Colonial Homes: A Case Study of Community Participation Models in the Design Phase of Urban Redevelopment
Overton, Alan Maxwell
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This case study was designed to test the hypothosis that members of a residential community, when faced with a large scale development project, hold a broad range of opinions and ideas, rather than a single perspective. These opinions, drawn from a wide range of local experiences, represent a wealth of potential design ideas which may be lost if the development process assumes that public opinion is uniform and homogenous.Accordingly, research proceeded in meetings with the Collier Hills North neighborhood association with the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the the priorities of the community reflected in public meetings during development debate provided an accurate view of the preferences of neighborhood residents, due to the self-selecting nature of the population in attendance. After initial investigations into the perceived agenda of the residents of Collier Hills North regarding potential redevelopment issues surrounding the adjacent Colonial Homes apartment complex, the investigator prepared a survey instru-ment and delivered it in two stages; first, at a neighborhood association meeting, and sec-ondly via a door-to-door survey. Results of the suvey suggest that different priorities are placed on certain key issues by the self-selecting population that attended the meeting than the random sample of residents contacted by the interviewer during the second stage of the investigation. These differences exist in areas which could shape the framework of possible future discussions among residents, the developer and city hall regarding this potential redevelopment program. Results from the survey were then used to create a set of design priorities and strategies with the intention of balancing the needs of the interested parties.