A Greenspace Ethnography of Southwest Atlanta: A Review and Tool

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Wright, Janelle Paige
Raymond, Elora
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The purpose of this thesis study is to provide a tool and foundation for a community science-based greenspace ethnography of a neighborhood. The research requires an assessment of environmental history, policy, plans, and programs throughout the region of interest. This tool's development and application will build on the Southwest Atlanta region and the Bush Mountain neighborhood's existing strategic and programmatic work. Bush Mountain is one of the smallest historically Black neighborhoods within the region, and this study area contains significant environmental and community action and planning around maintaining historical breadth. The neighborhood origin during Reconstruction between 1910 and 1960 and had "developed and sustained [itself] by mobilizing and utilizing its indigenous resources despite the neglect it received from municipal and social institutions" (Pope 2013). Transformation amongst annexations and impending urban redevelopment informed greenspace maintenance throughout time. The ethnography asks the following question: How is place-keeping facilitated across landscape through greenspace change? It does so in the development of a greenspace timeline, and analysis of the structure of greenspace assessment tools support the quantitative ethnographic methodology that builds the practice from the experience of urban agriculture stewards in greenspaces, into practice into community through a community science framework. Perhaps the methodology seeks to reclaim tradition, both Black and indigenous, and in "sustaining curiosity rather than knowability" (McKittrick 2021, YouTube)
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