Going Places, Meeting Places, Building Communities, Sharing Knowledges (1998)

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Note from the Editors:

This 1998 edition of Critical Planning celebrates its fifth year of student intellectual interchange as expressed in an academic journal. Critical Planning remains committed to opening a discursive space for student’s ideas and queries. The momentum of student participation has carried it through a few generations of Urban Planning students, and now enjoys a wonderfully international backbone. If one views the ideas on the following pages as entering the journal like community members might enter a homestead, it deserves mentioning that everyone who brought this text to life announced their presence differently. The intellectual cacophony of all who entered the literary abode ranged from a simple “knock—knock” on the door (English) to a “qiao—qiao” door tap (Mandarin). The French Quebecois arrived with a “toc-toc-toc!”, and the Tawanese contingent beat out a “Ko-ko-ko” on the journal’s door. Finally, the (Tagalog) “katok” on the door declared that all interested were present and ready to build this year’s journal! We ask the readers to imagine this journal as a house for ideas, but it reads more like a houseboat since its structure moves through four principal themes. Each section invokes a prominent disciplinary verb: 1) Going Places, 2) Meeting Places, 3) Building Communities, and 4) Sharing Knowledges.

The first section, Going Places, brings together literatures examining travel, transportation, equity and memory. Brown’s "Race, Class, Gender and Public Transportation: Lessons from the Bus Riders Union Lawsuit" traces the bus rider union formation and lawsuit, and critiques the Metro Transportation Authority’s focus on rail while neglecting low-income Angelenos’ bus ridership needs. Polston’s "No Transfer: Lack of Public Transport to San Francisco International Airport" describes political and economic consequences of a specific route of public transportation and how its use is limited because of legislative negotiations with the private sector. Hess writes about early rail terminals and their later abandonment in "Arrivals and Departures: Rail Terminals, Circulation, and the Urban Fabric 1910-1940".

Section two, Meeting Spaces, includes work on social life in public spaces, dilemmas of urban place-making, and alternative meanings of space and place. Boudreau’s article, "Chatting in a Public Park: An Urban Conversation", documents the intellectual engagement of a graduate student and a homeless person in a public park. Redding’s "Public Space in the Castro and the Historical Reembedding of Queer Culture" takes on the politics of economic development, urban revitalization, and queer cultures in San Francisco’s Castro. Santo reflects on her children’s ideas about space and place in "When Graduate Studies Become a Family Affair: An Intergenerational Excursion into Space and Place". Martin explores the aesthetics of public space in his poem "Echo Park Day Trip".

The third section, Building Communities, examines divergent dilemmas in community development. Davison analyzes changes in district allocation and activities as impacted by electoral shifts and unbalanced development in her "Case Study of Community Development Block Grants in the City of San Diego 1991-1995". "From Gang Member to Community Leader: the Development of an Activist", documents what Nakaoka learns through an interview with a local community leader. Keys’ "The Proletarianization of Tribal Subsistence Economies: Resource Degradation and Unpropertied Communities" presents the effects of privatization on fishing rights if indigenous communities in the Northwest in relation to fisheries depletion, and the tensions between governmental/corporate management and traditional/subsistence economies.

The final section, Sharing Knowledges, looks at postcolonial Taiwan and the foci of the 1997-1998 conferences in UCLA’s Urban Planning Department. Consciousness and nationalism in contemporary Taiwan, and the contrasting principles of ‘Chinese Renaissance’ and feminist activism, are discussed in Sun’s "Stirring the Chinese May Fourth: Alternative Bottom up Version from Postcolonial Taiwan". Lingafelter discusses the "Lecture Series on Gender and Community Development in In Their Own Words". Yun Chung Chen and Valen write about the current economic crisis in Asia as debated in the conference on Labor Rights and Labor Organizing in the Pacific Rim.

Paulo Freire, the late Brazilian educator, described gaining literacy as learning to “read the world”—not just “read the word.” It is in this light that we offer the words and ideas embedded in Critical Planning Journal volume 5. This edition was created through a series of (sometimes exhausting) creative, intellectual, and communal acts. This process continues in your valued reading of the enclosed articles.

The Editors

 

Table of Contents:

GOING PLACES

Race, Class, Gender and Public Transportation: Lessons from the Bus Riders Union Lawsuit
Jeffery Brown

No Transfer: Lack of Public Transport to San Francisco International Airport
Joshua Polston

Arrivals and Departures: Rail Terminals, Circulation, and the Urban Fabric 1910-1940
Daniel Baldwin Hess

MEETING SPACES

Chatting in a Public Park: An Urban Conversation
Julie-Anne Boudreau

Public Space in the Castro and the Historical Reembedding of Queer Culture
Scott Redding

When Graduate Studies Become a Family Affair: An Inter-generational Excursion into Space and Place
Amy Avila and Reva Santo

Echo Park Day Trip
Philip Martin

BUILDING COMMUNITIES

The Proletarianization of Tribal Subsistence Economies: Resource Degradation and Unpropertied Communities
Craig S. Keys

Case Study of Community Development Block Grants in the City of San Diego 1991-1995
Susan B. Davison

From Gang Member to Community Leader: the Development of an Activist
Susan Nakaoka

SHARING KNOWLEDGES

Stirring the Chinese May Fourth: Alternative Bottom up Version from Postcolonial Taiwan
Ruei-Suei Sun

In Their Own Words: The Lecture Series on Gender and Community Development
Teresa Lingafelter

Organizing a Symposium: “Labor Rights and Labor Organizing in the Pacific Rim”
Yun-Chung Chen and Terry Valen