Thursday, February 5, 2015

Introduction: Building Community in Changing Neighborhoods

Community, Gentrification, and Station North

A sense of community is essential to the health and success of a group of individuals. Without the presence of a community, the group slowly weakens and disconnects. I believe that the process of gentrification can be both good and bad, often depending on the neighborhood at hand. If a sense of community is absent from a particular community, gentrification could often take place to fill the void. For neighborhoods such as these, I think gentrification can be useful so that the neighborhood can return to a vital state.


Station North is a unique example of a changing neighborhood in Baltimore. Many claim that Station North is an example of gentrification, but I disagree. As a child, I remember North Avenue before the creation of the arts district. At that time during the late 1990s/early 2000s, the area was dilapidated, depressing, and lacked development of any kind. Presently, Station North has transformed the North Avenue corridor to a vibrant arts community for everyone to enjoy. 

For our class, Community in America, I think it would be great to focus on the spatial aspect of community in Station North. As an intern for the Section.1 Art Park project, we focus on how we can create a public space for everyone in the neighborhood and Baltimore as a whole. Our class project could elaborate on this concept, and look in detail at the changing spaces around Station North. By associating these spaces with people, we can get a better idea of how these changes impact the individuals around them.  

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