Monday, November 03, 2008

my Experience with (SPURA)

For the past two weeks kashawn and I have been developing our skills on making floor plans on paper. We need this skill to help us plan out the floor scheme for new design housing. NDH is a project that kashawn and I are developing for our principle and his idea of housing several students to help and support them through high school.
Last Wednesday kashawn, Anne, and I attended a community meeting for the Seward Park Urban Renew Area (SPURA). The SPURA site is a part of the lower east side that is government owned; meaning that the community can have a say on what they would like to see in the area. SPURA is located between Essex and Delancey; willet and grand.
When participants arrived they were all given separate numbers depending on where they lived in the L.E.S. because I live in the les I was at table 3 while kashawn and Anne were at table 4. After receiving a number we sat with our groups and introduced ourselves to one another. When the group introductions were done we sat and listened to two speakers talk about the S.P.U.R.A site and its background history from two different points of view. Hearing all the information about the history got us to thinking about what this area can be used for since it hasn’t been used in almost 40 years. When the speaker’s were done with their presentations we participated in group activities in which we had to do as a group and no one was left out.
For first activity was look at a bird’s eye view map of the S.P.U.R.A site and the surrounding areas and mark off what ever you know on the map such as convenience stores or schools and parks etc.…
The second group activity we all were given 20 yellow dots which represented a million dollars each. We were given a list of potential things we can do on the site and added what ever wasn’t on the list that we felt should have been on it. They told us to use up all your money on what we thought we would want to spend it on. So I added the project that kashawn and I are working on the NDH and other stuff. When every body spent there money we were told to calculate the total and report out to everyone what were our top three money makers.
My group’s top three money makers were NDH, affordable housing, and mixed income housing each have a specific reason for being chosen.
NDH was chosen because I explained that NDH is going to be a housing complex for students that have unstable houses or live in foster care. To change the statistics of teen’s dropping out all they need is a strong foundation to stand on. That is what this house is going to be the rock of support under the 60 selected students of new design high school. So everyone thought that the project was a good idea and altogether 15 million dollars was spent on it.
The affordable housing was chosen because honestly who doesn’t want affordable housing and we spent at least 10 million on that. Mixed income housing was chosen because it would be able affordable housing for everyone. No one has to feel like there getting kicked out of there homes because they don’t have the money for it. For example if you charge one person 2500 for rent, then charge a single mother with four kids 800 on rent to work with living situation and leaving enough money for food to be on the table. My group and I came to realize if mixed income buildings were built that it would balance itself out cause of the mixed income being brought into the neighborhood.
It was fun being there even though at first I thought I was going to be board but learning more about the area I live in interested me a lot. Doing the activities I just lost track of time I even forgot for a second that I was with Anne and kashawn. When the night was coming to an end we meet at the front entrance and expressed how we thought the whole thing went and kashawn and I both said that it was fun. Also nerve racking because we both had to stand up and present our top three choices to a room of people we have never meet before but at the same time a learning experience.

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