Old Sturbridge Village: As one of the largest living history museums in the US, this Sturbridge, Massachusetts location offers costumed historians, a farm with heritage breed animals, and 40 restored original buildings- all bringing together a living picture of life in the early 19th century.
Saugus Iron Works: This National Historic Site, located in Saugus, Massachusetts, offers nine acres of functioning water wheels, a 17th century home, mills, and hot forges. The site provides a reconstruction of the first iron works location in the New World.
The building envelope, resultant sense of enclosure for the pedestrian, and level of transit amenities increased from Scenario 1 to Scenario 3. The low-density scenario had a one-two-story built form and separated BRT, while the high-density scenario had a five-six-story mixed-use built form with high-end BRT, wider sidewalks, and protected bike lanes. There was general public agreement on Scenario 2, with three-four-story mixed-use built form. The public rejected Scenario 3 as they felt the densities were too high, both for the present and in the future, and the traffic congestion was not serious enough for high-end BRT.
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Photo-simulation worked to a certain extent as a public engagement tool. However, the researchers felt that single-image photo-simulations of improvements to the quality and image of the place (‘carrots’) should be accompanied with simulations of congestion pricing and higher parking and motoring costs (‘sticks’) to achieve a more informed response from the community and offset the opposition to higher densities in traditional auto-centric areas.
A lack of sufficient knowledge of the local culture (structure, processes, practices, relations, and agents) of the neighborhoods and communities (Maginn, 2007) presents a major challenge. A lack of reflective understanding of planners’ and policy makers’ own practices adds to this challenge. As Maginn (2007) notes, applied ethnography, when thrown into the mix of collaborative planning theory, shows policy makers a way forward to achieve valuable community participation. The two together provide a
Using the method of experimental ethnography to study the bike infrastructure in Los Angeles during CicLAvia (an open streets event), researcher Adonia Lugo (2013) considered inanimate infrastructure and living practices to analyze urban mobility. Lugo’s project was based on the belief that academic enquiry, conducted by living and working alongside the cultural group, can bring to social movements the possible use of human infrastructure that could alleviate the concerns around physical infrastructure. As an ethnographer, Lugo spent time listening to the cyclists, biking with people, and observing the way in which they rode. This revealed the diverse nature of cycling in Los Angeles. For example, the decision to use sidewalk, street, or cycle lane depended on each cyclist’s sociocultural and economic background. This meant that safety and other concerns were specific to different groups of cyclists. A blanket approach targeting the improvement of bike infrastructure was not necessarily going to resolve all concerns. Instead, a focus on human infrastructure that included knowledge-sharing online platforms, group rides that helped in appropriating the street space (if only for a short time), bike repair cooperatives, and the like was better able to respond to the specific problems faced by different user groups.