Graduation Year

2004

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Anthropology

Major Professor

Greenbaum, Susan.

Keywords

gentrification, parks, communities, social capital, neighborhoods

Abstract

In this thesis, I discuss the Tampa Heights Greenprinting Initiative, an initiative to build community in a gentrifying neighborhood. I was primarily hired to find out what changes residents of Tampa Heights desired in their chosen park, observe the Greenprinting process, and write a report that could be used in future initiatives. Due to my Anthropological training, I paid attention to the wider context associated with this project. I paid as much attention to who was not there as I did to who was there. The applied nature of my program enabled me to not only document the socio-economic factors that affected the project, but to say something at the time of the project, so that change could be implemented. Research questions involved trying to figure out how residents envision their neighborhood park, as well as the broader question of how the socioeconomic situation in Tampa Heights affects the Tampa Heights Greenprinting Initiative.

I asked whether a park revitalization could lead to residents uniting across various boundaries, and if so, how. I discovered that the Tampa Heights Greenprinting process highlighted some of the socioeconomic tensions in Tampa Heights. These tensions are related to the current status of the neighborhood as a gentrifying area. Perhaps, as a result of the Greenprinting process, residents will recognize that to truly build a cohesive community, they must address the implications of gentrification, outside investment (instead of community-rooted investment), the possible demolition of Robles Park Housing Village, and the lack of youth programs in their community.

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