Place and Citizenship at Home

January 13, 2017  • Posted in Member Projects  •  0 Comments

Sheryl-Ann Simpson, University of California, Davis, Landscape Architecture + Environmental Design

When inequality happens within one neighborhood, in the same town, or even door-to-door how do understandings about who belongs and has the right to make claims to space change. How do stories about these places change, and what are all the different stories that develop? How do states and other institutions interact with and represent residents in these places? And finally, how do different residents’ practices produce and reproduce the places where they live,work and play?

I am looking for answers to these broad questions through two research projects that explore the relationships between place and citizenship close to home.

The first looks at changes people are making to residential landscapes in light of the ongoing drought in California, US, and in a set of neighborhoods that range for high to low income with mixed and gentrifying neighborhoods in between. Exploring these landscapes is an opportunity to see how environmental conditions, state legislation, and personal finance mix with expectations about property and neighborliness, alongside culture, tradition and ecological values.

The second examines the process of becoming a citizen for new international immigrant residents and young adults in rural western Manitoba, Canada. I ask about the different experiences and perspectives people have about moving and staying, and what pulls and pushes people differently. Here I am paying attention to questions around housing and work, the role of state policies, and the role of feelings of attachment to people, place and landscapes.

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