Event Title

Discovering Cultural Landscapes: Washington Park

Mentor 1

Arijit Sen

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

24-4-2015 10:30 AM

End Date

24-4-2015 11:45 AM

Description

After World War II, many technological advancements and economic progress occurred in the United States. The wealth of the nation was experiencing an exponential growth, enabling many people to afford homes and transportation. At the same time government borrowing regulations, redlining, and upward mobility urged many of those residents who had the wealth to move out of the cities to the outer suburbs. This movement reproduced racially segregated urban neighborhoods. / With this crisis of urban sprawl, the once thriving, middle class, Washington Park Neighborhood of Milwaukee showed signs of decline. Social divisions, governmental disinvestment, disappearing jobs and industry, and socioeconomic and racial segregations devastated the neighborhood during the late 1990s. Considerable separation between the socioeconomic and racial groups compounded by poverty and crime made the local media see Washington Park as an example of urban problem and blight. All that has changed and today Washington Park is a thriving neighborhood with a growing diverse population, neighborhood grass-roots organizations, and politically aware residents. / Washington Park’s new residents, a growing population of Hmong American immigrants has joined Somalis, Burmese, Anglo and African American residents to call this neighborhood their home. The Picturing Milwaukee Project has been documenting the histories, voices, and contributions of old and new residents of this neighborhood since 2014. In Spring 2015 I began collecting stories of the Hmong residents of this neighborhood. Interviews were conducted with Hmong immigrants residing in the Washington Park area are allowed for information such as 1) how these new immigrants use neighborhood spaces, 2) use and describe their homes, 3) how they remember and reproduce their domestic world in the new setting, and 4) how they assimilate into this new environment to surface into the city of Milwaukee. In addition to conducting detailed oral history interviews, I began documentation of the physical and cultural landscapes of Hmong immigrants in the Washington Park neighborhood will be produced and used to further research on the redevelopment of such cultural landscape. These “storyscapes,” a term I borrow from Ned Kaufman, will provide a venue for Hmong residents to voice their experiences and opinions of their neighborhood. / I expect that the results of my research will influence and inform city policies, neighborhood narratives and architectural and planning processes. In Fall 2015 a collaborative studio will engage local architects, planners, city officials and UWM students in rethinking development and growth of Washington Park. This studio, already in this second annual iteration, seeks intervention in architecture that promote physical, mental, and social well-being for everyone while sustaining the environment of the neighborhood. I expect my research results to inform this process. /

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Apr 24th, 10:30 AM Apr 24th, 11:45 AM

Discovering Cultural Landscapes: Washington Park

Union Wisconsin Room

After World War II, many technological advancements and economic progress occurred in the United States. The wealth of the nation was experiencing an exponential growth, enabling many people to afford homes and transportation. At the same time government borrowing regulations, redlining, and upward mobility urged many of those residents who had the wealth to move out of the cities to the outer suburbs. This movement reproduced racially segregated urban neighborhoods. / With this crisis of urban sprawl, the once thriving, middle class, Washington Park Neighborhood of Milwaukee showed signs of decline. Social divisions, governmental disinvestment, disappearing jobs and industry, and socioeconomic and racial segregations devastated the neighborhood during the late 1990s. Considerable separation between the socioeconomic and racial groups compounded by poverty and crime made the local media see Washington Park as an example of urban problem and blight. All that has changed and today Washington Park is a thriving neighborhood with a growing diverse population, neighborhood grass-roots organizations, and politically aware residents. / Washington Park’s new residents, a growing population of Hmong American immigrants has joined Somalis, Burmese, Anglo and African American residents to call this neighborhood their home. The Picturing Milwaukee Project has been documenting the histories, voices, and contributions of old and new residents of this neighborhood since 2014. In Spring 2015 I began collecting stories of the Hmong residents of this neighborhood. Interviews were conducted with Hmong immigrants residing in the Washington Park area are allowed for information such as 1) how these new immigrants use neighborhood spaces, 2) use and describe their homes, 3) how they remember and reproduce their domestic world in the new setting, and 4) how they assimilate into this new environment to surface into the city of Milwaukee. In addition to conducting detailed oral history interviews, I began documentation of the physical and cultural landscapes of Hmong immigrants in the Washington Park neighborhood will be produced and used to further research on the redevelopment of such cultural landscape. These “storyscapes,” a term I borrow from Ned Kaufman, will provide a venue for Hmong residents to voice their experiences and opinions of their neighborhood. / I expect that the results of my research will influence and inform city policies, neighborhood narratives and architectural and planning processes. In Fall 2015 a collaborative studio will engage local architects, planners, city officials and UWM students in rethinking development and growth of Washington Park. This studio, already in this second annual iteration, seeks intervention in architecture that promote physical, mental, and social well-being for everyone while sustaining the environment of the neighborhood. I expect my research results to inform this process. /