowed people to move out of the city, but by the 2000s the city was on an uptake due to the increase in tech industry jobs in the city. The nature of the tech industry means it needs it’s workers close by so that they can share ideas and expertise. This digital revolution spawned the revival of American Cities. However, these cities can no longer spread out the way they used to. Unrestrained growth in America’s founding years, and into the industrial revolution, allowed for excess crime and disease. So American cities replaced this unrestrained growth with greenbelts and zoning laws. “Over the course of the past century land-use rules have piled up so plentifully that getting planning permission is harder than hailing a cab on a wet afternoon (Leaders).” These zoning laws, at conception, were meant to be a balancer. They were intended to balance the social & economic costs to create a productive city. However, over time zoning laws have become a pest, a tool, or even a weapon. They’re used to give owners, “unwarranted windfalls and the means to prevent others from exercising control over their property (Leaders).” The article gives two way to restore a healthier balance: make city planning decisions from the top down and impose higher taxes on the value of land.

By this point the relation between Jacobs and Whyte, and the article by The Economist is not readily evident. However, there is a correlation and it is important to understand because these issues are important. Sidewalk usage, plazas, public space congestion, sitting spaces, and nature may seem less important than other social issues, but their actually one of the many ways we can improve the social welfare of all Americans. Imagine living in a place where you cannot safely walk down the sidewalk, where there is no where that you and your loved ones and friends can congregate. Imagine if the few places you did have to gather and meet did not have anywhere to sit or trees for shade. That is a reality for many inner city, suburban, and rural dwellers in America and across the world. As the three readings in this essay show when given adequate access these places people have an improved quality of life. The Economist’s relates to this because if you take their perspective on how to improve city land use and combine that with Jacobs’ and Whyte’s city space use ideas then you have a well rounded plan to attack quality of life issues all around the world, not just in America. The Economist article and Jacob’s relate because with the idea of leveraging land taxes the city government could use that money to create really great public spaces and well designed sidewalks and plazas, which encourages the continued revival of cities. Urban spaces/parks – needed once again since cities are once again economic hubs. People need to be able to get out and about and have a break from their valued privacy. One city that is relevant to this discussion is New Orleans. In the tourist-y areas of the cities there are beautiful plazas and parks and abundant walkable, social-able sidewalks that are just like the ones that Jacobs and Whyte talked about. However, the residential neighborhoods have no plazas, and the sidewalks and parks often feel unsafe. The city would do well to apply these principles to the whole city. They would see the quality of life rise, creating happier residents that want to invest in the city more.

In the Post World War II public spaces have dropped in and out of importance, but they’re making a come back. These readings still hold true today and can give us and The Economist article gives us additional insight into our cities today and how they came to be. This essay will discuss the use of city space in Post World War II cities. We will look at two people that talk about city space usage and how they agree and disagree. Then the essay will discuss how we use space in our cities today and what effect that has on our economy, based on a news article. Finally, the essay will tie the past and the present together and discuss the importance of these issues in the world and in New Orleans.














Works Cited

Editors, The website. n.d. 10 July 2016. <;.

Jacobs, Jane. “The use of sidewalks: contact.” Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York: Random House, 1992. 56-72.

Leaders. Space and the City: Poor Land Use in the World’s Greatest Cities Carries a Huge Cost. n.d. <;.

Spaces, Project for Public. William H. Whyte. n.d. 10 July 2016. <;.

Whyte, William H. “”Introduction,” “The Life of Plaza’s,” “Sitting Space,” and “Sun, Wind, Trees, and Water.”.” Whyte, William H. The Social Life of Small Urban Space. n.d. 348-363.



Posted in Cities

Heterogeneous Effects of Housing Vouchers on the Mental Health of US Adolescents: a journal article review

The purpose of this article is to determine the effects on adolescents of low income families that live in high poverty public housing and who receive housing vouchers to assist in relocation. The authors methods were focused on 2829 people between 12-19 that were living in public housing in the Move to Opportunity program versus traditional housing voucher program in Chicago, IL. They used model-based recursive partitioning to identify subgroups with heterogeneous treatment effects on psychological distress and behavior problems. They tested 35 potential baseline treatment modifiers.

They determined that participants within Chicago had null treatment effects. However, outside of Chicago boys experienced harmful effects and girls experienced advantageous effects. In terms of age, people below ten years in age were not affected. However, people over the age of ten (and younger than 19) who had already experienced violent crime, had unmarried parents, and had lived in unsafe neighborhoods had in increase in adverse effects. Children who were over ten and did not have learning problems, had not experienced violent crime, and whose parents moved for better schools experienced better effects. They concluded that health effects of housing vouchers varied across subgroups. Supplemental services may be necessary for vulnerable subgroups for whom housing vouchers alone may not be beneficial.

Moving to Opportunity (MTO) was housing demonstration sponsored by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development that randomly assigned more than 4000 low-income families to receive housing subsidies to move out of distressed public housing into better housing units and safer neighborhoods. The study was designed to determine if there were any negative effects, unintended effects, or positive effects on the recipients. The authors intended for this information to be used to help identify who should be eligible for the program in the future, what supplemental services should be used to improve the program, and if there should be any additional changes made to the program.

The authors surveyed the adult heads of households and up to 2 children about 4-7 years after they were put in the MTO program. 90% of adults and 89% of children invited to do the survey chose to participate. Of the 2829 adolescents, approximately half were female with an average age of 15. 62.8% of the 2829 were African American and 30% were Hispanic. That makes 92.8% of the population that was included the survey people of color and as such were a disadvantaged population. “For example, 74.0% of household heads were unemployed, 64.0% had less than a high school education, and 56.0% were never married.” (page 758)

In a graph on page 761 the article presented which variable correlated with Psychological distress and which may have a correlation with behavioral problems. “School called about child problems in school” and “site is in Los Angeles” were the only two that had marks in both categories. Suggesting that problems in school may be an area that needs to be investigated and supplemented with additional programs. Also, it appears that having an adolescent parent or a head of household that has never married were not indicators in either category. Which suggests that young, unmarried parents aren’t always a factor in psychological distress or behavioral problems.

In conclusion, it appears that the biggest positive mental impact is on girls over the age of ten, the worst effect is on boys over ten, and the group effected the least were children of both genders under the age of ten. While there were numerous factors that were surveyed the fact that 92.9% of the people were African American or Hispanic suggests that the primary groups in poverty are people of color and that there may be additional room for programs that helps alleviate the burden on communities of color.


Nguyen, Quynh C., David H. Rehkopf, Nicole M. Schmidt, and Theresa L. Osypuk. “Heterogeneous Effects of Housing Vouchers on the Mental Health of US Adolescents.” American Journal of Public Health 106.4 (2016): 755-62. Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection. Web. 6 Apr. 2017.

Posted in history, Uncategorized

Logical Fallacies

This essay will address the video, “Higher Level Technologies” from the show The Pyramid Code. The essay will go over the logic, logical fallacies, and some examples of the pseudo science contained in the video. The video in question is about the pyramids of Gaza, but also makes reference to the Abydos Temple, pyramids and structures at Saqqara, and Stonehenge in England. The video uses these locations and various “clues” found there to “prove” that ancients had access to a higher technology.

As previously stated, the central claim that is being made is that the ancients had access to some higher technology that we modern humans cannot access. They give a whole 45 minutes worth of examples and proof, starting with the fact that though the aforementioned sites are world heritage sites that the governments in charge of the sites have restricted access. This, to the makers of The Pyramid Code, indicated that this definitely means they are hiding something. In order for an argument to be considered valid the logical form of the argument must work — must be valid. An argument must be one where both the premise and conclusion are true. Additionally, if one or more of the premises is false then the conclusion is also false, which can lead to a valid BUT false argument. Which is exactly  what happened in the first few minutes of  “Higher Level Technologies.” The creators of this show premised that if they government is restricting access then there must be something to hide. This is the type of premise that while it COULD be right it left out relevant facts that are necessary to get to a right conclusion. So yes, the government COULD be hiding something, but is it just as likely they are trying to protect these world heritage sites from additional decay, and damage so that they may be here for future generations?

Moving on to the higher technology claim, the video states that a device called the “Baghdad Battery” is proof that the ancients had electricity. They further support there claim with hieroglyphs that they claim show images of light bulbs, and the lack of soot in the tunnels from the traditional forms of light sources in that era. There main logical fallacy in this video is Ad Ignorantiam. Which means that because we cannot prove that it is not true that it must be true. This fallacy ignores many things; for instance, just because the tunnels do not have soot now doesn’t mean that there has never, ever been soot in those tunnels. It is just as possible that in the thousands of years since when the tunnel was last used and when it was discovered that the soot gradually disappeared from the walls. From, the conclusion about the battery, light bulb, and soot-less walls they video jumps over to the idea that the pyramids are not tombs because there are no mummies therefore they must have been used to generate electricity. Here we can see both the Ad Ignorantiam and the Argument from Authority logical fallacies at play. They parade in front of us a series of professors, historians, etc. that state that this information is true. They premise that because someone of authority states that it is true then of course it must be true. They back this idea of pyramids being used to generate electricity by having a local say that the slaves were not slaves, but in fact willing participants because they knew they would get something in return, i.e. electricity. The location of sites are “overwhelmingly” on lay lines. Which contain Telluric currents which allows for lay energy and other subtle energy to pass along these lines. The ancient peoples preferred to put their sites on the lines/intersections because of electromagnetic fluctuations. These people in positions of academic authority say temples, pyramids, and other ancient structures were built where more than one line intersects. These intersections were in places of connectivity discontinuities, the place where one area of ground that as a good ability to conduct electricity meets another area of ground that has a lesser ability to conduct these natural electric currents. This is a clear example of pseudoscience. While Telluric current are an actual know scientific occurrence there is no actual proof that the ancients were aware of this, or were capable of harnessing that energy. Once again we see Ad Ignorantim; we can’t prove or disprove it so it must be true. The scientific community has over time proven things that at one time were thought to not be true. However, using the argument that it must be true because it has yet to be disproven is dangerous to science and history.

Many more pages could be dedicated to the mockery of science that is, The Pyramid Code. However, for the purposes of this essay we can conclude that most of this video is pseudoscience simply because it uses scientific fact to make huge leaps into the unknown. They blatantly overlook or ignore facts that would contradict their premises to leap towards ideas that prove their “science.” While the “code” talked about in this show are interesting to say the least, they should be taken with a grain of salt because they completely ignore the scientific method and most known facts.

Pyramid Codes: Higher Level Technology

This essay was written for a college class titled, “ANTH 1020 – Fads, Fallacies, and Human Origins”. It is taught by Dr. Ryan Gray at the University of New Orleans. This essay also uses information from the reader, “Critical Engagements.”

Posted in history

America Unearthed: Stonehenge in America

“The History we were taught growing up is wrong.” That’s how America Unearthed, and host Scott Wolter, use an appeal to ignorance to start every episode. Before the show presents any information they have planted the seed that what the audience knows already, is wrong. Suggestion is a powerful tool. This essay will discuss how the America Unearthed team uses the power of suggestion and logical fallacies to prove the origins of Mystery Hill.

Mystery Hill is a site in Salem, New Hampshire that has large vertical rocks, manmade-in-appearance caves, stone foundations, and other stone structures that were first known to be documented in 1907. Mystery Hill is known by other names as well. It is commonly called America’s Stonehenge, but originally was known as “Paddy’s Caves.” After the man that made his home on the site in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Paddy built his home on the site using its stone structures as his house’s foundation, and using some structures as animal pens. The family that currently owns it believes that the site is evidence of the ancient Phoenician culture coming to America over 4,000 years ago, and that the Phoenician Culture is responsible for building both this site and England’s Stonehenge.

Their evidence is largely built on Archaeoastronomy alignment. Archaeoastronomy dictates that ancient cultures used physical structures to track the movement of the sun, moon, and stars in order to track the solstices, equinoxes, and cross-quarter days. Mystery Hill does have large vertical stones that align with  the sun on those important days. The site, when traced on Google Earth, aligns with Stonehenge, in England, and  Beirut, Lebanon. This is used by America Unearthed to further support Archaeoastronomy because Stonehenge also has large vertical standing stones that align with the sun on important days in the solar calendar. America Unearthed host, Scott Wolter, informs viewers that an ancient culture, the Phoenicians, were based out of modern day Beirut, Lebanon. He then suggests that because all three places align that a Phoenician Subculture, The Carthaginians must be responsible for both Stonehenge sites. To further support this claim, Mr. Wolter visits a man who has a Carthaginian Coin which, they surmise, depicts Sardinia, Sicily, and the Iberian Peninsula in Italy, along with Africa, America and the Gulf of Mexico. This they say, is proof that the Carthaginians travelled to America. This coin further proves the fallacy of this argument and uses a logical fallacy called relationship implies causation. Which means that just because the coin looks like it depicts land masses that we know today doesn’t meant that the Carthaginians traveled the world building stone structures. They also say that the Carthaginians mentioned a “large island with navigable rivers” which is OBVIOUSLY America because once you pass Spain the U.S. is the only land mass with navigable rivers.

With a circular argument in tow, in order to further support his Phoenician/Carthaginian theory, Scott Wolter goes back to Mystery Hill and views two additional structures at the site. The first is a large rectangular stone block that has a deep, wide groove around its border. The stone is slightly tilted and the groove has an opening at the stones lowest end in order to allow for draining. This structure they say is proof of human/animal sacrifice. Scott, a forensic geologist, says that the stone has extensive, exfoliation weathering which proves extreme age. They also view a cave structure which has a built in bullhorn. They call it the oracle chamber and deduce that it was used to mimic, or imply, to observers that a god was speaking when in reality it is a earthly human. This chamber, they say, would have been used to awe observers and reinforce religious beliefs. The video goes back to the owner of the Carthaginian Coin, who says that the Carthaginians did practice sacrifices and did have large ships capable of navigating the Atlantic so “obviously” Mystery Hill was built by the Carthaginians.

While, all of the evidence presented is arranged so that it aligns with their theories they make some rather large leaps. The one that sticks out in my mind the most is when they make a gargantuan leap from Phoenician to Carthaginian. They mention that the Carthaginian’s are a Phoenician subculture and that the Phoenicians spawned several subcultures but they never really indicate how or why they deduced the Carthaginians. What is the evidence that indicates it was the Carthaginians and not one of the other subcultures? It is a large hole in the story that needs to be filled in order for it to have some validity. I can say Vlad the Impaler did it, but if I can’t say how I deduced Vlad then did Vlad really do it? Probably not.

The other big leap was the supposed alignment of Mystery Hill, England’s Stonehenge, and Beirut, Lebanon. On Google Earth the three sites do in fact align. That is a verifiable fact. However, the sun rises and sets in the same way, every single day, every single year. It is not unrealistic for ancient societies/cultures to have built structures that align with the sun and have those structures align with other structures in other places that were also built to measure the sun’s movements. It is not enough to prove that these cultures came in contact. Im pretty sure that line from Mystery Hill  to Beirut went over other important sites that they conveniently overlooked to benefit their theory. My favorite, and perhaps the silliest, evidence to support their claim is Paddy the original (1907) owner of Mystery Hill. They say that because his home is built over a large stone structure/foundation and he used large stone pens for his livestock that those stone structures must have been built before he got there. Their reasoning is: why would he carry such large stones when there are so many trees to use. The illogical conclusion is evident. Just because there are trees doesn’t mean that the stones pre-existed 1900s America.

In conclusion, while the show America Unearthed is entertaining and it’s host Scott Wolter, a forensic geologist, is evidently highly educated the show lacks any scientific method and reaches it’s conclusion using leaps and bounds that leave gaping holes in its evidentiary support. Scott is even told at the end that Stonehenge in England is a newer site than Mystery Hill, and therefore is unlikely to have been built by the same two cultures. However, he still continues to try to connect the two. This is intriguing because as a forensic geologist he should be able to tell the age of the stone. The argument presented in the show is weak, at best. It could be true, but they presented no concrete data to support their theories; only circumstantial evidence.

America Unearthed: Stonehenge in America

This essay was written for a college class titled, “ANTH 1020 – Fads, Fallacies, and Human Origins”. It is taught by Dr. Ryan Gray at the University of New Orleans.

Posted in Cities

The Garden District, New Orleans, LA: A Preliminary Neighborhood Profile



This report will provide an overview of the city of New Orleans, La, describe the Central City planning district and examine the Garden District neighborhood. The focus of the report will be on the Garden District’s history, location, demographics, geography, and economy with the purpose of providing an overview of this area. The physical layout of the area, the differences and similarities in the areas population compared to that of the surrounding area, and also take a look at income, crime and employment rates. In addition, this report will also look at the Master Plan for the city of New Orleans and how it relates to the Garden District.

New Orleans

New Orleans has a long and vibrant history. New Orleans was founded by the French 100 miles north of the mouth of the Mississippi River founded New Orleans (History Channel, 2015). This location made it the busiest port of the Gulf of Mexico since the 1700s. However, the French lost control to the Spanish who then ruled it for 40 years (History Channel, 2015). Then the United States bought it in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. New Orleans has always been known for its distinct Creole and Vibrant local culture. New Orleans has had many battles fought over it, including battles in the War of 1812 and in the Civil War (History Channel, 2015). However, New Orleans most recent troubles are related to poverty, racial turmoil, hurricanes, floods and its land sinking.

The Garden District: Basics

The second planning district of New Orleans, known as, central city (The Data Center), which contains the following neighborhoods: Central City, the Garden District, Irish Channel, Lower Garden District, Milan, St. Thomas, Youro, Faubourg Lafayette, and Faubourg Livaidais (Figure 1) (The Data Center). The second planning district is a triangular section of uptown New Orleans. It was not settled until 1915 when a pumping system was invented that could drain the swamplands (New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau). The boundaries, for central city, are between St. Charles and South Broad and end at a vertex of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Washington Ave (New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau).  This area has several major traffic arteries in it but it is considered primarily residential.


Figure 1, (The Data Center). A map of the second planning district and the Garden Districts location in it.

The second planning district has both wealthy homes and poor neighborhoods. Parts of this district have become racially homogeneous and are in an economic downturn. For our purposes we will focus on the Garden District (New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau). Bathelemy Lafron planned the Garden District after the Louisiana Purchase. It was meant as a place for Americans moving into the area to mingle with the existing citizens that were of European descent (New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau). The residents were wealthy and created beautiful homes. Residents they were able to purchase large lots and cultivate large beautiful gardens, which is the reason its named “The Garden District.

The Garden District has these boundaries St. Charles to Magazine Street and from Jackson Avenue to Louisiana Avenue (New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau).  As stated earlier the Garden District was once in a swampland but today it is a conglomerate of poorly paved, tree-lined streets and manicured sidewalks. The only park in the neighborhood is Coliseum Square (New Orleans Official Guide, 2015).


Figure 2, (New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau). Specific Street Borders of the Garden District.


Of the total available housing units only 86 housing units were built after 2005. The average value of a detached home is $78,432 compare its currently is at 1,221 with only 88.5% of them occupied (The Data Center). A total of 784 of the available homes were built before 1939. The next highest is 213 between 1950 and 1959d to $262,253 in the rest of New Orleans (The Data Center). However, townhouses or attached units have an average price of $877, 976 where as in the rest of New Orleans its an average of $213, 610. In units with 5 –or-more-unit structures (which comprises 11.7% of all units) the average Garden District price is $54, 830 compared to $391,426 in the rest of New Orleans (The Data Center). The preceding the information was all found on The Garden District is known for homes built in the Italianate, Greek Revival and Victorian Styles (New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau).


The Garden District covers an area of .211 square miles, as seen in figure 2, with the population totaling 1,926 as of 2010, giving it a population density of 9,353 people per square miles (figure 3) (City-Data). This is higher than the density in New Orleans, which City data reports is 2,097 (City-Data).  The Data Center shows the Garden District has shrunk in size from 2000-2010 (The Data Center). In 2000 it had a population of 1,970, in 2010 the population was 1,926 (figure 4) (The Data Center). This is a total loss of 44 people. Orleans Parish has a whole also lost population between these years. Orleans parish had a total population in 2000 of 484,674 to only 343,828 in 2010 (The Data Center).


Figure 3, (City-Data). Population Density of the Garden District.

This amounts to a loss of 140,845. Of the population in the Garden District, 29.3% of people in the garden district are Caucasians between the ages of 18-34 according to The Data Center. City-Data is more specific saying that, the median age of men is 42.9 years and the median age of women is 39.5 (figure 5) (The Data Center). Only 10.2% of people are below the age of 17 (figure 4). This differs from New Orleans as a whole in these ways: The Data Center reports that, in Orleans Parish 21.3% of the population is below the age of 17 but Orleans Parish is similar to the Garden District in that 29.2% of people are within the ages of 18-34 (figure 4) (The Data Center). Again City-Data is more specific, the average age of a man in New Orleans is 34.5 and women 36.3 (Figure 5) (The Data Center).


Figure 4, (The Data Center). Population of the Garden District vs. Orleans Parish and the U.S.


Figure 5, (The Data Center). Percentage of age groups in the Garden District vs. Orleans Parish and the U.S.


The difference is primarily in the young and the old. The Data center states that 21.3% of people in Orleans parish are under 17 where as only 10.2% of people in The Garden District are below age 17 (figure 5) (The Data Center).  42.1% of people in the garden district are over the age of 35 (19% age 35-49, 22.9% ages 50-64) but only 38.6% of people match this age group in Orleans Parish (figure 5) (The Data Center). The largest ethnic group in the neighborhood is “white alone” (figure 7) (City-Data). Second largest is Hispanic alone with black alone third and people of two or more races tying with other for the least amount of races represented in the Garden District (figure 7) (City-Data).  The Data Center breaks this down further stating that according to the 2010 census 88.4% of the Garden District population is white alone, 5% is Hispanic (any race), 3.2% are black or African American, 1.5% are 2 or more races, and 1.3% are Asian, less than 1% fall into American Indian or other (figure 8) (The Data Center). This is vastly different from Orleans Parish, which, in the 2010 census, which places Orleans Parish at 59.6% Black or African American people, 30.5% white 5.2% Hispanic (any race), 2.9% Asian, 1.3% 2 or more races, 0.5% other or American Indian. Both The Garden District and Orleans Parish as a whole are pretty even as far as male to female ratio (figure 8) (The Data Center). 50.8% of people in the Garden District are female, 49.2% are male. In Orleans Parish, 51.6% are female and 48.4% are male (figure 9) (The Data Center). The average age of men in the Garden District is 42.9. Women are a few years younger at an average of 29.5 (figure 6) (City-Data).


Figure 6, (City-Data). Percentage of males and females in the Garden District.


Figure 7, (City-Data). Pie chart of the percentage of different races in the Garden District.


Figure 8, (The Data Center). Exact percentages of races in the Garden District vs. Orleans Parish and the U.S.


Figure 9, (The Data Center). Percentages of Males and Females in the Garden District vs. Orleans Parish and the U.S.


As of 2012, the average income in the Garden District is $128,701. This is different from Orleans Parish whose average income is $60,280 (figure 15) (The Data Center). 19.2% of the citizens receive social security benefits and 1.9% receive public assistance but because the census only ask people what types of incomes they receive but does not report what percent of people are receiving more than one type of income we have no definitive way of knowing if these percentages represent the populations only source of income (figure 10) (Data Center Research). The Data Center reports that in the Garden District only 6.2% of people live below the poverty line, Orleans Parish is at 27.2%, with the national level at 14.9% (figure 11) (The Data Center). Comparatively, 88.7% of Garden District’s residents live at or above the poverty line, Orleans Parish is at 72.8%, the nation is at 85.1% (Figure 11) (The Data Center).


Figure 10, (The Data Center). Percentages of types of income in the Garden District vs. Orleans Parish and the U.S.


Figure 11, (The Data Center). Percentages of population in poverty in the Garden District vs. Orleans Parish and the U.S.


In the Garden District 18% of males work in Management (9.7% in New Orleans as a city), 26% work in sales and office occupations but only 13.5% in the city of New Orleans (City Data). 18.3% of females work in legal occupations but only 2.4% of the city’s females have this occupation. In the Garden District 12.7% of women are in education, training, Library occupations; its only 10.7% in the city of New Orleans. 11.8% are in service occupations in the Garden District but 24.4% of New Orleans’ female population works in the service industry (City-Data). Area vibes reports that the unemployment rate is 8.2% (figure 12).


Figure 12, ( Income index in the Garden District vs. Orleans Parish and Louisiana.

With the average income of a Garden District resident being the six figure range its not surprising that the average price of a detached home, according to city-data, is $78,432, a town house is valued at an average of $877, 976, 2-unit housing structures are an average of $445,584, 5-unit+ housing structures average only $54,830 (figure 13) (City-Data). The medium rental cost (City-Data) in the Garden District is $906, compared to New Orleans as a city which is only $764 (figure 14) (City-Data). Perhaps because rental costs are slightly higher than the city average The Data Center states that renters occupy 52.7% of occupied housing units, with the other 47.3% being Owner occupied (figure 16) (The Data Center). Compared to New Orleans, which is 47.8% renter and 52.2% owner (figure16). The National percentages put renters at 34.9% and owners at 65.1% (figure 16) (The Data Center). This may be due to the fact that 45% of residents in the Garden District are from another state in the U.S. and 1.6% were born outside of the U.S. (City-Data) This may seem like a small amount but roots in other places can, in my opinion, make someone less likely to purchase a home and more likely to rent.

(Florida Department of Transportation, 1998)


Figure 13, (City-Data). Housing prices in the Garden District.


Figure 14, (City-Data). Median Rent in the Garden District.


Figure 15, (The Data Center). Average Household income in the Garden District vs. Orleans Parish and the U.S.


Figure 16, (The Data Center). Number of renters vs. owners in the Garden District vs. Orleans Parish and the U.S.

Crime and Safety

Crime in the Garden District is low. For the year 2013 there was a total crime estimate of 1,856 compared to 4,639 crimes in New Orleans as a whole (, 2013). Of the 1,856 crimes 315 were violent, with the remaining crimes being crimes against property (, 2013). On average The Garden District experiences 5.08 crimes per day compared to New Orleans which experiences 12.71 crimes per day. The chances of being a victim of a violent crime in the Garden District are 1 in 318 (, 2013). Between October 18, 2014 and October 18, 2015 there were 800+ crimes reported in the Garden District area (figure 17) (Crime Mapping, 2015). The majority of the crimes (179) were theft/larceny (figure 18) (Crime Mapping, 2015).


Figure 17, (Crime Mapping, 2015). Number of crimes in the Garden District between 10/18/2014 and 10/18/2015.


Figure 18, Crime trend report pie chart for the Garden District between 10/18/2014 and 10/18/2015.

City Plan Summary and Evaluation

New Orleans does not a specific plan for the Garden District but it does dedicated Volume 2, Chapter 5 of its Master Plan for the city to neighborhoods and housing (City of New Orleans). The plan includes this vision statement: “Strategies for neighborhood livability must be comprehensive and integrated, taking in to account neighborhoods’ differing needs: Stable neighborhoods that need vigilance to maintain that stability, recovering neighborhoods that were doing well before the storm but are still working toward recover, and revitalization neighborhoods that faced challenges before the storm and, in some cases also experienced storm related damage (City of New Orleans, p. 5.5).” Pages 1-2 use charts to layout the 5 goals of the Neighborhood plan. The 5 goals are: (1) Enhanced character and livability for all neighborhoods, with investments to improve quality of life, (2) Redevelopment of blighted and vacant properties in all neighborhoods, focusing strategies to meet the respective needs of stable, recovering, and revitalization neighborhoods, (3) Access to Retail and services for all neighborhoods, (4) Reinvented housing policies to support quality neighborhoods and meet diverse housing needs of all households, (5) High capacity public sector and neighborhood- based groups, such as neighborhood development corporations, to provide housing responsive to the changing housing needs of current and future residents (City of New Orleans, pp. 5.1-5.2). The Plan also Uses charts to break down each goal to a recommended strategy on how to implement the goals then into how, who, when, resources and where to find more information (City of New Orleans, pp. 5.6-5.15). The plan does recommend that citizens be involved and work with planners. The plan recommends that citizens and planners work together to, “create plans, coordinate implementation, and organize neighborhood process around development proposals (City of New Orleans, p. 5.6).”

The key fault in the New Orleans City Planning Commission’s city plan is that it lacks individual neighborhood plans. It says that it has a neighborhood plan that seeks to accommodate the needs of differing communities but no one plan is ever going to satisfy the needs of every community so by default the New Orleans Neighborhood plan is already behind. The positive side is that they city really does want to preserve each individual neighborhood for its own unique qualities. The city plan lacks a few key things that would make it more effective. The “Overview of Steps in Neighborhood Planning” as outlined in Neighborhood Planning: a Guide for Citizens and Planners there are seven steps that the New Orleans City Planning Commission could’ve taken that would have turned their neighborhood plan into neighborhood plans and would have more accurately and effectively accommodated they neighborhoods of New Orleans. The steps are, in this order, collect information, pinpoint the issues, set goals, come up with alternatives, put the plan together, implement the plan, and monitor, evaluate and update the plan as needed (Jones, 1990). It is apparent that the City Planning Commission left out steps 1-4 in the neighborhoods. Instead of going to each neighborhood individually and creating a plan unique to that neighborhood they created a general, broad overview plan that they intend to fit each neighborhood. However, It is not 100% the role of the City Planning Commission to do this. The neighborhood should form a neighborhood planning team (City of Abilene, 2004) that represents the neighborhood before the commission. Therefore, a possible explanation for the lack of individual neighborhood plans could be that there was a lack of participation amongst neighborhood residents. Overall, the City’s plan for neighborhoods does a decent job of addressing issues that are common amongst neighborhoods but fails to address each problem that is unique to an area.


Neighborhood Meeting

When seeking out a neighborhood meeting to attend the Garden District Association representative, Shelley Landrieu, advised they had no more upcoming meetings this year but suggested an upcoming neighborhood participation event. The purpose of the participation meeting was in regards to a development project currently in the beginning stages. The development project in discussion is Our Lady of Good Counsel School being converted into apartments. Part of the process of obtaining the appropriate approvals is a neighborhood participation meeting.


The Our Lady of Good Counsel Development Project (henceforth referred to as the Good Counsel Apartment Project) neighborhood participation meeting occurred November 12th from 6pm until 6:40pm at The Rink, a commercial and shopping building with a meeting area in the center, which is located at the corner of Washington Avenue and Prytania Street.


A man stood up and introduced himself as Richard Roth, the owner and developer. Richard is a tax attorney, whose office is located in The Rink. He stated there are two other developers associated with the project: Ryan Goudey and Jason Hemel. The architect of the project Peter Trapolin was also there.  In addition to Richard speaking a woman Cynthia also spoke. Her position was never given.


The first thing that was stated is that the Good Counsel Apartment Project plans to access State and Federal tax credits. The primary reason or cause of this is the historical nature of the building. The building was original a catholic school, Our Lady of Good Council. Its last year of use was 1996 and has remained vacant and unused since then. The developers plan to maintain the historical integrity of the outside of the building. The inside will be divided into apartment units but the overall historic value will remain intact. Currently the site is zoned as single family or two-family dwelling only.


They plan to make them high-end apartments, with zero low-income or subsidized housing. At the current preliminary stages, they plan to have 22 units. 10 one-bedroom units and 12 2 bedroom units. They plan to leave as many current partitions in place so they can retain the historic tax credits. The 22 units will range in size from 637 sq. ft. to 1250 sg. Ft. They plan to have 18 parking spots. Currently New Orleans requires one-to-one parking for apartment units. Due to current zoning they will be applying to have the zoning changed to multi-family dwelling use AND apply for a variance to allow them to have only 18 parking units for 22 housing units. They also mentioned potential to convert to condominiums AFTER the five years required by the tax credits are over.


The following will address the concerns mentioned by the residents and the counters by the developers:

  • Resident:
    • There isn’t enough parking
    • The current driveway isn’t wide enough for two cars
    • Density of housing vs. density of parking isn’t equal
    • The amount of parking proposed isn’t equal to the housing
    • Developer: We are willing to reduce housing units to accommodate parking density concerns.
  • Resident:
    • Will changes to the buildings historic values be made?
    • Developer: NO. They will not add on or change the over structure of the building.
  • Resident: what is the rent range?
    • Developer: $2 per sg. ft. but it could change if market values are different when they go on the market.
  • Developer:
    • Reassures the neighborhood residents that because of the tax credits they absolutely will protect the historic aesthetic of the building
  • Resident: “Parking is the nature of the neighborhood. You know when you buy a house here that you will have park on the street.”


I spoke to a resident of the neighborhood after the meeting ended. I approached her with my name, and my reason for being there and then asked her if she had any concerns that she didn’t get a chance to voice in the meeting. She said her main concern was resolved pretty early on. She was primarily worried that they would turn the development into low-income or subsidized housing and no one wants to live near, “those people.” Once that concern was alleviated her other main concern was the amount of construction in the area. The area this project is on has, according to her, been repaved twice in the last three years and will soon be changed to a one-lane road. She is worried about the amount of construction in the area causing congestion in the area, as she lives only a block and a half from the project site. Otherwise she felt good about the project because she hates to see the building to continue to sit there unused.

This meeting achieved its purpose, which was for the developers to get the input of the people currently living in the area. They wrote down and took note of all the concerns of the residents and promised to take those into consideration. At the end of the meeting the residents seems comforted and there concerns, at least temporarily, alleviated. The meeting also included several elements of an effective meeting (Florida Department of Transportation, 1998, p. 4.3.1). The staff was well prepared for the level they were at in the project. The presenters were enthusiastic about what they were talking about and seemed well briefed on the information they were presenting. Lastly, they had a layout, in terms of seating, for the meeting that allowed the attendees to effectively view the presentation screen but, it was inconvenient for other attendees to look at an attendee that was speaking because the layout was simply rows of chairs facing forwards that did not allow for group conversation. One thing they were lacking that would have made it more effective is the layout of the meeting content. I felt like they could have arranged the info on the slide in a different order to make it more fluid and to better answer questions. However, the info was clear and concise and easy to understand. It just could have been in a better order. They did however, make sure that residents were properly notified, that the meeting location was convenient, the time was appropriate to the intended attendees and that the meeting lasted and appropriate length of time.

News in the Neighborhood

This section of the report is to provide information on the neighborhood association of the Garden District and to describe, via an article, a neighborhood planning issues in the community.


The Garden District, New Orleans, La has a neighborhood association called, The Garden District Association (GDA). Their mission is, “To preserve and improve the Garden District as a vital, historic residential neighborhood.” The GDA is considered a non-profit neighborhood organization. The Association is open to all residents, business owners, and interested individuals who want to take an active role in all matters that are of interest to the neighborhood. All of this information can be found at:


The  article titled, “Condo on St. Charles gets thumbs up, condo at State and Tchoupitoulas gets thumbs down.” The article was published on September 22nd, 2015 on the news website called Uptown Messenger. The article can be found at The article discusses how one condo got approved in the area and one did not, “A new condo building on St. Charles Avenue in the Garden District received approval from city planners on Tuesday, but a larger condo project intended to replace an apartment complex at State Street and Tchoupitoulas was recommended for denial…” It explains the reasoning for doing so was a matter of zoning issues. One reason for the denial of the State and Tchoupitoulas project was the city planning staff who classifies the area as low-density and that multi-family housing units can be preserved but there cannot be new ones built. In the case of the St. Charles Avenue building the City planning Commission Chair Kyle Wedberg said that the building proposal was “worth supporting” but did not give a specific reason for approval (Morris, 2015).



The Garden District is a predominately white neighborhood with an average age of 37.9. The residents here are a mixed group of homeowners and home renters who have an average income that’s in the six figures. It has a long, rich history as an area with beautiful gardens and antique homes. This area has lost population in recent years but so has much of New Orleans. It is relatively low in crime, those crimes that do occur are primarily theft. The city of New Orleans has a Master Plan with a section specifically geared towards the revitalization of New Orleans’ unique neighborhoods, including the Garden District.



  • Figure 1, (The Data Center). A map of the second planning district and the Garden Districts location in it.
  • Figure 2, (New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau). Specific street borders of the Garden District
  • Figure 3, (City-Data). Population Density of the Garden District.
  • Figure 4, (The Data Center). Population of the Garden District vs. Orleans Parish and the U.S.
  • Figure 5, (The Data Center). Percentage of age groups in the Garden District vs. Orleans Parish and the U.S.
  • Figure 6, (City-Data). Percentage of males and females in the Garden District.
  • Figure 7, (City-Data). Pie chart of the percentage of different races in the Garden District.
  • Figure 8, (The Data Center). Exact percentages of races in the Garden District vs. Orleans Parish and the U.S.
  • Figure 9, (The Data Center). Percentages of Males and Females in the Garden District vs. Orleans Parish and the U.S.
  • Figure 10, (The Data Center). Percentages of types of income in the Garden District vs. Orleans Parish and the U.S.
  • Figure 11, (The Data Center). Percentages of population in poverty in the Garden District vs. Orleans Parish and the U.S.
  • Figure 12, ( Income index in the Garden District vs. Orleans Parish and Louisiana.
  • Figure 13, (City-Data). Housing prices in the Garden District.
  • Figure 14, (City-Data). Median Rent in the Garden District.
  • Figure 15, (The Data Center). Average Household income in the Garden District vs. Orleans Parish and the U.S.
  • Figure 16, (The Data Center). Number of renters vs. owners in the Garden District vs. Orleans Parish and the U.S.
  • Figure 17, (Crime Mapping, 2015). Number of crimes in the Garden District between 10/18/2014 and 10/18/2015.
  • Figure 18, (Crime Mapping, 2015). Crime trend report pie chart for the Garden District between 10/18/2014 and 10/18/2015.

Works Cited (2013). Garden District, New Orleans, La Crime & Statistics. Retrieved October 18, 2015, from (n.d.). Garden District, New Orleans, LA Employment & Jobs. Retrieved September 5, 2015, from orleans-la/garden district/employment/


Center for Neighborhood Development. (2003). Principles of Neighborhood Planning for Community Development. Cleveland State University, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. Cleveland: Cleveland State university.

Central City Neighborhood Planning District 2 Rebuilding Plan. (n.d.). Retrieved September 5, 2015, from


City of Abilene. (2004). Super Neighborhood Plan Workbook. City of Abilene: Neighborhood Services. Abilene: City of Abilene.

City of New Orleans. (n.d.). Master Plan. Retrieved October 19, 2015, from


City of New Orleans: Historic District Landmarks Commission. (2007). Garden District Historic District. Retrieved October 19, 2015, from


City-Data. (n.d.). Garden District neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana (LA), 70115, 70130 detailed profile Retrieved Septemeber 5, 2015, from


Crime Mapping. (2015). Crime Mapping. Retrieved October 18, 2015, from


History Channel. (2015). New Orleans. Retrieved September 5, 2015, from


Jones, B. (1990). Neighborhood Planning: A Guide for Citizens and Planners. Chicago, Illinois: Planners Press.

New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. (n.d.). Garden District: A Grand New Orleans Neighborhood. Retrieved Septemeber 4, 2015, from


New Orleans Official Guide. (2015). Garden District/Uptown. Retrieved September 5, 2015, from


The Data Center. (n.d.). Central City Statistical Area. Retrieved Septemeber 5, 2015, from



Posted in Cities

Cleveland, OH: a history, and a modern day EcoVillage

This analysis will discuss Cleveland, OH in brief detail. The basics of Cleveland’s history, the geography, demographics, city planning, public health, safety, and education will be covered in this analysis. In addition, The Detroit Shoreway neighborhood will be looked at; with particular focus on the EcoVillage that has been founded there. Lastly this analysis of Cleveland will address how it relates to readings that were completed as a part of MURP 4200 at the University of New Orleans.


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Figure 1,

Cleveland became the county seat of Ohio in 1807 (Ohio History Connection) and by 1809 Cleveland had it’s first black settler, George Peake (Kusmer, 1997). However, Cleveland lacked real population growth until 1812, primarily due to the Indian threat and the lack of money to invest in roads (Ohio History Connection). By 1820 Cleveland had accumulated only 606 residents, after 1820 until 1860 Cleveland’s population only grew to be 1,000. This was primarily due to the building of the Erie Canal, which connected Lake Erie to the Ohio river, but also to the addition of rail lines in the area (Ohio History Connection). After the 1860s Cleveland grew to be 43,000 people strong with an African American population of 799 (Kusmer, 1997). During the early 1900s, black and white families in Cleveland were interspersed even as late as the 1840s. Between 1890 and 1915 the Black population increased in Cleveland due to migration from the south (Kusmer, 1997). 1916 also saw a large increase of black migrants due to a decline in immigration from abroad during WWI and due to a large increase of industrial demand. By 1930 there were 72,000 African Americans in Cleveland (Ohio History Connection). In 1950, Cleveland’s population peaked at 1 million, after this peak Cleveland’s population slowly declined reaching only 500,000 in 2000 (Ohio History Connection).


Cleveland is 31 miles long along the south shore of Lake Erie (figure 2) with a total of 82.42 square miles and rises to an elevation of 60 to 80 feet above Lake Erie. The city has generally level terrain, except a 500foot ridge on the eastern shore of the city. Cleveland is bisected by north/south by the Cuyahoga River (figure 3). The location of Cleveland gives it a humid and warm summer and a cold cloudy winter (Advameg, Inc., 2009).

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Figure 2,

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Figure 3,


As depicted in the below charts, Cleveland has a total population of 396, 815. In Cleveland 24.6% of the residents are below 18, while only 12% are of 65. Like many cities Cleveland’s Population is primarily black and white. The Black holds the majority of the population with a percentage of 53.3%. The white, alone percentage is 37.3%. The remaining percentages are significantly less. The highest is the Hispanic or Latino Population with 10%. The next highest is those who identify as two or more races, at 2.8%. Asian, alone is identified as being 1,8%, American Indian and Alaskan Native .3%, and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander as less than a half unit of the measurement used (United States Census Bureau, 2010).

Ages in Cleveland:

Population in 2010: 396,815

People Under 18: 97,616.49; 24.6%

People between 18 and 65: 251,580.71; 63.4%

People over 65: 47,617.8; 12%

Races in Cleveland:

White, Alone: 148,011.995; 37.3%

Black, Alone: 211,502.395; 53.3%

American Indian and Alaskan Native, Alone: 1,190.445; .3%

Asian, Alone: 7,142.67; 1.8%

Two or More races: 11,110.82; 2.8%

Native Hawaiian & Other Pacific Islander: Value greater than zero but less than half unit of measurement used

Hispanic or Latino: 29,681.5, 10%

Planning in Cleveland

Planning in Cleveland started with its first land survey by Augustus Porter in 1796. He planned Cleveland in a simple grid pattern on the New England Model. He

ignored Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River but the plan still came out near and orderly. Due to population increases further land use planning took a back burner to deal with other pressing issues such as: congestion, sanitation, crime, disease but also in capital improvements such as roads, bridges, and sewers. (Krumholz & Forester, 1990, p. 4). In 1903 the city cleared 40 acres of downtown that was previous small businesses, shops and homes and replaced it with a formal mall that was modeled after the Place de la Concorde in Paris (Krumholz & Forester, 1990, pp. 4-5). It wasn’t until 1915 that Cleveland had an official planning commission. This commission includes 11 people who oversaw art, public works, and preparing the city plan. However, due to the fact that they were unpaid the plan took 34 years and appeared in 1949 (Krumholz & Forester, 1990, pp. 4-5). Part of the reason it finally appeared in 1949 was due to the introduction of a budget in 1942. The budget of $26,000 was allotted to them and was to cover a staff of 7 (Krumholz & Forester, 1990, p. 5). Cleveland has a unique monetary set up. City Council Controls all the money so that no money can be spent without their permission. Any expenditure of more than $3,500 requires a new ordinance. In addition, any department operating with federal monies must get permission to accept and use the money. This means that any project is lengthy and the city council can use each step as a bargaining tool (Krumholz & Forester, 1990, p. 7).

Public Health

The Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH) runs Cleveland’s public health. The CDPH created the Healthy Cleveland Initiative whose vision is to give people access to preventative care, give the, resources to fight and prevent chronic illnesses (such as diabetes and heart disease), help with drug addiction and mental health issues, to initiate the implementation of walkable neighborhoods, provide green space and local foods, and to build on a neighborhoods strengths while addressing their weaknesses (Cleveland Department of Public Health, 2015). The Mission statement for the Healthy Cleveland Initiative is to address social determinants that impact people where they live, work and play through policy and programs in the communities (Cleveland Department of Public Health, 2015). The CDPH is rooted in policy but has a heart for the people. Their motto is, “ Your health matters. A healthy you makes a Healthier Cleveland.” To address the needs of the people is to address the needs of Cleveland. The CDPH does this with 7 sub-committees: Active Living, Behavorial Health, Breather Free, Health Literacy, Healthy Eating, Healthy Neighborhoods, and Violence Prevention (Cleveland Department of Public Health). All seven of these committees are in place to address the Healthy Cleveland Initiative’s vision.

Safety and Education

As mentioned in the previous section the Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH) is in responsible for the health of Clevelanders. Health is not limited to what physically can ail the body but also social ailments. That’s why safety and education are also the responsibility of the CDPH. In trerms of safety they specifically mention the following quote on their website: “Facilitating collaborative partnerships to prevent violence in Cleveland (Cleveland Department of Health, John James).” This implies that the Violence Prevention Committee wants to work with the citizens to fulfill their vision for safety in Cleveland. The goal of the Violence Prevention Committee is to prevent violence in Cleveland through Public health. They will do this by facilitating collaborative partnerships with the people of Cleveland using prevention education and preventative health (Cleveland Department of Health, John James). They have five steps they plan to use to achieve their goals. One, participate in community discussions on violence prevention to make the community aware of the ways prevention is currently taking place. The second goal is to use media and social media to promote social education on violence prevention from a public health perspective. They will also leverage the use of City Channel TV 20 (Cleveland Department of Health, John James). The Third step in the process to achieve the vision of the Violence Prevention Committee is to facilitate more collaborative partnership with Cleveland’s neighborhoods, school districts, community development organizations, non-profits, academia, the corporate sector, and local/county government to promote policies and programs that address violence through a comprehensive public health approach. As a fourth method to goal attainment the Violence Prevention Committee will work with the other 6 committees of the CDPH to promote a stronger public health awareness. Lastly, use the “take the show on the road approach” to effectively communicate the impact that violenence has on the health of a community, as well as its residents (Cleveland Department of Health, John James). Each of the five steps that the Violence Prevention Committee will use is designed to facilitate, engage and encourage violence prevention and education through the format of public health.

Education in Cleveland is managed by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD). They have a plan for transforming their schools which involves attracting and developing great teachers, Inspiring and sustaining great leaders, and innovating, expanding, and cultivating great schools (Clevland Metropolitan School District, 2000-2015). To attract and develop great teachers Cleveland will “… supplement its current highest performing educators with a newly recruited corps of exemplary principals and teachers to lead and teach in district and charter schools. Partnerships with external talent pipeline organizations will be coupled with rigorous development of internal talent to identify educators who can positively change the trajectory of children’s lives. (Clevland Metropolitan School District, 2000-2015).” By creating an environment that empowers and values principals as professionals and making sure that the students are held to the highest standards the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will inspire and sustain great leaders, which is their second step in their plan to transforms schools. In order to effectively innovate, expand, and cultivate great schools the CMSD will provide modern, vibrant and inspirational learning environments that prepare students for the globalization and technology required in the 21st century but also to provide them the know and skills to operate in a multicultural and multidisciplinary world (Clevland Metropolitan School District, 2000-2015).


Cleveland had a thriving industrial economy after the 1860s due to iron ore and coal deposits discovered in the 1800s and due to its strategic location along transportation routes. Due to these factors JD Rockefeller founded the Standard Oil Company here in the 1860s. Cleveland also had thriving steel production industry in the 1860s (Ohio History Connection). By 1880, 28% of the workforce was in the steel mills, however, by the third year of the great depression (1933) 1/3 of workers were laid off (Ohio History Connection). By 1978 Cleveland’s financial situation had taken a dire turn. They became the first city since The Great Depression to default on its more than 30 million dollars in loans (Ohio History Connection).


Types of Jobs

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Types of Occupations

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Household Incomes


Detroit Shoreway, EcoVillage

An EcoVillage is a community of people creating a way of life that sustains healthy ecological relationships. Due to our current living patterns we consume a vast quantity of resources and disregard the creation of waste and the tremendous ecological, social, and economic cost of the waste. The worldwide EcoVillage movement offers an alternative that strives to replace consumption and waste with preservation and regeneration. (The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization). This directly relates to the Cleveland 2020 plan which states, “The Connecting Cleveland 2020 Citywide plan seeks to re-create Cleveland as a city that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In other words, the plan seeks to create a “sustainable” Cleveland (Connecting Cleveland 2020 Citywide plan).” The plan has five goals; to create high-density, mixed use districts that promote travel by transit, amend building and zoning codes and add incentives to encourage green building, design safe routes for walking and bicycling that are accessible to all residents, reduce the use of energy and water by City owned facilities and vehicles, and finally clean contaminated brownfield sites and promote beneficial reuse (Connecting Cleveland 2020 Citywide plan). The Detroit Shoreway EcoVillage has seven focus areas to address the 2020 plan and to also further the principles of the EcoVillage, which will be further expanded on.

The Cleveland Detroit Shoreway EcoVillage was created in response to continued urban sprawl, disinvestment in the urban core and resulting environmental degradation within and outside the City of Cleveland. Using sustainability as an organizing principle, and transit-oriented development as a planning strategy, the EcoVillage seeks to retain urban dwellers while attracting people back into the urban core (The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization). The Cleveland EcoVillage centers around the W.65th/Lorain Avenue RTA Rapid Station in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, two miles west of Downtown Cleveland. The EcoVillage neighborhood area is defined as within a quarter mile walk of the rapid station, just minutes away from the shores of Lake Erie, the banks of the Cuyahoga River, the Ohio & Lake Erie Towpath Trail and the nationally celebrated Gordon Square Arts District (The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization). The Detroit Shoreway neighborhood is one of Cleveland’s coolest, most diverse neighborhoods along the North Coast. New residents are moving in, businesses are setting up shop, theatres are opening, the EcoVillage is blossoming, block clubs are growing and visitors are arriving. Less than two miles west from Downtown, this neighborhood is quickly becoming the place to live, work and play (The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization).

The first of the seven focus areas, that was previously mentioned, is sustainable mobility, which says, “Transportation alternatives play a big role in the EcoVillage’s sustainability and livability benefits, but just as important is the neighborhood’s location efficiency, which lessens the need for transportation altogether (The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization).” Only 56% of the EcoVillage’s residents drive to work compared to 72% in the rest of Cleveland. 30% of EcoVillage residents take transit to work, 11% citywide. The W. 65th – Lorain Red Line rapid stop is the hub of the EcoVillage and links the neighborhood with the region. 5 percent of EcoVillage commuters bicycle to work, compared to 1 percent in Cleveland. Bike racks and bike boxes throughout the neighborhood support ridership by providing safe places to lock up bikes (Center for Neighborhood Technology).

The second focus area, neighborhood vitality, is focused on the people. They do this through; Public Art, Community & personal gardens, Hosts local events; such as Dyngus Day, which is a Polish-American holiday that is held the day after Easter and sports an accordion parade and polka concerts. They also have the Bridge Brigade Block Club that uses CB radios and resident patrols to track and report criminal activity. They also promote the increased reporting of blighted properties. In addition, many homes have no garages, and those that do often have them set back from the street so walkers pass by front porches rather than garage doors. On nice days neighbors can be found working in their gardens or sitting on their porches chatting. This promotes neighborhood vitality because it encourages people to be invested in the neighborhood (Center for Neighborhood Technology).

The third focus area is energy and green building. This is central to the EcoVillage philosophy. The Detroit Shoreway EcoVillage promotes this in many ways. One of them is that when the transit line station at W. 65th and Loraine was rebuilt it was rebuilt green because of its location near to the EcoVillage. In the actual EcoVillage they middle school, Joseph Gallagher Middle School, installed a solar electric system to reduce its carbon footprint. Green building doesn’t end there; other buildings are also green through the reuse and recycling of building materials (Center for Neighborhood Technology).

The fourth focus area that the EcoVillage uses to fulfill the goals of the 2020 plan and to further the principals of the EcoVillage is to zero in on the people and the institutions in the area. The EcoVillage boasts a diverse group of people in terms of income. Of the 1,656 people and 691 households 39% are below poverty level. This is higher than that of the Cleveland as a whole whose poverty level is at 33%. However the income median is higher in the EcoVillage than in the rest of Cleveland. Household incomes in the EcoVillage are at a median of $55,119. This is higher than Cleveland’s median income of $34,589. The goal is to have a diverse but provided for people (Center for Neighborhood Technology). Their goal is to have a lower rate of poverty in the area while remaining affordable.

The fifth of the seven focuses is waste reduction and resources. The Detroit Shoreway EcoVillage is a pilot cite for Cleveland’s citywide recycling program that is initiated by the 2020 plan. The building reuses and recycles building materials into the new buildings. They also compost at the community gardens; Composting is a greenhouse gas reduction technique that breaks down organic waste to be used as fertilizer.

Access to local food is the sixth focus area. The EcoVillage provides access to several locally owned and operated shopping marts such as the Grace Brothers, Maggie’s Farm, EcoVillage Produce, LLC., Produce Prescription Program, Spice, the Ithaca Refugee Garden, and the Liberian Refugee Garden. The Grace Brothers, EcoVillage Produce, LLC and Maggie’s Farm are shopping stores that provide access to locally grown organic food and other locally produced goods. The Produce Prescription Program allows the elderly and disabled to get a prescription from their doctor to get fresh produce from participating produce markets. Spice is a restaurant in the EcoVillage that uses onsite gardens and hoop houses to grow produce for use in its dishes. The Refugee Gardens are locations where residents can grow their own produce even if they don’t have a yard.

Finally, the seventh way the EcoVillage will work with the Cleveland 2020 plan is to provide access to public health. They do this through encouraging mobility through walking and bicycling but also through recreation facilities and gardening. They also promote community interdependence, which research shows plays a huge role in health and wellness. Lastly, they offer quick access to health and wellness resources through easy access to transit but also in the presence of a Neighborhood Family Practice that is located in the EcoVillage community.

Connection to Reading

The Priority project, The Detroit Shoreway EcoVillage, directly relates to Making Equity Planning Work: Leadership in the Private Sector in several ways. Beginning with Krumholz’ statement, “Planners going back to Ebenezer Howard had emphasized the importance of the neighborhood unit (Krumholz & Forester, 1990, p. 169)” which he says before he introduces his planning commission’s strategy for helping neighborhood organizations and by proxy the neighborhoods themselves. The planning commission has six ways in which in plans to help neighborhood organizations:

1. Serve black or racially integrated neighborhoods representing the poor first. In an effort to assist those lacking access to normal channels first

2. Planners should volunteer for assignments instead of being ordered to serve a certain neighborhood

3. Work assignments were determined by the neighborhood organization NOT the planner. They could suggest and work on it but only in the neighborhoods leadership approved.

4. Planners who were residents would get priority on assignments their but were urged to be involved with the neighborhood association as well.

5. Planner could provide direct technical assistance. Surveys, complaints, requests. Broker/facilitate functions that fell outside of the scope of the CPC. Relations with public agencies, lenders, insurers, developers, and teaching/training institutions.

6. Neighborhood based planners could act as advocates for the capital spending needs of their turf as opposed to focusing on city wide spending.

(Krumholz & Forester, 1990, pp. 172-173).

Using the above guidelines the planning commission was able to help the Detroit Shoreway buy and rehabilitate the Gordon Arcade using the Urban Development Action Grant. The Gordon Arcade was the centerpiece of the neighborhoods commercial strip. The planning commissions part of this was the Urban Development Action Grant and prepared the small business administration 503 low-interest loans. The Gordon Arcade was a community building that opened in 1921 and contained a 75-room hotel, a seventy-five stall market, a pool, a billiards room, the Capital Theatre, seventy offices, 31 stores, a barber shop and a restaurant (Raponi). Until the 1950s the Gordon Arcade was an integral part of the neighborhood but WWII and highways caused a mass exodus of residents causing a decline of importance in the Gordon Arcade. Then in 1978, the parapet of the building collapsed causing further loss to the area in terms of importance (Raponi). The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization in conjunction with the city planning commission saved it from demolition and rehabilitated it. They were able to make it a centerpiece in the area again and it has become a model for revitalization (Raponi). Making equity planning work details the ways the planning commission was able to use its resources to facilitate the revitalization of an important landmark.

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Figure 4,
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Figure 5,


In conclusion, this analysis discussed Cleveland, OH in brief detail. It covered the basics of Cleveland’s history, an overview of geography, a brief look at the demographics, how city planning developed in Cleveland, how the Cleveland Department of Public Health plans to increase the overall level of health and safety, and how the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will increase the positive educational experience of students and teachers in Cleveland. The analysis showed how the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood EcoVillage is making a positive impact on Cleveland. Lastly this analysis of Cleveland address how the EcoVillage relates to the book, Making Equity Planning Work, which we read in class.

Works Cited

Advameg, Inc. (2009). Cleveland: Geography and Climate. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from


Center for Neighborhood Technology. (n.d.). Climate and Sustainability Action in the Detroit Shoreway EcoVillage. Retrieved November 16, 2015, from


Cleveland Department of Health, John James. (n.d.). Violence Prevention. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from


Cleveland Department of Public Health. (n.d.). Healthy Cleveland. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from


Cleveland Department of Public Health. (2015). Healthy Cleveland Initiative. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from


Clevland Metropolitan School District. (2000-2015). Cleveland’s Plan for Transforming Schools. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from


Connecting Cleveland 2020 Citywide plan. (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2015, from


Department of Economic Development. (2015). Department of Economic Development: Report to Council 2015. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from


Krumholz, N., & Forester, J. (1990). Making Equity Plannign Work: leadership in the public sector. Philadelphia, PA, USA: Temple University Press.


Kusmer, K. (1997, July 21). African American – The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Retrieved November 17, 2015, from The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History:


Ohio History Connection. (n.d.). Ohio History Central; Cleveland, Ohio. Retrieved November 17, 2015, from,_Ohio?rec=687


Raponi, R. (n.d.). Gordon Square Arcade. Retrieved November 26, 2015, from http://WWW.Cleveland Historical:


The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization. (n.d.). EcoVillage. Retrieved October 30, 2015, from


United States Census Bureau. (2010). Quick Facts Beta: Cleveland City, Ohio. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from,00


United States Census Bureau, (n.d.). Economic Statistics. Retrieved from




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Camp Ruston, Ruston, LA: Endangered Landmark

For most people Ruston is not a place they have ever heard of, and it is not an everyday space. Growing up in North Louisiana, just a few miles from Ruston, I had heard mention of “an old army base” that used to be near Ruston. No one ever knew much about it, other than it used to be there. Well, it turns out, it is still there and it was a lot more than “an old army base,” it is a place called Camp Ruston. The worst part is that Camp Ruston is in trouble. It has been poorly kept and is in disrepair, and despite its rich history it isn’t even on the state or national register of historic places. The following pages will describe Camp Ruston’s history, why it is endangered, why it should continue be on the National Register of Historic Places, and why more attention and money should be spent to keep the property in good condition.

Camp Ruston, located in Lincoln Parish near Grambling, was activated on December 25th, 1942 with around 750 acres (Owens). The state of Louisiana petitioned to have the camp placed there (Arant) because the POW could be used as labor, which most southern states were lacking in because men were either at war or in other states working defense jobs (Ouchley). “Those prisoners who were enlisted men were required to work at the camp and for local farms and businesses. They picked cotton, felled timber, built roads, and performed other tasks” (Prescott Memorial Library).  Originally, Camp Ruston was Branch “A” of the 5th Women’s Auxiliary Corp Training Center. They used a nearby abandoned high school as training rooms, a local hotel for staff residences, and a nearby café for officer’s mess hall. That all changed summer of 1943. By June the last of the WAAC had shipped out and the first POW were on their way. In August of that same year 300 men from a group called the Afrika Korps arrived, but by May 1944 they were gone and replaced by Italian POW (Arant). At it’s peak Camp Ruston held 4,315 and included soldiers from Yugoslavia, Russia, Bosnia, Poland, Romania and France (Ouchley).

Despite its status as a prisoner of war camp life at Camp Ruston wasn’t so bad. “The American captors observed the 1929 Geneva Convention on treatment of prisoners of war, and legitimate prisoner complaints were rare. Meals were adequate and medical care was provided. When not involved in routine camp work—such as cleaning and cooking—or on remote details, physical recreation was encouraged. Baseball, basketball, tennis, boxing, and especially the familiar soccer were favorite sports.” (Ouchley). Additionally, camp prisoners, who were primarily enlisted men, also formed theatre groups, had small orchestras, a 40-voice choir, and visual art projects. The men were also given an opportunity to earn money or “Scrip” as it was called in the camp. Scrip could be used to purchase coffee, cigarettes, beer, toiletries, and reading materials. In order to earn Scrip, the prisoners were sent to the camps administrative branches in Bastrop, Lake Providence, Tallulah, and West Monroe. In these branches of Camp Ruston the POW participated in farming and timber, but also in public works such as road building (Arant).


Camp Ruston had a lot of history during its time as a prisoner of war camp. However, Camp Ruston closed its doors to its last POW in February 1946. It wasn’t officially deactivated until June 1946. Then, a year later in May it was transferred into the custody of the state of Louisiana. They used it as a tuberculosis hospital until 1958 when it became a state school for the developmentally disabled until 2009 (Arant). After that the land, and the building that were original to Camp Ruston’s POW days have fallen into disrepair. On December 13, 1991, the camp’s remaining buildings were placed on the National Register of Historic Places, by the state of Louisiana. The four-remaining buildings, as well as the site, did not meet the initial requirements for approval due to the site being under the 50 year old mark. The committee was petitioned to waive this requirement for fear that the buildings would be dismantled. The petition was successful in convincing the committee to approve the building and site for inclusion into the NHR (Ouchley).


In conclusion, if Camp Ruston is not given more attention and/or funding it will continue to disintegrate to the point where there is no longer a physical landmark of where it used to be. The reason Camp Ruston is so important is because a lot of American do not know the extent to which the United States went during WWII to detain our enemies or people who were potentially our enemies. The people that live near the sites Camp Ruston and its nearby administrative branches have no idea they are walking on the same paths as prisoners of wars. That is why this everyday space is so important to Louisiana State History and to our nation.

Works Cited

Arant, Tanya. “Camp Ruston.” 1 Jan 2012. 16 March 2017. <;.

Franks, Mike. Some of the old buildings from the WWII P.O.W. Camp. Camp Ruston, Simsboro.

Ouchley, Kelby. “Camp Ruston.” 9 September 2013. Know Louisiana, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Ed. David Johnson. 16 March 2017. <;.

Owens, Reggie. Ex-POW visits camp, donates WWII artifacts. n.d. 16 March 2017. <;.

Prescott Memorial Library. Camp Ruston Collection. n.d. 16 March 2017. <;.