Leaning into Northeastern’s location in Boston’s District 7, the studio partnered with City Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson (D7) to develop an anti-displacement field guide for the ARTery, a planned 3-mile cultural corridor connecting neighborhood squares and secondary commercial areas across Boston’s Roxbury and South End neighborhoods. The route spans a high density and diversity of local businesses, numerous vacant lots, low foot traffic, and diminishing number and quality of public spaces.Taking a corridor-based approach, the studio explored anti-displacement policies and programs that strengthen local businesses, activate public parcels in adjacent areas, and improve neighborhood streets around the needs of existing businesses/residents.
For this first studio exercise, students examined different forms, drivers, and effects of urban displacement, how they show up in Roxbury, and what could be done to address them— creating data narratives to summarize what they learned.
For this second studio exercise, students conducted a listening session with the D7 Advisory Council about important sites of cultural heritage and memory that the ARTery must help preserve and lift up. Then they followed up with archival research and created summary posters of their findings to share back with the community leaders what they learned.
For this third and final studio exercise, students and D7 Advisory Council members co-created ideas for anti-displacement design and planning strategies along the ARTery, focusing on local businesses, public art, vacant lots, repurposing churches, and improving walkability/street safety. They tried to identify opportunities for public investments and improvements that contribute to racial equity, public health, environmental justice, and community stability.