HOME : collecting narratives, promoting dialogue, and guiding change
Author(s)Harrison, Alexis A. (Alexis Alana)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
Anne Whiston Spirn.
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Home is where the heart is, the saying goes. The quest for home is ever-present. When looking at the destructive nature of urban planning history - urban renewal, redlining, block busting, etc. - it is imperative to see urban planning's historical impact on the communities vulnerable populations, particularly communities of color, have fought to call home. Understanding the sense of home is crucial to begin humanizing the lived experiences city-dwellers have in places. These places move beyond being just places into being home. Using visual and narrative-based methods, this thesis investigates how residents of one neighborhood define home. Ascribing importance of the home and sense of home can lead to better understandings of the emotional impact processes of displacement have had on vulnerable communities, equipping planning and design practitioners with the capacity to sensitively approach the potential impacts on people's homes. The community of Watts in South Central, Los Angeles, California serves as a case study in understanding what meaningful content collecting narratives about home can reveal. As a study in my own home, the thesis also operates as a journey of self-discovery in rethinking preconceived understandings of this concept. This research is both a personal and political statement about the power of maintaining quality of life for vulnerable populations through sustaining the home. As an act to fight against displacement, the collected narratives reveal the important complexities of how individuals define home, ranging from individualistic, to relational, to spatial and beyond.
Thesis: M.C.P., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 2017.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 175-176).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.