Janelle's South Phoenix Project Home

Project 5


Janelle’s Letter for Urban Studies


            To any audience viewing our class web sites here’s what I learned during our seven weeks of field work in South Phoenix.

The word “SOUTH” has a negative connotation attached to it. Some examples are South Central (slums in California), South Houston (minority area-slums in Texas) and the south side in most major cities throughout the United States.  In article after article taken for the Arizona Republic new developers and new residents believe that renaming South Phoenix to South Mountain Village elevates the negative connotation. South Mountain Village carries the connotation of beautiful mountain views, peace and serenity and villages with neighborly communities. Many long-time residents are happy for the changes and improvements that South Phoenix is receiving, but there are some that are being squeezed out and walk that fine line of being happy for South Phoenix. An example would be found in the Arizona Republic article Citrus stand squeezed out date 3/10/04. The article tells about a Dutch immigrant’s family who came to the States to built a before life for themselves, and after dedicating 20 years of life to something that they love doing they’re now being bought out and forced into retirement. This is only the beginning, several businesses and life-long resident’s are being forced to relocate or go out of business to accommodate South Phoenix’s makeover.

I believe that to preserve the history, we should let the new comers know the history of the land that they reside and work on. I also believe keeping one of the many citrus stands, old businesses, and hand-made homes as historical landmarks or educational tools.  

I also learned during my field work that the negative connotations come for those who haven’t experienced others cultures, life-styles, religions, and traditions. In my opinion, South Phoenix should have never been categorized with negative connotations because it consists of many religions, cultures, traditions and life-styles. South Phoenix allowed its residents to be individuals and still live together and the new developments wants to take way the individualism and add uniformity.




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