Research Methodology

Architecture & Urban Design
Media Design
Urban Ethnography
Spatial Ethnography
Economic Flows
Cultural/Community Mapping
Participatory Education
Action-Based Research
Photo/Video Documentation
Personal Interviews
Urban Probes (trash stalking, postcard surveys)
Real Estate Intervention
Psychogeography (derives, personal mapping)

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AS BUSHWICK EVOLVES, new forms of capital arrive, amass, take shape, take flight, which will make the neighborhood:
Less Livable?
More Livable?

By mapping where we are now,
we can start to make plans and take actions towards increased livability.

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CAPITAL B goals:

Strategy
policy
planning
advocacy/organizing
development/fundraising
PR/marketing

Infrastructure (virtual, liquid, solid)
website/WIKI
storefront
skills/capacity
shared personnel
space
legal structures
policy structures
technology/equipment

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Resources/Tools (to materialize strategy + infrastructure)
WEBSITE//STOREFRONT – hub
resource bank
wish list
events calendar

PRODUCTS
publication
postcard/ad campaign
video trailer/commercial
maps
case/site studies
focus groups
CB Guide/Toolkit
Lexicon/Values

Case/Site Studies
What is LIVABLE?
How could Bushwick become more LIVABLE?

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1.     Mapping Collate & Curate Existing Studies, Maps, Data
–    visualization/accessibility of existing maps
–    fill in the gaps of data/maps that don’t exist in the public record  New Maps – Driving Questions
–    What are the multiple forces acting on/converging in BWK?
–    How are forces spatialized?
–    How can we capitalize on BWK’s unique spatial, cultural, economic, creative resources?
2. Case Studies – individuals – small businesses – non-profits – non-for-profit hybrids – commercial spaces – residential spaces – mixed-use, live-work
3. Focus Groups/Postcard Survey – identify and address challenges to alliance building, shared goals and strategies
4. Capital B Trailer – communicate share vision, enlist enthusiasm and participation
5. Web/Storefront Presence – hub for information, materialize resource sharing, values and alliances

Proposed Maps/Case Studies
Scales of Observation + Learning: zoom in, zoom out
Sites: building – street – neighborhood – borough – city – nation – planet
Goals:
– capture/document/share/promote BWK dynamics – narratives to advance CB’s goals – identify assets, needs and opportunities for interventions
–    author the way BWK is represented/marketed/mapped by the CIVIC and PRIVATE entities and residents/visitors/audiences/stakeholders.

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SITES home
building store
organization/institution
street/intersection
public space (park)
PATHWAYS
real estate cycle – property flip
public service – (trash collection, street cleaning, bus line, etc.) ice cream truck
food distributors
cement trucks
home to work/school
ORGANIZATIONS/INSTITUTIONS/BUSINESSES
3rd Ward – hybrid non and for profit Lumenhouse/Adhoc – fiscal crisis
INDUSTRIES
ice cream truck
food distributors
cement trucks auto repair fortune cookie factory
INDIVIDUALS/PERSONAL trajectories

Proposed FRAMES for mapping + case studies

Layers of     PHYSICAL       forces acting on spaces + institutions/individuals
ECONOMIC
CULTURAL
LEGAL/POLICY

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DRIVING QUESTIONS
From LOCAL to GLOBAL scaling of conditions + observations

–    How does space facilitate/limit activities?
–    How is economic value generated?
–    How is culture produced/supported?
–    How do laws/policies help/hinder activities?
–    What could these sites be better/better perform?
–    How so?
–    What tools/resources are needed?

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Mapping Objectives

AUTHOR Bushwick’s Map

DOCUMENT CAPITAL
(e.g. Support Infrastructures, Cross-Sections, Overlaps, Systems, Networks)

BUILD Common Neighborhood Vision, Strategy, Plan
VISUALIZE Commonalities

INCREASE Visibility, Access, Awareness

CAPITAL B Focus Group / Mapping Frameworks
How do we define our stakeholders?

What do they have at stake?

What is Livable?

What does Bushwick need to be more Livable?

What can I do to make it more Livable?

What is CAPITAL?

What do I build neighborhood CAPITAL?

What do we need to build more neighborhood CAPITAL?

How are Bushwick’s demographics reflected or not in the site?

What economic, physical, and cultural resources are present/lacking?

SPACE STUDY
Spaces under threat – objectives:
– Document effects of speculation, rent increases, economic downturn on space
– Trace physical, cultural, economic flows/forces
– Map micro-economics, symbiosis, competition, potential for convergence, alliance, increased mutual benefits

Potential Sites/Case Studies
SITES
Lumenhouse (Adriana)
Chez Bushwick (sociology student)
Arts in Bushwick (
Coalition Partner)
Bushwick Public Library (Coalition Partner)
3rd Ward (Coalition Partner)
Trash Not Trees (Coalition Partner)
Home for Sale (253 Boerum)
Unused Commercial/Residential Space (247 Boerum)
Empty/Abandoned Lot (e.g. lot adjacent to cement factory)

ROUTES/INTERSECTIONS (Urban Planning/Architecture Intern)
Subway Stations
Supermarkets-Food Shopping Networks
Parks/Open Spaces

MAPPING WORKSHOPS
Partner with Make the Road by Walking (adult ESOL class), Academy of Urban Planning and a senior group in mapping projects as a form of participatory action-based research.

NEIGHBORHOOD MAPMAKERS
ROUTINES/ROUTES (neighborhood experts/docents)

POST
Richie as dwelling docent – Postal Delivery Route to map:

  • land-use patterns (public parks & infrastructure, small businesses, industrial [manufacturing, distribution],
  • dwelling
  • transience/permanence
  • interactions/tensions/co between different spatial/commercial/residential typologies
  • transactions through the post – economic, cultural, physical flows
  • signage
  • garbage receptacles/littering
  • graffiti/stickers/advertising types (e.g. cleaning services, dog walking, car services, menus, legal services, translation services, etc.)

ICE CREAM TRUCK
Juan as recreation/public space/ social services docent

  • economic survival – small business
  • witness to changing demographics, dwelling patterns, businesses
  • democratic point of access – information distribution
  • temporary public space is created around truck
  • Juan noted all the important social service centers that he sees people utilizing or that he has used himself

BORDER PATROL (with Michael Hart’s 1,000 portraits project)
Walk the official borders of Bushwick
Stop at each block and take someone’s portrait and have them take a photograph.
Ask them two questions:  What could be better in their neighborhood? How are/will they help to make it better?