Urban Context for Policy and Planning

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<p style=”margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;line-height: normal”>Federal laws have always prohibited discrimination in various areas including housing, employment, education and access to public facilities, to mention but a few. Nevertheless, policy makers have been heavily criticized for making laws that restrict the citizens from accessing public property. One notable example is the skateboarding ban in LOVE Park, Philadelphia. The street skateboarding culture in the city has for many years been controlled and regulated due to security reasons. The exclusion of skateboarding from the Center City denies the citizens their right to access space for identity formation, performance and representation on the public platform.</p>
<p style=”text-indent:.5in;line-height:normal”>Groups of young people in public spaces are often perceived as threats to law and order. As a result, such places have been regulated to reflect the adult definition of appropriate conduct. In the case of LOVE Park, the skating spot was closed to prevent damage, liability and to give way for the mass renovation plan of the park during the citywide festival (Nemeth 297). To reinforce the plan, a police officer patrol was instituted at the park to impose the ban with $300 citation and possible jail time.</p>
<p style=”text-indent:.5in;line-height:normal”>This restriction represents one example of the tension regarding the appropriate space for children in the city. The park was one place where the youth could relax and free their mind from school stress. Skateboarding at LOVE Park is creative use of urban landscape because it was initially designed for respite and relaxation but was later transformed by the skaters into a place of creativity and exploration. Indeed, skateboarders should be permitted to use the public resource again.</p>
<p style=”text-indent:.5in;line-height:normal”>Homosexuality is another issue that has always been perceived as urban. The issue dates back to the 18th century where urban spaces were used by Parisian gays. In recent decades, the issue has emerged in many cities in Western Europe particularly in the Paris&rsquo;s mainly historical Marais. According to research, the increase of homosexuality in this region is primarily due to various economic and social factors such low rents, good public transport and the inception of an urban gay community committed to establishing a territory for its political base (Sibalis 367). The lifestyle in Marais has become an object of resentment from within and outside the gay community.</p>
<p style=”text-indent:.5in;line-height:normal”>Not surprisingly, the intrusion of gays and increasing visibility of their establishment in Marais have resulted in a conflict with the residents who resent the ongoing invasion as well as the dramatic changes that are introduced in the quarter. According to Sibalis, the loud music and noisy laughter from the gay bars have become a major challenge for the residents (371). Homosexuals and lesbians from others areas also feel excluded from the dominant cultural values. As can be seen, the conflicts over the use of urban space have far-reaching implications arising from the way the people conceptualize the society.</p>
<p style=”text-indent:.5in;line-height:normal”>Most cities in the US used to be areas of industrial production and trade. However, globalization has caused most factories in the cities have been shut down and move their production to the global South where there are few regulations and cheap labor (Goldberg 1). As a result, many former industrial cities like Buffalo and Detroit have witnessed an economic decline characterized by high rates fiscal crises and unemployment. On the other sides, the destinations were transformed into global cities. Cities that have assumed such a role like New Work City are growing and gentrifying rapidly.</p>
<p style=”text-indent:.5in;line-height:normal”>The gentrification has torn apart many working class communities to create space for corporate workers. For land speculation, which generates huge profits for banks and private developers, the social problem has resulted in the loss of prestigious union jobs and further weakening of the labor sector whose strongest support was in the industries that are relocating. The only jobs left in these areas are unregulated, underpaid and stigmatized. The societies that have been affected the most by the changes include the Asians, Latino, and the Black-Americans.</p>
<p style=”text-indent:-.25in;line-height:normal”>2.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Professional Development</p>
<p style=”line-height:normal”><i>Valuable Theories. </i>As a realtor, I find the idea of Right to the City the most enlightening because it gives the citizens the responsibility to shape, design, and operationalize their cities. Initially, I thought my career would be to facilitate the sale of property by bridging the gap between the owner and the buyer. For this reason, I&rsquo;ve always focused on the best way to learn about and conquer the housing market. However, the idea of Right to the City has helped to realize that realtors also have a unique role in boosting the economy of a city, especially after gentrification.</p>
<p style=”text-indent:.5in;line-height:normal”>High home prices prevent many people from relocating to cities where wages and jobs are booming. This pattern inhibits economic growth, causes income inequality and prevents people from pursuing their dreams. For a realtor, the idea to improve the economy and stop destructive housing bubbles requires the reframing of the entire US economy and the housing market. For starters, homes may be the largest assets, but they should not be treated as investments. If the property were to be treated like consumer goods, the price of homes would probably drop. Unlike before, I believe it is also the duty of Realtors to present novel solutions to various issues affecting urban spaces.</p>
<p style=”line-height:normal”><i>The impact of Urban Technology. </i>The commercial prosperity and cultural impact of the internet make the idea of smart cities inevitable in the today&rsquo;s society. However, Townsend discourages the popular misconception of defaulting to smart technology as the only solution (285). According to the research, new gadgets do not always offer the better solutions to old issues (285). Be that as it may, the current urban technology is one of the best investments that smart cities can make; it creates an essential infrastructure for different industries. In addition to that, the technology creates new opportunities for social and human development. Simply put, urban technology continues to catalyze industries and organizations, and the real estate business is no exception.</p>
<p style=”text-indent:.5in;line-height:normal”>As the technology grows and continues gain traction in cities, I foresee significant changes in the real estate business. First, the rents in mature real estate markets like London or New York may reach their peaks. Secondly, space sharing and co-location will increase for relatively small organizations; the shared services across businesses would become the norm. Further, with increased consolidation of data on the web and growth of smart buildings, the role of realtors will probably change to advisors. Many property owners will start using online services to engage tenants and sidestepping realtor fees. In this case, the technology will work in the tenant&rsquo;s interest, and thus it may render some real estate position obsolete.</p>
<p style=”text-indent:.5in;line-height:normal”>Next, the professional and life divide have always been blurred, and the developments in communication have distorted the normal working hours to the point that companies have recognized the negative impact on productivity. In response, innovative organizations are mandating that workers not to carry work devices at home. Once the cultural phenomenon reaches equilibrium, the demand for separate social spaces will increase.</p>
<p style=”text-indent:-.25in;line-height:normal”>3.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Right to the City</p>
<p style=”line-height:normal”>We live in a time when human rights ideals have taken center stage both ethically and politically. Today considerable energy is used in promoting the significance of such laws in creating a better world. However, the concepts circulating do not necessarily challenge neoliberal market logics or dominant legalities and state actions. In this light, David Harvey explores another form of human right known as the right to the city. This idea attempts to answer the question regarding the kind of city, social ties, technologies, and lifestyle that people desire.</p>
<p style=”text-indent:.5in;line-height:normal”>According to Harvey, this right surpasses the personal liberty to access city resources (23). This concept entails transforming the people&rsquo;s lives by changing the city. Ideally, the privilege is not an individual, but a common right since the move solely depends on the collective power to revolutionize urbanization (Meagher 136). This freedom to rebuild our cities is among the most valuable yet neglected human rights.</p>
<p style=”text-indent:.5in;line-height:normal”>In the book <i>Aya</i> by Abouet, Marguerite et al., different characters exercise the right to the city. For instance, the protagonist, Aya connects to the other characters and helps the community in a variety of ways. Aya exercises more rights to the city by being supportive of her family and friends and portraying the willingness to help others. On the other side, Aya&rsquo;s father, Ignace does not exercise the right as much as his daughter. The fact that Ignace is defensive and can be rude discourages the collective effort of his family required to revolutionize the entire community.</p>
<p style=”text-indent:.5in;line-height:normal”>According to the right, the motor force for change lies in the daily experiences of different kinds of people in homes, schools, communities and cities. Based on her role as Aya&rsquo;s family maid, Felicite together with Aya watches over Adjoua&rsquo;s child. Felicite also helps sell fritters and is competing in a beauty pageant. The daily experiences constitute the driving force social change, and thus Felicite actively exercises her rights to the city. In a similar vein to Felicite, Fanta&rsquo;s right to the city is evident in her daily house chores and in her dedication in tending to the children.</p>
<p style=”text-indent:.5in;line-height:normal”>The family units in Yop City are mapped out providing the foundation form strong family ties. As can be seen, the ties are an important force in the community. Moreover, members of different families interact, indicating they are always present in each other&rsquo;s lives. The close cooperation between various characters is an indication that the community has been tightly knit.</p>

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