Catering to Oakland's Enclaves

A one-size-fits-all urban landscape doesn't mean that different ethnic neighborhoods don't find ways to personalize them. A UC Berkeley graduate student investigates how cultures perceive space.

"Preliminary results show that people - especially in Oakland's ethnic neighborhoods - want bustling neighborhoods with services that remind them of their native land.

Residents in the heavily Latino Fruitvale district enjoy the pedestrian-friendly International Boulevard, where sidewalk vendors sell everything from tacos to toys. In Chinatown, residents say they like the elbow-to-elbow crush of people on the sidewalks shopping at produce stores and other shops, and they like the cacophony of cars and bicycles because it reminds them of big-city life in China.

The bottom line, Lemon said, is that Oakland and other cities need to get beyond one-size-fits-all city planning and architecture and pay heed to individual neighborhood needs.

'I wanted to find out if Hispanics, Chinese, African Americans or Caucasians prefer different types of space,' Lemon said. 'Would a city's resources be better used designing a picturesque park or put into a better streetscape or fields for soccer or football? It's more than an academic exercise.'"

Full Story: How ethnic groups change Oakland neighborhoods

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!
$28.00
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95