Dreams and Aspirations
As we analyzed the various responses from our engagements in the neighborhood, certain connecting themes and values appeared. Though some ideas and requests are more realistic than others, every idea matters. Even the impractical concepts are born out of some more basic desire or needs (which can often be addressed in simpler way).
We distilled the answers into key words or phrases and created a word taxonomy (to the right) showing the relationships between the various neighborhood places and the concepts or ideals which the community members value. In addition to being interrelated, we noticed that each answer could be placed into one of three categories:
DESTINATIONS - Many of the respondents noted the lack of destinations of interest in the neighborhood. One person in particular was especially despondent about Kehr’s Candy moving to the Milwaukee Public Market.
PLAY SPACE- Children in the area do not have access to the number or quality of play spaces as they would like.
RESOURCES - Locations that enhance or unburden an individual’s life. Many respondents noted how they en- joyed the Washington Park Library because the resources it provides - books, quietness, computer access.
These categories begin to speak to specific needs the community has, and the types of improvements that would be most beneficial to the neighborhood. Addressing any of these deficits will help to strengthen the community network; community members will not be forced to travel outside of their neighborhood to satisfy these needs. They can instead stay local, and engage with other residents. The categories we have developed are not unique to a specific demographic: they can help to cultivate cross-cultural connections that have been slow to form up to this point. The vacant lots in Amaranth Alley can hopefully become a locus of activity.