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Comments on Weeks 1&2 Readings-2015

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POSING THE PROBLEM: WHAT ARE POST-INDUSTRIAL CITIES

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  1. Reading the article by Steven High on the Rust Belt was very enlightening. He mentioned that having the stigma of being a Rust Belt hastened the cities’ decline. I agree with him that it does have to do with the mindset of the people of the region on the prosperity of a city or a place. I wonder though, is there really anything one can do to stop this from coming into fruition once the seed has been planted?

    I found the second reading by Gallagher very interesting as well. The tone was very different than the previous reading; it had a more analytical approach to shrinking cities. I do agree with the author when he says smaller is better. Having lived in densely populated cities, suburban settings, and country settings has opened my eyes to how different each kind of lifestyle is. I personally enjoy the suburban and rural settings myself be cause I feel that they have a lot more freedom to do what they will to their towns without having to answer to a whole bunch of legislature. This in turn makes the atmosphere of the town more inviting and welcoming which then keeps inhabitants happier. Rural towns also have a lot more family-run businesses which helps keep the economy of the town more stable.

  2. By Hannah Gadbois:
    “Gold Doesn’t Rust” and “Shrinking Cities” suggest that the decline of the U.S. post-industrial city is exacerbated by American media and worldview. In “Shrinking Cities,” Gallagher explains that the population loss in Youngstown and Detroit viewed as devastating by Americans could just be seen as the natural “breathing” of cities in Europe. Older European cities can recognize that population fluctuation is not terminal and can be a benefit. Cities like Dresden and Torino used population loss to revamp their cities and accommodate for future growth. Additionally, smaller cities can flourish by using newly emptied space as green, recreational space and increasing community activity. In this way, the largest point of a city’s population fluctuation does not have to be the city’s finest time. These types of adjustments are often prevented or ignored in American cities. In “Gold Doesn’t Rust,” High speaks about the way decline is represented in America. Often, the American media calls to mind images of earlier issues in times of trouble, even comparing industrial decline to the Dust Bowl. In Canada’s Golden Horseshoe, Ontario released promotional videos and continued to emphasize the good. Detroit, on the other hand, was presented as a lost cause with no redeeming qualities in the absence of its motor industry. Detroit lost its place in the Heartland and instead gained one in the Rust Belt. Images of abandoned factories abounded in popular media, portraying Detroit’s current state as irreversible. America is too new of a society to accept fluctuations in prosperity as natural, instead seeing the halt of economic growth as an end in value. Just like the factories, the once prosperous cities are closing and are outside the realm of human intervention. If Americans don’t recognize that smaller cities can hold value outside of their past economic boom, many cities are going to be allowed to shrink into nonexistence.

  3. James Sevasin
    “Gold Doesn’t Rust” by Steven High was very interesting about how major mid western industrialized cities were once economically prosperous cities that turned into much less populated desolated places after the steel, and auto industries shut down. This article compared the dust bowl as a warning for the Great Depression as the Rust Belt as a warning for a depression that started in the late 1970’s and has not recovered in many places. It discusses how the jobs shifted from the Rust Belt cities in the midwest to the Sun Belt in the south western part of the United States. It discusses all the suffering the people in these once proud cities have occurred.
    This article also shows how Canada responded to this issue in midwestern Canada. Most cities in midwest of the United States are still considered to be the Rust Belt due to all the rust on the factories have have closed. Canada placed the blame on the United States for this issue. Canadian citizens saw their cities as places of temporary economic suffering whereas Americans saw cities such as Detroit as lost causes. These Canadian cities have mostly been able to recover whereas these American cities are getting worse.
    “Shrinking Cities” focuses more on the shrinkage of major American cities and the growth of some American cities in the Sun Belt. It also describes that cities in the Sun Belt have been allowed to add additional where in other places it is illegal to do that.
    This article has a much more hopeful and positive spin on fixing these former economic powerhouse cities. It also sees the significant shrinkage in population in large cities as not necessarily a bad phenomenon but rather as a way to improve the quality of life for the residents remaining in the city. It proposes to turn the empty lots, abandoned homes until green space to use for high quality parks, urban gardens so they do not have to import food from other places, inexpensive but beautiful local community art. It discusses how Turin Italy used this approach after the auto industry collapsed there but they were able to recover into the great city it is again. Youngstown Ohio is in the middle of using the same approach to make their city a great place to live again after the steel industry collapsed there.

  4. “Gold Doesn’t Rust” by Steven High focuses on the Rust Belt of the United States. The Rust Belt is the northern section U.S. that was once booming with industrial factories, and has recently suffered in population decline and economic decline due to high rates of unemployment. The article points out the contrast these regions have compared to Canada’s Golden Horseshoe, which includes parts of Canada where industry is alive and successful. High suggests that the name “Rust Belt” quickened the decline of this cities, as most American’s viewed the cities as unsalvageable and simply moved out.

    The second reading, titled “Shrinking Cities” by Gallagher, focuses more on the experiences of those still inhabiting the city. I found this article more appealing to read, as the first one focused mainly on our country’s economy as a whole. It also mentions the affects of natural disasters and they destroy cities, sometimes cities already struggling to survive. He compares the U.S. to European countries, which over thousands of years have come to understand change and the decline of industrial cities. Perhaps this is something America, as a relatively new country compared to the rest of the world, needs to adjust to? Thinking about the rise and fall of Empires in Europe, maybe this is an unfortunate but unavoidable phenomenon?

  5. “Gold Doesn’t Rust” is a dissective and nuanced analysis of the stark contrast between the United States’ and Canada’s interpretation of postindustrial economic decline in the media during the 70’s and 80’s, and how those interpretations affected the economies of the regions. Because the US’s heartland was originally agricultural, the condition of the land and the condition of the industry were seen as one – in the visual semiotic subconscious, demolished factories were akin to droughted fields. The American tradition of apt artistic expression of declining standards of living only helped magnify the idea that the region as a whole – not just its economy – was poisoned. The term “Rust Belt” became a feedback loop, a self-fulfilling prophecy. In contrast, Canada’s economic strength was always industrial, and so the land and the industry of its inhabitants were always mentally segregated. The “golden” aspect of the Golden Horseshoe term only temporarily implied the industrial boom of the region – otherwise it referred to its landscape, or its people’s values. They also blamed the States, not their own people, for industrial decay – treating it as a parasite separate from the host. Other factors – such as the political power of Canada’s heartland even in its economic downturn – weakened any pressure to terminologically and directly analogize the Golden Horseshoe to the Dust Bowl.

    “Shrinking Cities” discusses the States’ inability to grasp the concept of boom and bust as a breathing cycle. The logical conclusion of the American Dream: economic glory is a peak point that, once lost, can never be regained – much like an aged and overworked factory worker being physically unfit to ever return to their job – the source of their financial and emotional prosperity – leaving them doomed to wilt in broken obscurity. However, European nations are fully aware of the concept, and they prepare shrinking regions for ruralization. Growing and shrinking are not directly comparable to life and death – if a region is prepared, its shrinking phases can be better suited for those seeking a rural lifestyle. However, if a shrinking region is unprepared, and tries to stunt its shrinking phases with shoehorned industrial growth (as the American mindset is want to do), it will throttle itself into economic oblivion. Instead, a shrinking region (eg most post-industrial cities) should seriously consider the advantages and options of a small-scale, rural lifestyle when making economic decisions, rather than simply apply the same strategies that only worked in growth cycles of the past. And, even Detroit, legally barred from expanding as shrinking cities normally do, has its own advantages – shorter commutes (providing the option to walk or bike to work rather than necessitate a car) and more intellectual flexibility within a smaller scale (making citywide innovations more manageable and quicker to develop – innovations which would arguably benefit the city even in times of growth, as they are scaled up in correspondence to the city’s own geographic growth). The fluctuation of a city’s population and industry gives different opportunities at different phases, and knowing how to utilize the region’s current benefits at its point in the cycle is the key to long-term success.

  6. After reading “Shrinking Cities,” maybe the United States might want to look more into what Turin, Italy did with their city. They took into consideration the times and re-invented the city to appeal to more of the younger generations. Now, I understand for some cities (i.e Boston) that may be impossible, but for a city like Detroit, use the old, abandoned buildings for something newer. After re-vamping Turin, they not only GAINED back the amount percentage of people they lost when the city went under, but they gained an extra five percent in less amount of time it took to lose all of those people.

    “Gold Doesn’t Rust” was an interesting article to read as well. It seems to deal with the history of declining cities, not only in America, but in Canada as well. Dubbed the “Rust Belt,” it talked about what cities were part of it, and how it ended up what it was. It was surprising to see Canada in the article as well. I feel most of younger generations forget that other places go through this kind of thing as well, where a major city had a booming export, then the export no longer became needed, or moved somewhere else. So everyone moved and the city fell apart.

  7. In the article by John Gallagher on Shrinking Cities his tone conveyed what seemed to be almost a sense of responsibility to the people of his home town of Detroit. He sees the level of despair that has overcome the city and this sense of responsibility is what compelled him to look further into the city’s options and write about it. He went to great lengths in his research, even traveling to Youngstown to meet with Mayor Jay Williams and understand how he has been able to turn his shrinking city around. He uses Williams as a source of inspiration for change, quoting him on his paradoxical ideas of using a city’s time of shrinkage as a time of opportunity.

    In “Gold Doesn’t Rust” I found interest in the depiction of these cities during their times of prosperity in the 1950s. Because I have only ever known the major cities during their post-industrial decline, it presents an entirely different perspective on them for me. We see these major cities of the Rust Belt today – Detroit’s recent declaration of bankruptcy particularly comes to mind – and our first thoughts are generally about rampant crime, poverty and suffering so it is hard to imagine a time when this wasn’t necessarily the case.

  8. The article “Shrinking Cities” made me immediately think of New Bedford and Fall River. I grew up a resident of nearby Somerset and most of my family is from Fall River. Spending my time commuting through the city of Fall River has always made me a bit disappointed. How can a city that used to be the textile capitol of the world, fall so far? No matter how long or short your drive is through either the city of New Bedford or Fall River, you will most likely come across an abandoned mill. This appears to be the same picture being painted in the article “Gold Doesn’t Rust.” As you read through the article the author talks about old abandoned and padlocked factories that were once the heart and soul of the city. Much like the cities that surround all of us here at UMass Dartmouth. We are in a unique spot that is sandwiched between two of the most powerful cities in the respective time that have now fallen into some form of despair. The crime rates are high and the number of vacant lots and mills are unspeakable. But as “About the Gateway Cities” describes, there is still hope for these cities to grow back to close to where they once were.

  9. The article “Gold Doesn’t Rust” highlighted how the quick regression of large industrial factories caused large cities – like Detroit – to rapidly reduce in size. That article was fairly interesting from a wide economic standpoint, touching on how the Rust Belt was partially stigmatized by comparing the sudden surge in civilian movement to the Dust Bowl. The severed ties between industrialization and agriculture is what gave the ‘once industrialized’ cities a negative connotation. Specifically, the auto industry was the heart to the Midwest industrialization, which crumbled once companies – such as Chrysler – became bankrupt. The ‘bigger picture’ would define these ‘Rust Belt’ cities as mere cogs to a larger machine; That the rows of houses that line the streets of cities are merely small parts that are controlled and maintained by the larger auto corporations. At the point where the machine began to fall apart, the heart of the mechanism began to slow down, and the cogs were no longer useful to keep the machine functioning. The machine – the city – became a wasteland, and interestingly enough the environmental factor the factories were imposing on the health of the Earth and civilization only blackened the sludge that covered the once well oiled machine. Although potentially minuscule, the “emotional baggage” that came with the threatening of the environment from industrialization was probably the nail in the coffin and turned heads away from the issue at hand.

    Within the article “Shrinking Cities” a compelling argument as to why bigger is not always better, and how Detroit – one of the Rust Belt cities – is doing a turn around by addressing the environmental issue by ‘downsizing’ and threading environmental issues and society together. As the article mentions, the “Best and Worst Places to Live” articles show a trend that smaller, more environmentally friendly towns and cities are the better places to live. However, the smaller sizes sacrifice major economic opportunities, which is feared by people who watch cities, such as Detroit, become smaller. It is interesting to see how economy and environment are deeply interlinked that one cannot function without affecting the other. At this point, is seems as one increases, the other decreases, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that neither can increase at the same time. It will be interesting to see how Detroit develops over the years, and whether the United States will see it for what is is; the “breathing” of cities.

  10. “Gold Doesn’t Rust” by Steven High talked about the Rust Belt. The Rust Belt took place in the Great Lake region of the United States. This area was once known for being successful with it’s industrial factories but then a lot of the auto, rubber, and steel plants were starting to get shut down. A lot of people were losing their jobs, which lead to a high rate in unemployment. He also talked about the Golden Horseshoe in Canada. The Golden Horseshoe was known as a wealthy industrialized area. Canada only saw economic suffering as temporary while the United States saw some cities as lost causes.

    “Shrinking Cities” by John Gallagher talks about how other countries know how to react to shrinkage in cities because of their larger history. European cities showed “breathing” and knew that some trends last longer and take time. The United States wasn’t able to see things this way. He says that the Rust Belt isn’t the only reason for city shrinkage, that other issues like natural disaster play a part. He lists the 20 largest cities in 1960 and shows how only five have grown dramatically since the 60’s. He says the main reason for this is because they have more land. He also talks about how smaller can be better because it’s more affordable for people, it’s community-minded, and a healthier place to raise families. Bigger cities can cause more stress, are more expensive, and lack neighborliness.

  11. “Gold Doesn’t Rust” is an article by Steven High that discussed the formation of the United State’s Rust Belt. The Rust Belt is located in the Midwestern region in the U. S. and it got it’s name from the fall of industrialization in this area. In 1969 the Great Lakes Basin was doing very well economically. They were exporting many products and this area was viewed as the golden child of America. It more or less represented what the American dream was. During the 1970’s and 80’s industrialization in these areas began to decline and most ended up ultimately falling completely. This was due to a lack of materials and the industry’s move to the South Eastern portion of the U. S. The area was referred to as the Rust Belt because after industrialization was moved elsewhere the previously successful cities were beginning to decline. The populations in these areas began to steadily decrease due to lack of job opportunities and the economies were crashing. Many previously running factories were closed down and were never turned into anything else leaving them abandoned. When something, especially machinery, is no longer used it tends to rust and is no longer very useful, hence the name the Rust Belt.
    After our first class discussion about abandoned buildings and turning them into new services I found this article very interesting. I have previously never gave too much thought in what to do with run down buildings. Of course I thought they should be reused but never put thought into just how many areas are littered with abandoned buildings and what this does to those cities economies. I think that this issue deserves more thought not only from myself but from others as well. I look forward to learning more about repurposing these old buildings and the effect this has on the economies.

  12. “Gold doesnt rust” is about the Rust Belt, where the steel and auto industry was found and eventually became dilapidated. It This included places such as Flint and Detroit Michigan. Shrinking Cities does a good job of examining the causes of spreading out. Before reading this article, it seemed to me that globalization of the industries that had built up the cities was the reason for the dilapidation of cities. After reading, I can see now that “white flight” and boundary limitations are fixed and those contribute to decreases in quality. As other cities were able to annex their suburbs (adding them to their square mileage), they were able to grow and include the wealth of those places without losing citizens per capita in the cities. Therefore instead of being deserted for the amenities of suburbs, the citizens were still paying into the city and wouldn’t necessarily leave if the nice suburbs were added to the city. The article gave a few great examples of how other cities turned themselves around. Turin, Italy cashed in on its history and car industry (Fiat). Youngstown, Ohio converted the abandoned area into greenways and accepted the small population as a great canvas to work with instead of an insolvable problem.

  13. Steven High’s article, “Gold Doesn’t Rust” compares the areas of North America known as the Rust Belt in the United States with the region in Canada known as the Golden Horseshoe. The Rust belt was previously known as the Industrial Heartland of America but due to a variety of economic factors, such as the transfer of manufacturing to the Southeast, increased automation, the decline of the US steel and coal industries, globalization, and internationalization, it is now known as an area with increasing rates of urban decay, poverty, population loss and economic decline. High compares this to the Golden Horseshoe of Canada which is a southern part of Ontario that is highly populated, industrialized and highly prosperous. High talks about how and why each of these regions have gone in the directions that they have. He brings up the theory that the smallest things can tear one city apart leaving it in dismay while at the same time it can be throwing another city into prosperity and wealth.

    John Gallagher’s article, “Shrinking Cities” talks about how cities go through phases of shrinking and growing periods. Cities such as Detroit and Buffalo are considered shrinking cities because they were once highly valued in economic crises such as World War II but after the war ended and they weren’t needed to mass produce products anymore, they fell into a downward spiral that they haven’t been able to recover from. Many of these shrinking cities are located in the Rust Belt of America because those were the cities that were the start of the Industrial Revolution that are now slowing becoming less useful and not needed anymore. This isn’t just happening in North America though, Gallagher talks about how there are shrinking cities in Germany, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Hungary and Latvia. He also mentions that being a shrinking city isn’t always necessarily a bad thing, that the impression that smaller is better. Being a part of a smaller community gives the look of more affordable living, I tighter-knit community, earth-friendly atmosphere and healthy environment to raise families. It is a very pros versus cons article and really opened my eyes to a whole new way to look at shrinking and growing cities.

    The site about Gateway cities was also quite interesting in the aspect that they explain that these cities are neither growing nor shrinking. They are midsize cities that are economic and industrial centers that for generations have been the home for communities and industry that offered residents good jobs and a “gateway” to the American Dream. They have a demand for small neighborhoods and entrepreneurial opportunities that will help the residents to grow and learn and then be able to innovate their community in return.

  14. Prior to reading these two pieces of writing I had very little knowledge of what the Rust Belt was. Steven High has an interesting point of view on the Rust Belt in “Gold Doesn’t Rust”, especially its effect on the once economically prosperous cities where it is located. I found that his analysis on how the media portrayed and eventually labeled the Rust Belt fascinating. High also compares how these major American Midwestern cities dealt with the decline of industrialized cities to Canada’s similar situation. This portrayal depicts how America dealt with its shrinking population in a negative light. The other reading by John Gallagher, “Shrinking Cities”, had a much positive view on the conditions of smaller cities. He notes that these shrinking cities have a lot to offer and that the vacant areas that are left behind can be of good use to the remaining population. I am glad that I now have these two point of views to think about as we explore more of the history of New Bedford.

  15. “Gold Doesn’t Rust” by Steven High was quite interesting. Throughout the article they reference back to the images of the dust bowl in the 1930’s. They say history repeats itself and only about 50 years later it did in a different form. The once booming industrial period of the United States was coming to an end. To think of cities such as Flint, Detroit, New Bedford, and many more were once a landmark of a thriving economy only to be left by those who can leave, leaving those who can’t with eye sores and memories of what the city once had to offer. There is a poem in the reading by a Canadian poet named Tom Wayne who I think summed it up perfectly in a part of his poem where he states ” elsewhere, standing empty with as much damage done to their outsides as can be humanly accomplished and then ignored”. Things like this is what gets me excited for the class, we didn’t start the downfall or leave abandoned places but have the opportunity to be the ones to fix them.

    “Shrinking Cities” by John Gallagher really makes it clear how much these once flourishing cities really lost there economic foot print and even population. I really like the chart to show the population in most major cities from 1960 to 2008 which shows the population change. I believe the stat from my marketing class last spring was around 1900 the 10 most populated cities were in northern states, today 7 of the 10 most populated cities are all in states that border Mexico and this chart shows that. He talks about a former east German city of Dresden which was interesting as I have been to Leipzig which was flourishing industrial wise as a part of East Germany and now abandoned. One fourth of the city was destroyed in World War II was rebuilt in communist East Germany by people who abandoned it which makes it a really interesting city. Never thought about this problem outside the US and it is so obvious that it is happening everywhere.

  16. In, Gold Doesn’t Rust, the author reminds us that the great industrial buildings and factories of the Midwest are decaying monuments that do no easily go away like the dust bowl. As Donald Worster wrote that the Dust Bowl was ‘a place – a region whose borders are as inexact and shifting as a sand dune.’ As the decline in employment and plan shut downs occurred in the 70s and 80s peoples thoughts about the Midwest shifted. They imagined the Midwest shifting westward to the states of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, or Iowa instead of Michigan, Illinois, or Wisconsin. The Midwest was once a great place filled with prideful people however when plants started to shut down Americans moved their negative feelings elsewhere in denial in an attempted to cover up the disaster of the Midwest.

    John Gallagher’s article, “Shrinking Cities” provides a unique perspective on city growth and population size. In America many think that big means better however with the correct perspective change one can see that smaller cities can be more beneficial than larger ones. While smaller cities may have less economic and social opportunities they provide a lower stress living situation. Lower commute times, less expensive housing, lower crime rates and a safer community for families are all positive aspects of a smaller city.

  17. From what I read if“Gold Doesn’t Rust”, The Rust Belt is within the northeastern part U.S. where factories that were once successful and productive were closed. This is due to a lot of immigrants who worked there leaving, raising unemployment and causing the once successful factories to love value. When I think of my time in Massachusetts I am reminded of passing by quite a few of what could have been some of the many factories that were abandoned.

    “Shrinking Cities” seem to be a explaining that a lot of people left their cities which were usually on the Rust Belt but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Them leaving allows room for growth and facing other issues to help the city develop. It could also be said that smaller cities can function better. because it makes living more affordable as well as allows others to get a sense of a closer community.

  18. “Shrinking Cities” and “Gold doesn’t Rust” both address the deterioration of post-industrial cities in North America. Steven High compares how America and Canada responded to the decline of industrialization in the 70s and 80s.

    One aspect of High’s article that stood out to me was the impact that the media had on American’s opinion about the Rust Belt. Writers, journalists, media commentators and scholars all weighed in with their personal opinions on the declining auto industry, largely dismissing the cities it inhabited as lost causes. The auto industry essentially became a symbol of a broken American heartland. Americans used the term “closing” to describe their industrial decline, which indicates production slowing was an inevitable part of industrialization. Canadian media used terms such as “shutdown”, a more active term which suggested the ability to re-open. Canadians had a sense of Nationalism that was not present in American’s pessimistic media portrayal, and it allowed them to avoid the Rust Belt stigma.

    Canada’s response to the Rust belt is a fascinating example of how to handle a negative situation. This example can be applied to smaller- scale issues in everyday situations. For example, instead of placing blame on neighborhoods that have high crime rates, we can instead look to examine the cause of these high crime rates. Is the problem more the neighborhood’s fault, or the cities for few opportunities for young adults to be involved?

  19. Gabrielle Monteiro

    In “Gold Doesn’t Rust”, High explores the construction and reasoning behind the “Rust Belt” theory. This term is a condition of economic collapse and (in result) low moral. Originating in the midwest, the dust bowl was still fresh in people’s memories. The rust belt was a direct effect of the abrupt downfall of the region’s main source of economic prosperity: General Motors (and other strong industries). In any given situation of a “rust belt” location, it is a place that was once highly industrialized.
    The deindustrialization of America in the 1960s-80s caused many negative opinions and was an emotional burden for the average person. A recurring topic within the reading is the wording of this “in between/transitional” economic stage. Rust indicates old, decay, and collapsing. In contrast, the Golden Horseshoe in Canada leaves a much more optimistic image. Between phrasing and mass media feeding fear to blue collar workers, the effects of an economic fluctuation hit much harder. In addition to that, being a young capitalist country, production is highly valued by Americans. When displaced workers no longer produce, they no longer have value. In result, there is less pride and confidence community/regional wide.

    “Shrinking Cities” was an interesting excerpt. It explores the anxiety associated with decreasing population in a given city. After the industrial revolution, people flocked to cities for work to survive. Cities held opportunities. With many of the these populated cities once highly valued economically, Gallagher talks about the positive aspects of the shrinking communities. It is also said that the shrinking and expanding of cities are a “natural phenomena” as it is compared to the “breathing” of a city. With the United States being so young, we are not familiar with these fluctuations (unlike Europeans who have a much deeper history).
    It is pointed out how smaller communities had less crime, shorter commutes, is generally more cost effective with more “community-minded” residents. These factors make it appealing. In addition, vacant space from the “failed” past makes room for innovative community-wide reinvestments. Re-uses such as recreational areas, community gardens, greening movements and so much more that is led and implemented by the people, for the people are now happening. And that is how a happier, healthy community begins.

  20. In the “Gold Doesn’t Rust” was a time when highly industrialized places in which became types of ghost towns. Having a name like “rust belt” tears down the class of a location because it is bringing down any spirit left because referred to something unpleasant. Being under the catagory with the word rust in it shows a decaying process in the town which makes people less interested in going and working in businesses there.

    In “Shrinking Cities” had a larger view through more countries rather than just based on one place. Here we learn about shrinking communities in which maybe seen as a bad thing it is not. It is normal for communities to become smaller. By having a shrinking community that specific place can have great potential by coming up with creative way to make something new out of the unused spaces. Also due to the fact that many European Countries have a lot of work loss many European people come over to the cities near the coast and start looking for jobs. They worked for less money and filled up many of the empty places which creates new communities.

  21. Cowie and Heathcott’s article, “Beyond the Ruins” brought up the very interesting concept of “smokestack nostalgia.” This phrase provides a name for the romanticization of the industrial period of American history in which factory work was prevalent and many people in the American Heartland could expect to work in one factory for the entirety of their lives. This period not only evokes images of job security and a rising economic trend, but also of strong moral values and community. Often, this is the time referred to when politicians like Donald Trump talk about “making America great again.” However, the villain responsible for bringing America down from its once great heights according to these politicians is often China (due to outsourcing) or immigrants (for taking jobs in America). In this way, the moral code inherent to smokestack nostalgia is used mostly for its classicism and racism. Both smokestack nostalgia and the concept of making America great again imply that the solution would be to bring factories back to America and return to the ways of life during periods of industrialization. This completely ignores technological innovations that have created many new types of jobs as well as the environmental hazards of factories. Additionally, factory-life was not even pleasant for the workers. The testimonies in Hart’s “Worker Memory and Narrative” widely indicate that although factory jobs were secure, they did not provide personal safety or stimulation. Most workers indicate that although they would remain in the factories if the jobs existed, they were happier after being let go. They found jobs that offered variety, safety, and use of their skills, if not an increase in pay. If the people actually working in the factories are happier out of them, then perhaps the smokestack nostalgia is a tool of the people who benefited from the class system inherent to it. To understand deindustrialization, one must recognize that industrialization was not as beneficial as smokestack nostalgia leads the average person to believe. Additionally, believing in this nostalgia can give power to the classist capitalist power system that romanticizes it.

  22. In “Worker Memory and Narrative” They discuss the narratives of workers who had lost their jobs at Johnson Controls which mostly made batteries and International Harvester which made farm equipment after both places closed in Louisville Kentucky. This article does a great job at describing how these people worked very hard at these places under environmentally unfriendly places but were paid well with benefits with a union and had good retirement plans. It discusses how many people lost their retirement because the placed closed right after they were eligible to retire. It describes how management did not like the union and used loopholes to justify closing the plants. It also showed signs of the plants closing even though management refused to tell people they were planning on closing . This article does an excellent job in explaining how NAFTA caused many American jobs to be lost because these could easily close down American plants and create new ones in Mexico under this trade agreement because the labor in Mexico costs way less than American labor.

    In “Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design”, they discuss how making these five changes can help improve building infrastructure and the architecture necessary to improve its environmental performance. They discuss how the buildings performance will improve while maintaining sustainability. They describe how it is the smart thing to do to improve the building, make it more profitable and make it more efficient.

  23. Public Interest Design Praxis: Theories

    This reading that I’ve read by far is one the most interesting readings I’ve ever read. In the reading, where De Certau came from in the section of the story, he came from a different perspective of “the ordinary practitioners of he city.” He talks about space, how a concept city is organized, based on time, and universal. He goes on and explains how the city was made by governments, architects, and also by ordinary people. Going back to what he describes by space, he gives different descriptions of “space,” Social space which is a social product. He explains how “perceived space,” is produced by movements by everyday people running errands just everyday “normal” stuff. He also explains about “conceived people,” how it’s connected to the “concept city.” He also brings up a good point where he talks about a “representational space” where people practice religion, ethnicity, and nationality.

  24. Lefebvre also gives a better understanding on space. He gives an example on how vendors were using a street corner for many years because of it’s good location, but then he explains how the location can be modify instead of banning vendors. The decision-making on how space can be used by a whole society. Action is described how different individuals interact with each other. Practices is described as activism, participation, and material agency. All these practices allows an aspect of observation, tests, and actions, What I liked about all these theories, The Social Production of space, The Everyday, and The Relational some type of structure of how our society changed and what the world has become. It talks about the depths of our society based on poverty, homelessness, and urban cities. I liked how the author broken down each detail on space, the different type of spaces that individuals surround themselves in.

  25. I found the paper by Hagan very interesting. I agree with her that there needs to be more emphasis put on sustainable environmental design. We need to be able to preserve our planet’s resources as much as possible because though they are vast, they are not limitless. Architecture and designing structures plays a big role in affecting one’s mindset. I feel that a city made up of sustainable and environmentally conscious buildings will in turn, end up affecting its inhabitants’ mindset and make them more environmentally aware. Something along the lines of “you are what you eat”, but more like, “You are where you live.”

    In the article about worker’s narratives by Hart, I found it interesting that some of the workers, such as Kenneth Rhodes, were happy they lost their jobs. Most would think that losing a job would be a devastating situation, but a recurring thought had been rising throughout the article – that money is not everything. I agree with these workers that money should not be the center of everything. There are a lot more important things in life to worry about than how much is in your bank account. Things that you cannot put a value to such as being with the ones you love, nurturing the relationships that you have and you personal happiness is the most important aspect. if you live your life always chasing after the next dollar, you will miss living in the present. It was great seeing these production workers agreeing with my thoughts as well. I find that your overall happiness with your job directly correlates with your happiness with life overall.

  26. After reading the article on “Public Interest Design as Praxis,” there was a paragraph in the column titled “The Everyday” that I was incredibly interested with. It talks about how in Everyday Urbanism spaces are constantly changing and adapting to different scenarios in terms of what’s placed there. As an artist I kept re-reading that paragraph, imagining all the different things that could’ve gone there from buildings, to outside galleries, to temporary art structures. It is true that the world is constantly changing, whether from humans or Mother Nature, we as different societies use these open areas and add new things to them to make them more publicly attractive.

    Reading “Five Reasons To Adopt Environmental Design” was amazing. While reading I kept remembering reading about oil and how it will not always be cheap and readily available forever. That’s such an important part of our world right now, but it’s definitely not the best or the most environmentally friendly by far. The world seems to stick to the phrase “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” Some don’t see the problem with using strictly oil, while in reality, it’s probably one of the most limited sources we have currently. There’s only so much oil left in the Earth. What happens when it’s all gone? So while many may think it isn’t broken NOW, in reality, it’s been broken since the day oil was discovered, and is steadily heading downhill more and more. Adapting to more economically friendly sources of fuel and energy is important for the simple fact of, with many -if not all- of the newer friendly sources, the main source FOR that, is abundant, i.e. wind power- air and wind will always be here. Solar energy- the Sun is shining bright all the time, even behind clouds.

  27. Week 2:

    “Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design” was a fascinating read, but after a handful of remarks Susannah Hagan makes about incorporating the environment into the building’s design, it became a bit repetitive. Now, I took into account that this study in architecture is fairly “new”. As the end of the chapter hints towards, the lack of professionally taught environmental design classes fail to invoke radical experimentation and change in this field of study. What I believe Hagan failed to point out was what factors of environmental design need to being to be considered “common sense”. There are many ways to go about installing solar panels or proper ventilation. I agree, deciding on the most appropriate approach to such problems can be a financial burden; what architects see as a challenge to be rewarded from, mentally poses the issue that environmentalism is an “opt out” factor in designs. Environmental design should progress in a way where architects should immediately imagine the environment as part at the design. This does not mean that style – for instance – needs to be sacrificed, it simply means that the environment needs to become a part of the breathing process of construction.
    What I found interesting the most was that there was not mention of how research into building materials should mimic the environment itself. For instance, in the Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts, there is a very small glass case that hints at revolutionary architecture design that incorporates the cells from plants into the structures of the materials being used to design skyscrapers. The purpose of this research is to reinforce buildings with the natural ability to bend and sway in high winds just like trees do in their natural environment. I believe research into environmental design and incorporation in building materials is the way to bring architecture around and become more “environmentally friendly”.

    I thought the “Public Interest Design as Praxis” was a nice transition from my remark about “environment becoming a breathing process” to gathering information from the public – the environment, would have you – to make a ‘city’ function best by molding around what the public wants. It also provoked a new perspective for me – one that should have seemed obvious – that buildings are not just designed for social spaces but mold around those preexisting spaces and indirectly glorify them. Not just the buildings, but “Public interest design practices focus on creating relationships between people that value and share the knowledge of all parties”. I thought that statement was the most eye opening in seeing how I take in the architecture around me. UMass Dartmouth is a fantastic example of how the space creates relationships between people of every major, by utilizing the space its in; creating broad space for movement and isolated spaces for learning, spaces which most students will touch and adhering to public interest.

  28. The “Introduction” to Beyond the ruins the meanings of deindustrialization I think right from the start has a strong meaning using ruins. Ruins have typically been used for what remains of ancient cities, and to compare abandoned buildings from not even 100 years ago that has meaning. In sustainability 101 we looked at the Love Canal case of toxic waste and I’m glad the authors did too. The first things we read were about people leaving places of work for being closed and did not touch on environmental problems. This also was a problem ran into in Anaconda, Montana. Since our class involves a sustainability it is important to use what went wrong environmentally. For me this is important because I look for what I can get out of each reading to help for our project. This reading taught me to be aware of yearly weather in New England to build something sustainable that will last over time.

    Public Interest Design as Praxis was a great read and in someways in powering to want to learn more about architecture. They talk about how architecture can be used in activism, and can really make a statement makes me think about the history of New Bedford and their history. Frederick Douglass is a lead activists of his time. I know seems like a random thought but to give back the to the community with the lot he should be portrayed in some way. It was also good to see what some students have done while working with the community, such as the “Pop Up, Coffee Shop” or “Draw on time check installation”. To get the best understanding for the lot we have to talk to local business and residents for input. Giving back is what matters and to get the community involved, this article should be read by the whole class before we do any group project activities.

  29. Hagan’s article on Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design was very interesting. I agree that although people think that environmental reform is expensive, she explains that low-energy building may cost more to initially build, but the running costs are dramatically lower. I think if people were more aware of this, they would become more open to designing this way. Overall, environmental design is perceived as having disastrous effects on the economy but I think she provided solid evidence that this is not true.

    Anderson’s article on Public Interest Design as Praxis was also very interesting. She explained how issues such as unaffordable housing, unsafe neighborhoods, etc. all relate to the built environment. She describes social space as a social product. It is explained “reciprocal partnership” is the most productive structure for the designer-community relationship because it uses both local knowledge and professional knowledge. This strategy gets the community engaged and helps the community members develop a sense of ownership.

  30. “Public Interest Design as Praxis” describes architectural practices that eliminate the artist / client relationship in favor of partnership between the two. This symbiotic relationship allows architects and community members to develop spaces that expand the public sphere.

    One aspect of Nadia Anderson’s journal article that stood out to me was the idea of creating sites that are not intended to be permanent. When a space has a temporary purpose it has the ability to become something else. Members of a community become aware that they can have control over the future purpose of a location, and their level of engagement increases. This allows them to make transformations at smaller scales. Members of a community can work with the planners to achieve their goals, rather than feel as if the two are working in opposition. Locations that can be temporarily transformed create conversation about a space’s potential, thus leading to change brought on by the community.

    The partnership described in this article can be beneficial in other aspects of design, not just architectural. Often when an artist is commissioned to do a work for a public location, they research as much as they can to understand what the most impactful subject matter is for the space. While they take great consideration into respecting the culture and history of the people living in the space, they are in full control over the final work. If artists were to truly immerse themselves in the environment for longer than a short-term research period, they would have a better understanding of what is important to the people who surround the space. By working side-by-side with members of the community, rather than working for the community, the work would end up having a much stronger voice.

  31. Week 2:

    Public Interest Design as Praxis was a very interesting read because it took social matters such as unsafe neighborhoods and unaffordable housing and showed how it is related to the built environment that we live in. The author then goes on to say how “Public interest design practices focus on creating relationships between people that value and share the knowledge of all parties”. I thought this was one of the better statements made throughout the reading because your environment can dictate who you come into contact on a daily basis. For instance here at Umass Dartmouth I am able to interact with people who have majors that are different from my own just based off of where I live on campus.

    In “Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design”, they discuss how making these five changes can help improve building infrastructure and the architecture necessary to improve its environmental performance. They discuss how the buildings performance will improve while maintaining sustainability. They also describe how it is the smart thing to do to improve the building, make it more profitable and make it more efficient.

  32. Anderson’s “Public Interest Design as Praxis” describes a contemporary, democratic approach to architecture. The dated notion of a stable, unchanging, specifically plotted “concept city” which fits one prescribed plan has proven itself unfit for the fluidity of modern living. The reality is, companies and industries die, and gearing an entire city around one specific industry or set of industries is doomed to fail in the long run (cue the classic image of an abandoned mining town). Permanent structures should be built to facilitate the everchanging needs of its everchanging users, rather than set one type of usage (literally) in stone. For example – with the advent of highspeed internet, and the newfound feasibility of working at home, it hardly makes sense to still bar a residential zone from harboring qualities of a commercial one. A truly successful public interest design project requires close communication with professional creators and members of the community in question – the former presents expertise in identifying the needs of others and creating real solutions, while the latter presents intimate knowledge on the history, usage, and needs of their neighborhood. No one person or group of city planners can accurately predict the needs of their residents beyond the first generation or two – the world we live in is far too mercurial for such rigidity. Instead, new ways of thinking, involving values of transience and accessibility, are required, especially in post-industrial cities which desperately need repurposing of their outdated factories and/or vacant lots.

    Hart and K’Meyer’s “Worker Memory and Narrative” shatters the rosetinted industrial nostalgia that upper-class capitalists attempt to hearken back to. Yes, there was job stability, and yes, they paid well. But the jobs were unchallenging. The average production worker was tricked into a workhorse mentality, transfixed on the false notion that monetary wealth was congruent to happiness, and that their employer was in some way in it for their well-being – in reality, most (although likely not all) company owners were purely in it for their own profit, and were content in bleeding their workers and communities dry if it put more money in their pockets.

  33. The industrial revolution was a significant point in American and Earth’s history. It marked a place in time where people no longer had to spend significant amounts of effort creating just one item. Instead, thousands of manufactured items could be made a day. Humanity’s productivity was exploding. However like most things in history it was not an easy going process. As said in the Meanings of Deindustrialization, “Like any historical transformation-for instance, the industrial revolution itself- the process we call deindustrialization was uneven in its causes, timing, and consequences, and the effects rippled through all aspects of society”. The meanings of deindustrialization by Cowie and Heathcott seeks describe how deindustrialization affected America and what can be done now to avert the problems our Country endured because of it. Cowie and Heathcott remind us that despite the institutions, networks, and habits of the heart that give us a sense of permanence in our communities, the rules that structure capitalism favor growth, volatility, and change. The authors also ask for a call to action by saying that first, “we will have to overcome ‘smokestack nostalgia’ in our scholarshop, complicate the industrial legacy, and assist those communities (post industrial towns) most affected by these transformations. And secondly, “strive to transform the “new American workplace” that has grown out of the industrial ashes- a place that is sponsoring spectacularly uneven levels of wealth and tremendous overwork – into a more humane and responsible place”.

    As technology improves it is imperative that our building techniques improve as well. As stated in the Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design by Susannah Hagan, “The need to understand the patterns of interaction between the forces of nature and buildings has produced a demand for computing power large enough to perform the analysis. It is only through our ability to import the real complexities of the natural world into cyber space that we can test the environmental performances of not-yet-constructed buildings”. Humanity is not showing signs of slowing down and as the population increases more buildings will be constructed. By having better technology humanities safety will be improved by testing buildings in cyber simulations.

  34. The industrial revolution was a significant point in American and Earth’s history. It marked a place in time where people no longer had to spend significant amounts of effort creating just one item. Instead, thousands of manufactured items could be made a day. Humanity’s productivity was exploding. However like most things in history it was not an easy going process. As said in the Meanings of Deindustrialization, “Like any historical transformation-for instance, the industrial revolution itself- the process we call deindustrialization was uneven in its causes, timing, and consequences, and the effects rippled through all aspects of society”. The meanings of deindustrialization by Cowie and Heathcott seeks describe how deindustrialization affected America and what can be done now to avert the problems our Country endured because of it. Cowie and Heathcott remind us that despite the institutions, networks, and habits of the heart that give us a sense of permanence in our communities, the rules that structure capitalism favor growth, volatility, and change. The authors also ask for a call to action by saying that first, “we will have to overcome ‘smokestack nostalgia’ in our scholarshop, complicate the industrial legacy, and assist those communities (post industrial towns) most affected by these transformations. And secondly, “strive to transform the “new American workplace” that has grown out of the industrial ashes- a place that is sponsoring spectacularly uneven levels of wealth and tremendous overwork – into a more humane and responsible place”.

    As technology improves it is imperative that our building techniques improve as well. As stated in the Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design by Susannah Hagan, “The need to understnad the patterns of interaction between the forces of nature and buildings has produced a demand for computing power large enough to perform the analysis. It is only through our ability to import the real complexities of the natural world into cyber space that we can test the environmental performances of not-yet-constructed buildings”. Humanity is not showing signs of slowing down and as the population increases more buildings will be constructed. By having better technology humanities safety will be improved by testing buildings in cyber simulations.

  35. I agree with what Hagan talks about in “Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design” for the most part. There are a lot of people out there who would not want to change building infrastructure for the reason that they think it is too expensive, when in fact it can be for more cost effective to do so. It will provide more efficiency, less cost in the long term, and a possibly even more beautiful design. Overall using environmental designs are a better way to go.

    “Public Interest Design as Praxis” brings up the topic of unaffordable and unsafe living as well as the idea that these types of areas come with their own development process and are always trying to step up and adapt to what’s needed. When reading this article I am reminded of the many urban areas around where I live are still growing and how the community can come together and become productive. I am also reminded of the house/theater public space we learned about in class which was the result of the community coming together and bunching ideas to make use of a broken down lot that was nothing more than an obstruction to the neighborhood.

  36. In “Public Interest Design as Praxis” I was interested in “The Social Production of Space” and “The Relational” sections in particular. Anderson tells us how buildings are not just passive architecture, but the buildings help create the social space and atmosphere through its use. Anderson talks about how instead of an artist or architect taking an outsider approach, they are able to add a level of flexibility by developing an engaged relationship with the public. Buildings help shape social contexts because these are the spaces social systems operate and function within. I think Anderson is kind of saying that if an architect or designed is engaged within the community and has an understanding, they are able to make better use of a space to benefit more people and it is more likely to be maintained and used; architects need to keep the public in mind as well as the potential relationships they are forming when they are drawing up their designs.
    In Hagan’s “Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design” I was most interested in “The Economic Reason” since economics and money are such a large talking point in this country when it comes to sustainability. Hagan tells us how in much of Europe, sustainability reform comes from the government down through the use of subsidies, incentives, etc. While there is some grants and incentives in the United States for sustainable efforts, it is not on the same scale and we are resisting change. Hagan emphasizes how many big businesses with fight and succumb to change at the last possible moment. These companies are so large, that incentives aren’t great enough for them. Long term, making sustainable choices is usually profitable and result in lower running costs, but there is typically an initial investment to be made.

  37. “Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design” by Susannah Hagen is a persuasive article on why environmental design is important. Those within architecture used to look down upon environmentalism and thought it was embarrassing to value such an ideal. The article goes on to say that this is no longer true. I agree with this, as I have personally seen a change in mentality how buildings should be designed in my life time. I agree that it is a modernist view that we are all equally responsible to protect the resources that sustain our way of living. I also agree that buildings contribute to almost half of the emissions of greenhouse gasses, it would make sense for architects to step up and do their part to change this The article goes on to describe 5 reasons why schools and practices should take on the environmental challenge The two I agree with most are the economic and pedagogical reasons. Sustainable design could save a company and a community a lot of money. As for the pedagogical reason I believe it is important for future generations to be able to take the environmentally friendly designs of today as an example of how to build in the future.
    In “Beyond the Ruins: The Meanings of Deindustrialization” by Jennifer Cowie and Joseph Heathcott the authors describe deindustrialization as a negative term coined from the post WWII policies of stripping the nation of its industrialized power It was interesting that the authors compared these two events in history and the way the workers must have felt. They describe deindustrialization as a force, which is exactly how I would describe it Another part of the article that caught my attention what how we consider deindustrialization as marking point in history, what once was the “industrial era”. However, this does not even begin to describe the negative effects of these changes to the workers and families who lost their homes and jobs.

  38. Worker Memory and Narrative
    Everyone worked 110% at their jobs but yet upper management mistreated them and considered them just a number. You either work hard and get to keep your job, or you slack off and get fired. A worker to upper management is just one little piece of the company that can be replaced. Danny Mann talks about how it is a choice, being happy or making good money. I agree that we need to rebuild trust between workers and upper management if the system is to ever be revived.

    “Five Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design”, Hagen talks about how we can improve the environment by improving the architecture. Doing so, this can make a building more efficient and end up actually saving money. Hagen made some really good points in this article; it was an interesting read.

  39. 5 Reasons to Adopt Environmental Design
    Hagan describes the reasoning behind how architects will change the culture around environmentalism through their works. In describing this, she touches up on the main points of intellectual reasoning, practical reasoning, technical, economical and pedagogical

    As a true believer of biomimicry, I agree with the reasoning in this text. When looking at nature, we see a self sustaining system that has not failed for all of time. If we use that model for our innovative designs, it ensures that how we have integrated these materials into our lives are sustainable. As Hagan points out, there is no waste in nature. The “manufacturing processes” are all interconnectect and dependent on each other.

    I’ve seen first hand how systems like this are beneficial. This past year I have been working closely with a local permaculture educator where I have looked into agriculture and architectural techniques that work with nature rather than against it. Permaculture is a conscious design of principles centered around features observed in the natural world. Using systematic methods of design make less work required, higher yields, are more cost effective and self sustaining. Smart (naturally inspired) designs are the foundation to an overall more successful community.

    In “Public Interest Design in Praxis”, Anderson also touches up on the idea of Social Production of Space. This concept really intrigues me for the reason that I do believe that the environment, the feel, the ambience, of a city will change the residents for better or worst. Whatever you call it, you are directly affected by your environment. So it is worth your while to invest in it. Showcasing the communities own creativity leaves space for the locals to understand each other and essentially get to know one another. This gives ownership to individuals and decreases the dilemmas of the commons. To ensure people are proud, they have to have see something in the community that gives them identity and meaning.

  40. From Michael Sarfo:

    The Following comment are o reading from the syllabus:
    Nadia Anderson,”Public Interest Design as Praxis”

    The Author started in his article by saying “In today’s rapidly changing world,
    issues such as poverty, homelessness,and climate change are profoundly linked to the production of the built environment, challenging architectural practice and education to engage and address them. Which i think it’s a very strong point off view to start off with because like he said Public interest design
    not only produces spaces that are inclusive and place based but also creates a theoretical framework that incorporates values of equity, inclusivity, and social justice through action or process.

  41. Draw a line from Montreal to Niagara Falls, then to the airport on the west side of New Orleans, and I have ridden or driven through every state east of that line. As i read these articles, i could not help reflecting on the places I have passed through and lived in, as the winds of time moved those sands of grain, used in the description of the Rust Belt. I don’t recall when the term was first used, probably by a sociologist or a news man, but the awareness and the effects of the build up and migration of the industrial revolution has always been there. The build up the population turned the country from self sufficient agrarians to a society of people reliant on the services of others for survival. Community gardens and farmers markets are a move back in the direction of “help thy neighbor”. Smaller is better. Stop thinking, “I can’t see it from my house.”

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