Form and Ferguson
Everyone wants out of Micheal Brown’s neighborhood (Canfield Green) according to several resident accounts.
Now Canfield Green’s residents find themselves trapped in the same kind of segregated, violent, deteriorating neighborhood they had hoped to leave behind. That process took years, but since Brown’s death, the change at Canfield Green has been swift and ominous. “It’s a ghost town over here now,” said David Whitt, a 35-year-old married father of three who’s lived here for a year and a half. “Nobody wants to live like this.”
Place like Canfield Green were built to fail, using out dated urban design principals. Lets take a look at the Neighborhood of Michael Brown:
This is not a place anyone wants to live anymore. Went first constructed it was attractive, but as the newness wore off it aged poorly and the form did not support investment. Now lets look at a low income development in Baltimore and compare designs.
Where do people in Canfield Green shop and meet others?
Pretty lifeless? Let’s look at my neighborhood destination in Oak Cliff (Dallas, TX).
The issues in Ferguson are not limited to form, but how could we start to repair parts of cities that were never built to foster community and sustainable economy? The City of Saint Louis has completed four Better Blocks to date and there was even one in Ferguson in 2011. The role of temporary changes that can insight new perceptions about a place might play a role in Ferguson, but for now we pray for justice.