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Architectural Insertions Balancing Social Inequities in Underprivileged Communities

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The purpose of this text is to research and specify inequities present within three South American cities; Medellin, Columbia, Mexico City, Mexico, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This research then considers specific neighborhoods within these cities that have become underprivileged

The purpose of this text is to research and specify inequities present within three South American cities; Medellin, Columbia, Mexico City, Mexico, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This research then considers specific neighborhoods within these cities that have become underprivileged as a result of the inequities, and analyzes architectural insertions that have been placed in these communities in hopes of balancing the inequities secluding the communities from the rest of the city. With the information gathered from the three case study cities, another city, Tijuana, Mexico, is examined and ascertained as to what type of inequities are present. Using the methodology implemented in the case studies, a specific architectural insertion is proposed in relation to the problems at hand, with the intent of balancing the inequalities present in an underprivilege neighborhood in Tijuana. Ultimately, the text strives to demonstrate the power of architectural insertions within a community, while highlighting the importance of the effects upon the daily lives of the inhabitants, as well as the dynamics within the community and greater city.

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2018-05

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SOCIAL CONFLICT AND WATER ACCESS IN MEXICO CITY'S URBAN WATER NETWORK

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Protest has been both a practice of citizenship rights as well as a means of social pressure for change in the context of Mexico City's water system. This paper explores the role that citizen protest plays in the city's response

Protest has been both a practice of citizenship rights as well as a means of social pressure for change in the context of Mexico City's water system. This paper explores the role that citizen protest plays in the city's response to its water challenges. We use media reports of water protests to examine where protests happen and the causes associated with them. We analyze this information to illuminate socio-political issues associated with the city's water problems, such as political corruption, gentrification, as well as general power dynamics and lack of transparency between citizens, governments, and the private businesses which interact with them. We use text analysis of newspaper reports to analyze protest events in terms of the primary stimuli of water conflict, the areas within the city more prone to conflict, and the ways in which conflict and protest are used to initiate improved water management and to influence decision making to address water inequities. We found that water scarcity is the primary source of conflict, and that water scarcity is tied to new housing and commercial construction. These new constructions often disrupt water supplies and displace of minority or marginalized groups, which we denote as gentrification. The project demonstrates the intimate ties between inequities in housing and water in urban development. Key words: Conflict, protest, Mexico City, scarcity, new construction

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2017-05

Bienvenidos a México: Breaking Down Borders of the NBA

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While basketball has been traditionally regarded as an American sport, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has gained substantial traction outside the United States over the past decade. In order to further encourage attention from international fans and increase league profit,

While basketball has been traditionally regarded as an American sport, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has gained substantial traction outside the United States over the past decade. In order to further encourage attention from international fans and increase league profit, I propose that the league adds an expansion team to Mexico City. I believe that through thorough market research and conscientious brand development, the team be successfully integrated into both the local community as well as the league’s current fan base. Local infrastructure, player safety, border customs, and financials were all taken into consideration into this proposal. The purpose of this project is twofold: first, to advocate for league expansion of the NBA into Mexico City through discussion and exploration of both the anticipated opportunities and obstacles, and second, to design three brand concepts and then propose a final brand concept based off of qualitative and quantitative feedback systematically collected via a survey.

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2019-05

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Burn, Baby, Burn: the Centralia Mine Fire

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The Centralia Council, representative of a small Pennsylvania borough, arranged for an illegal controlled burn of the Centralia landfill in late May 1962. It happened the same way every year. As Memorial Day drew closer, the Council contracted volunteer firefighters

The Centralia Council, representative of a small Pennsylvania borough, arranged for an illegal controlled burn of the Centralia landfill in late May 1962. It happened the same way every year. As Memorial Day drew closer, the Council contracted volunteer firefighters to burn the top layer of refuse in the landfill in preparation for the day’s festivities, but intentionally burning landfills violated state law. A tangle of events over the years saw the “controlled” burn develop into an underground mine fire and then into a coal seam fire. Excavation costs lie far beyond the state’s budget, and Pennsylvania plans to let the fire burn until its natural end--anticipated at another 240 years. The tangled mess of poor decisions over 21 years begs one question: did the people or the fire kill Centralia?

This paper’s field of study falls into the cross section of geology and fire science, history, social conflict, public service ethics, and collaborative failures. I explore how a series of small choices snowballed into a full, government funded relocation effort after attempts at controlling the anthracite coal seam fire failed. Geology and fire science worked in tandem during the mine fire, influencing each other and complicating the firefighting efforts. The fire itself was a unique challenge. The history of Centralia played a large role in the government and community response efforts. I use the borough and regional history to contextualize the social conflict that divided Centralia. Social conflict impaired the community’s ability to unify and form a therapeutic community, and in turn, it damaged community-government relationships. The government agencies involved in the mine fire response did their own damage to community relationships by pursuing their own interests. Agencies worried about their brand image, and politicians worried about re-election. I study how these ethical failures impacted the situation. Finally, I look at a few examples of collaborative failures on behalf of the government and the community. Over the course of my research, it became apparent the people killed Centralia, not the fire.

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2019-12