Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A factor determining the boundary between communities

I believe the factor of “economic status” delineates the boundaries between communities. The economic status of not only the residents of the community but of the community's government-funded aspects delineates the boundary. Generally speaking, more attractive communities appeal to wealthier people and less attractive communities appeal to poorer people. The situation of where communities form and who comprises them comes down to who can afford to live in the particular communities. The economic standings of individuals in a community are most often similar among all members; therefore, a community of people of the same class is created. People who share common characteristics, in this case, economic status, choose to live with others like themselves—it’s human nature. Poorer areas have a smaller tax base than areas with more money and the people living in these areas often rely on governmental assistance. The children in poverty-stricken communities often do not come from “perfect” home environments conducive to learning and often don’t have the familial support vital for success in school. Therefore, the schools in these poorer areas are not very good and receive lower ratings than schools in better areas. Also poorer communities often have significantly higher crime rates and more violence than wealthier areas. People who are not poor would not be attracted to these aforementioned communities because they would prefer to live in more positive communities. Areas of middle class, upper-middle class, and upper class citizens have larger tax bases than poorer areas and also have better schools. The schools are significantly better because the children come from better home environments, generally speaking, and they perform better. More money exists in these “better communities” for supplies necessary for learning.
The above school-rating situation ties into the economic status of the government-aided components of communities. The condition and presence or absence of public schools, libraries, parks, and community centers is linked to the amount of government funding set aside along in part with tax revenue of the community.
An example of economic status defining a border between two communities occurs in Hannibal Square and the wealthier area of downtown Winter Park. In this particular situation, the economic status of the residents in these communities has delineated a boundary that is further signified by the railroad tracks. Wealthier people choose to live on one side, one community, because it’s more pleasing to them. Since the founding of Winter Park, the East Side has been an area of much appeal because of its high property values, history, beautiful physical attributes, and prime location. The historically poorer community of Hannibal Square has members who live there sometimes out of choice, but most often out of necessity. The property values are historically less than those of the East Side making property more affordable for people of lesser economic status. The property is worth less in this community because of the law of supply and demand. The property in Hannibal Square used to not be in demand nearly as much as the property of the East Side. Today, however, property in Hannibal Square has become much more valuable because of its proximity to downtown Winter Park and the need to expand this area on behalf of developers and of growth to the area.

1 comment:

  1. The intersection of wealth and space is a crucial element in our consideration of the transformation of the American experience. The question we must ask ourselves is at what point does the issue of economy dictate the outcome of process?