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Phoenix as Refuge: A Photographic Exploration of Refugees Within the City

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"Phoenix as Refuge: A Photographic Exploration of Refugees Within the City" was a creative thesis project that aimed to bridge the gap between divided communities by creating awareness of refugees within the city of Phoenix. Through an IRB approved research

"Phoenix as Refuge: A Photographic Exploration of Refugees Within the City" was a creative thesis project that aimed to bridge the gap between divided communities by creating awareness of refugees within the city of Phoenix. Through an IRB approved research study, multiple refugee families were interviewed and photographed. The project documented refugees and their stories and then made those interviews accessible to the greater Phoenix community. The purpose was to make the Phoenix community more aware of refugees in the hopes that this awareness would increase community activism and advocacy for this resilient yet vulnerable minority group. This paper explains the refugee resettlement process and addresses the social and economic implications of refugee resettlement and advocacy within an urban area. Many inhabitants of Phoenix are unaware the refugees that live in their city because of the geographic divide between social classes and ethnic groups. In highly urbanized communities, the geographic layout of the city leads to a more individualistic and segregated society. This notion leads to a discussion of Robert Putnam's theory of social capital, which argued that by improving and fostering social connections, one could increase social well-being and even make the economy more efficient. This paper then applies Putnam's ideas to the interaction between refugees and non-refugees, using space as a determining factor in measuring the social capital of the Phoenix community. As evident in the study of Phoenix's geographic divide between social and economic classes, Phoenix, like many urban cities, is not designed in a way that fosters social capital. Therefore, advocacy must go beyond people and into advocacy for a different kind of city and place that sets up refugees, and non-refugees alike, to succeed. In this way, rethinking the city through urban planning becomes integral to making new social networks possible, building social capital, and increasing social welfare in urban spaces.

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2017-12

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Economic Inequality and its Roots: A Comparative Analysis of the United States and Canada

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In the United States, the past thirty years have brought with them a substantial rise in income and wealth inequality rates. Inequality in the U.S. has risen to levels not seen for nearly a century and shows no signs of

In the United States, the past thirty years have brought with them a substantial rise in income and wealth inequality rates. Inequality in the U.S. has risen to levels not seen for nearly a century and shows no signs of decreasing in the near future. Conversely, Canada has experienced lower levels of inequality during this same period despite many similarities and ties to the U.S. Therefore, the purpose of this paper will be to examine the extent to which these two countries differ in this area and identify some of the more salient factors that have contributed to this divergence, including tax policies, unionization rates, and financial industry regulation, as well as the deeper, more fundamental elements of each nation's identity.

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2015-05

Caoyang New Village: a Model for New Chinese Urban Development?

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Located in the Putuo District of Shanghai, Caoyang New Village is an anomaly of sorts from the perspective of contemporary Chinese urban planning. With a history dating back to the early Mao era, the village has long been a symbol

Located in the Putuo District of Shanghai, Caoyang New Village is an anomaly of sorts from the perspective of contemporary Chinese urban planning. With a history dating back to the early Mao era, the village has long been a symbol of socialist urban imagery that seems ahead of its time because in many ways it displays contemporary "new urbanism" elements. This paper discusses the origins and history of Caoyang Workers' Village, moving forward to its present conditions and recent role as an urban site for participatory planning. It also considers future redevelopment plans for Caoyang New Village, touching upon current conflict over the preservation of its cultural heritage and the need to address its housing issues. In analyzing the past and present of Caoyang New Village, questions of its future as a unique entity within modernity-seeking Shanghai arise.

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2016-05