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Fall 2007 Practicum « MIT@Lawrence

Fall 2007 Practicum


In 2007, MIT has strengthened its relationship with the City’s Community Development Department (CDD), initially represented by Director, Ezra Glenn, and later by Housing Manager, Andrea Ryan. The main objective for the fall semester has been to assist the CDD in preparing the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area Plan (NRSA) for the Arlington Neighborhood, which will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in summer of 2008. Ultimately, the NRSA will serve as the vehicle for directing five years Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to the Arlington Neighborhood, which is widely considered the most underserved neighborhood in Lawrence. After reviewing literature, meeting with a number of neighborhood leaders, and going on a walking tour, students in the practicum identified flooding and foreclosure as two critical issues that are undermining the health of the Arlington neighborhood. The team thus focused their efforts on understanding how these two devastating forces impact residents and on how community organizers are dealing with their repercussions. Over the course of the semester, students have:

  • Attended community meetings and workshops,
  • Conducted personal interviews with residents and organizers,
  • Compiled data and produced maps, and
  • Convened key community players at information-sharing meetings.

These actions enabled them to create one cohesive narrative about how foreclosure and flooding concerns have played out in the Arlington neighborhood. In this report, the team presents their findings and lays out recommendations for future action. Lawrence Practicum Final Report (Fall 2007): ENGLISH and SPANISH