By Coryn Anderson
To People Curious About South Phoenix:
During the last six weeks in my Urban Studies class, taught by Dr. Kristin Koptiuch, I have been fortunate enough to study South Phoenix, Arizona and its urban processes and practices. In fact, the whole focus of the class was to "learn from South Phoenix". The objective was to go into the field so that we could explore this area from an anthropologists perspective. Due to the fact that this neighborhood is currently undergoing such extreme changes, I was able to witness them first hand and learn from them. In the last six weeks, I was able to learn about gentrification, revitalization, Habitat for Humanity, the Rio Salado Project, and South Mountain Park. Even though the class is over, I still plan to continue to explore South Phoenix on my own. In addition, with the knowledge I have gained I am able to present my experiences to the public. My individual and group web pages are now available so that I can teach others about the exciting changes occurring before our eyes.
There are several different types of issues occurring in South Phoenix today but to me the most interesting is the topic of gentrification. Throughout my web site you will be able to see different aspects of gentrification and the effects that it is having on this area. One of my classmates, Alyssa Morgan, wrote an interesting article about gentrification. Morgan looks at gentrification and points out the good and bad aspects of its influence. Another web site by Patricia Luecke is worth taking a look at. Luecke compares her experiences in South Phoenix to those of Columbus and Charles Dickens.
Another important development in South Phoenix is the work done by Habitat for Humanity. Habitat is an organization that provides affordable housing for underprivileged families. What Habitat has done in South Phoenix is taken a bare stretch of land and turned it into a successful community. One day our class was able to assist Habitat in the landscaping and roofing of a new home. Natalie Pitman and Barbara Romero wrote about what they experienced while lending a helping hand.
Freeze frames are a good way to get a descriptive view of South Phoenix. Kim Gutierrez also wrote about San Isidro Farms. I would recommend viewing her page so you can get a description of the fruit stand from someone else's perspective. I also think that you would like Jamie Razo's interesting piece about Hip Hop Hair and Cafe, a place where you can not only get your hair done but eat and listen to music all at the same time. Another classmate, Jessica Dalske, brings up an interesting topic on what is to us an unusual placement of a pay phone.
I highly recommend checking out these web sites if you are interested in learning more about South Phoenix. Better yet if you live in Arizona try to check out South Phoenix the next time your in the area.