Text 1: In Protest, The Power of Place by Michael Kimmelman
Citation: Kimmelman, Michael. “In Protest, the Power of Place.” The New York Times, October 15, 2011.
The article talks about Zuccotti Park in New York City that became its “own city” as a consequence of the protests of the Wall Street Movement. The protestors there, camped in the open space to show their disagreement with the politics of the moment. The park grew into an area for the demonstrators to share their concerns while including what they thought necessary to stay in the square for a longer time (such as a legal desk, a sanitation department, and food distribution). Kimmelman emphasizes that he believes that it is vital for people to take the streets and protest when they do not agree with something. He feels that is the case because “consensus creates community” and what better way to do so than for people to meet in a physical space and discuss their concerns in person. Kimmelman argues that there could be more public spaces in the United States since most are quasi-public and not entirely communal.
The information in this article is reliable since it comes from interviews of the actual protestors of the Wall Street Movement in New York City. It would be useful to read the perspectives of more demonstrators to get more diversity of thoughts. Nevertheless, I believe it is a valuable source if one is interested in learning how to create a community in a space that seems hopeless. Some examples in which this article can be useful for someone is if they are researching for a project on Wall Street, on community making, or on the impact the people can attribute to a place. For the class discussion of Seminar two, this article makes us think about a different way in which a site can become a community.
Text 2: The Experience of Place by Tony Hiss
Citation: Hiss, Tony. The Experience Of Place. New York, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990.
In “The Experience of Place,” Hiss starts by explaining to his reader what simultaneous perception is. He calls simultaneous perception as a sixth sense that we all have which consists on a change of perspective that makes us aware of several things that are happening at the same time. Hiss explains the concept by including an anecdote that occurred to him in the Grand Central Terminal. On the station, he felt that all his senses were activated and he could sense everything that was happening around him. He mentions that simultaneous perception is the reasoning behind how people were aware of each other, and therefore were cooperating with one another. Consequently, Hiss remarks that there are brain-body mechanisms that help us react that way to our environment and that if changes were made to an environment, these mechanisms would change the way we respond to the site. The author concludes that if someone wants to change something of a place, they must take into consideration how the people experience it with simultaneous perception.
The source is adequately backed up with examples and references that make it reliable such as the experiment done by William M C Lam who changed the lighting of a hotel room, which transformed the experience of the customers. The text is useful to understand what simultaneous perception is, when do we experience it, how it makes us cooperate with each other, and how our brain-body mechanisms relate to the way we feel of a particular space. With this text, Hiss made me reflect on my own previous experience with a sense I did not know I had, but that I certainly have. Additionally, from my reflection, this text could be an excellent reference to look back when interested to research about simultaneous perception, the senses, the relationship of the self with the external world, or the feeling a place gives to our brain-body mechanisms.
Text 3: How to Build a Perfect Refugee Camp by Mac McClelland
Citation: McClelland, Mac. “How To Build a Perfect Refugee Camp.” The New York Times, February 13, 2014.
The text describes the conditions of the Killis refugee camp in Turkey for the Syrian citizens. Mac McClellan says explains that Killis is considered the best refugee camp in the world. To enter the shelter, the refugees pass a system with fingerprints as well as an X-ray machine. There are no tents or distressing smells. There are power lines, plumbing maintenance, laundry centers, beauty salons, and schools for the children with psychological counseling. Also, the Syrians that live in Killis are given a debit card in which they will get around $40 a month for their family to buy in a grocery store and $10 per person for other objects. The people that live in Killis are not called refugees instead they are considered guests in a temporary space in Turkey. The author claims that having refugee camps of satisfactory conditions is one way for them to show the world that they are doing well since all the responsibility of the shelter is of the Turks except a few international donations.
Next, in the document, we find examples of the opinions of the camp from people that live there. Rouba Bakri who lives in a container with twelve members of her family believes they are given everything they need although she often feels that there is nothing for her to do there. Basheer Alito, a leader of Bari’s section, is grateful for the contribution of the Turks to their situation. For Ibrahim Harmoush, the biggest complaint was that the new administrator of the camp had different rules than the previous one. Although they seem to be very content about Killis, the author comments that nobody wants to stay in a refugee camp for the rest of their lives. Many refugees leave their life on hold waiting to get married for example when they get back to Syria.
Killis system is expensive and requires infrastructure with electric and internet connection. The expenditures are of about $2 million a month. In a meeting with the U.N.H.C.R, it was concluded that countries need to have more solidarity with Syria, which means more support from the host communities. The text ends with a statement that the Turks are in fact taking into consideration allowing Syrians to work in their territory.
The article is reliable since the author went to the camp and wrote about his first-hand experience with the shelter. To make it more trustworthy, he also included opinions of citizens of the shelter as well as that of his translator. Additionally, we learn about data of the expenditures of the camp and about meetings with the U.N.H.C.R. The text was helpful for me to understand how the international community could better help the Syrian refugees. I know believe that every refugee should have the right to live in a place such as Killis as their temporary refugee, or at least to have the right to work in the place were they emigrate. This source is valuable for research projects on Syria, refugee camps, anthropology, lifestyle, and international aid to countries in chaotic situations.
Text 4: A Different Kind of Ethnography: Imaginative Practices and Creative Methodologies Edited by Denielle Elliott and Dara Culhane
Citation: Elliott, Danielle, and Dara Culhane. A Different Kind Of Ethnography. University of Toronto Press, 2017.
The chapter “A Different Kind Of Ethnography” explains how walking in public spaces serves not only as a useful ethnographic technique for research but also as a way of understanding the social relations that shape a city. At the beginning of the chapter, the author (s) explains that scholars have gotten interested in the research of public spaces because there is a concern that cities are becoming every day more fragmented, and that public spaces are increasingly geared for the affluent. Using “walking” as a method of research permits us to engage directly with the environment, which gives thematic and experimental information for the investigator.
Further, in the chapter, we learn that there are different ways of thinking of a walk. The walker could think of the activity as a performance where the investigator and the people guiding the person take different roles. It can also be a practice of imagining different explanations and points of view. Another way of observing this act is by understanding that this method of research is possible due to the interruptions that they are going to have in the way. Finally, walking can also be thought of like a walking tour that gives insight to your research.
The author (s) also states that individuals in these public spaces sometimes call attention to “ghostly places,” which are current absences of relationships or places that are not visible anymore in the city. Furthermore, they also mention that public spaces are meant to intervene with individuals, and this could not only be used for research but also to make us think differently of the way the city functions. The chapter ends with an exercise for students to participate in a walking tour.
The text is based on the personal experience that the author (s) had with walks as a way of ethnographic research, but it also includes a background of how scholars see public spaces. This source was helpful for me to think of walk differently. Now, I understand that I can take a walk and consciously use it for research or observe the relations around my observations. This chapter could be valuable to have handy for a future project in which I need to do an ethnographic study of public spaces.
Text 5: Design and Order In Everyday Life by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Citation: Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. The Meaning of Products. Cambridge University Press.
The text begins by Artistotle’s thinking that art exists to bring order to humans life. The author then includes the understanding of this concept from the perspective of Láslo Moholy-Nagy, George Keeps, and Abraham Maslow. They all seemed to agree with Aristotle’s thinking. From this data, the author walks us through a study that he did on with families in the Chicago area. He wanted to observe and analyze how people responded to art objects in their homes. For most of them, art was an insignificant part of their lives. Nevertheless, some objects were of great importance for these individuals. Some objects were a Venus the Milo statuette, an old Bible, a stereo, or an old razor. These objects had symbolic energy that was given by the owners who were personally involved with them. How the artifacts look was unimportant for most people. Consequently, the author explains how the way people relate to an object varies within ages and the gender of the person. The younger individuals were attached to objects that made a particular activity possible, and the older ones choose the ones that were connected with memories or contemplation. Women similar to the older generation looked for objects of contemplation, whereas most men and children preferred interactive objects.
Afterward, the author makes us question if it matters how the object looks since the artifact per se is not the one that creates the order in people’s mind. Csikszentmihalyi first looks at the way people perceive colors. He argues that the way each person feels colors are harmonious for them is a result of the habits of symbolization that their culture gave them. Then, the author mentions how the theories and categories to analyze aesthetics are in fact not wholly accurate. People that are not trained to see that way will not. He proves that even D. E. Berlin, a psychologist who has theories of esthetics is not entirely right in how people create their aesthetic choices. Individuals do not necessarily perceive order and disorder objectively. The harmony people see in objects comes from agreements that the people of a particular culture give to it. The aesthetic taste is also related to the values of a culture, and of the worldview at the time. Average people might observe at costly art, and look at it with respect, but it will not be memorable as their household objects will be.
The argument of the text is subjective since the author supported his point with real people’s opinions of their household objects. Nevertheless, I believe it is an excellent source for artists to look at and to bring them back to Earth. It made me understand that an object is essential for someone if it has a meaning to them, and not by the way it looks. As a consequence, it made me reflect on my art and the reasons behind why I do it. It made me more conscious of my surroundings, and want to create pieces for a broader and more diverse audience other than elite art buyers. I believe this is a valuable source to look back if I lose track of what I am doing. It would also be useful for a research paper on the meaning of household objects, or on the aesthetic art theories.
Text 6: The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
Citation: Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York: Vintage Books, 1992.
The text explains the advantages of sidewalk contact in cities and what makes it possible. Sidewalk contact, such as knowing your neighbors or the worker in the candy shop next to your house, gives people that opportunity to create relationships that are not that intimate, but that will permit these people to have someone else to count on than their friends and family in case of an emergency for example. To make sidewalk contacts possible there has to be trust between both parties. Jacobs mentions that in big cities individuals appreciate their privacy immensely, and prefer to have the least people possible knowing you. Therefore, to make this relationship occur in a city, there is a line that the workers that you are counting on must not pass which is the one between the public world and the world of privacy. To achieve this balance is ideal for a city because too much “togetherness” or “nothingness” can drive a town apart. The author concludes by saying that the wealthier citizens usually pay to live near a varied sidewalk life, with leaves the less fortunate with a less active sidewalk life. On sidewalks with strong relationships is more accessible to advertise about a particular project, but is also a way of helping cities economies becoming culturally aware of the population of a specific area.
“The Death and Life of Great American Cities” is formed with reliable facts about the subject matter. Jacobs includes examples of specific cities and neighborhoods’ relationships with sidewalk contacts and how that relates to the way they function. It is also important to consider that the text also includes subjective data, such as the author’s opinion with the presence or absence of strong sidewalk relationships. The text was useful for me both in a personal reflective and in more professional level. It made me look back on my own experience with sidewalk contact throughout my life, and how it has shaped the person that I am nowadays. In a professional spectrum, the text can be useful for a research project on neighborhoods, on relationships among shop owners, and neighbors. The reading made me believe that sidewalk contacts are essential not only to create healthy communities but also to reinforce cultural diversity and the economy of small businesses.
Text 7: Inquiry by Design: Tools For Environment Behavior Research by John Zeisel
Citation: Zeisel, John. Inquiry By Deign: Tools For Environment-Behavior Research. New York: Cambridge University Press.
The chapter seven of Zeisel’s book explains how looking for physical traces serves as a research method to reflect on the previous activity of a particular place and is helpful to analyze the way it was used with how it was initially designed. The chapter begins by informing the reader about the qualities of physical traces. These are imageable, unobtrusive, durable, and easy to get. Following that, Zeisel mentions the types of ways researchers can record their observations. They can make annotated diagrams, drawings, take photographs, and count some factors in their observations and write them down. Afterward, the author walks us through what types of physical traces researchers should look for and separates these into three categories. The first one is about what the people that were in the space did to the setting. In this category, researchers must look into parts of the environment that wear apart, physical objects that were left behind, or if none of these two are present, they could write down those missing traces. Consequently, Zeisel tells investigators to look for adaptations of use of a space, such as a removal or addition of props, and for the presence of separating or connecting elements in a place. Another type of physical traces they can look at is the one in which they can observe a display of self; it can be a display of the personality of the person, a way of them to identify themselves or to show that they are part of a group. Finally, the chapter ends with the walkthrough on the public messages physical traces. These can be official physical traces such as advertisements, unofficial such as a poster of a missing cat, or illegitimate such as gratifies.
In chapter eight we are introduced to the method of research on observing the behavior of a space. The data recollected from this research can tell the investigator the way the place was used in relation to how it was designed to be utilized. As with the chapter seven, the author explains the qualities of this method, which are direct, dynamic, and it can be done in different levels of intrusiveness (from a distance or by close participation). Later, Zeisel explicates more thoroughly the type of observers that the researcher can be, either a secret outsider, a recognized outsider, a marginal participant or a full participant. Similar to the previous chapter, in this one we learn in which way the researcher records the information that will find in the space. The investigator could write notes of the observations, make checklists, maps, photographs, videotapes, and movies. Lastly, the author mentions what the investigator should observe. These are the people, the act they are doing, those that accompany them, the relationship to each other, the context they are in, the setting.
The text is reliable since the author referenced factual sources and situations in which researchers used each type of method. Nevertheless, it also important to consider that the entire text is not wholly objective, some parts are biased since the author included his opinion on the research techniques. The document was helpful for me to organize myself the next time I am going to work in field research to understand what I should look for, and what kind of observer I want to be depending on the type of information I want to get. This text can be useful to have when writing a research paper on research methods such as looking at physical traces or observing the behavior of a specific space. In this class, this text is particularly useful for the research I am going to pursue on East Williamsburg.
Text 8: Whose Public Space? Edited by Ali Madanipour
Citation: Madanipour, Ali. Whose Public Space? Lodon and New York: Routledge, 2010.
These pages are the introduction of the book “Whose Public Spaces?.” The book’s objective is to put together various research projects on the making of public spaces of cities all around the world and to compare them to understand better how to enhance these spaces. Ali Madanipour argues that it is unfavorable for cities to have public spaces run by private institutions. In the argument, Madanipour mentions that cities have become less accessible and more impersonal for its citizens. The author comments that it is crucial to consider the symbolic and the functional dimensions of these spaces when urban planning. He believes that cities must decide to either abandon the idea of having public spaces or expand them. Madanipour also believes that the creation of public spaces should include a large number of agencies to benefit significant parts of the society to prevent the result to benefit only the elite. He also states that the creation of public spaces should be open to change to be able to accommodate to the change in contemporary cities. Finally, Madanipour comments that it is rational to compare the creation of public spaces in cities all around the world because they all have in common the need for public spaces, the public/private sector power dispute for public spaces, and they are all subject to technological change.
The book seems reliable since it is rooted in not only one, but various research projects done on public spaces in contemporary cities all around the world by Newcastle University. It is important to consider that the source is biased since Madanipour is making his argument against privatization with those sources. However, I believe this is a valuable reference to look back if I ever have to write a research paper or do a project on privatization, public spaces, urban design, change in contemporary cities, or accessibility to resources. The text made me reflect on my experience with public spaces inside and outside my home country, Venezuela. It made me more aware of how the privatization of a public good may affect the level of its accessibility.
Text 9: Gender Commercials Erving Goffman
Citation: Goffman, Erving. Gender Commercials. British Press: A Manifesto.
In Gender Commercials, Goffman presets a recollection of images of advertisements that he selected purposefully and fits them into sets or categories (Relative size, Feminine Touch, function Ranking, the Family, and ritualization of Subordination). The author starts the text by explaining why his selection should not be taken seriously. He states that the images were not chosen at random, he had little constraint on what he wanted as a theme, and they raise methodological questions. However, his selection is crucial because it brings attention to the behavioral styles found in the actual life of different genders. Goffman wants to bring awareness to the gender stereotypes. He states that he is aware those images are not representatives of gender behavior, but he believes the reader can still negatively judge them. He included some pictures at the end of each section that represent exceptions to his selection. Consequently, Goffman brings to light how still images can present the world around them. In his explanation, we learn that the image maker could use stereotypes to fill in the gaps. The stereotypes could be on the positioning of the characters, or on the choice of characters interacting. Lastly, the author explains that not only advertisers use easily recognizable stereotypical messages to convey a message. The government, non-profit organizations and people on rituals do too. In the end, he states that what is truly important is to understand that social situations are used to construct easily recognizable images of humans.
As Goffman stated, there are a variety of reasons on which his selection of photos should not be taken seriously after all is biased. However, his analysis on the way advertisers create recognizable photographs by the use of stereotypical elements is reliable. Even though I was already aware of the intense use of stereotypes in advertisements and the media in general, this source was helpful for me to further reflect on this way of constructing images. I would look back at this source if I am researching about advertisements, commercial art, stereotypes, or gender.
Text 10: Asking Descriptive Questions by James Spradley (Pages 48 – 53)
Citation: Spradley, James. Asking Descriptive Questions. Spradley, 1979.
The text begins by explaining the three ways in which researchers can discover questions to ask their interviewees when studying a different culture than theirs. They can record the questions they hear people asking every day, ask about questions that the informants usually use in that culture, or ask the interviewee to talk about their cultural scene. For the third strategy, researchers use descriptive questions. We then learn that there are different types of descriptive questions (grand tour questions, mini-tour questions, example questions, experience questions, and native language questions). Grand tour questions give the researcher a tour in the time and space of a particular cultural scene. They could ask about the description of how things are, the most recent events. They could ask for the Grand Tour or ask the interviewee to perform a task in the explanation of the answer. Mini tour questions, on the other hand, are questions that are inspired from the Grand Tour Questions and deal with a smaller portion of the experience. Example questions as their name states ask for examples from the informant. Experience questions ask the respondent for any experience they have in the culture. Finally, the native language questions are made to try to reduce the necessity of the informant to translate their manner of speaking. These can be Direct Language Questions, Hypothetical-Interaction Questions, or Typical-Sentence Questions.
These pages of “Asking Descriptive Questions” are reliable for the reader since they give examples and references from different interviews. This source helped me understand how to design the questions for an interview. I find interesting that we should usually start with Grand Tour Questions to get the sense of the ambiance to be able to ask the mini-tour ones. I will look back at this text if I have a research project in which I have to interview individuals for a project or paper in the future. The Native Language Questions caught my attention because whenever I interview someone I have realized they have their mannerisms, and it would facilitate the process of communication if we have the same knowledge of their way of speaking.
Text 11: The Craft of Research (Chapter 3: From Topics to Questions) by Joseph M. Williams and Wayne C. Booth
Citation: Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Willians. The Craft of Research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.
Chapter 3 of The Craft of Research serves as a guide to create a question that will guide research. The first step is to find a topic of your interest, which is an approach to a broader area of knowledge (a subject). The text advises how to find a topic for a writing course, for a research project, and for an advanced project. Consequently, it tells the reader how to get their make their topic of choice more specific being careful not to make it too specific that will not permit them to find information about it. Then, the reader can learn how to get from a focused topic to a question. To do this, the researcher could ask about the history, the structure/composition, and about the categorization of their topic. They can also turn positive questions into negative ones, and they could ask as well what would happen if their topic didn’t exist at all? They can also ask questions that are inspired by the researcher’s found sources. With all those questions, the investigator can evaluate them, and ideally combine the best to create a substantial research question. Lastly, the researchers should ask themselves “why is my question worth answering?” For that, the researcher should complete the following sentences: “I am trying to work on… Because I want to find out… In order for my reader to better understand….”
This source is reliable since it is the work of experimented professors and researchers that compiled their advice on how to make your research as successful as possible. For me, this was a handy source to use when I am starting a research project, and I need to find a focused research question. The text made me think of this process in step to step manner. I feel this text will valuable for me to check again at the beginning of future research projects.
Text 12: Bubbles, Lines, and String: How Information Visualization Shapes Society by Peter Hall
Citation: Hall, Peter. Bubbles, Lines, and String: How Information Visualization Shapes Society. Walker Art, 2011.
Peter Hall argues in his text that data is crucial to progress in society in the fields of science, legislation, and society, but that to be useful it has to be extracted, analyzed and presented efficiently. He mentions that in that process there is a decision making on what information is vital to keep and what not as much, which makes the method of visualizing a selective one. Hall later explains that there are three types of data visualizations: scientific, journalistic, and artistic. The scientific way is supposed to explore data without bias, the journalistic approach pretends to inform and entertain, and the artistic one offers new methods of representation. The author then comes back to the idea that visualizations are not biased, that these are a construction of who made it with an audience and a purpose in mind. These biases can be observed in the silences between those visualizations (What was shown, what wasn’t). Hall concludes for visualizations to develop each type has to learn from the other. For example, artistic visualizations could be more transparent and precise, while the journalistic could make data more accessible and legible.
Even though this source is biased in the argument that data visualization is constructed, is reliable because it is backed up with evidence and research. It was useful for me to read this text because as a future artist and designer I am going to shape my message (even though it will not necessarily be data) and it made me reflect on which ways I can make it sincerely. This text reinforced my belief that one source is not enough to get the data of a particular topic since it can be biased. “Bubbles, Lines, and String: How Information Visualization Shapes Society” is useful for any person interested in not only visualizing data, but sharing information about a particular topic since it makes us reflect in which ways we can enhance our way of doing it, and which is approach (scientific, journalistic, or artistic) is best for each situation.
Text 13: The Craving for Public Squares by Michael Kimmelman
Citation: Kimmelman, Michael. “The Craving for Public Squares.” The New York Review of Books, April 7, 2016.
The author starts the text by stating that in the 21st Century most individuals reside in cities rather than in the suburbs. Kimmelman says that people are drawn to live downtown not only for the jobs offered but also for the cultural exchange that it presents in its public spaces. Consequently, Kimmelman tells the story of Agoras in Athens, and how these became a space for connecting with others in Greece. Following this piece of history, he introduces Aristotle’s definition of an “ideal polis,” which he thought of as a place that will be the right size to encourage individuals to communicate face to face with each other. The author then connects Aristotle’s idea of a polis with the situation that occurred in Zuccotti Park, when protestors had to speak directly to one another when they were not allowed by the guards to use loudspeakers. Afterward, Kimmelman uses Washington Square Park and the public space in front of Flatiron to show that these are important for the community, and that contributes to the urban health of the city. The reader is then introduced to an example of a project that the architect Sandi Hilal worked on in the refugee camp Fawwar to create a public space, which surprisingly became successful. Right after this example, he introduces an anecdote of personal experience in a park in Berlin with his family, and how they felt a deep connection with the park. The main argument that I got from the text is that individuals crave public spaces because these give them a space to live in a community that offers them freedom, and that the perfect square is a state of mind.
The information presented in this source seems reliable. However, its structure is a little confusing. There is not a clear argument or thesis. I felt the author let the reader determine the main points, when it should, in fact, be the other way around. This source was used in the class to show an example of a text that does not have a clear structure. It was useful for me to understand that point. Even though the examples used in the text were interesting, they did not fully captivate my attention since I did not understand the final objective of including them all in the same text. Therefore, this text has not changed the way I think of a particular topic. Nevertheless, the text might be useful for individuals that want to read examples of different public spaces.
Text 14: Resilience in Ecology and Urban Design by Bergman
Citation: Pickett, S.T.A, M.L Cadenasso, and Brian McGrath, eds. Resilience in Ecology and Urban Design. Springer.
The text explains the Operation PayDirt in New Orleans. PayDirt is a project that unites art and science to rebuild New Orleans’ soil that is contaminated by lead. The artist Mel Chin designed based on Dr. Howard’s research of the New Orleans’ soil. Their idea is to add six inches of clean sediment from the Mississippi River on residential properties affected by lead to be able to grow trees in these areas. PayDirt consists of the Fundred Dollar Bill Project and the Big Mud Action. The Fundred Dollar Bill Project uses art and performance to recollect the funds needed to make the project possible, and create a community that instigates collaboration among individuals. The Big Mud Action Plan is a network of scientific research, social interaction, and operational methods.
“Resilience in Ecology and Urban Design” is a reliable text since it gives us information from the direct actors of the project. The text made me reflect on how science and art could be used together for social change. This source will be useful for individuals interested in research projects on urban planning, soil restoration, and social change.
Text 15: “The Creek That Connects It All” by Yand and Kao
Citation: Yang, Chia-Ning, and Hsu-Jen Kao. Expanding Architecture Design As Activism. Edited by Bryan Bell and Katie Wakeford. Metropolis Books, 2008.
In the text, we learn about an example of a participatory design to create community empowerment. Chu – King Creek in the village of Juo-Hsin in Taiwan became the center of a Master Plan to help the area develop. The objective of the project is to transform the creek into a touristic spot for the village. The goals of the creek were to ensure the community participated in the decision making of the project, and to base every decision on scientific grounds. To make this possible, the creek had several challenges such as the patriarchal society that does let women much space to share their opinions about serious matters openly. Also, there was no environmental history of the area. To solve this challenges Chia Ning Yang did an environmental assessment of the area, and Shubun Fukudome (a pioneer of eco-friendly stream construction in Japan) accepted to help them with their project.
The source made me think about the possible ways in which the actual citizens can do the decision making of a public project. I believe this text can be useful for a research project on restoration of a rural village, community building, creek contamination, and on participatory design.