During your community walk, observe and gather information. If the group chooses to go to a restaurant or a coffee shop, make sure the establishment you select is wheelchair accessible.
What explicit and implicit values are conveyed by how the neighborhood is designed? What is important? Who is important? For example:
- Are there sidewalks? What does that imply?
- What about playgrounds, public parks, community centers for children and families?
- What kind of stores are in the neighborhood? What do they sell? Are they locally owned or chains?
- How does the design of the neighborhood welcome or exclude?
- What kind of transportation do residents use?
- Do the homes have front porches? Front or back yards?
- Single-family homes? Condos? Rental apartments?
- How many generations live in the home?
- Where do teenagers hang out?
- What are the demographics of the residents?
- How do income and wealth appear to shape community life?
- How does the visible language (e.g., words carved on buildings, signs, brochures, etc.) shape the message of the neighborhood?
Collect artifacts (such as brochures, advertisements, or natural objects). Take photos or video images of where you go.
Do quick interviews of three to five people who seem representative of the neighborhood. As questions such as:
- What do you enjoy most about your community?
- What does this community represent to you?
Gather together your artifacts, field notes, and images. Each person should be prepared to share three fresh insights at our next workshop.