Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Survey Results - Part 1

That BIG EAR has been an evolutionary tool to provide public outreach and involvement in our efforts of reviving the Jackson Community Design Center. Just as with any scientifically, philosophically, or socially induced endeavor; one must begin at the beginning. First, we established that the degeneration of State Street as a vital artery to the city was an issue to be addressed. As a balance to the objective quantitative data we were collecting, some qualitative subjective data from the inhabitants of the city was deemed useful and important.

For our first attempt of extracting public opinion, we conducted a very general survey.
The most important aspect of developing theories about existing issues is to identify what these are and their hierarchy. Jacksonians were asked to do so in the survey.
We had 360 respondents and the results are as followed:

A grad student from Jackson State University who lives in South Jackson elaborated for us. When asked for any other comments or concerns he or she listed:

1. Poor Leadership 2. Poor Management 3. Poor Goal Setting / Planning 4. Lack of Unity from stakeholders 5. Lack of High Paying Jobs 6. Lack of Night Life for a major city 7. Poor Business Assistance / Development Programs 8. Lack of attention to the arts/ tourism - (no movie theater) 9. Poor Housing Stock 10. Lack of Infrastructural Investment i.e. water, sewer, pipe lines, power lines and street lights 11. Lack of youth investment - i.e. youth training, cultural center, recreation parks & youth outreach.

The elaboration of this particular Jacksonian is not too dissimilar from the others. Also, the responses to this question are not exactly unexpected, but this information allows us to isolate general concerns and the areas where people have them. This allows us not to solely rely on assumptions and it helps establish where our efforts can be most effective. But the question really is...what to do with this information? To what extent can the JCDC fit into this equation? What should our role in the continuing growth of the city be?

We wish to establish the differentiation between fact and perception. As we continue to compile and illustrate the rest of our data, perception versus truth will be exposed. We are currently mapping years of crime statistics and maps, property values, population density, traffic counts, and studying plans for future development. This will be the quantitative backing to our qualitative initiatives. Please stay with us and check in from time to time to monitor our progress.


Two Dogs said...

The data collection looks really thorough. Kudos to you guys!

I do find it encouraging that y'all found that everyone (that matters) agreed that bad government was the main reason they were dissatisfied with Jackson.

What does that tell you to do?

Whitney said...

What does that tell us to do?
Well, that's a good question, and one we have been asking ourselves for quite a while now. It's a bit overwhelming actually to read the comments we receive. Most harp on the governmental influence or lack there of on Jackson, as well as the media, the education system...etc. You name it. At first glance these could seem to be way out of our element. There are a lot of people in the world who still think architects just draw blue prints like some kind of isolated incident, but you and I both know that's not the case. We are exposed to a plethora of information that I am going to go ahead and assume that most government employees are not. This makes us incredible tools for a community. Especially because we are not in a position to capitalize...we are a position to learn and give back to the community. Less to loose right?

Perhaps one of the goals of the JCDC should be not only to participate in our related industry, but to take our information, presentations, suggestions, or data we collect to city council meetings. Scheduling forums that merge the legislative realm of the city with the planning and design field. The JCDC could be a tool for organization.

Two Dogs said...

I do realize that architecture school continually tries to focus the attention on a group collaborative, but is there something that seems to contradict the ideology of a collective method of attacking the problem?

Does there seem to be a solution to the problem that doesn't require a government or a group-think mentality toward solving the problem? Studying methods that have been successful in the past as well as studying things that have never worked in the past might be a good starting point. Maybe you could find one single instance of where there was a successful group effort in any type of endeavor besides sports.

A good example of what I am talking about would be to see exactly how many people have benefited from Bill Gates starting Microsoft. Without Bill Gates, what would the range of accomplishment be and what about the increase in labor?

Remember, NOTHING is mutually exclusive. Reality is always a determining factor. There is a way to revitalize downtown Jackson or the State Street corridor, but you have to look for it.

Anonymous said...

We wish to establish the differentiation between fact and perception. As we continue to compile and illustrate the rest of our data, perception versus truth will be exposed.

Truth? From a voluntary sample that, from all appearances, is geographically very narrow? Please don't embarrass yourselves.

Bryan said...

Actually, anonymous, Whitney is referring to "truth" as the way things actually are, the thing that is out there, in the world. In the first sentence you quoted we see truth paralleled with fact. "Perception" is equated with the survey, which is admittedly unscientific, and cannot be used for much more than to indicate general trends. This is why she says "perception versus truth." So whether we uncover truth doesn't rely on the results of the survey directly.

For example, The "perception" of crime is what we gain from the survey and the "truth" is the actual crime statistics, which we are compiling right now.

This may just seem like a game of semantics and syntax, but the point seems important to make.

Two Dogs said...

Bryan, debating trolls isn't necessary to continue the conversation. He/she/ambiguous other is just another part of the problem. Y'all have enough parts to worry about already.

By the way, REALITY is the way that things actually are. Truth is what you find in the study of reality.

Bryan said...

it depends on who you're reading...if you hold to the correspondence theory of truth, then yes it is...

Two Dogs said...

I am not debating pragmatism or any other type of philosophy, Bryan. Truth is a factual statement. Reality is the way things are. That is the English language, words and definitions.

Architects like to misuse words and that hinders communication, don't fall for that crap.