USF Libraries
USF Digital Collections

Socio-spatial polarization in St. Petersburg, Florida

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
Socio-spatial polarization in St. Petersburg, Florida a critical evaluation of the vision 2020 plan
Physical Description:
Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Salmond, Jacqueline
Publisher:
University of South Florida
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla.
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Marginalization
Racial segregation
Urban development
City planning
Urban inequity
Dissertations, Academic -- Geography -- Masters -- USF   ( lcsh )
Genre:
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Summary:
ABSTRACT: Those who are given access to develop and plan our urban areas are in possession of great power and potential. With the vast sums of both private and governmental money associated with the creation and organization of urban areas, the motivations of those constructing plans and deciding developmental strategies need to be considered. When a city has a dual identity and is socially and spatially conflicted, then the task of planning equitably for all residents becomes even more complex. The extent to which planners address the needs of their community, and the divisions which may exist, reveals the intentions of the city regarding which residents are to be included within city life. This study examines these factors as they appertain to the city of St Petersburg, Florida which contains a population that is polarized racially, socially and spatially.St. Petersburg promotes itself as a city of consumption, with a focus upon the tourist trade and its related support services. There exists an excluded 'underclass' which is incongruous alongside this promotion of the city as a tourist destination, but essential to the maintenance of the services needed. Faced with these conflicting city identities, the Developmental Services Department is under pressure to address resident contentions and to provide equitably for the city. Vision 2020 is a recent development which seeks to address some of the residents' concerns, and plan for the future development of the city. The document makes claims to citizen participation and asserts that it has addressed the concerns of residents. However, methods employed to illicit citizen participation failed to actively encourage participation from all social groups within the city and potentially alienated low-income residents.
Thesis:
Thesis (MA)--University of South Florida, 2004.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
System Details:
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jacqueline Salmond.
General Note:
Title from PDF of title page.
General Note:
Document formatted into pages; contains 163 pages.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001681135
oclc - 62859884
usfldc doi - E14-SFE0000610
usfldc handle - e14.610
System ID:
SFS0025300:00001


This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8 standalone no
record xmlns http:www.loc.govMARC21slim xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.loc.govstandardsmarcxmlschemaMARC21slim.xsd
leader nam Ka
controlfield tag 001 001681135
003 fts
005 20060215071306.0
006 m||||e|||d||||||||
007 cr mnu|||uuuuu
008 060109s2004 flu sbm s000 0 eng d
datafield ind1 8 ind2 024
subfield code a E14-SFE0000610
035
(OCoLC)62859884
SFE0000610
040
FHM
c FHM
049
FHMM
090
G116 (Online)
1 100
Salmond, Jacqueline.
0 245
Socio-spatial polarization in St. Petersburg, Florida
h [electronic resource] :
b a critical evaluation of the vision 2020 plan /
by Jacqueline Salmond.
260
[Tampa, Fla.] :
University of South Florida,
2004.
502
Thesis (MA)--University of South Florida, 2004.
504
Includes bibliographical references.
516
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
538
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
500
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 163 pages.
520
ABSTRACT: Those who are given access to develop and plan our urban areas are in possession of great power and potential. With the vast sums of both private and governmental money associated with the creation and organization of urban areas, the motivations of those constructing plans and deciding developmental strategies need to be considered. When a city has a dual identity and is socially and spatially conflicted, then the task of planning equitably for all residents becomes even more complex. The extent to which planners address the needs of their community, and the divisions which may exist, reveals the intentions of the city regarding which residents are to be included within city life. This study examines these factors as they appertain to the city of St Petersburg, Florida which contains a population that is polarized racially, socially and spatially.St. Petersburg promotes itself as a city of consumption, with a focus upon the tourist trade and its related support services. There exists an excluded 'underclass' which is incongruous alongside this promotion of the city as a tourist destination, but essential to the maintenance of the services needed. Faced with these conflicting city identities, the Developmental Services Department is under pressure to address resident contentions and to provide equitably for the city. Vision 2020 is a recent development which seeks to address some of the residents' concerns, and plan for the future development of the city. The document makes claims to citizen participation and asserts that it has addressed the concerns of residents. However, methods employed to illicit citizen participation failed to actively encourage participation from all social groups within the city and potentially alienated low-income residents.
590
Adviser: Bosman, Dr.Martin.
653
Marginalization.
Racial segregation.
Urban development.
City planning.
Urban inequity.
690
Dissertations, Academic
z USF
x Geography
Masters.
773
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
4 856
u http://digital.lib.usf.edu/?e14.610



PAGE 1

Socio-Spatial Polarization in St. Petersburg, Florida: A Critical Evaluation of the Vision 2020 Plan By Jacqueline Salmond A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Geography College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Martin Bosman, Ph.D. Committee Members: Dr. Kevin Archer, Ph.D. Dr. Jayajit Chakraborty, Ph.D. Date of Approval: June 22, 2004 Keywords: Urban Development, City Planning, Urban Inequity, Racial Segregation, Marginalization Copyright 2004, Jacqueline Salmond

PAGE 2

Dedication This work is dedicated to my mother who spent her life struggling to raise our family in less than perfect conditions. She ma de sacrifices throughout her life in order to give us all a good life an d continually denied herself for her family. And to all the men and women throug hout the world who struggle against adversity to raise their fam ilies and live a peaceful life.

PAGE 3

Acknowledgements I would like to acknowledge all the help and support I have received throughout the research process and the preparation of this document. I appreciate all the help and advice given to me by my committee member s, Dr. Kevin Archer and Dr. Jayajit Chakraborty and particularly my advisor, Dr Martin Bosman. I am indebted to the St. Petersburg Developmental Services Depa rtment who provided me with endless information and details regarding the pl anning process and city regulations. Thanks also go to the men and wome n of St. Petersburg who have provided information, comments and assistance during the course of this research. Many people gave freely of their time and opinions and allo wed me in some instances to invade their lives. For this I am eternally grateful, I f eel these insights have provided a vital human element to this study. And lastly, special thanks go to Mike for his unwavering support and understanding, even in the face of extreme frus tration, provocation and lack of dinner. I could not have completed without him.

PAGE 4

i Table of Contents List of Tables ii List of Figures iii Abstract iv Chapter One: Introduction 1 The St. Petersburg Study Area 2 Problem Statement 6 Research Motivations 7 Theoretical Framework 10 What is Socio-Spatial Polarization 18 Issues of Language 22 Conclusion 24 Chapter Two: A Brief Hi story of St. Petersburg 25 African Americans in St. Petersburg 32 New Urbanism in Jordan Park 40 History of Civil and Racial Violence 46 Riot or Protest? 52 Reactions to the Protests 54 Conclusion 57 Chapter Three: Methodology 58 Citizen Voices 60 Organization of Interviews 63 Data Analysis Methodologies 65 Measures of Segregation 67 Conclusion 70 Chapter Four: St. Petersburg Planning History 71 A New Comprehensive Plan 80 Planning Process 81 St. Petersburg Midtown St rategic Planning Initiative 84 Vision 2020 Findings 92 Critique of Vision 2020 95 Conclusion 102

PAGE 5

ii Chapter Five: Results and Interviews 103 Racial Polarization 104 Economic Polarization 107 Economic Polarization and Race 111 Results of Interviews 116 Interviews with Officials 118 Interviews with Residents 127 Analysis of Resident Responses 133 Comparison of Responses 136 Conclusion 137 Chapter Six: Conclusions 140 Problems and Limitations of the Study 144 Future Research 146 Bibliography 148 Appendices 152 Appendix A: Interview Questions 153 Appendix B: Map of Downtown St. Petersburg 154

PAGE 6

iii List of Tables Table 1. Selected Demogr aphic Characteristics, 2000 3 Table 2. Census Bureau Population Results 1910-2000 35 Table 3. Comparison of Midtown and City Characteristics, 2000 52 Table 4. St. Petersburg Employment Characteristics, 2000 59 Table 5. City-Wide Poverty Status, 2000 102 Table 6. Median Household Income by Race 106 Table 7. Resident Response Rates 128 Table 8. Summary of Respons es to Yes/No Questions 137

PAGE 7

iv List of Figures Figure 1. Map: Location of St. Petersburg, Florida 2 Figure 2. Photograph: Bayw alk Code of Conduct 12 Figure 3. Photograph: Dual Identities: 22 nd Avenue Grocery Store 17 Figure 4. Photograph: Dual Identiti es: Baywalk Shopertainment Complex 17 Figure 5. Map: Early African Am erican Residential Location 33 Figure 6. Map: Location of African American Ne ighborhoods circa 1949 37 Figure 7. Photograph: Jordan Park Housing Development 44 Figure 8. Photograph: Enoch Davi es Community Center Mural 53 Figure 9. Map: Location of Selected Study Areas 64 Figure 10. Map: Designated Urban Infill Area 86 Figure 11. Map: Racial Distri bution in St. Petersburg, 2000 107 Figure 12. Map: Poverty Distri bution in St. Petersburg, 2000 110 Figure 13. Bar Graph: Median Household Income by Race 113

PAGE 8

v Socio-Spatial Polarization in St. Petersburg, Florida: A Critical Evaluation of the Vision 2020 Plan Jacqueline Salmond ABSTRACT Those who are given access to develop a nd plan our urban areas are in possession of great power and potential. With the vast sums of both private and governmental money associated with the creation and organization of urban areas, the motivations of those constructing plans and deciding developmental strategies need to be considered. When a city has a dual identity and is socially and spatially conflicted, then the task of planning equitably for all residents becomes even more complex. The extent to which planners address the needs of their community, and th e divisions which may exist, reveals the intentions of the city regarding which reside nts are to be included within city life. This study examines these factors as they appertain to the city of St Petersburg, Florida which contains a populati on that is polarized racially, socially and spatially. St. Petersburg promotes itself as a city of consumption, with a focus upon the tourist trade and its related support servi ces. There exists an exclude d underclass which is incongruous alongside this promotion of the city as a tourist destina tion, but essential to the maintenance of the services needed. Faced with these conflicting city identities, the Developmental Services Departme nt is under pressure to addr ess resident contentions and to provide equitably for the city.

PAGE 9

vi Vision 2020 is a recent development wh ich seeks to address some of the residents concerns, and plan for the future development of the city. The document makes claims to citizen participation and asserts that it has addressed the concerns of residents. However, methods employed to illicit citizen participation failed to actively encourage participation from all social groups within the city and potentially alienated low-income residents. Equally, the document does not specifically address the socio-spatial polarization within the city and the vast ine quities which are evident city wide. A plan which claims to be written by the people and for the people, which fails to incorporate concerns from all sectors of the communit y, sends a specific message of exclusion to those not represented.

PAGE 10

1 Chapter One Introduction St Petersburg is a vibrant, cosmopolitan community in which to live, play, learn and work. All of its citizens, neighbor hoods and businesses co llaborate in its development. St. Petersburg maintains its unique sense of place and economic viability while preserving its history, diversity, and lush natural beauty. St. Petersburg provides a safe, clean sust ainable environment with a spectacular waterfront to be enjoyed by all of its residents and visitors. Vision 2020 Mission Statement The city of St. Petersburg has taken a bol d step in addressing the future planning needs of its citizens. After developing for se veral years without a de finitive plan, the city felt that a new planning ideology was need ed. Vision 2020 was devised in order to address the needs of residents and plan for the livable city of the future. The very terminology of Vision 2020 reveals the forward-looking motivations of the planners and their commitment to a long term city goal. It is this very notion of future planning which needs to be examined. Hence, what are the mo tivations for this future city, and for whom does it provide? Is the plan adequately addressing the needs of the city as it exists today, or planning for some mythic al future city without a ddressing the existing social concerns? If Vision 2020 fails to address existing social issues, then whose future is it planning for? Which residents are excluded from the future image of the city, and what message does this send?

PAGE 11

The St. Petersburg Study Area St. Petersburg was founded as a city in 1903 and is located in West-Central Florida, occupying the southern point of the Pinellas county peninsula. The city extends to the Gulf of Mexico to the West and Tampa Bay to the East, covering an area of 60.9 square miles with 234 miles of shoreline. It is connected to the city of Tampa via two bridges which cross Tampa Bay and is further connected to Manatee county and Sarasota by a third bridge. Two of the connecting bridges are Interstate bridges, providing easy access to large numbers of people. Figure 1: Location of St. Petersburg, Florida St. Petersburg 1000100Miles NFlorida 2

PAGE 12

The citys population, as of 2004, is 248,232, making it the 4th largest city in Florida. The Census Bureau 2000 report divides the city of St. Petersburg into 66 Tracts, which are further sub-divided into 205 Block Groups. The city is home to the St. Petersburg Times, one of a few independent newspapers left in the country, and hosts a number of high-profile performing arts events at the Mahaffey Theater. The city is also home to the baseball stadium, Tropicana Field, for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The racial geography of St. Petersburg has changed very little since the days of segregation with enclaves of minorities concentrated in the older inner-city neighborhoods. The city has an overall Minority percentage of 28.6%, which includes 22.4% African American and 4.6 % Hispanic or Latino (see Table 1). The distribution of races across the city is not uniform; many areas have acute racial concentrations measured at 100 % Minority or White, with very little integration. As well as being racially polarized, the city is also socio-economically polarized demonstrating extremes of wealth and poverty. Table 1: Selected Demographic Characteristics, 2000 Raw Counts Percent Total Population 248,232 100.0 Population White Only 177,133 71.4 Black or African American Only 55,502 22.4 American Indian and Alaska Native 769 0.3 Asian 6,640 2.7 Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 130 0.1 Two or More Races 5,397 2.2 3

PAGE 13

4 The location of the city on a peninsula adja cent to the Gulf of Mexico establishes it as a desirable location for second residenc es and the high dollar tourist market. The juxtaposition between expensiv e high dollar residences and extremely low-income public housing has created tensions which are made worse by racial differences, creating what Mollenkopf and Castells (1991) refer to as a dual city St. Petersburgs dual nature has exacerbated existing tensions between citizen residents and has led to the citys transformation in a similar way to cities which have emerged from post-industrial decline. Throughout the citys hi story there have been regula r racial and civil conflicts, both violent and peaceful. The most recent outb reak of violent protest was during May of 2004 and there is currently a weekly ongoing peacef ul protest at the citys new, flagship shopping center, BayWalk. Despite these racial and social tensions, little has been achieved by the citys Developmental Servi ces Department, which is charged with addressing the needs of all residents and improving equity throughout the city. The historical development of the city has focused primarily on the tourist market and the promotion of the city as a tropical paradise. Recently, there has been a number of high profile entertainment and retail devel opments within St. Petersburg which have focused upon attracting upscale consumers from out side the city. The ex clusive nature of these developments has effectively excluded many of the citys mostly poor members, exacerbating existing social polarities. If the developmental focus of the city is not directed towards the residents, then what are the implications of the current plan? In other words, for whom does the Vision 2020 plan actually provide?

PAGE 14

5 If the Vision 2020 plan is truly providing for all residents, one would expect, at a minimum, the residents of the city to at leas t be aware of the pla n. If residents are not aware of the plans which are being develope d for their city, one could deduce that the city is failing to actively involve some of its citizens. If there is a particular sector of the community which remains unaware or uninvolve d, this exposes a possible socio-spatial bias which may exist. When the city then claims that the documents which have been produced were created through a process of dialogue, this suggests even graver implications about which residents are really deemed to have a voice. With the racial tensions that have erupted in the city in the past, and with the increasing gap between the rich and the poor globally, nationally a nd locally, it becomes increasingly important to address issues of so cial and spatial inequity. A city such as St. Petersburg which has historical ly developed on the basis of r acial and social inequities should address such concerns in its plans for th e future. If these issu es are not explicitly addressed, then the City of St. Petersburg sends a clear message to those who are being excluded; that their rights to the city (Lefebvre, 1996 [1968]; Mitchell, 2003) are marginal to the future development of St. Pe tersburg. It is this agenda which must be examined and made more apparent. However, before this can be done, it is necessary to first detail the specific aims of this re search and provide a brief overview of the theoretical framework for the study.

PAGE 15

6 Problem Statement There exists within St. Petersburg great disparity between the low-income, often Minority, communities and those who live at the other extreme, the wealthy, predominantly White communities. This disparity creates a city of dual identities, bringing with it a challenge for city officials and developers; how to plan for a city with such divergent needs. In American Apartheid (1991, p. 220), Massey and Denton note the role of the state in the perpetuation of poverty and polari zation: Public policies must address both race and class issues if they ar e to be successful; race-conscious steps need to be taken to dismantle the institutional apparatus of segregat ion, and class specific policies must be implemented to improve the socio-economic status of minorities. City leaders have a responsibility to provide amenities and services for all city residents, but when these services are unequally distribu ted those who are marginalized are excluded from full participation in their own city. The purpose of this study is to examine the socio-spatial distribution within the city and answer several key questions. 1. Does socio-spatial polarization exist in the city, if so, how are communities polarized? 2. Are these polarized communities excluded from full participation in city life? 3. What is the institutional role, specifically that of the Vision 2020 plan, in creating or perpetuating the conditions of socio-spatial polarization? 4. Does the Vision 2020 specifically address the socio-economic conditions within the city and provide for all residents? Although there are a number of factors which govern residential patterns, this study will focus on the role of city planning, and speci fically the Vision 2020 plan, in the creation and maintenance of polarized urban spaces.

PAGE 16

7 Research Motivations There are several motivations for conducti ng this research, not least of which is the potential for improving the living conditions for poor and minority residents of St. Petersburg. The significant ra cial tensions which have ha unted the citys history are testament to the lack of so cial justice and urban equa lity city-wide. The uneven development of different parts of the city is grossly negligent of the communities that exist within the city and calls into question the motivations of city officials, both past and present. The relationship between segregation and poverty is cl arified by Massey and Denton (1993, p. 181), Racial se gregation is the instituti onal nexus that enables the transmission of poverty from person to pe rson and generation to generation, and is therefore a primary structural factor behind the perpetua tion of the urban underclass. Failure to address these institutional inequalities ensures the maintenance of White, upper middle class privilege in the city of St. Pe tersburg, and the perpetuation of poverty among excluded groups. The primary reason for selecting the Visi on 2020 plan for review is the rhetoric of egalitarian and cooperative development which surrounds the document. The city is promoting the plan as a document created in cooperation with city residents, and thus claiming it addresses the concerns of city resi dents. This study examines the claims of citizens participation and the extent to wh ich the city has attempted to engage all residents in a dialogue about St. Petersburgs future. As the plan is the flagship for future development of the city, it reveals the goals and intentions of city planners. Evaluating the sub-text of the Vision 2020 plan, couched in the geographical-histo rical context of the

PAGE 17

8 city and the current socio-spatial polarizations, exposes the real aims of the city planners and reveals for whom the plan is really being developed. A second motivation for the study is the sign ificant gap in the extant literature which addresses issues of pol arization, both at th e broader level and specifically related to St. Petersburg. Most case studies examini ng polarization are related to Northeastern post-industrial cities. There are few studies examining the dynamics of Southern cities which have evolved along alternative paths. The divergent pa thway of St Petersburg is detailed by Arsenault (1996, p. 79): During the past century, very few American communities have become cities without first creating an industrial base. Significantly, St. Petersburg stands out as one of the few exceptions. Blessed with an abundance of sun and sea, the citys major product has alwa ys been itself. St. Petersburg was consumption-oriented from its very beginni ng. Accordingly, examining the issue of socio-spatial polarization in St. Petersburg will add to our understanding of the dynamics of polarization and city development in the South. Although St. Petersburgs growth was not the result of industr ialization, the city does exhibit post-industrial li ke dynamics within its built environment. OLoughlin and Friedrichs (1996) posit a causal connection betw een the incidence of riots in urban areas and socio-spatially segregated communities They argue that concentration of high unemployment and lack of amenities serves to exacerbate the conditions of spatial exclusion experienced by socially polarized communities. Unlike post-industrial cities which have undergone economic restructuring, St. Petersburg has witnessed socio-spatial polarization since its incorporat ion as a city. Thus, the city s failure to address these

PAGE 18

9 conditions is indicative of the long term ex clusion of a particular sector of the community. A third motivation for the study is the ga p in the research literature which addresses St. Petersburg speci fically. Although there is a weal th of empirical historical literature examining the development of St. Petersburg and West-Cen tral Florida as a whole, most notably by the Arsenault (1996), most of this literature fails to critique the motivations of developers or examine the city from a critical planning perspective. One study which does examine St. Petersburg in terms of city planning is Visions of Eden: Environmentalism, Urban Planning and City Building in St. Petersburg, Florida 19001995, by Bruce Stephenson (1997). This study provides a useful chronology of the citys development plans, highlighting the similari ties and differences throughout the citys history and detailing the planners in volved. Stephenson focuses primarily on environmental problems created by city de velopment, and does not address the sociospatial polarization within the city. It is specif ically this gap in the research literature that this study will address. The final motivation for this study is the history of oppression and exclusion of the African American population from exercisi ng their formal rights to the city of St. Petersburg. The systematic mistreatment of African Americans provides an historical basis for the contemporary socio-racial polariza tion within the city. Tracing this history is an extremely difficult task due mainly to a la ck of representation of the African American community within the official city history of St. Petersburg. In his Masters thesis, The Power of the Past in Community Development: Coordination of a Community History

PAGE 19

10 Project in St. Petersburg, Florida Eric Chrisp (2000) examines the dominant representation of Africa n Americans in the history of St. Petersburg. Chrisp identifies key points in the citys history where prominen t African American figures were excluded from the official historical records. He al so details the manner in which the African American population has historically been marginalized and misrepresented in St Petersburg. The research conducted by Chrisp on St. Petersburgs African American community was linked to a community histor y project which was facilitated through the Neighborhood Family Center (NFC). This history was collected by using a personal narrative methodology and the NFC intends to keep the method alive. Chrisp raised the issue of including the experien ces of African Americans into the official historical accounts of the city. If the history of the mistreatment of African Americans is not accurately recorded, then it allows for this mistreatment of the community to continue. Equally, the lack of positive African American role models within the citys history paints an inaccurate picture of their contributions to the city and fails to provide the impetus for their current involvement. It is, ther efore, not surprising th at in the case of the Vision 2020 redevelopment pr oject, several key represen tatives from the African American community have thus far failed to participate in the planning process. Theoretical Framework There are many historical a nd geographical factors which contribute to the organization of our urban spaces. Robert Beauregard (2003) examines the dynamics of

PAGE 20

11 urban development and decline since deindustria lization and the creatio n of an inner-city underclass in Voices of Decline: The Postwar Fate of U. S. Cities. Beauregard provides a history of the development of U.S. cities after the Second World War by focusing upon deindustrialization, suburbanization and the cr eation of edge cities. The study illustrates the dynamics of suburbanization as it relates to the creation of unemployment and spatial isolation. As the inner cities declined, the residents who were more affluent and could afford to relocate moved into the suburbs. This relocation exacerbated the existing inequalities within the city and aided in th e construction of an inner-city underclass. Although Beauregards (2003) study focuse s upon post-industrial cities, the same conditions witnessed in declin ing post-industrial cities are evident elsewhere where there has been significant economic restructuri ng. In cities which have an economic base centered around service industr ies, physical location b ecomes less important, thus employment becomes separated from workers. In other words, the problems facing city developers in smaller, highly segregated ur ban areas remain the same, namely, how to revitalize inner cities in the c ontext of a dwindling urban tax base and achieve parity of public amenities across the city. The contemporary response to declining inner-city neighborhoods is to privatize public space and/or public housing. (Beaurega rd, 2003; OLoughlin and Friedrichs, 1996; Mitchell, 2003) St. Petersburg has experienced extensive privatization of space in the last decade, as witnessed in the downtown shopping area, Baywalk, as well as the privatization of public housi ng, for example, Jordan Park. The resulting loss of public space effectively places leisure and resident ial spaces under the control of unelected

PAGE 21

private developers and limits the access of poor individuals to many of the basic amenities of urban life. For instance, Baywalk has established numerous rules limiting the access of certain individuals to its amenities which is arguably aimed at African American residents. In other words, urban space and public services are increasingly provided to entice outsiders, or to provide leisure facilities for suburban residents with disposable income. The low-income residents who reside within the inner cities are relegated to the status of outsiders and are alienated from their own city. Figure 2: Baywalk Code of Conduct 12

PAGE 22

13 The policies of privatization and suburbanization are a consequence of the politics of neo-liberalism which began in the 1980s. Th e general effects of this kind of politics are spelled out by Beauregard (2003, p. 229): National politics embraced the suburbs over the cities, the middle class over the unde rclass, and the indivi dual initiative over group advancement. Each of these choices exacer bated racial divisions. In other words, the hegemonic ideology of suburban de velopment and middle class possessive individualism and conspicuous consumpti on are responsible fo r compounding racial divisions in urban areas and for treating social polarization and spatial exclusion as problems to be avoided, not solved. In St. Petersburg, African American a nd other Minority residents are excluded and marginalized from participation in many as pects of city life. However, the exclusion of these residents may not just be a racial issue, but one more closely related to conditions of poverty. Wilson (1987, [1999]) argue s that those who lived in poverty face limitations upon their ability to succeed in life and participate fully in civil society. These conditions of poverty create an urban underclass that are excluded from regular society and spatially polarized in terms of both r ace and class. More importantly, Wilson notes that these limitations stem not just from growing up in poor families, but from the dynamics of living in poor neighborhoods. The spatial concentration of poverty increases the likelihood for new generations to repeat the cycle of pove rty and limits the ability to escape these conditions. If St. Petersburg fails to address th e spatial polarization of its poor and its racial and ethnic minorities, it is limiting their abi lity to succeed and condemning then to a future of continued poverty and exclusion.

PAGE 23

14 These conditions of poverty experienced in low-income neighborhoods are perpetuated through unequal institutional investments and employment opportunities organized by those in positions of power. The history of residential segregation in the United States along with the racial bias which exists has aided the re sidential isolation of minorities seen in our urban areas today. However, the spatial distributions which exist need to be considered in terms of class as well as race. As Wilson suggests, viewing social inequalities in terms of just race fails to paint an accu rate picture of the conditions affecting the creation and perpetuation of an underclass. Instead, race needs to be considered alongside class and the factors which perpetuate conditions of exclusion. Wilson notes the role of spatial polarization on employment dynamics: Many central-city job applicants are physically isolated from places of employment and socially isolated from the informal job networks that have become a major source of job placement(1999, p.62). Lack of local employment opportunities which provide a living wage and long-term career prospects serve to concentrate the condi tions of poverty in a single area. This concentration of poverty ensu res that positive role models will be rare with widespread unemployment or employment in low wage, low status jobs being the norm. Conversely, negative role models are wide spread, with crime a daily occurrence and with the seemingly positive aspects of crime highly visible. The lack of significant White presence in these neighborhoods furt her enforces the psychological barriers between the races; minorities ar e only able to identify with others in the same social grouping. As Massey and Denton (1993, p.141) a ffirm: Poor black children growing up

PAGE 24

15 in a segregated city, therefore, are more likely to be expos ed to adult role models of dependency and single parenthood than are Wh ite children. If child ren learn by imitation, segregation means that poor blacks are much more likely to end up in these states themselves. The residential concentrati on of the underclass is also closely correlated with high crime rates (Massey and Denton, 1989, [1993]). These correlations should not be misunderstood in racial terms, but rather need to be understood as a function of polarization, exclusion and the perpetuation of the underclass. Urban dynamics tend to group those in the lower economic brackets, either through deliberate public housing policy, or through market forces and the concen tration of low rent housing. With existing racial prejudice in education and employment, there follows a relationship between race and poverty which becomes concentrated in sp atially polarized communities. As Massey (2001, p. 322) notes: Since crime and violence are strongly correlated with income deprivation, any social process that concentrates poverty also concentrates crime and violence to create an ecological niche char acterized by a high risk of physical injury, violent death, and criminal victimization. This relationship is evidenced in the Midtown neighborhood in St. Petersburg, which has the highest povert y rates within the city and is home to the greatest concentration of Minority reside nts. It also has the highest crime rates in the city which, despite a slight decrease in recent years, re main higher than elsewhere in the city (St. Petersburg Police Department, 2004). The Mi dtown neighborhood was the site of several violent protests in recent years (discussed more fully in Chapter Two) and residents

PAGE 25

16 frequently complain of police harassment. Although this seemingly affects only the lowincome, Minority population in Midtown, the re cent violent protests illustrate how community problems can impact all members of the city. If St. Petersburg truly wishes to develop a seamless city and maintain its imag e as a desirable touris t destination, it must specifically address the existence of these ine qualities within its pla nning documentation. The vastly different conditions of the built environment illustrate the extremes of the social conditions within St. Petersburg. Midtown, for example, does not have a major grocery store (as yet), or ba nking facilities, within easy reach of the community. The residents rely on small grocery stores wh ich often have higher prices and limited selections. The local store pictured below, wh ich is located in the heart of Midtown, has bars on the windows and concrete bollards at the front of the store to prevent ramraiders (breaking into a retail store by driving a vehicle into it). This is in stark contrast to the new up-market Baywalk development which is located less than a mile away in St. Petersburgs revitalized downtown. Baywalk is a new, ope n plan shopping, entertainment and recreation complex and contains upscale restaurants and retail stores which sell lifestyle goods, rather than living necessities.

PAGE 26

Figure 3: Dual Identities: 22 nd Avenue Grocery Store Figure 4: Dual Identities: Baywalk Shopertainment Complex 17

PAGE 27

18 What is Socio-Spatial Polarization? In order to proceed with a socio-spatial ex amination, it is first necessary to define the terminology used. Polarization as a c oncept has numerous in terpretations and applications which are defined by the field of study. Within so cial studies, the term social polarization is used to refe r to populations which exhibit opposing characteristics. Social polarization can describe th e increasing gap between extremes of living and working conditions, including the growing wealth and income gap between the rich and the poor, or the existence of racial or ethnic groups who exist in isolation from other members of society. As well as a measure of social di fference, social polar ization can also be manifested spatially. When these two conditions are examined in combination, the terminology of socio-spatial polarization is more appropriate to capture all manner of racial and economic stratificat ions in the urban context. In Dual City Mollenkopf and Castells describe the characteristics of polar ized urban space thus: an urban system socially and spatially polarized between high value-making groups and functions on the one hand and devalued social groups and downgraded spaces on th e other hand. (1991, p. 27). If these conditions of socio-spatial pol arization are evidenced in St. Petersburg, then the term dual city would seem appropriate to de scribe the urban landscape. In order to study the extent or existence of socio-spatial pola rization, a number of issues need to be examined in both racial and economic terms. Firstly, the extent of the social polarization as it exists within an area; the percentages in each group and whether or not these percentages are shrinking or growing. Secondly, the spatial distribution of the groups; does socio-spatial pol arization exist, and if so, to what extent. Lastly, the

PAGE 28

19 context of the emergence or concentration of these socio-spatially polarized communities and the factors which contribu te to their continued isola tion. Although some residents choose to voluntarily isolate themselves, th ere are many more for whom the isolation remains involuntary and controlled by other factors. In order to measure social polari zation in economic terms, a common methodological approach is to examine the ec onomic status of residents within an area and to examine the degree of difference. Sasse n (1994) proposes that the changes to the labor structure within global cities and city regions will lead to an increase in the gap between the top and the bottom occupational groups. She writes: When we speak of polarization in the use of la nd, in the organization of la bor markets, in the housing market, and in the consumption structure, we do not necessarily mean that the middle class is disappearing. We are rather referring to a dynamic whereby growth contributes to inequality rather than to expansion of the middle class. (1994, p. 117) As the middle level groups diminish in number, the society becomes increasingly polarized with greater extremes at either end. Although the examin ation of occupational groups implies a certain income bracket, it is important to ex plicitly consider polarization in terms of economic standing. The addition of those who are living below the poverty line, unemployed or receiving social support provides a more complete picture of polarization than consideration of occ upational categories alone. Within this framework, it is also import ant to be aware of the extremes. Socioeconomic polarization is manifest not just in the numbers of the population within the categories, but in the size of the gap between the income extremes of the categories. Put

PAGE 29

20 simply, the rich are very rich and the poor are extremely poor. This is clearly a greater concern as the higher extreme categories beco me increasingly distanced and unattainable for those in the lower categories. The highincome groups are increasingly disjointed both socially and spatially from the low-in come groups and the means for understanding and communicating between the two groups is di minished. For the practical provision of policy, the urban environment which houses such extremes of social and spatial conditions is the place for which it is increasingly difficult to adequately plan. Thus, polarization research should in clude an exploration of both th e make-up of social groups and geographic areas, as well as the numbers of members within these groups and areas. As well as examining polarization in soci o-economic terms, researchers also have examined the racial polarizati on within urban areas. These of ten incorporate measures of segregation and draw connections between th e segregation of races and the perpetuation of poverty (Wilson, 1987). As Feagin (1996, p. 159) notes: Residential segregation makes possible, or strongly reinforces, numerous other types of racial exclusion, discrimination, and subordination. When resi dential segregation is extensive, job segregation tends to follow. Segregated populations are placed in a disadvantaged position relative to other residents in an urban area, creating an underclass (Wilson, 1987, [1999]). When this segregation is either produced or encouraged by development practices, it carries grave ethical implications. The planning focus of our urban areas is underpinned by a structural institutional framework which controls development and growth to fit with an established ideal. These institutional factors may be established gl obally, nationally or locally and range from

PAGE 30

21 zoning laws and transportation networks, to the situation of schools, public housing and business parks. Clearly some processes are mo re influential than others, but they all affect residential patterns to some extent. As such, the choice of residential location is merely a choice between the offered options established by those w ho organize our urban spaces. Peter Marcuse (1996) argues that spatial segregation of races or income groups is not merely the organization of societie s governed by preferences and lifestyle differences: To the contrary, they manifest and reinforce positions in a hierarchy of wealth in which some decide and others ar e decided for (Marcuse, 1996, p. 197). In this way, socio-spatial polarization can be direc tly related to city development and any inequity which may exist is indirectly endorsed by the city developmental focus. Moreover, failure to address these issues lead s directly to the planned exclusion of an urban underclass. The key contributing factor in the creation or perpetuation of an urban underclass as identified by Marcuse (1996) is the une ven distribution of power. Within the modernizing or global city, there are four interlinked changes which have shifted the centers of power within urba n development. These changes are: technological advances, internationalization, concentra tion of control, and the centr alization of control. When they are not distributed evenly among the populous, this exacerbates the conditions of poverty and the creation of the unde rclass. If this underclass is segregated into a separate community, the chances for improvement are diminished and the conditions of poverty are again intensified. As Marc use comments: The ultimate point is arrived at when victimized and segregated become iden tical. (1996, p. 208) The socio-spatial

PAGE 31

22 segregation of the underclass creates the politi cal conditions for representing this group as the other, be it in terms of race or clas s. This, in turn, allows for the dismissal or marginalization of this group by those in pow er. Thus, any measures to alleviate the conditions of poverty are easily denied as the group can be classified as different (upper middle-class Whites no more identify with low-income Whites than with African Americans of any class). Following from the importance of the in stitutional framework as identified by Marcuse, this case study will spec ifically focus on the role of the city and urban planning in response to the existence of socio-spa tial polarization. It should be noted that considering the institutional ro le, though important, does not tell the entire story of sociospatial polarization. The role of the Vision 2020 plan will only tell a partial story and is limited in its ability to detail the factors which govern residential patterns. As such, there exists the potential for future research whic h examines additional factors which affect the residential patterns within the city. Issues of Language When considering the racial divisions with in the city, the language used within this thesis to describe the communities under discussion needs to be clarified. There are numerous racial and ethnic va riations within St. Petersbu rg, but for the purposes of clarity, the categorizations will be simplified. Firstly, when referring to the White population, the definition of inclusion is t hose who identify themselves as White only. When speaking in historical terms, there ar e no definitions separating the races into the

PAGE 32

23 categories we are aware of today, therefore, wh ere historically pertin ent, the terminology black will be used. More often, the termi nology used will be African American to refer to all who identify themselves as black or African American. Lastly, the terminology Minority will be used at times to apply to all of the population who identify themselves as non-White. It should be noted that any categor ization of a community will involve generalization and as such all community categorizations are limited. Communities are not homogenous and these categorizations ar e not indicative of any assumption of similarity. That being said, for the purposes of this study, simplification was necessary in order to present the results in an organi zed manner. Although the dualities of these communities are not represented, it shoul d be remembered that they exist. When considering socio-economic differences evident in the city, measurements of income will be used as a proxy for class differences. The term class when used refers to a combination of economic standing and soci al status and does not relate to any preestablished categorizations. As a final consideration, the term polari zation as discussed above will be used throughout the document to refer to the social stratifications which exist. However, there are times when the term segregation will be used as relevant to the discussion. These two terms have different meanings within different fields of soci al science and they therefore should not be applied intercha ngeably. When used within this study, segregation refers specifical ly to measurements of polarization which are manifested spatially. The term is also used when discussing the measurements used to evaluate the

PAGE 33

24 extent of social polarization as the terminology is relevant to the measurements used. Lastly, segregation will be used historical ly when discussing the limitations placed upon African American freedoms within the United States. Conclusion By examining the spatial distribution of race and class in an urban area, we can reveal any social and spatial polarizations that may exist. The existence of a societal underclass which has been consis tently under-represented in planning issues reveals the motivations and commitments of city devel opers. The continuing se gregation of this underclass into enclaves of homogenous commu nities further exacerb ates poverty and the uneven spatial relations of power within th e city. A city with major socio-spatial polarizations creates a paradox for planning o fficials who are charge d with distributing amenities and services across public space. Th e extent to which the city officials acknowledge and address urban collective consumption problems discloses their underlying intentions with regards to achievi ng social justice in the city (Harvey, 1973). Chapter Two will briefly examine the recent hist ory of St. Petersburg in the context of planning and the emerging residential patterns.

PAGE 34

25 Chapter Two A Brief History of St. Petersburg Florida prior to 1842 was sparse ly populated, home to native Seminole Indians and a few White settlers. By the late 1830s, th e contestation over Indi an lands and the two Seminole wars had prepared the region for Wh ite settlement and established a racial hierarchy across the State. The State was promoted for settlement and in 1842, the extension of the Homesteader Act to Flor ida established the region for growth and development. The swampy conditions of the state ensured that early frontier settlement was slow and the poor transportation networ ks kept the Southern Pinellas Peninsula particularly inaccessible. In the drive to settle Fl orida the railroad featured heavily. Among those involved in the organization of rail infrastructure was Peter Demens, a native of St. Petersburg Russia, who took over the charter for the Orange Belt Railway. Despite numerous funding problems he fought for the extension of the railroad to the Southern Pinellas Peninsula to end at the junction of Ninth Street and First Avenue South. The first train arrived at the Ninth Street terminus on June 8 th 1888, officially establishing the settlement as a town. The buildi ng of the railroad had a drama tic impact on the entire area and particularly on the town containing the te rminus. The original name of the town had

PAGE 35

26 been Wardsville, but the railroad extension ensured the city assume the honorary name from the home town of the railroads biggest advocate. St. Petersburgs new connection ensured the town a slow but steady growth. From these early years the developmen t of the town was structured to fit a particular ideology. Town officials encouraged settlement north a nd east of the terminus to disassociate the town of St. Petersburg from the collection of shacks (predominantly African American) surrounding the train station (Arsenault, 1996). This development pattern created a town of dual identities and firmly imposed a soci o-spatial hierarchy on its nascent community. Arsenault explicates the role of the railro ad; The opening of the Orange Belt did more than transform the local economy; it also in troduced sharp distinctions of class and culture into a frontier community that had rarely experi enced such distinctions (1996, p.63). The railroad also brought a new wave of African American im migrants into the town intensifying the social st ratification along racial as well as socio-economic lines. Settlers coming to the region found work in the fishing and citrus industries, among others, but none of these early industr ies were particularly lucrative for St. Petersburg. The town officials sought a way to bring investment and trade into the town, and focused upon promoting the natural beauty of the area to tourists. In this, St. Petersburg found the lure which was to be its ca talyst for long term development. It was the tourist trade which was to have the most dramatic impact upon the town and encourage development and settlement on a gr and scale. Following on from this early spurt of growth, the town became officially incorporated as a city in June, 1903.

PAGE 36

27 St. Petersburg became the fastest growi ng city in Florida, but the speed of development and the social stratification within the city cause d contention. Early development was concentrated around a downt own area, but the city was conscious of separating certain areas to retain the natural beauty the tourists sought. Encouraging development into the suburban areas, the city established a trolley line linking remote housing areas and pushed for the developmen t of road networks. Unlike neighboring Tampa, little affected by the First World War, St. Petersburg entered the 1920s with a determination to secure the city as a major tourist destination. The development of the city continued at a voracious pace with the building of bridges connecting St. Petersburg with adjoin ing barrier islands and the city of Tampa. The impressive Gandy Bridge spanning Tampa Bay, made the peninsula more accessible to trade and tourism and generated a boom in real estate prices. Accompanying all this development was the dredging and landfill of the waterfront along Tampa Bay. In order to create the maximum amount of waterfront property, artifici al jetties and islands were created along with the organi zation of the waterfront into a manageable and desirable tourist and entertainment commodity. This boom period also saw major construction of hotels and tourist attractions to firmly establish the city as a tourist destination. Although the depression of the early 1930s stalled the citys growth somewhat, the effects were not as harsh in St. Petersbur g as elsewhere in the country. However, the city did suffer an economic downturn which had discernable consequences for many of its residents. Like most of St. Petersburgs history, these consequences were unevenly distributed and felt much harder by low-in come residents. As Arsenault (1996, p. 262)

PAGE 37

28 notes: The ambiance in St. Petersburg dur ing the midand late1930s was a curious mixture of decadence and despair, dominate d by the stark contrast between men and women who divided their time between the golf course and the veranda and the destitute who had nothing to divide. The outbreak of World War Two had a majo r impact on St. Petersburg. The city had no factories or industry that could be turned over to munitions assembly, but it did have available land and empty buildings. Hotels were transformed into barracks and open areas were converted to campsites. Th e military presence helped to provide economic opportunities and ensured the city would surviv e during the war. At the cessation of the conflict, the city experienced a major gr owth period and its greatest residential expansion prompted by a major influx of new resi dents swelling the ci tys population. This new prosperity allowed the city to invest in civi c projects and residential developments, but once again this investment remained unequally distributed across the city. The new developments focused on the new suburban rich, and on major new investments which would encourage tourism, including the approval of a bridge to connect the city to Manatee County in the south. At the same time, the trolley lines on the Gandy Bridge were paved over, firmly establis hing the intentions of the city to promote automobile traffic over public transport. This development favored the automobile as the primary connection to the tourist industry. As a confirmation of this, the citys trolley service was decommissioned in 1948, ushering in an era of private growth and expansion focused upon the automobile.

PAGE 38

29 Throughout the 1950s, the planning focu s was on economic development and organizing the city to provide the ideal cond itions for consumer consumption and tourist recreation. There were major beach and tour ist facility improvements, and the city approved construction of new shopping complexes, such as the Central Plaza shopping center. The aim of this rapid growth and development was to firmly establish St. Petersburg as a bona fide modern city. In April 1955, th e City Planning Board published a study entitled Population Profile Until Employ ment which concluded that most of the city population were employed in services catering to tourists and their related needs. Despite the success of the tourist trade the c ity wanted to secure additional investment through industry. The study was the impetus for a new push towards encouraging industrial relocations which were to gain gr eatest momentum in the later 1950s (Baker, 2000, p. 212). The result of the earlier c onstruction boom was a city that had lost large areas of natural beauty and which was developing in stead a new homogenized character. The end of the 1950s saw the start of the dredging of Boca Ciega Bay, a controversial decision and an indication of the lack of power or interest of city officials to control and limit commercial development. The increasing use of the automobile also affected the spatial organization of the city, with the emergence of strip malls and parki ng lots close to new housing developments. With the advent of air-conditioning, there was a rise in the numbers of elderly people relocating to St. Petersburg, providing the city with an additional community for which to provide. Notably at this time there was little

PAGE 39

30 investment in the built environment of the c ity for the maintenance and improvement of the older, primarily African American neighborhoods. The 1960s saw the continuation of the dr edging and the ultimate environmental destruction of the bay. The incident, though ne gative, sparked a wave of concern within the city for establishing limits on developmen t and protection for na tural areas. Housing development continued however, with the development of even more major shopping and entertainment facilities in the city. The a dvent of the civil rights movement and the subsequent desegregation of pub lic facilities raised new challenges for the city, including how to accommodate new federal anti-discrimination mandates into a highly segregated and polarized urban area. In 1960 the Howard Franklin Bridge opened, connecting St. Petersburg to Tampa, improving the citys accessibility to day-tourists and thereby potentially increasing the citys revenue base. The city had achieved great success marketing itself to the elderly population, so much so that it had a national reputation as a retirement town. In 1961, the city responded to what was perceived as a negative imag e and launched Project 61 which aimed to promote the city as a young destination and to minimize the citys connection with the elderly. The main, if symbolic, focus of Project 61 was to repaint the citys infamous green benches that had become an icon of the ci tys relationship with its elderly residents. In May of the same year, the city agreed a $185,000 budget to the Chamber of Commerce for advertising, with the caveat that the mone y was to be used to promote the youthfulness of the city to potential tourists. The marketing, however, had little success and the elderly continued to arrive and shape the spatial and social ch aracter of the city.

PAGE 40

31 The construction boom continued into th e 1970s although the eff ects of its rapid and unplanned development were becoming apparent. As the available land for development became scarce, residents began to call for restrictions on any further building construction. The city was also now well established as a retirement destination, with the 1970 Census reveali ng that 29 % of the population wa s over sixty-five. Thus, the city was firmly established with a larg e residential population and major national standing, but remained socially and spatially polarized. The extent to which the African American community was considered lesser me mbers of the city was evidenced in 1975 with the construction of Interstate 275. This massive transportation project led to the relocation of a large and vibr ant African American neighborhood which was in the path of the project. There were extensive protes ts, but the plans were not adjusted and the community was divided by the highway. Ten years later, in 1985, the community was subjected to further marginalization and devastation with the development of Tropicana Field. During the 1980s, St. Petersburg experienced a slow down in development as the effects of the building restrictions began to take effect. There was a renewed commitment to conserving areas of natural interest a nd beauty and a push towards maintaining the attractiveness of the city. Residents were conc erned that this piece of paradise they had relocated to was beginning to lose its char acter and charm. In 1984, the passenger rail link which had established St. Petersburg as a town ended, marking the hegemony of the automobile in the transportation battle fo r access to the city. This development was particularly significant because despite an alleged commitment to environmental

PAGE 41

32 preservation, 1987 saw the completion of th e new Sunshine Skyway Bridge and the completion of the Interstate 275 link from Ta mpa, through St. Petersburg to Sarasota. In 1989, several of the local affluent neighborhoods, including Yacht Club, North Causeway and South Causeway, submitted a petition to cede from the city of St. Petersburg. The primary motivation for the re quest was what these communities saw as increasing tax hikes which did not directly benefit their communities. Although they did not ultimately succeed, this incident served to illustrate the vast differences which had developed within the city and the contest over public resource s they generated. Today St. Petersburg is still struggling between its commitment to the tourist industry and fiduciary responsibilities toward s its citizens. While population growth has slowed, socio-spatial polarization has grown bot h deeper and wider across the city. It is against this backdrop that the city has recently embarked on several high profile developments to maintain a positive global city image. In May 2004, Mayor Rick Baker reaffirmed his commitment to the developmen t of a seamless city, professing a desire for prosperity and progress for all. The level of this commitment remains to be seen. African Americans in St. Petersburg Prior to 1889, St. Petersburg was home to a single African American family who had lived in the city since 1868. The first major influx of African Americans to the city came from workers on the construction of the Orange Belt Railway, who remained in St. Petersburg after the completion of the railro ad in 1889. These workers settled in South St. Petersburg, around Fourth Avenue South, creating the community known as Pepper

PAGE 42

Town. This early residential pattern was guided primarily by the need to be close to employment opportunities, many of which were in the nearby dockyard. As the city grew, local labor agents recruited African Americans from Georgia and Alabama to work as service personal in local hotels. A local White merchant, Leon Cooper established a number of cheap shacks along Ninth Street South and rented them to African Americans, creating what was known as Coopers Quarters. This availability of cheap housing, proximity to employment and potential for societal support established these two communities south of the railroad tracks as the African American neighborhood. By the beginning of the 20 th century, the residential pattern of segregation was firmly established. The map below illustrates the location of these neighborhoods as they relate to the city today. Figure 5: Early African American Residential Location Base Map courtesy of St. Petersburg Developmental Services Department 33

PAGE 43

34 The presence of an African American population was essential for the growth of the local economy and the maintenance of the standard of living for the wealthy White residents. Nevertheless, this growing comm unity was a cause for concern for the White residents of St. Petersburg, and a solution was sought through the adoption of the Jim Crow segregationist system. This system, established throughout many Southern States, restricted the social and spatial freedoms of African American residents. It limited the extent to which they were allowed to mingle with the White community and controlled where they could live. Thus, racial sepa ration was institutionalized, with separate schools, churches, beaches and bars. African Americans and Whites did not mix socially, and although the groups may have worked t ogether, social delin eations outside the workplace were firmly established and tigh tly regulated by the city authorities. This segregation of the races exacerbated extant social and spatial differences and ensured that the African Amer ican population remained soci o-economically inferior to Whites. The public provisions for the needs of African American residents were grossly inadequate with respect to funding for schools, housing and health care. As Arsenault states 1996, p. 125): In everything from edu cation to unemployment, blacks occupied the proverbial bottom rail of St. Petersburg soci ety. Thus, the city was not just racially segregated, it was also segregated in terms of economic well-being and access to material wealth and resources. Distribution of servic es was unequal across the communities, with African American residents living in sub-standard housi ng, but prevented from moving elsewhere by the Jim Crow restrictions.

PAGE 44

Table 2: Census Bureau Population Results 1910-2000 Year Total Black Percent Black 1910 4,127 1,098 27 1920 14,237 2,444 17 1930 40,425 7,416 18 1940 60,812 11,892 20 1950 96,738 13,977 14 1960 181,298 24,080 13 1970 216,232 31,911 15 1980 238,647 40,903 17 1990 238,629 46,726 20 2000 248,232 55,502 22 The boom years of the 1920s saw St. Petersburgs African American population grow from 2,444 to 7,416, as recruiting companies brought workers from Georgia and Alabama. The growth of the citys Minority population caused concern for many White residents, who felt that the existing Jim Crow system was not strict enough. The 1920s saw a rise in membership of the Ku Klux Klan throughout the Southern States and locally in St. Petersburg. With Klan members in positions of power within the city, the African American and other Minority populations had little chance of fair distribution of services or justice. The 1930s brought the depression to St. Petersburg ensuring that the African American community would be considered as necessary but unwanted residents. St. Petersburgs prescription to avoid the depression problems experienced elsewhere rested on the ability to provide tourists with an affordable destination. Hence, the need for cheap black labor, but also with a pleasant sanitized image, therefore, non-visible Blacks. City development was focused towards the provision of services for White tourists, and so 35

PAGE 45

36 ignored the onerous task of updating public facilities for its African American underclass population. The residential segregation rules we re strengthened, and as the depression continued, its unequal effects became increasin gly apparent. As Arsenault notes (1996. p. 269): In a city known for stylish homes and beautiful subdivisions, the unpaved streets and unpainted shacks of Methodist Town and other black neighborhoods were inescapable reminders of racial separation and inequality. At the end of the 1930s, living conditi ons within the African American neighborhoods were dire. The 1940 Census Re port indicated that 59.2 % of the citys African American households ha d no electricity, compared to 2% for Whites, and 17.6 % had no running water, compared to less th an 0.5 for Whites (Arsenault, 1996 p. 270). Funded by a grant for slum clearance and urba n renewal from the United States Housing Authority (USHA), the city began the construction of a public housing complex for African Americans. Most of the land was donated by a St. Petersburg African American, Mr. Jordan, on a site adjacent to an existi ng African American neighborhood. Jordan Park opened in 1940 with 242 units, 204 more were added in 1941. The Jordan Park housing complex remained in this incarnation for 58 years and became a symbol of extreme urban poverty, crime and drugs. The role of the African American popul ation in the Second World War signaled a minor change in attitudes amongst some of the citys White residents. The African American population began to be allowed small improvements in their civil liberties and their voice in civic affairs wa s given a little more credibil ity. In 1949, the city hired its first African American police officers, marginally improving the chance for social justice

PAGE 46

for all. At this time, the population was still residentially segregated and the city had extensive deed restrictions in place which closed off certain residential areas to African Americans. In May 1948, these racial community deed restrictions were federally banned, but the city did not enforce the regulation. The Map below illustrates the location of African American neighborhoods at the end of 1949 as they relate to the city today. Figure 6: Location of African American Neighborhoods circa 1949 Base Map courtesy of St. Petersburg Developmental Services Department The city publicly declared its opinion about the African American community in 1955 when faced with the forced integration of leisure facilities. Several African American residents had filed a lawsuit against the city in 1955 demanding access to the municipal Spa Beach and Pool. Although the ruling was in favor of the residents, the city filed appeals in the Tampa Federal Court, Fifth Circuit of Appeals and the Supreme Court 37

PAGE 47

38 in an attempt to prevent access. When all appeals failed in 1958, rather than open up to mixed bathing, the city closed its munici pal Spa Beach and Pool. Local businesses experienced a downturn in tourism, and eight months later the pool was quietly reopened to all races. With this incident, the city ha d sent a firm message to the African American community regarding its place as members of the city. During the civil rights protests in the 1960s, the African American community in St. Petersburg was active in various protests a nd demonstrations, partic ularly the sit-ins at lunch counters which had refused to serve Af rican American patrons. The city was again divided between its image as a peaceful tourist destination free of pes ky racial problems and the imperatives of equality and social justice for all its citizen s. In response to the continuing racial tensions, the city establ ished the St. Petersburg Council on Human Relations in order to improve the citys ra ce relations. In May 1969, the city Charter of St. Petersburg was amended to eliminate th e division of the city on racial lines. In 1971, the school district began the bus ing of schoolchildren to dismantle segregation which sparked protest from both the African American and White communities. In this same year, the city appointed its first African American judge. However, this seminal event in the citys hi story was quickly overtaken by events which once again illustrated the unequal considera tion of the African-American community in city politics. In 1975, the city began relo cating African American residents from 22 nd Avenue, which had developed into a vibr ant community, in preparation for the construction of Interstate 275. Almost 1,000 fami lies were relocated to disparate areas of the city, severing community and family bonds which has been painstakingly developed.

PAGE 48

39 In the process, a previously thriving busine ss district was also negatively impacted by the construction of the highway, but the business owners were never compensated for their losses. The next blow to the community came in 1982 when the city developed the Intown Redevelopment Plan which targeted the downtown area for redevelopment and revitalization. The plan called for th e relocation of many homes, businesses and churches from an area of the city known as Gas Plant, the original African American neighborhood, promising to improve employment opportunities in the area. As part of this redevelopment, the city obtained the Laurel Park public housi ng community from the Housing Authority, which was demolished in 1990 with plans to use the location for a new baseball stadium parking lot. Residents from Laurel Park were promised help to relocate to privately rented facilities under the Section 8 scheme, but many did not receive the support they needed ( St. Petersburg Times, 1999, 3b) Notably, the displaced residents were not consulted about the devel opmental issues and had little input into the planning of new facilities. As well as the Laurel Park housing co mplex, the city also obtained several additional houses from the local area, alt hough a few residents held out and refused to sell. Residents cited lack of faith in the city s plans to provide for local residents and a strong historical connection to the area. Ther e was also some contention about the fair market value offered for the homes, which was not enough to afford comparable property elsewhere in the city. The cost of demolishing the neighborhood, $11.3 million, came

PAGE 49

40 from a government redevelopment grant which was awarded in order to help improve the community. (Olive B McLin community project; St. Petersburg Times March 29 th 1998) Following the contentious development of the baseball stadium (then called the Florida Sun Coast Dome, now called Tropi cana Field), the city announced in 1999 it would open a business park bordering 22 nd Avenue South, Fifth Ave South and I-275. In what was becoming a familiar refrain, the announcement promised employment for the surrounding African American community (alth ough what sort was not specified) and an overall improvement of the area. However, as of 2004, the promised park is only partially developed and remains mostly empty. In 1997, a $27 million grant from Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was secured to improve Jordan Park. Redevelopment was sorely needed, because the complex had receiv ed very little structural improvements over the years and was in dire need of repair. The complex was demolished leaving a large empty lot and reducing neighborhood populat ion by 52 % and relocating 1,146 people. Those relocated were scattere d throughout the city, severing community relationships and breaking historical connections with the area. The relocation of su ch a large community impacted the businesses on the neighboring 22 nd Avenue and sealed the fate of many of the struggling businesses. New Urbanism in Jordan Park The redeveloped Jordan Park reopened in 2002 with its capacity reduced to 230 units. The redevelopment was undertaken by Landex Corp. of Baltimore which has redeveloped a number of housing developments both public and private. The motivation

PAGE 50

41 for the development was to create communities, as Judith Siegel, Landex company president notes: we should not be building stand-alone ho using projects, but instead should be creating neighborhoods. ( National Real Estate Investor March 1, 2003, p. 6). The neighborhood designs were created by Urban Design Associates who are at the forefront of creating urban communities, with such projects as Celebration in Orlando and the Waterfront district in Baltimore. This movement in urban design is know n as new urbanism which seeks to integrate mixed use design, including s hopping and leisure fa cilities, within neighborhoods that have a mix of properti es for different income groups. During the organizational stages of the Jordan Park rede velopment, the residents indicated that they were unhappy with the idea of mixed use housin g and did not want some properties to be available to buy. In acknowledgement of this, the organization of the community was altered to exclude th e option to own property, but the di fferences in sizes and styles remain. It is also important to note that new urbanism is usually applied to suburban development or empty, downtown areas which call for urban infill projects. This means the pre-existing residential pl ans are modified to include much denser organization of housing. However, when applied to a public housi ng complex the results, as in the case of Jordan Park, were to reduce the existing density and separate the communities which previously existed. As the area was renowne d for high crime rates and drug problems, it is possible that some of the motivations for the style and methodology of the redevelopment were related to a desire to decrease crime by reducing density and

PAGE 51

42 fragmenting existing connections. The new comm unity would be built in order to foster community spirit and would be organized along accepted lines. As Harvey (2000, p. 170) states: The spirit of community has long been held as an antidote to threats of class war and revolutionary violence. The concept of trying to create ne ighborhoods through urban design bears similarities to the concept of environmenta l determinism, namely, that where you live determines your character or behavior (Peet 1998). This philosophy which is associated with the rise of colonialism and imperialis m was first applied to declining public housing complexes in Britain in the 1980s (Knox and Pinch, 2000). The argument was that giving low-income residents pleasant surroundi ngs would minimize crime and vandalism. Needlessly to say, the experiment was complete ly unsuccessful. City officials failed to make the connection that providing jobs for people and eliminating poverty would be a better route towards crime prevention and sustainable community formation. The same basic theoretical model seems to have been applied to the Jordan Park housing complex, with the same lack of insight. As well as the motivations listed above, the city also wished to reduce crime. The project organizers contracted an architectural design firm to consult on the redesign for Jordan Park. Working closely with the local police department, they established a design which followed the concept of Crime Pr evention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) which helped to organize the de sign of the neighborhood to make it more accessible for police officers. The new design established a grid system which would make it easier for police officers to respond to calls. Clearly one of the motivations for

PAGE 52

43 the redevelopment was crime reduction and not direct community improvement. The firms literature confirms this incentive: The final design recommendations were praised by local police because it would help them respond to calls more effectively. (MXD, http://www.mxd-manis.com/ftp/pub/cepjordan.htm 2004). As the new development was funded by a H ope IV grant, stringent rules governed who would be allowed to rent (e.g., no crimin al convictions, credit check, etc.). There have been numerous complaints from residents about the quality of the homes and the workmanship, as well as issues with th e style of the homes. Many feel the new development does not match the style of th e local African American neighborhood and is instead a design which is desirable to the White city officials. When questioned about the design, St. Petersburg Housing Authority Co mmissioner Rev. Major Mason Walker said: "I have a concern about pl acing Colonial Revival architecture in the middle of an African-American community, I didn't want round columns. That represents slavery." ( St. Petersburg Times May 20, 2001, p. 1). Although reside ntial cooperation was sought in elements of the design of Jordan Park, the ultimate decision over design characteristics remained with the city. How much of the re design was for the benefit of the community, and how much was to fit in with an established ideal for the city?

PAGE 53

Figure 7: Jordan Park Housing Development Walking around Jordan Park, it feels strangely like a dead community with no vibrancy and very little activity on the streets. This compares to the previous neighborhood in which the residents interacted and were highly visible in and around their homes. Talking of community in Jordan Park, Tee Lassiter, interviewed by the St. Petersburg Times said: "In the 'hood, African Americans tend to sit out on their porch and they talk and sometimes we have cookouts. It's nothing planned. We just sit out and chill and listen to music and watch the kids play. You feel that closeness more." (St. Petersburg Times, April 1, 2001, p.7) The feelings of community loss from local residents contrast with the reaction from those supportive of the redevelopment, Governor Jeb Bush said: It doesn't take any vision at all to see the difference between what Jordan Park was and what it is now," (St. Petersburg Times, February 2, 2002, p. 3b). The resign on Jordan Park claimed to be driven by the desire to create communities, 44

PAGE 54

45 but the method and style of redevelopment dr astically altered the community that had been present in the area for sixty years. The communities being created are those which conform to an accepted ideal held by city elites which does not necessarily match that of the existing population. In addition to the loss of community, the se vering of social ties affects residents access to services and support. Within low-income neighborhoods, community and familial ties provide important networks of aid. Family members and friends provide childcare and babysitting services, as well as transportation support. Likewise, the ability to provide short term loans in the form of money or food is often an essential support supplied by community interaction. Local neighborhood shops will provide food advances when money is low, and offer the opportunity to pay for goods and services on a weekly basis. When communities become disl ocated, all of these support services are also severed, leaving the low-income resi dent in a worse state then before and exacerbating the cycle of poverty. The key here is not that communities do not need improvement, but that they do not necessarily want forced relocation or the organization of their communities to fit an established outside ideal. C ontinuously considering a group as transitory and regarding their neighborhoods as malleable creates comm unity tensions and aggravates the existing poverty. The methods used to plan and or ganize the communities of the African American and Minority resident s are indicative of the uneve n power distribution within American cities generally. Residents are not asked in advance what improvements would benefit their communities, but instead are presented a choice of designs which have

PAGE 55

46 already been selected by those planners give n the task of reorganizing urban space. The reorganization of Jordan Park to complement the citys promotion of new urbanism is an example of the attempt to organize Minority communities to fit White ideals of what a community space should be. History of Civil and Racial Violence The history of African Americans in St. Petersburg would be incomplete without reference to the violence and conflict the ci ty has experienced. The polarization of the city was institutionalized in the judicial system. For instance, law enforcement was White, judges and juries were also White. As Arsenault notes, In St Petersburg, as in most Southern cities, the entire legal syst em was biased against blacks. (1996, p. 128) As the dual societies of the city became more isolated, the potentia l for racial tension increased. There were numerous accounts of African American residents receiving harsher judgments then their Wh ite counterparts, but the existence of these frequent but minor racial injustices was often surpassed by other more major incidents. The first was the alleged killing of city police chief, James J. Mitchell by an African American man, John Thomas in 1905. The incident sparked vigilant e justice, with White community members breaking into Thomass prison ce ll, shooting him and then kicking and mutilating his dead body. No prosecutions were bought against the vigilantes and there was limited reporting of the in cident in the press. The second such incident was in 1914 when an African American male was accused of murdering a local White business man and raping and assaulting his wife.

PAGE 56

47 Hundreds of black men were detained and tw o suspects were identified, Ebenezer Tobin and John Evans. Despite failed attempts to obtain confessions from either man and repeated failed identifications by the victim, the men remained in jail. A mob gathered at the jail and broke into Evans cell. He was taken to Ninth Street and Second Avenue South, the heart of the African American neighborhood, and hanged from an electric light pole. The mob continued to fire weapons in to the body and it was several hours before Evans corpse was taken down by city poli ce. The following year, Tobin was tried and convicted of the murder and achieved the undesi rable notoriety of be ing St. Petersburgs first legal execution. What is particularly troubling about the 1914 incident was the involvement of high level city officials in the vigilante proc ess. When the incident was investigated, the local press, justice official s and city developers were quick to condone the vigilante justice in principal and it wa s suggested to investigators th at Evans was secretly tried and convicted by a panel of re spected St. Petersburg reside nts prior to the hanging. Thus, it was not mob justice, just a regular execution by the people. (Arsenault 1996, p.130133) Racial tensions continued in St. Peters burg throughout the en suing years. There have been numerous small scale conflicts between blacks and Whites and a continued bias against the African American community as a whole. In 1937, the black community had organized and intended to vote in an up-coming election for an independent police chief. The Ku Klux Klan organized a ma rch, 200 people strong, to threaten and intimidate the black community and prevent at tendance at the vote. Despite winning the

PAGE 57

48 vote, the police chief Noel was removed from office and replaced with a known White supremacist, Doc. Vaughan. During his first m onth of office mob violence threatened again in protest against the killing of a young black man, Honeybaby Moses, who was involved in a shootout with police. Two officer s were killed before Moses was shot dead, and to assuage the threat of mob violen ce, Doc. Vaughan chose to publicly display Moses dead body. The willingness of the black population to fi ght in the Second World War, and the similarity between the racist ideology of Jim Crow and Hitlers anti-Semitic attitudes gave the African American calls for equal tr eatment a little more credence. Despite the change in attitudes of some, the St. Petersbu rg police department c ontinued to target the black community through racial profiling. The chief of police, Doc. Vaughan, established a work or jail ethic whereby residents who we re not working in the war effort were sent to jail. This policy effectively acted as a fo rced recruitment strategy for the war effort. The department violently target ed pool halls and bars which were the haunts of the black community, but did not extend the same effo rt to the White community. (Arsenault, 1996, p. 305) During the 1960s, the civil rights m ovement saw the African American community begin to exercise its collective voice and to protest ag ainst inequities. The citys sanitation services underwent re-organization in 1968, sparking concern over job losses. In order to appease workers, the city promised employees a share of any profits the re-organization may create. However, by May 6, the promised remuneration had not occurred, and the citys predominantly Af rican American sanitation workers went on

PAGE 58

49 strike. The city responded by firing 211 of the 235 employees sparking incensed protests in which 43 protesters were arrested. Ther e was major community support for the striking workers and several White community members jo ined the protests. In August, the strike reached a head as workers were increasingly frustrated with the lack of response from the city officials. The frustrations spurned a re lated riot on August 17 which lasted for three days and saw violence, gunshot and arson across all of South St. Petersburg. The strike was subsequently resolved with the employees being reinstated, but w ithout a pay-raise. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s there we re reports of minor neighborhood protests against police brutality and the targeting of African Americans. Most of these incidents never reached major news sources a nd were perceived to be the natural results of poor crime-ridden neighborhoods. There were protests throughout th ese years (against road building, police brutality, racial profiling, etc.) which we re peaceful demonstrations, but they receive little media attention and consequently no action from city officials. Under these circumstances, it seems hardly surprising when a community protest ends up destroying property and becoming violent. On August 20 1978, a night of rioting and violence erupted in response to the shooting of an African American youth, Willie James, by a White policeman. The disturbance left si xteen people seriously injured and extensive damage to several homes, business and auto mobiles in the Midtown area. When the incident was investigated, the judicial system decided that the killing was justified. As with the recent incidents in 2004, the Afri can American community felt it had not received proper justice, and felt the local police force had utilized excessive force.

PAGE 59

50 In a similar incident, a violent civil di sturbance erupted on October 26 1996 when TyRon Lewis was shot dead by policemen in South St. Petersburg after being pulled over for a routine traffic stop. At the scene of th e shooting a crowd gath ered to protest the police brutality and call for justice. Arguments broke out between protesters and police, and the crowd began to throw bricks and stone s. As well as direct conflicts with the police, there were twenty-eight arsons set th at evening and several incidents of looting. The crowd was advised to disperse, tear ga s was deployed, and polic e issued a warning that those who did not disperse within thr ee minutes would be automatically arrested. A second incident occurred four weeks later on November 13 when the police deputy who shot Lewis was acquitted. The community felt it s concerns had not be en addressed at all and called for the police deputy involved in the shooting to be reprimanded. The community lashed out and prot ested with gunshots, street protests and ten arson fires. During both incidents, several people were injured and there was extensive damage to property. (Chrisp, 2000 p. 307-309; St. Petersburg Times 1996, p. 1) In reaction to these events, the city redoubled its effort s to address crime problems in South St. Petersburg, sparking additional protests and frustration within the black community. The community was targeted for clean sweeps with arrest rates doubling and subsequent new claims of police brutality. Amid questions of the racial profiling by the citys police force, the c ity appointed its first African American police chief on June 11 1997. However, the racial bias in the city police force remains, with young black males being targeted by police. The problem is so common that a local city councilor

PAGE 60

51 publicly acknowledged the continued existence of racial profiling within the city police force. (Press Conference, May 15 2004). The most recent disturbance occurred on May 2 2004, when a White police officer shot a black youth, Ma rquell McCullough, after stopp ing him for a suspected drug offence. It is claimed that McCullough drove his vehicle towards a pol ice cruiser with the intent to kill. Again, like the two previous occasions, there were many questions about police actions. In response to incidents of police brutality nation-wide, (Rodney King and so on) police cruisers in metropolitan areas are now equipped with video cameras to monitor the behavior of the arresting officers and the community. On this occasion one police cruiser had a broken video recorder, and the other was out of video tape. The community was once again frustrated by what it saw as an unnecessa ry shooting, feeling that the officers life was never at risk. Follo wing on from this disturbance, there were a few peaceful protests, which receive d no media attention at all. Less than two weeks later on May 12 2004, the city once again experienced violent protest. A memorial march had b een organized for Marquell McCullough and Tyron Lewis, coinciding with the start of a civil lawsuit brought against the city of St. Petersburg by the family of Tyron Lewis. This violent protest saw windows smashed, buildings and cars burned, stones and bricks thrown, and gunshot directed at police officers. Although the events were less extrem e than those of 1996, the city still drafted over one hundred police officers to calm the area. There were twen ty arrests, 40% of whom were youths. As with previous incide nts, the protests we re centered around the Midtown district, the area with the highest concentration of Minor ity residents and the

PAGE 61

highest crime and poverty rates in the city. Table 3 below details the dramatically different conditions within Midtown compared to the rest of the city. Table 3: Comparison of Midtown and City Characteristics, 2000 Midtown City Percentage African American 86.4 22.6 Unemployment 6.9% 2.9% Median Household Income $19,277 $36,701 Average Household Income $27,280 $56,911 Per Capita Income $10,599 $22,637 Riot or Protest? There have been several discussions in the local media and in academic literature about what to call these kinds of disturbances. Some have argued that the label riot paints a negative picture of the African American community and vastly over-exaggerates the extents of the disturbances. However, it can also be argued that referring to them as civil unrest is a way for the citys public relations people to diminish the significance of the events and to retain a more positive image of St. Petersburg. Sanitizing the nature of these protests by calling them disturbances equates them with minor scuffles at sports events and doesnt acknowledge the political and activist-based nature of the events. The organization of the urban environment into socially polarized communities effectively limits the options for societal frustrations to be heard. As Harvey (2000, p. 243) notes: The uneven conditions of geographical development that now prevail in Baltimore do not allow the personal to be political in anything other than 52

PAGE 62

restrictive ways. Thus, the conditions within the created urban environment increase the likelihood for protest to be manifested violently. Several community members within Midtown have referred to the events as protests, as shown in the mural on the community center wall pictured below (Figure 8). Following from this, the term violent protest seems to better fit what has occurred; an outpouring of the pent-up frustrations of a community which has been given little attention and consideration and who are, therefore, drawn towards protest in order to be heard. Clearly, the destructive or violent lashing-out which accompanies some of these disturbances is unwelcome by most members of the community, but the underlying motivation is to protest and to be heard. Those who attempt to diminish the extent of these violent protests are attempting to silence the voices of a community struggling to be heard and find a voice in a media filtered by corporate and racial agendas. Figure 9: Enoch Davies Community Center Mural 53

PAGE 63

54 Reactions to the Protests There are two distinct res ponses within the African Am erican community to these protests and a third reaction from the White community. The local branch of the National Association for the Advancem ent of Colored people (NAACP) would prefer that the incidents are downplayed in order to maintain calm and prevent further frustrations between the African Americ an and White communities. Although they acknowledge the anger and frustrations of the community, it is felt that violence and destruction are counter-productive to both the image of the city and the African American community of St. Petersburg. In contrast, the local branch of the International Peoples Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM), want to see the incidents gain the re cognition they deserve as the social protests of an oppressed people. Failing to acknowledge the frustrations of the community and accepting promises that are never fulfilled serves to further frustrate the community and maintain the ci ty as a space of disparity. In contrast to the opinions of the African American community representatives is the reaction to the violence from White city o fficials. This vastly different attitude was evidence in the two press conferences held by the city in response to the violent protest of May 12 2004 and the result of the TyRon Lewis ci vil trial. The first press conference was conducted by Mayor Baker and Police Chief Ha rman and focused on the efforts of the police department to control the violence the pr evious evening. The rhetoric criticized the criminality of the activities and the intentions of the police department to ensure citizen safety. There was an indication from Mayor Baker that he was aware of the promotional leaflets distributed by the Uhur u group which were calling for ci ty justice, but that he had

PAGE 64

55 not specifically spoken to the group. When he was asked if he thought he should have, Mayor Baker replied No. The city was obviously aware of the feelings of unrest within the community relating to the civil trial, but chose not to directly address these issues until a violent protest had occurred. The second press conference was directly af ter the city court ha d ruled against the family of TyRon Lewis in th e civil trial on May 14 2004. Fear ing another night of violent protest, Mayor Bakers address was followe d by several key members of the African American community, many of whom live in the Midtown area. The tone of this conference was very placatory and focused le ss upon the role of the police officers and more upon acknowledging the concerns of Midtown residents. The chosen African American speakers eloquently discussed thei r opinions of Midtown development with a strong focus upon the positive elements which had been achieved. There was recognition of community frustrations, but an appeal fo r residents to be patient and commit to the long-term development of the community. There was a marked difference between techniques of the two racial groups. Mayor Baker again focused upon the positive achievements of development within Midtown and failed to acknowledge any short co mings of the revitalization process. He restated his commitment to equity: We will redouble our efforts to ensure our city is seamless, but also commented that criminal activity will be punish ed. This failure to acknowledge the protesters as po litical, and continually framing them as criminal serves to reduce the significance of their argu ments and silence their civic voice.

PAGE 65

56 In contrast to Mayor Baker, the African American representatives acknowledged the shortcomings of revitaliza tion and efforts towards equity within the city. Although the concentration was on appeals for calm and the continuing push towards community development, the lack of progress was identified. Frank Peterman, city Council representative was forthright in his disa greement with the ve rdict received, but concentrated on encouraging peace and said: violence is not the way to correct any wrongs. Ken Walsh, Pinellas County Comm issioner commented that: There are constructive ways to deal with these issuesviolence of this nature feeds the stereotypes of the African American community (v iolence is) destructive to economic development and social justice. It seems that the African Amer ican representatives, many of whom live in Midtown, recognized the problems with development more so than the White representatives, reinforcing the con cept of the city as one with dual identities. As the press conference concluded, Mayor Baker appealed for calm and reiterated his desire to create what he called a seamless city, claiming he wanted a city in which there are no vacant lots and no divisions with in the city. Given the citys history, the idea of a city with no class or race boundaries is incongruous with the citys image as a destination for tourists, highdollar spenders and second re sidences. Is it possible to create a seamless city with million dollar c ondominiums and marinas a mile away from areas where 79% of the community surviv e on less than $8,900 per year? Moreover, Mayor Bakers complete ignorance of the dire material conditions within the African American community was revealed by his appe al to members of the community to email

PAGE 66

57 him to offer their help and i ndicate if they were in s upport of future redevelopment projects in the troublesome Midtown area. Conclusion St. Petersburg has relied on tourism and its related industries since the citys founding and as such, the citys developm ent has centered on providing services and amenities which encourage tourism and day-trippers. The recent focus has been firmly placed upon the development of a consumption c ity which encourages the recruitment of upper-income residents and portrays the image of St. Petersburg as a city of play and enjoyment. However, the darker side of th e citys history has been the systematic organization of the city and its services to exclude minorities, specifically African Americans and to exacerbate the conditions of poverty. The stark polarization within the city has caused community tensions which thre aten to overshadow the image of the city as an ideal place to live. As such, the voices of the African American and other Minority communities have been silenced, and the city has focused on developments which promote the most positive city image. Chapter Three will detail the methodology which will be used to examine socio-spatial polar ization as it exists in the city today.

PAGE 67

58 Chapter Three Methodology The methodological approach for this study was adapted from two main sources. The first was Researching Social Life, by Nigel Gilbert, (19 93) which provides an overview for prospective researchers within the social sciences. The study details each step of the research process from establis hing a research goal to organizing results. Within social research, it is important to maintain an open approach to research methodology. Often, it is inappropriate to id entify expected findings from qualitative research, as the very process of this iden tification can limit the researchers ability to explore the gamut of related elements whic h contribute to a given phenomena. Gilbert (1993, p. 33) suggests a research methodology whic h is broadly structured and allows the researcher to learn from her subjects, sin ce research involves the continual interaction of ideas and data, you should always be on th e look-out for serendip itous or unexpected findings. With this in mind, the study met hodology was structured to be as broad and reflexive as possible. The second influence was from the methodologies utilized by Jan Nijman in Ethnicity, Class and the Economic Internationalization of Miami in Social Polarization in PostIndustrial Metropolises, (OLoughlin and Friedrichs, 1996). This case study

PAGE 68

examines the socio-spatial polarization in Miami, Florida, and identifies numerous factors which have contributed to the spatial polarization seen in the city today. The methodology employs both qualitative and quantitative analyses in order to address the existence of socio-spatial polarization and the factors which have contributed to the spatial distribution within the city. Miami has similar characteristics to St. Petersburg in that it is also a city without a major industrial history. Like St. Petersburg, the rise of the service sector employment base has less to do with a declining industry base, and more to do with the internationalization of the city (see employment characteristics in table 4 below) The resulting polarization within Miami bears closer relation to institutional organization than with a declining economic base. Due to the similarities between the study areas, the methodology utilized by Nijman would be applicable to the study of St. Petersburg. Therefore, elements of the data analysis and the post-modern deconstruction of the motivations of city officials were incorporated into this study methodology. Table 4: St. Petersburg Employment Characteristics, 2000 Employment: Percent Management, Professional 34.0 Service Occupations 16.0 Sales, Office Occupations 28.3 Farming, Fishing 0.1 Construction, Maintenance, Extraction 8.2 Production, Transportation 12.7 59

PAGE 69

60 Although the study by Nijman provides a us eful framework which can be couched in the broad structuring suggested by Gilber t (1993), it did not interview any residents directly. As one of the aims of this study is to potentially improve the living conditions and political voice of St. Pete rsburg residents, it would seem wholly appropriate to discuss concerns with them. As such, this research broadly followed the methodologies utilized in the study as discussed, but inco rporated the additiona l element of direct interviews with city residents. In order to ensure a balanced voice was heard, and to incorporate different views of the city, this case study also included interviews with those directly involved in the pla nning and developmental process. Citizen Voices Following from Gilberts (1993) suggesti ons, the organization of the interview portion of this study was as reflexive as possibl e. The interviewees we re asked a series of open-ended questions related to their awarene ss of city planning issues and their opinions on city development. As noted by Gilbert, a reflexive approach allows for unexpected elements to emerge, and as such the intervie ws were conducted as informally as possible. With a more structured interview process, the discourse is steered towards pre-conceived notions which can prevent supplementa l information from emerging. Conducting interviews as conversations allows for a clearer picture of th e true feelings of interviewees to emerge. It also helps to break the barriers between researcher and subject, allowing for the interviewee to steer the conversation to th e topics which are of most interest to them.

PAGE 70

61 An issue of importance to all re searchers conducting personal interviews is that of the researcher/subject relati onship. Structured interviews establish a hierarchy between the researcher and interviewee which can influence and restrict th e responses given. For this reason interviews should be as unstruct ured as possible giving the interviewee more freedom and greater status with in the research interview. By minimizing the potential for psychological gaps in status be tween interviewee and research er, the process can be more dialectical in nature and lead to more open responses (Narayan, 1993). Related to the hierarchical relati onship which may exist, there are also concerns for researchers involved in studies evaluating racial or soci al groups of which they themselves are not members. Traditiona l ethnographic work has established the insider/outsider debate, s uggesting that group outsiders will not receive accurate statements from interviewees as they are not seen as members of the group. Despite the popularity of this viewpoint, there are numerous studies which challenge this concept and suggest the very opposite is true (Rose, 2001; Acker, 2000). Several studies have raised alternative perspectives on the outsider debate. Damaris Rose, for instance, suggests that the identity and status of a researcher is a fluid social construc tion and as such the relationship between interviewee and research er can be affected during the interview process through language and discussion style. A more unstructured, conversational style allows for greater equality between research er and interviewee to be established and would help assuage any hierarch ical barriers. An interesting concept emer ging from these inves tigations is the idea that those who are considered as outsiders may actually have an advantage over researchers from

PAGE 71

62 within the group. As Rose (2001, p.7) notes: By not belonging to a group under study, one is perceived as neutral and may be given certain information not given to an insider. This is arguably an even str onger case when the researcher is from a different country. As a non-American, it would be harder to place me in a social or cultural grouping as the cultural signifiers of status (such as language and dress), ar e different for an outsider. Likewise, my position as an outsider may have aided with my interview process as the interviewees have the opportuni ty to describe their social and cultural conditions to an outsider with less obvious political standing. Despite this discussion of the concepts of insider and outsider, we need to address the issue with caution. The very notion of outside r and insider is problematic as it reduces the complexities of social and racial groups to distinct defina ble stereotypes. The assumption that merely being a member of a social or racial group provides greater insight or allows for automatic rapport is simplistic and naive. Reinforcing these ideas within academic research is a continuation of the segregation a nd separation of people based on race, gender or soci o-economic standing. Although the issues of equality and parity within research are important con cerns, the automatic assumption of difference between groups makes major assumptions about interviewees prior to the interview process and can prevent the researcher from conducting balanced interviews. The very assumption of any difference should be ac knowledged within research methodology to prevent the researcher from reinforcing th ese social and racial generalizations.

PAGE 72

63 Organization of Interviews The interview process was separated into two main areas; the interviews with developers, planners and advo cates (group one) and interviews with city residents (group two). Both groups were interviewed following a loosely structured interview guide as outlined above. Each group was asked a set of key open-ended questions designed to follow an anthropological, ethnographic approach allowing for multiple responses. If there was an area of particular interest to an interviewee, they were encouraged to continue speaking on this topic. Responses from group one were tape recorded in order to maintain accuracy for lengthier responses, group two responses were recoded manually. Group one was asked the same questions as group two, but with the addition of one question addressing their specific involve ment in the planning process. The members in group one were selected based on personal in terest, involvement or exclusion from the planning process. The members included citizen advocates, business interests, newspaper journalists, planners, develope rs and city officials. The interview process was limited by availability of interview subjects, and th eir willingness to participate in the study. Group two residents were selected by u tilizing a cluster sampling technique, whereby a geographic unit, in this case a Census Block, is selected and all of the members of that unit are survey ed. In order to compare the op inions of residents from the different social groups and to illustrate th e extremes of social -polarization in St. Petersburg, two resident samples were select ed. The first was chosen from a low-income high Minority area and the second from a high-income low-Minority area. The characteristics were evaluated at the Block Group level in order to include economic data.

PAGE 73

Once the sample Block Group had been identified, the smaller areal unit of Census Block was selected from within this group, chosen based on similarity of size. Figure 9: Location of Selected Study Areas Study Area A Study Area B Base Map courtesy of St. Petersburg Developmental Services Department The first sample area (A) contains a 100% Minority population, 99.6 % of whom are African Americans, and a poverty level of 49.7 %. The Block level data shows there are 22 residences in the Block containing 36 people. The second sample area (B) contains 64

PAGE 74

65 a 2.4% Minority with no African American residents and a 0.48% poverty level. The Block chosen has the same population as the other selection, with 22 residences containing 53 people. The similarity in si ze between the two sample areas allows for easier comparison of variables. The purpose of these interviews was to evaluate the level of interest and awareness of residents regard ing planning and developmental issues. The interviews were conducted over a two week period and residents were approached at three different time periods. This enabled the maximum number of residents to be available and prevented the skewing of responses via unequal resident re presentation. It should be noted that the timing of the interviews was directly after the violent protests which erupted following the civil trial in the case of the death of Tyron Lewis. These protests occurred in the Midtown neighborhood which was th e location of one of the se lected sample areas. Data Analysis Methodologies The statistical data analyzed for this st udy was obtained from the Census Bureau, utilizing the 2000 data report. Comparisons of the change in racial composition of St. Petersburg were obtained from the Census Bureau for the years 1910 to 2000. As with any research conducted utilizi ng spatial units, the scale of the areal unit chosen to conduct the analysis can alter the results obtained. As seen in table 1, aggregating data into larger spatial units can mask the existence of dissimilarity (the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem or MAUP). When measured at the tract level, the greatest concentration of minorities is 96% whereas when measured at the Block Group or Block level, there are

PAGE 75

66 several units which are identif ied as 100% Minority. Therefor e, data for this study was examined at the smallest areal unit available for all elements of interest. Although racial information is available at the Census Bloc k level, for reasons of privacy, no economic information is available. In order to ensure parity between the statistical comparisons, all analysis was conducted at the Block Group level. The data regarding race is organized into White and Minority following the criteria discussed in chapter one. Although the largest Minority group in St. Petersburg is African Americans, there is a growing presence of other Minority groups who are often neglected in studies. As r acial segregation tends to organize itself more along delineations of difference than similarity, it was important to consider all minorities and aggregate them as a group. As Feagin ( 1996, p.132) notes: Whites are systematically segregated not only from Blacks but also from most other Americans of color. Residential segregation is a basi c part of the social process whereby systematic racism is reproduced from one generation to the next. These Minorities are as equally polarized into particular neighborhoods and face the sa me segregation from the White community as African Americans. There have been a number of studies which have examined the polarization of all races in American ci ties (Massey and Denton, 1993, [2001]) indicating that the issue is one requir ing equal consideration alongsid e specific African American segregation. For this reason, a ll those who did not identify themselves as White were aggregated into the single group labeled Minorities. Certain aspects of the study necessitated examining African Americans as a separate gro up, in these cases the results are noted as such.

PAGE 76

67 The economic factors considered examined the percentage of the population who were considered to be living below the poverty level. The Census Bureau defined the poverty level in 2000 as $8,794 per annum for a single person and $17,463 for a family of two adults and two children. It should be noted that this level is not geographically adjusted, however, it still provides a useful measure of poverty di stribution within the city. As issues of economic polarization are ev idenced with extremes of incomes, the per capita income and median household income was examined for both racial categories. Measures of Segregation There are several methodologies that can be used to measure the extent of racial polarization within communities, including ethn ographic studies, statistical regression techniques and exposure rates. As these studi es are usually identified as segregation studies, this term will be applied to these m easurements and used as a method to evaluate racial polarization. One of the first and most common methods developed for such research is the dissimilarity index or D, introduced by Duncan and Duncan, 1955. The index is a measurement of the degree of eve nness of the residential distribution of race, with an uneven distribution indicating the pres ence of segregati on. The index is calculated on a 1-100 scale, with 0 meaning there is no segregation and 100 meaning there is total segregation. The method is applied to an ar ea of study (such as a city or MSA) that is divided into measurable subunits (such as Census Tracts or Block Groups) for which racial information are available. The dissimilarity index is calculated by comparing the existing distribution of races w ithin the areal sub-unit to the average for

PAGE 77

68 the entire area. This ensures that the actual distribution is compared to the distribution that would be expected if there were even racial distribution. The number calculated indi cates the amount of a given population that would have to relocate in order to achieve even distribution, so a diss imilarity index of 75 indicates that 75% of minorities would have to move to achieve uniform distribution. As the index is organized around spatial units, the effects of scale need to be considered; using a larger aggregated unit would provi de a lower score an d potentially mask dissimilarity. Therefore, as noted above, th e data was examined at the Block Group level which allows for the effects of areal unit to be minimized. As well as examining racial distribution, the dissimilarity index can also be applied to measure the extent of spatial polarization due to other factors. In order to examine the extent of reside ntial polarization ba sed upon poverty levels, the dissimilarity index will be calculated for poverty distribution. In this context, the number obtained would indicate the percentage of people who would have to relocate in order to achieve the expected spatial distribution of poverty. If the index calculated differs from the city expected distribution, then this would indicate that there is uneven distribution of wealth within the city. There are limitations associated with the use of the dissimilarity index which need to be noted. The first is the limited applicab ility to multi-ethnic communities; the measure compares two groups and researchers must simplify racial groups into two groups or compare groups independently against one another. The second issue involves the assumption of homogeneity across a spatial unit, which may not re present the actual

PAGE 78

69 distribution which exists. The final limitation of the dissimilarity index which is most applicable to this study is the lack of sp atial representation w ithin the calculation. Although the index examines the evenness of distribution within an area, it does not directly illustrate the spatial distribution of phenomena. For this reason, the dissimilarity index for geographical studies is best suited to research which combines the index with other measures. Another method used to calculate segreg ation is the P* exposure index, which measures the likelihood of a resident having a neighbor of a different race and it is calculated for each group separately. Although th e P* adds an element of explanation to segregation studies, it is effected by the re lative size of the communities concerned; the chance for a Minority to have contact with a ma jority is far greater then the majority to have contact with the Minority due to the relative size of each group. However, it does provide a useful comparison of the extent of exposure between racial groups. In addition to the above measures, there are several other methodologies which aim to better explain the extent of comm unity segregation. Massey and Denton (1989) identify five dimensions of segregation which are often, although not always, present for hypersegregated groups. These five dimensions ar e: evenness, exposure, clustering, centralization and concentrati on. Like the dissimilarity index and the P* measure, there are statistical measures which can be calcu lated to measure the extent of clustering, centralization and concentrati on. However, for the purposes of this study, these measured were illustrated with maps which visually represent the extent of these measures. There

PAGE 79

70 remains the potential for further research exam ining these measures statistically in order to enhance the claim of socio-spat ial polarization within the city. Conclusion The methodologies chosen pr ovide a rounded picture of th e spatial polarization as it exists in St. Petersburg. Although much of the segregation and pol arization within the city can be visually observed through stark differences in neighborhoods, the inclusion of statistical analyses gives the study more author ity and confirms the existence of spatially polarized communities. A critical analysis of the Vision 2020 plan and other city development strategies reveal s the underlying motivations of the city and their planning agenda. The extent to which the city addre sses the institutional mechanisms which create and/or reinforce polarization exposes their level of commit ment to achieving city-wide parity. Couching this analysis in its geographical and historical context adds to the picture of exclusion and polarization of certain city residents. Chapter Four continues this examination by detailing the history of planning in St. Petersburg and the motivations behind city development.

PAGE 80

71 Chapter Four St. Petersburg Planning History Examining the history of the settlement of St. Petersburg reveals the planning and developmental motivations which have shaped the spatial distributions that exist today. The aims of the city since its incorporation have been to promote St. Petersburg as a destination for tourism and relocation. It did not encourage migration with the specific promise of employment, but rather with the promise of a good life. The focus has always been on the image of the city and the maintena nce of this image, often at the expense of the needs or concerns of its re sidents. This desire to protect the image of the city and to ensure the visitation of the high-dollar tourists has been partly responsible for the spatial distribution, and likewise the social distribution, we see in the city today. Like many new settlements, St Peters burgs early development was conducted without a formalized city plan. The drive to settle the area and encourage development saw the city push for construction and invest ment without consider ation of the citys organization. Although elaborate city struct ure was not so necessary with a small population, the foundations which were established at this time have influenced the organization of the city as it is today. A more subtle remnant of early settlement is the social hierarchy within the city. Promotion of tourism ensures a dual city will emerge

PAGE 81

72 with a contentious but symbiotic relationshi p between those who pr ovide services and those who consume them. The promotion of St. Petersburg as a pleas ant city for reloca tion and tourism was the primary goal of the citys most prominen t early advocate, William Straub. His official connection to the city was as editor of th e St. Petersburg Times, but he was heavily involved in the promotion of the city and esta blished an early versi on of the Chamber of Commerce. He promoted the development of the tourist trade for the city and was an advocate for the preservation of the natural beau ty which was considered to be the citys main draw. His primary objective was to devel op the waterfront area of the city, calling for the removal of industry and facilities fr om the area and suggesting instead, that the city purchase the area. The city accepted his suggestion and embarked upon a series of improvements to create The C ity Beautiful and to establish the waterfront area as the citys focal point. Following from Straubs lead, the promotion of tourism became the focus of the citys development. As suggested by St ephenson (1997, p. 37): The leaders understood that the citys vitality did not depe nd on producing goods, but on the promotion and creation of a fabricated environment where visi tors could pursue their fantasies. The city was firmly committed to promoting its imag e and securing the tourist market, spending $502,000 on advertising between 1921 and 1926. (Stephenson, 1997, p.38) However, as Arsenault (1996, p. 124) asserts, these expendi tures on tourism promotion were at the expense of certain city residents: In 1910, blacks accounted for 26.6 percent of St. Petersburgs 4,127 inhabitants. Predictably, this striking figure was never included in the

PAGE 82

73 citys promotional leaflets. St. Petersburg does not have a particularly large colored population, city planner Nolen insisted in the 1920s, but like all southern cities it has its colored section. Clearly from this early stage, there were some residents within the city who were considered less than full citizens. When John Nolen was hired in 1922 he was known for his theories of urban design that involved preserving the natura l environment and in corporating natural features into city design. This made him a perfect candidate for St. Petersburg planning and the promotion of The City Beautif ul. In his comprehensive plan, called St. Petersburg Today, St Petersburg Tomorrow Nolen proposed restricting development and commercial growth to certain areas, theo rizing that the concentration of economic activities encourages growth. This separation of commercial and residential activities would help to maintain the natural environment as a pleasant surrounding for residential areas and would ensure the pr otection of the tourism revenue upon which St. Petersburg depended. One of the key elements to secure the uniqueness of the ar ea to tourists was the suggestion of establishing the barri er islands as natural preserves. The urban areas were also to be preserve d, with the plan calling for an extensive system of city parks. Nolan proposed a sy stem of streets with major thoroughfares separated by areas of green to maintain an attractive setting, and smaller streets that followed natural contours of the land. Nei ghborhoods were to be organized around civic activities and the preservation of the individual character of each community. When the plan was published in the St. Petersburg Times there was a single criticism from an influential builder, C. M. Roser, who highlig hted the failure to specifically address the

PAGE 83

74 needs of the African Americ an community. Roser suggested the city supervise the building of an updated African American neighborhood with churches, schools and transportation access. However these ideas were not incorporated into the comprehensive plan. The creation of such a plan was revolutionary at the time, not just for the content, but for the concept of planning a city and limiting development. The beauty and uniqueness of St. Petersburg ensured it was popular with real estate developers, but the zoning and land use restrictions Nolen suggest ed would limit the extensive expansion of the city. With developers holding great power an d influence in the city, it was inevitable that the plan would be unpopular Critics claimed it was an er asing of rights and freedom, placing planning in the hands of governmental officials being tantamount to agreeing to despotic control. In order to enact Nolens pl an, the city needed to establish a Planning Law which would have given the city certain rights to control development on private property. This was the point of contention w ith real estate developers and residents leading to the eventual reject ion of the Planning Law in 1923. Despite the reticence of the St. Petersburg boosters, other cities in Florida were more accepting of planning. The Florida City Planning Association was formed and in 1925, a state-wide planning directive was passe d by the legislature. This provided the legal framework needed to apply comprehensiv e city plans. Nolen was approached by St. Petersburg to update his earlier plan for the city. However, with a boom in city planning, Nolen was busy elsewhere and instead suggested a junior planner from his firm, Justin Hartzog, could complete the task in his stead.

PAGE 84

75 Hartzog began with this inte ntion, but the idea of such an extensive plan remained unpopular. Hartzog was asked to create a new, less ambitious plan which would focus on planning errors and be less ideological. Even the modified plan presented by Hartzog was too restrictive for city developers, who refu sed to accept any zoning ordinances. The plan which was finally presented was altered to such a great degree that it became almost unrecognizable from the original. When it wa s finally accepted in 1929, it came without the necessary zoning regulations required to administer the plan. When the zoning ordinance was finally approved in 1933, it had been heavily modified to appease business interests and developers and cont ained extensive commercial areas. The New Deal saw many of Hartzogs recommendations adopted, but the zoning regulations remained a point of contention. In keeping with the citys interest in economic development, the city employe d a known practical planner, Harland Bartholomew, in 1940. Bartholomew advocated efficient planning which focused little on utopian ideology or aesthetic considerations. The role of planning was to encourage development and provide the best conditi ons for commercial investment; organized planning could spur economic success. Ba rtholomew assessed the citys population growth and suggested the city should devel op an inner core which centralized amenities and services. However, the population figures were vastly inaccurate and there were sections which contained impractical and in accurate land-use suggestions. Despite the lack of credibility, the plan was adopt ed in 1944 as a basis for much needed improvements, which included the re-structuri ng of city transportation with a renewed focus on the automobile.

PAGE 85

76 The shortcomings of the Bartholomew plan became particularly apparent in the following years as the population swelled and a wave of residential construction created environmental and structural problems. The city had too many cars, congested roadways, poorly planned commercial and industrial areas, and neighborhoods with an increasing loss of any individual charac ter. The growing development problems led the city to appoint its first full-time c ity planner, John Harvey, in 1955. Like his predecessors, Harvey suggested the limiting of commercial and industrial zoning and the organization of development around established guidelines. Despite many attempts, the planners could not persuade city developers to limit the am ount of commercial land and the level was set at 8% which was twice the national average. This illustrates the citys focus on development, as Stephenson suggests: this discrepancy between St. Petersburgs land classification scheme and national planning standards reflected the degree to which commercial realtors dictated public policy. (1997, p. 123). This developmental focus ensured th e problems associated with unplanned construction continued to haunt St. Petersbu rg. The natural environment which was the lifeblood of the citys touris t industry was being destroyed. The dredge and fill of Boca Ciega Bay led to the ultimate environmental collapse of the bay and similar such events occurred throughout the city. The increasing ai r and water pollution le d to a public outcry as The City Beautiful began to be shrouded in ugly development and a sprawling urban landscape. Residents began to call for increased restrictions on devel opment in an attempt to protect the environment and ensu re a pleasant, more livable city.

PAGE 86

77 In response to the public outcry, the city established the Citizens Goals Committee in an attempt to establish workab le growth management goals. The committee was made up of citizen advocates, realtors investors and environmentalists amongst others. One of the primary goals identified by the committee was the redevelopment of the downtown area, along with the restoration of natural ha bitats and beautification of city parks. The participation wa s incorporated into Harveys Conceptual Plan which focused largely on a Man-made environmen t in harmony with nature. The plan presented contained many elements which bor e similarities to the plan presented by Nolen, but unlike the first plan, Harveys plan was adopted by the city in 1974. The practical application of the plan wa s carried out by Bruce Hahl and involved extensive public hearings and citizen workshops which asse ssed the practicality of the plan. Like the plans that had preceded this one the sticking points were the restrictions placed upon land-use. The plan focused on limiting land zoned for commercial use, arguing that there was too much within the city boundaries. Arguments over this aspect continued through to 1977 when a heavily modi fied version of the plan, which adjusted the commercial usage restrict ions, was finally accepted. St. Petersburgs current plan is a heavily modified version of Harveys 1974 plan. Large sections of the plan ha ve been altered to accommodate the interests of the business and development community and the restric tions on commercial property have been largely ignored. The accompanying zoning regula tions have been created with little formal organization and individual requirements have been approved on a case-by-case basis. The requirements for green spaces have been applied in certain residential areas,

PAGE 87

78 and ignored in others. This has left the curr ent city with a spatial mismatch and uneven development which arguably focuses on the interests of businesses rather than the citizens. The provision of services is not equally applied across the city with the disparities between neighborhoods being st rikingly evident (Stephenson, 1997). The plans developed by the city have been co-opted by business and developer interests to promote the intensive developm ent of the city. Wher e the planners have achieved success has been in the provision of amenities and the organization of city elements which appeal to tourists and which promote the city as a resort city. The city focus has been on development and money making and has not addressed the uneven development seen city-wide. No comprehens ive plan has focused upon the stratification within the city or on the needs of the lo w-income or Minority communities within the city. The practices of the city developers in swaying the planning of the city has largely ensured the needs of business are met before the needs of residents. In the 1980s there was a renewed focus on the redevelopment of the downtown area and a renewed interest in th e promotion of tourism. In order to raise the image of the city, funds were allocated to improve the Mu nicipal Pier, the Bayf ront Center and to build a sports stadium. The city entered into a partnership with private developers, Bay Plaza, who would mange and market the three main attractions. At the same time, the city was to focus on the redevelopment of the downtown area, including the construction of an upscale retail mall. The plans were ambitious and were seen as the best way to promote the city into the future and ensure an identity as an upscale resort city.

PAGE 88

79 However, there were numerous critics of the proposed downtown development. City residents and citizen groups felt that the venture would never succeed in St. Petersburg as it was a blue co llar tourist destin ation. Another concern was the lack of citizen involvement in the planning process which it was felt would ensure the projects failure. The city went ahead with the devel opment, only to see it fail miserably in 1991 after $40 million in city investment. St. Peters burg had attempted to reestablish the image of the city as an upscale resort town, as Stephenson (1997, p. 186) claims: While the 1920s real estate boom is long forgotte n, boosterism and speculation still drive communal decision-making throughout Florida. De spite this failure, the city was firmly committed to its future as a city in which to play and relax, and its dream of an upscale retail location was to come to fruition in 2002 with the opening of Baywalk. After the violent protests of 1996 drew media attention to the poor living conditions in Midtown, the city was forced to address the concerns of residents. In response, the then Mayor, Da vid Fischer initiated what was called the Challenge which targeted the predominantly African Ameri can, low-income neighborhood of Midtown for economic development and community improvements. The primary goal of the Challenge was to address th e high crime rates of the neighborhood and to improve the residents standard of living. As part of this redevelopment, the Jordan Park housing complex, and several smaller housing areas we re demolished along w ith the clearing of individual private housing which was in disrepair. Partly as a function of the housing redevelopment and the crack-down on crim e, the area saw its population fall by 16.3% between 1990 and 2001.

PAGE 89

80 Despite this commitment to the Chall enge area, the Midt own district in 2004 remains the site of the largest spatial con centration of Minorities and those living below the poverty line in the city. The area has a hi gher unemployment rate th an the rest of the city and the greatest concentr ation of those receiving public assistance. Th e average per capita income for those in employment is less th an half that of the rest of the city. The Challenge seems to have achieved little for the residents of Midtown in the eight years it has been in force except for the diffusion of communities and the destruction of neighborhoods. A New Comprehensive Plan The citys developmental focus had left many residents within the city unhappy with the progress. The city was still highly spatially polarized bot h racially and socioeconomically, with uneven spatial development occurring at an extreme scale. The lowincome African American and other Minority communities were unhappy with the escalating crime and decay in their own ne ighborhoods and with the amount of city revenues spent on high profile developments. In contrast, city elites wanted increased investment in facilities which would ensure th at the upscale global image of the city was maintained and that the city remained exclusive. The planning department was faced with a city with two iden tities, one as the location of upscale exclusive residences, a nd the other of low-income, working-class homes. In reaction to this contested identity, the Devel opmental Services Department promoted the construction of a new, comprehensive city plan which was to establish the

PAGE 90

81 guidelines for city development through to the future. The plan is ambitiously called Vision 2020 and seeks to plan for St. Peters burg Today, tomorrow and for the future. Vision 2020 seeks to create an ideology of the perfect city and plan accordingly to incorporate this image. In this way, the pl an takes a cue from Nolan: In a word, we should frame a concept, an ideal of what we wish the city to be, and then we should make it one of the controlling purposes in the de velopment of a city plan (Quoted in Stephenson, 1997, p. 41). The relationship betwee n ideology and planning ensures that a city develops according to the needs and wants of its residents. In order to do this, the city has to incorporate resident voices w ithin their planning strategy, something which has previously been little considered. Lack of representation with in the planning process had led to residents who were unhappy with their city. In response to the resi dents frustrations, a key element of the planning process was to be ci tizen participation, organized around the needs and desires of city residents. The plan makes the cl aim: Vision 2020 was designed to be a true dialogue exploring the nature of the co mmunity today and expectations for the future.(Vision 2020, 2001, p. 23). The city promot ed the development of the plan as a communicative process which included partic ipation from residents, planners and developers in order to create a c ity which meets the needs of all. Planning Process City planners felt that the city had been developing for t oo long without a cohesive plan, therefore Vision 2020 was given a short timeline for completion. A steering

PAGE 91

82 committee was established consisting of eight members: a city planner, a museum director, a university Dean, two council me mbers (district 4 and 7), the deputy mayor, and two representatives from the Council of Neighborhood Association, (CONA). Within this group of representatives, four members are also involved with issues relating to historic preservation, and tw o are specifically involved in citizen advocacy for lowincome neighborhoods. The first phase of the plan involved a series of lectures followed by community discussion which were held at the University of South Floridas St. Petersburg campus. The intention of the lectures was to inform citizens of the history and development of the city and to provide information regarding possible options for development. Recognized experts were invited to discuss the issues facing St. Petersburg and to provide expert opinions to the participants. The commun ity discussion portion was to identify key themes and concerns of city residents and to obtain suggestions for development. The lectures were advertised th roughout the city in City Counc il publications, in the local press, and via direct contact with citizen groups. The lectures were also recorded and broadcast on public television and made avai lable through the public library system. The second phase of the process was called the Charrette, a term which refers to an intensive planning method used by a Fr ench architectural school. Held during the month of June 2001, the Charette involved a review of the main themes and a refinement of the focus for the vision process. Ther e followed several workshops which involved a brainstorming session to create a vision statement for the development process and the identification of key issues of importance to residents. These issues were then organized

PAGE 92

83 into order of importance and prioritized for the planning process. Delegates were separated into groups and given key themes on which to focus. Their goal was to identify what would constitute success in each of the areas and to sugg est methods to achieve this. A preliminary summary of the findings was presented to delegates, and they were asked to vote on the success of the prelim inary plan. There followed a discussion in which the key issues that had not been addressed by the process were identified. Attention was given to the concerns raise d, the most common was related to the full implementation of the plan. Delegates felt c oncerned that the exer cise would not reach application despite the good intentions of th e committee members. Involved in this stage of the process were city planning official s, the 2020 steering co mmittee, Mayor Baker and invited community delegates. The third stage saw the presentation of the draft summary of the plan to the community at the Maheffey Theatre on June 27. The aim was for the community to assess the success of the pre-pl anning process and identify any key elements which had not been addressed. Residents were then aske d to complete a 17-page survey assessing the success of the plan. During the following we eks, the areas identified by the returned surveys were incorporated into the plan and a draft was prepared. Once completed, the draft was made available to residents in the local city libraries al ong with the video tapes of the Charette process. In order to apply the plan to the city, th e land-use regulations had to be adjusted. Meetings were established to discuss the ad justments in the specific areas of the city concerned, with invitations extended to deve lopers, local businesses and citizens groups.

PAGE 93

84 Unlike the original meetings and lectures, these meetings were held in smaller, neighborhood locations. It should be noted that at this stage, there was no direct citizen participation in the meetings. The land deve lopment regulation meetings were completed in April 2004 and the final draft of the revi sed regulations were presented in May 2004. The Developmental Services Department claims this structural stage has gone extremely well, with little resistance to land-u se changes. This is strikingly different to the citys history of zoning issues, where ea ch attempt to rezone areas was met with contestation. When questioned about the re ason why there were no disputes, the city planner replied: because everyone was so involved in the process, there were not many changes to be made, no surprises for anyone. This seems contrary to the history of city planning, implying either a complete change in attitude from the business and development community, or that the plan is no t as revolutionary as its title suggests. St. Petersburg Midtown Stra tegic Planning Initiative In Addition to the Vision 2020 plan, the ci ty also has a specific plan which is aimed at improvements in the low-income predominantly minority community of Midtown. The planning initiative was developed as part of the city Challenge initiated by Mayor Fischer following the 1996 violen t protests. The Midtown area has higher unemployment and crime levels than elsewher e in the city (see Table 3, p. 48) and had been the site of several development projec ts which had fragmented the community. The identified need to consider Midtown developm ent as a separate concern from the rest of the city illustrates the extent of socio-spatial polarization within the city. Largely as a

PAGE 94

85 result of relocation efforts associated with these developmental projects, the Midtown area has experienced a major change in popul ation dynamics, with the population falling by 10,381 people between 1980 and 2000. This dec lining population has exacerbated the conditions within the area and has left ma ny vacant lots and distressed, unused housing. In response to resident concerns, seve ral development incentives and community improvement projects were established in th e area. However, many of these projects failed to deliver the desired improvements a nd several were arguably inappropriate for the area. In response to this, the city utili zed a grant received in late 2000 from the Urban Infill and Redevelopment Assistance Planning Grant to develop the Midtown Strategic Planning Initiative. The initiatives goals were to inventory, analyze and streamline existing plans into a commun ity-wide initiative and to pr esent suggestions to the community for development. After the plans had been inventoried and analyzed, focus groups were established consisting of faith-b ased organizations, community leaders and non-profit organizations. The suggestions from community advocates were primarily concerned with economic development and the provision of employment for Midtown residents. There were also concerns about the uneven allocati on of resources and development projects to the Midtown district. The Initiative draws at tention to the Challenge established by Mayor Fischer in 1997 and details the grants and developmental projects which have been initiated. The area identified for urban infi ll and development is detailed in figure 10 below. The rhetoric of the document appears to relate to the concerns identified in Vision 2020 (p. 40) regarding the negative media image and public perception of Southside. The

PAGE 95

Initiative takes great pains to detail the investments which have been made in the area and the successes which have been achieved, raising questions about the motivations of the document. Is the primary goal to improve conditions for residents, or to act as a public relations exercise to draw attention to the attempts to improve Midtown? Figure 10: Designated Urban Infill Area Map courtesy of St. Petersburg Developmental Services Department Along with the positivist rhetoric, the Initiative also places great importance on the education of the community regarding the plans which have been initiated and the investments which have been made. Identified in the opening comments are the lack of awareness of community residents regarding such investments and the perceived lack of city involvement. In an interview with the plan developer, the issue of community awareness was mentioned as a major concern. She commented: You see most of them 86

PAGE 96

87 could not make the connection between structural improvements and economic developments. They couldnt see that establishing good lighting and underground improvements were essential to attracting business investment to the area. She identified that the major focus of the In itiative was to educat e the public about the achievements in Midtown. This raises several problematic issues. Firstly, if the plans are successful, then the community should be readily able to see the benefits within their neighborhood and should not need educating. Secondly, many of these plans were supposed to have consulted residents regarding developmental objectives, if there is lack of community awareness, this implies that involvement has not occurred. Thirdly, the documents implication is that the problem with Midtow n is not lack of investment, but lack of awareness, effectively passing the locus of blame onto Midtown residents and away from the city. Lastly, the emphasis placed upon educat ing residents raises questions of parity when we compare it to the Vision 2020 documen t, which was prepared for the city as a whole but contains no reference to a need to educate the public. The Midtown Initiative was prepared in the same timeframe, but relating to a low-income, majority African American neighborhood, mentions the issue of public education several times. The document contains a section which details the concerns which were raised during community discussions. One of the pr imary issues raised by the low-income Minority residents of Midtown was the perceive d inequity which divides the city into the north and south. Many residents indicated that they felt the city devotes more resources

PAGE 97

88 and attention to the north of th e city and does not extend this le vel of interest to the south side. The section in the docum ent details these concerns in the following paragraph: During the course of the public involvem ent process, it became clear that an element of skepticism exists in some members of the community. The majority of the residents acknowledged or were surp rised by, the level of public investment that has occurred since 1997. However, there was some disagreement as to whether or not the more than $100 million in investment constitutes substantial progress. The following data cont radicts this perception. The tone of the paragraph is confrontationa l and condescending suggesting the intentions of the document bear little relation to fost ering an understanding on the part of the community and more towards the promo tion of the citys achievements. The direction of the Initiative appears to focus more on the promotion of the city and less on advising residents of availabl e community options. There are several instances where figures are provided which are potentially misleading. For example, the crime figures show an average annual decreas e in Midtown crime of 5.0%, but it does not detail how these figures we re obtained. Statistics from the St. Petersburg Police department indicate that crime figures are extrapolated from raw number of arrests therefore, it is likely that th e 16% population decrease in Midt own is responsible for this drop. The figures do not necessarily indicate that the area is expe riencing lower crime percentage, just that there are fewer people to arrest. It should also be noted that much of the investment in the midtown district (at least 47%) comes from grants and funds obtaine d for specifically blighted areas, i.e.: if the areas were not in a state of disrepair, then no investme nt would be required. Many of the projects listed as developmental projects ar e those which are directly related to the

PAGE 98

89 reduction of crime, which is a separate i ssue, not necessarily related to economic development. When just funds from the city are considered, the document claims that between 1997 and 2001, 76% of the Commun ity Development Block Grant (CDBG) budget was spent in Midtown specifically. Howe ver, the document does not provide any long-term statistics for investment in Midt own in order to compare the historical investment in the neighborhood. As the Midtown area was in need of major improvement, potentially due to historical neglect, it is appropriate that a larger proportion of city investment is subseque ntly channeled into improving the area. Advocates for Midtown acknowledge that some progress is being made, but question whether this progress is significan t enough to indicate a real commitment on behalf of the city. Although $100 million within five years is a considerable investment, this pales when compared to the $200 million dollars of tax payers money spent on the construction of Tropicana Field (St. Petersburg Times, Octo ber 11 1997. 1a). There have been numerous other upscale investments el sewhere in the city (Downtown, Bayfront Center, etc.) which have ar guably focused upon promoting the city image and promoting tourism. Although these projects have been undertaken in conjunction with private investors, they have also utilized major ci ty funds and grants. To discuss the citys investment in Midtown and compare only CDBG funds does not give an accurate picture of city-wide development investment. Utilizi ng these supporting statistics in the Midtown document seems to promote the position of the city with misleading information. The document details some of the im pediments to economic development in Midtown. The greatest limitation is iden tified as the declining population, which

PAGE 99

90 indicates to investors a low consumer demand. The history of the Midtown area shows numerous major projects initia ted or approved by the city wh ich have contributed to the declining population of the area. It could be argued that th e city policies established to improve Midtown have exacerbated the conditio ns of poverty and reduced the likelihood for improvement. The planning initiative promotes rebu ilding the population base with infill housing and the construction of housing de velopments. When this proposition is considered alongside the city-wide aim of developing mixed-income housing, it seems likely that these new developments will target higher income residents. As noted by Massey and Anderson (2001) the spatial concentration of races and poverty limits the likelihood of social improvement, implying that reducing spatial concentration will have a positive impact on poverty. However, in the case of St. Petersburg, the African American community has an historical attach ment to the Midtown ar ea, as well as a long history of forced segregation and relocati on. To initiate a developmental plan that potentially affects the social framework of the community thr ough the relocation of residents or the deliberate in corporation of other social groups seems shortsighted. Whilst reducing the concentration of poverty is a commendable intention, the process would be better achieved through reducing the conditions of poverty, rather than merely redistributing poverty. Another impediment to economic development cited by the document is the lack of consumer demand, which is related to population size and to pove rty levels. Although this can be an impediment to investors, it is the responsibility of the city to provide

PAGE 100

91 encouragements to development. These ha ve been established in Midtown and the surrounding area with employme nt, property tax credit a nd building and equipment refunds. There are also small business incentives to encour age investment on a smaller scale, specifically utilizing smaller lots. Although all of these incentives potentially encourage investment from outside of the c ity, there has been little success with these promotions thus far and the area remains largely underdeveloped. The document details the lack of largesize lots upon which to develop as an additional hindrance to economic development, implying that the focus of development should be large consolidated lots. This follows the devel opment focus established for suburban development, with strip malls and bloc k development, rather then the claims of development as listed in Vision 2020 whic h encourages mixed use development with smaller, incorporated businesses. Although th e Midtown strategic Planning Initiative claims to encourage small business investment, there seems to be more attention given to larger investments and the establishment of bigger lots. This different focus for development between the city-w ide plan, and the Midtown Initi ative will ensure the city will retain its dual identity and stark inequities. As a final consideration, the very the mo tivations of the city in improving the area need to be evaluated. Clearly, the continue d violence in the area presents a negative image of the city and potentially impacts investment and tourism in the city. The individual proposals which are discussed were only undertak en after periods of unrest and the continued commitment to these proj ects, as spelled out by Mayor Baker, are reaffirmed after periods of violence. A lthough there are many ongoing projects in and

PAGE 101

92 around the Midtown area, the progress is slow. When this sluggish progress in compared to speedy progress achieved on ot her higher-profile city projec ts, the true commitment to Midtown development and a seamless society comes into question. Vision 2020 Findings The results of the planning process have b een organized into a draft plan available for citizens to peruse, either in the Developmental Services building, or in the citys main library. The city Developmental Services Department encourages ongoing citizen participation and continues to welcome co mments from residents up until the plans adoption. The plan has been organized into three main sections: citizen based themes, city framework and implementation, which will be discussed in turn. The plan identified fifteen citizen based themes which would provide the framework for the plans organization. These themes were the elements which were identified by citizens as important aspect s of a pleasant city with desirable living conditions. Of these fifteen themes, seven we re not directly obtai ned from resident participation and were instead developed by plans steering committee. The plan does not identify which of the themes were obtained from residents and which were included by the steering committee. Each citizen based them e was organized to contain an identified problem within the city, resi dent likes and dislikes and a mission statement which detailed the goal of development within the theme. The mission statements outlined what actions would constitute success within each area and how these aims could be achieved. The fifteen citizen-based themes are listed below.

PAGE 102

93 Quality of life Appearance Neighborhoods Education Economic Development Arts and Culture Transportation Social Equity Human and Social Services Parks and Leisure Natural Environment Governance Partnerships Citizen Based Communication Ensure the Vision Throughout the citizen based themes, the concept of beautific ation and aesthetic improvements was common. Many of the themes which related to social issues or infrastructure requirements also contained suggestions for aesthetic improvements. The repetition of the importance of beautification ensures that the underlying message of this section of the plan is one of aesthetic improvements to the city It is unclear whether this desire for beautification is a goal identified by the citizens or by the city planners. The plans second element is the ci ty framework which consists of neighborhoods, centers and corridors. The framew ork is established in order to organize and identify where second generation growth may occur. The underlying message of the framework is the identification that the c ity has been built out and that new growth must take the form of revita lization and redevelopment. Framing these efforts within the areas of neighborhoods, corridors and centers gives the city the opportunity to apply different methods of development as needed to each area individually. Each of these subelements is considered separately within the plan.

PAGE 103

94 The neighborhoods are identified as either tr aditional or suburban and each had its own set of related themes identified for development. Among others, these themes included the preservation of the unique char acter of neighborhoods, the incorporation of civic facilities within the neighborhoods (shops schools, libraries, public buildings etc.) and the creation of sidewalks to give pedestrians prominence. The centers section detailed the areas of the city which are considered to be the areas of great potential and t hose that provide the spaces best suited to bringing citizens together. These areas of the city are fa irly traditional; downt own, the 1960s suburban center; Tyrone and the 1990s suburban cen ter; and Carillon-Gateway. The focus for development for all of the centers is stru ctured around new urbanism, calling for mixed use areas, mixed and denser housing, and th e minimization of large parking expanses. There is a focus on a variety of transportation options, pedestri an-friendly streets as well as incorporated civic uses. The centers section also recognizes the potential for a fourth center to be developed in the south-side of the city. The sp ecifics of the location or nature of this are not given, but the potential is acknowledged. The section does not specifically identify the south-side as an area for development due to conditions in the area, but as an area on the city which contains usable land. The in clusion of this sugg ests a link with the proposals laid out in the Midtow n Strategic Planning Initiative as detailed in the previous section, although the separate plan is not specifically mentioned in Vision 2020. The corridors of the city were identified by the residents as the citys worst asset and as such the need to redevelop the co rridors is high on the planning agenda. The

PAGE 104

95 corridors are separated into residential, industrial, co mmercial and environmental. Recommendations include b eautification, buffering between residential uses and commercial uses, pedestrian focus and restor ation of environmental buffers. Following a structure very similar to that laid out by Nolen in 1920, the plan calls for buffers and beautification as well as the establishment of sidewalks separated from the road. The last section of the draft plan in cludes details regard ing the practical implementation of the plan. It establishes the structural frameworks needed to ensure the Vision 2020 plan can be applie d city-wide and provides a broa d timeline of events for the various phases of the plan. As a number of pa rticipants had register ed concerns over the implementation of the plan, the inclusion of this section was vital to signal the citys commitment to the project. Critique of Vision 2020 The Vision 2020 plan is promoted as the future vision for the city, with the claim that it was constructed accordi ng to the desires and needs of city residents. Although the claims contained within the document are intended as future guidelines for the development of the city and are not intended to reflect existing behavior, the statements are worthless unless some level of existi ng commitment suggests that they might be viable in the future. As such, the document can be critiqued for making grandiose claims and establishing an ideologica l base for city development which is unrelated to the conditions and experiences within the city today.

PAGE 105

96 As a primary example, the very document itself claims to have been constructed utilizing input from all city residents. When these claims are evaluated, it appears that there was minimal input from low-income and Minority residents. Although the city cannot force residents to part icipate, they are responsible for ensuring there are equal opportunities for all residents to become involve d. If these steps are not taken, then there exists a bias in the involvement of citizens which is institutionally sanctioned. Examining the methods used to illicit citizen particip ation gives an insight into the level of commitment from the city to ensure all voices are heard. At the early stage of plan development, it was important to garner public interest and support for the process and to gain input from the entire community. These early involvements were the opportunity for reside nts to have their voice heard, beyond this initial stage, the c ouncil and neighborhood associations would provide feedback as resident representatives. The decision to locate these lectures at th e University of South Florida may potentially have excluded certa in members from attending. To low-income and Minority residents, universities are ofte n not familiar or comfortable territory. The percentage of African Americans within the city which have a Bach elors degree or above is 10.3% and when educational attainment is correlated with poverty, there is a negative correlation indicating that those who have low-incomes also have the lowest educational attainment. This would imply that the decisi on to present the lectures at the university excluded certain citizens from partic ipation right from the start. Likewise, the methodology used to prom ote the process pote ntially excluded certain members from becoming aware of the project. The primary method of advertising

PAGE 106

97 was in city documentation which is available at city offices and di rectly distributed to citizens involved in developmental issues. T hose already involved in the planning process are likely to be those for whom planning is already providing. The low-income and Minority groups are underrepresente d in city ventures and should be directly attracted to participate. A second adve rtising strategy in the St. Petersburg Times is also unlikely to reach Minority and low-income residents with the readership of the newspaper being predominantly White and middle to upper-income. ( St. Petersburg Times press release, 2001) A third method involved advertising on uti lity bills, but this fails to reach many residents from the lowest income bracket w ithout a personal responsibility for utilities. This would include those who rent single r ooms in houses, have short term temporary accommodation, or rent apartments with utiliti es included. This practice is common in the lowest rent neighborhoods, and as such, adver tisements on utility bills will certainly fail to reach this sector of the community. Using representatives from community or ganizations can be an effective method to gain access to residents opinions, a nd for this, the Developmental Services Department is to be commended. However, although participati on was sought from a number of special interest groups and citizen advocacy organizations, some were unwilling to participate. The Uhuru group was asked to participate, but they were unconvinced of the citys commitment to eq uity and felt that th eir involvement would give credence to a potentially non-equitable document. The NAACP did not participate in an official capacity, claiming there were mo re specific projects related to the African American community that they were invol ved in. There was con cern that previous

PAGE 107

98 planning programs had failed to provide fo r low-income and Minority residents and therefore any involvement would fall to the same fate. It should also be noted that the involvement from neighborhood associations was organized through the council of neighborhood associations (CONA), specifi c neighborhood associations were not actively approached for participation. The final phase of plan development saw the draft plan presented to citizens at the Mahaffey Theater. This event was advertised to citizens in the same manner as the previous events, with the same potential for bias and exclusion. Much like the lectures held at the University of South Florida, th e Mahaffey Theater may have alienated certain city residents and created a barrier to citi zen involvement. When questioned about the choice of locations for these initial stages the Developmental Services Department commented that the locations were chosen in order to accommodate the numbers of attendees expected. When asked if alterna tive locations located within neighborhoods had been considered, the response was that the size of location needed was not available locally in neighborhoods. This il lustrates that the city wa s aware that the choice of location might potentially exclude certain reside nts, but they saw no alternative. If the events had been held at smaller venues and located in centers within communities, there would have been a greater poten tial for reaching all residents. The failure to actively encourage co mmunity involvement from throughout the city raises problems with the credibility of th e claims within the doc ument. The results of the entire process were concentrated into the centerpiece mission statement claiming that all of St. Petersburgs citizens collaborate in its development. As detailed above, the

PAGE 108

99 process did not involve particip ation from all social and raci al groups in the city, hence the claim misrepresents the true nature of the dialogue. The city failed to extend the necessary efforts to involve all members of the community and specifically encourage participation from the low-income and Minority residents. Even though there was very active participation from seve ral key African American comm unity representatives, there was not the same level of citizen representation within the public forums. Although citizen participation is a voluntary exercise, th e city is responsible for making the process equally available to all. If these efforts do not achieve a response, the document should not be described as by the people, for the people. Describing Vision 2020 as the aspirations of all residents is gr ossly misleading and fails to acknowledge the uneven involvement of low-income and Minorit y residents. Claiming the plan speaks for all residents suggests that th e voices not included are considered lesser members of the city. This further establishes the opinions of those not included as voices which do not speak for the community as a whole and which are in conflict with the aims of city development. In a similar contradiction, the mission statement for the theme of governance includes the sentence: They ( governance structures) facilitate maximum political access, empowerment to its citizens and seek to in clude the voices of those who are not easily heard. Despite the encouraging claims within this statement, the actions of the city in organizing and preparing this document have failed to encourage the participation of those not easily heard. Likewise, th e unfavorable opinions of the Uhuru group regarding uneven city development are not given consideration and are directly

PAGE 109

100 challenged as inaccurate in the citys Midtown Strategic plan ning Initiative. The commitment of the city towards empowering re sidents not easily h eard did not appear to extend to the preparati on of the Vision 2020 plan. In a similar mission statement for social equity, the statement makes the claim that all residents shall have an equal opportunity to enjoy the physical, social and economic benefits of St. Petersburg... Likewise this claim seems to have little substance when considered in context of the historical development of the city and the existing social polarization between communities. In 2000, Baywalk, an upscale retail establishment in downtown St. Petersburg opene d whilst residents in the midtown district did not even have a major local grocery st ore. Although there are currently plans to develop a retail center in the midtown district, these have b een instigated by individual members of the African American midtown community and not directly by the city. The city also contains numerous devel opments along the waterfront area which limit access to these areas. Likewise, the citys commitment to up-scale economic development has resulted in the exclusion of certain residents, either directly in the provision of codes of conduct, or indirectly, through the fo cus on exclusive experiences which are specifically aimed at high-dollar par ticipants. The economic benefits of the city are unevenly distributed with residents in low-income neighborhoods restricted from economic opportunities by thei r physical distance. One of the elements of concern identifi ed in Vision 2020 is the negative media regarding Southside successes with the suggestion that a more positive media image needs to be fostered focusing on the benefici al developments in South St. Petersburg.

PAGE 110

101 This concern with a positive focus seems to benefit those in power more so than the residents of the communities. If the ne ighborhood improvements are successful, the positive aspects would be clearly visible to residents. As identified by the Midtown Strategic Planning Initiative, there are a num ber of developments within the midtown area which have not been completed or which need updating. It is un surprising that there is a lack of positively when considering Southside. The desire for positive media attention is also a potential ploy to pl acate residents and silence the voice of dissatisfaction. The censoring or directing of the media to focus upon positive elements in Southside and to minimize the severity of the protests contradicts the claim of encouraging those not easily heard as detailed above and would further serve to exacerbate the frustrations of the community. In the neighborhood section, the plan id entifies the need for mixed-income housing, acknowledging that the low-income residents deserve access to safe neighborhoods. This mixed-income housing focus is one of the theories of new urbanism and seeks to distribute low-income housing throughout urban areas. However, the same section identifies that neighborhoods shoul d be protected from unimproved or dilapidated properties a practice which is common in deed restricted and exclusive communities. If housing from different income brackets is mixed together, this leaves the low-income residents with the financial oblig ation to maintain th eir properties to the standards of the community, something which they may not be able to readily afford. Likewise, these standards are often established by those in positions of power within the communities and are unlikely to represent the opinions of those with low-status.

PAGE 111

102 Conclusion The history of planning in St. Petersburg illustrates the extent to which city development has focused on attracting tourists and promoting the image of the city. This has led to projects which have failed to provi de for residents and negatively impacted African Americans within th e city. Planning measures ha ve consistently failed to adequately provide for the citys low-inco me and Minority residents exacerbating the conditions of poverty and exclus ion. The spatial patterns with in the city reflect this duality of development and exemplify St. Petersburg as a dual city. The most recent planning effort, Vision 2020 claims to address the inequities within the city and to provide a framework for the city of the future. There are a number of contradictions within the plan and th e statements made are not supported by the process of planning the document. As the plan is a guideline for future behavior, if the planning process could not extend the necessary efforts to ensure citywide participation, what hope is there for future success? The following chapter will present the data evidence collected which supports the claim of socio-spatial polarizat ion in St. Petersburg, concludi ng with an analysis of the interviews conducted with residents and officials.

PAGE 112

103 Chapter Five Results and Interviews In order to examine the extent of pol arization within the city, selected characteristics for the population were first summarized. The first part of this chapter will detail the results of the sta tistical analysis conduc ted to examine the existence and extent of polarization in the city. The results will be organized by race, economic status and then race and economic status combined. The intent is to establish the existence of spatially polarized communities and to examine the criteria which contribute to community polarization. The dissimilarity index and the P* index will be used to evaluate the extent of social polarization and the spatial distribut ion of this polarization will be illustrated with thematic maps a nd numerical comparisons. The second part of the chapter will discu ss the interviews con ducted with the two contrasting resident samples in order to illustrate the differences between the communities and to determine the extent of community awareness relating to planning issues. The interviews with officials will th en be discussed and responses compared. The chapter concludes with a co mparison of the results obtained from the two resident samples and those acting in an official capacity.

PAGE 113

104 Racial Polarization Massey and Denton (1989) have calculated the dissimilarity index for the TampaSt. Petersburg area combined, but the aggr egation of the data for Tampa and St. Petersburg masks the significance of racial or economic disparities wh ich exist. It was, therefore, important to calculate the figures for St. Petersburg alone. As a basis for comparison, score of above 60 is considered to be indicative of a segregated community. The dissimilarity index was calculated thus: D = { x i |(m i M)| }/ [2TM (1-M)] Where: m i = Minority proportion in Block Group M = Minority proportion in city T = Total population in city x i = Total population in Block Group For St. Petersburg, the calculated dissimilar ity index or D = 76.56, indicating that 76.56% of the Minority population would have to move in order to achieve zero segregation. When calculated for African Americans alone, the index is still extremely high at D = 70.34, reinforcing the claim of spatial segr egation for African American and other Minority communities. Along with the dissimilarity index, anothe r useful method of comparison is the P* exposure method, which measure the level of isol ation of a particular group compared to another. The extent of exposure between Minority and White populat ions was calculated using the following formula:

PAGE 114

105 P* = [m i / M] [m i / x i ] Where: m i = Minority population in Block Group M = Minority proportion in city x i = Total population in Block Group For St. Petersburg, the calculated isola tion index or P* = 61.54, indicating that there is low to moderate exposure between Minor ities and Whites. This implies that racial Minorities are less likely to be exposed to White community members and are more likely to interact with other Minorities. In addition to the P* and dissimilarity i ndex, the spatial distribution of races also needs to be considered. In addition to the measures of evenness and exposure detailed above, Massey and Denton (1989) iden tify three additional measures of hypersegregation which are more spatial in nature: centralization, clustering and concentration. One way to examine these factors numerically is to consider the percentage of the Minorities living in areal units which contain a high percentage of Minorities and examin e the distribution of these areal units. When examined at the Bl ock Group level, 29% of Minorities live in areas which contain 90% or mo re Minority residents and 40% of Minorities live in areas that are 80% or above Minority This indicates that races are highly spatially concentrated with a few Block Groups containing the ma jority of the Minority population. This decreases the chance for cross r acial interaction and perpetua tes the racial divide both spatially and psychologically.

PAGE 115

106 In addition, examined spatially, these Block Groups are located close to one another, indicating racial clustering, and concentrated around the inner-city area, indicating the presence of centralization. Minority populations are spatially centralized in the inner city, with many of the suburban ar eas registering 100% White populations. This increases the spatial polarization of inne r city communities in relation to suburban facilities, amenities, and employment. Thus, clustering and centralization increases the likelihood that polarized groups will exhibit conditions of poverty and be excluded from full participation in the city. The spatial extent of these racial measures is illustrated by Figure 11 below. The map of Minority distribution is a usef ul graphical illustra tion of these three additional measures: clustering, concentration and centralization. It also illustrates the amount of physical space utilized by Minorit y populations in the city. The inner-city neighborhoods are often more densely populated than the suburbs meaning that minorities who are concentrated into the inne r city areas will occ upy a smaller physical area than other groups. This is useful, not just as a measure of soci o-spatial polarization, but as a physical illustration of city inequity. The spatia l concentration of Minorities ensures that their physical presence within the city is minimized and that their representation within the city as a whole is minimized. It is also an illustration of the spatial manifestations of class and the une ven allocation of space to those with lowincomes. When racial polarization is also co rrelated with poverty as discussed below, the urban landscape becomes the spatial manifesta tion of social inequity across boundaries of class and race.

PAGE 116

Figure 11: Racial Distribution in St. Petersburg, 2000 Economic Polarization As well as residential segregation based upon race, St. Petersburg is highly segregated along economic lines. An increasing proportion of the citys population live 107

PAGE 117

below the poverty line, while at the same time, the city contains a number of residents who are in the extremely high-income bracket. The Census Bureau defined the poverty level in 2000 as $8,794 per annum for a single person and $17,463 for a family of two adults and two children. Those living below the poverty level are detailed in table 5 below. Table 5: City-Wide Poverty Status, 2000 Percent Below Poverty Level Individuals 13.3 White 9.7 Minority 25.6 Families 9.2 With related children under 18 years 14.9 With related children under 5 years 18.5 Female Householder Families (no husband present) 23.0 With related children under 18 years 29.9 With related children under 5 years 39.7 When poverty is examined spatially, we find some Block Groups containing no poverty and some which have poverty levels of 79%. City-wide, 35.78% of the population lives in Block Groups which indicate levels of poverty greater than the city average of 13.3%. Similarly, extreme poverty is often measured as spatial units in which 40% or more of the population lives at or below the poverty level (Wilson, 1993 [1987]). When examined following this criteria, 3% of city population live in Block Groups with greater than 40% poverty. 108

PAGE 118

109 In order to compare the spatial dist ribution of poverty across the city, the dissimilarity index was calculated fo r the population in poverty. The method of calculation utilized the formula below: D = { x i |(p i P)| }/ [2TP (1-P)] Where: p i = Proportion of population below poverty in Block Group P = City wide proportion of population in poverty T = Total population in city x i = Total population in Block Group The dissimilarity index for those livi ng below poverty in St. Petersburg was 57.56, indicating a fairly high spatial concentra tion of poverty. This indicates that 57.56% of the population would need to relocate to achieve an even distribution of poverty as expected based on the city wide average of 13.3%. Although not as extreme as the measures for racial segrega tion, these figures still indi cate high levels of economic segregation. The spatial concentration of poverty is detailed in figure 12 below. When compared with the map of racial distribution (figure 11, above) there are spatial similarities between the areas which contain high percentages of Minorities and the areas which contain high poverty levels. Examining the distribution graphically would suggest a connection between racial polarization and the distribution of poverty.

PAGE 119

Figure 12: Poverty Distribution in St. Petersburg, 2000 Alongside measurements of poverty, there is also a large percentage of the city, 49.4% to be precise, which lives below the median household income level of $34,597. However, there are also a number of residents with incomes at the upper extreme, with 110

PAGE 120

111 over 15.3% of the city earning $75,000 or above. Similarly, the average per capita income of the city is $19,484 with Block group data indicating a maximum average of $63,608 and a minimum average of $5,460. The higher income Block Groups are spatially concentrated into a few key commun ities which illustrate the extreme affluence of the city. These data conform to the income dist ribution which is of ten described as a bowling pin distribution (M arcuse, 1996) which is an evolution of the hourglass concept model. Rather than polarization in to two relatively large economic groups, the city sees an increasingly larger sector of the population in the low-income bracket and a smaller percentage who earn ex tremely high-incomes. If the city chooses to provide for high-income residents and less for low-income residents, this illustrates the aims of planners and their intentions for the future identity of the city. Economic Polarization and Race Extremes of income are usua lly correlated with race within U.S. cities. As with the measures for racial and economic polariza tion, the dissimilarity index was calculated for African Americans in poverty to evaluate whether there is a relationship between polarized groups, racially and economically. The same formula was used, but only for African Americans rather than the entire population in poverty. The result was 67.05, indicating a higher level of se gregation for African Americans in poverty compared to the city wide poverty segregation of 57.56. When this is further compared to the segregation

PAGE 121

measure of White poverty, calculated as 55.32, there seems to be a case for city polarization based on race and class. This claim can be further reinforced by examining the extent of poverty across the racial groups. When examined by race, 63.5 % of minorities live in Block Groups which contain poverty levels below city average, and 71.6% of African Americans live in Block Groups with poverty levels below city average. There is a higher proportion of the Minority population living below the poverty level, or with low incomes as detailed in table 6 and figure 9 below. Table 6: Median Household Income by Race Household Income Whites Minorities Less than $10,000 9.3% 18.9% $10,000 $19,999 14.5% 20.3% $20,000 $29,999 16.0% 18.8% $30,000 $39,999 14.0% 13.0% $40,000 $49,999 10.8% 8.8% $50,000 $59,999 8.1% 7.2% $60,000 $74,999 9.1% 5.8% $75,000 $99,999 8.3% 4.5% $100,000 $124,999 3.8% 1.3% $125,000 $199,999 3.5% 0.5% $200,000 and above 2.1% 0.7% 112

PAGE 122

Figure 13: Median Household Income by Race Median Household Income by Race0510152025less than10,000 10,000-19,99920,000-29,99930,000-39,99940,000-49,99950,000-59,99960,000-74,99975,000-99,999100,000-124,999125,000-199,999200,000andaboveMedian Household Income in DollarsPercentage of Populatio n white minority As table 4 shows, St. Petersburg is characterized by an uneven distribution of low-incomes amongst Minority residents, with 42.67% of those living in poverty being African American. When we consider conditions of extreme poverty as defined as 40% or greater of the areal unit living below poverty, the data shows that 8.8% of Minorities and 11% of African Americans are living in areas of extreme poverty. All of the Block Groups which measure extreme poverty citywide contain Minority percentages above the city average, and all but one measures Minority percentages at 80% or above. When examined individually, there were four Block Groups in which 100% of the African American populations were living below poverty. There were also forty Block Groups in which the African American populations were living in extreme poverty. When these levels are compared to the White population in poverty, there are some interesting results. Firstly, there were also four Block Groups in which 100% of the 113

PAGE 123

114 White populations were living in poverty. When extreme poverty is examined, there were considerably less, fourteen Block Groups in which the White populations were living in extreme poverty. An interesting spatial pattern emerged from these evaluations. The Block Groups which measured 100% poverty for Whites or African Americans were not the same. The White populations living in extreme poverty are spatially concentrated near Midtown and are located in Block Groups which measure poverty levels for th e African American population at 35% or more. Whereas the Block Groups which measure 100% of African Americans in poverty have low White poverty rates (2% or 3%). A possible explanation for this is the relocation of residents from public housing complexes under the Section 8 scheme. This was suggested as a possible explanation by the St. Petersburg Housing Authority, and although they could not specif ically confirm the areas residents had relocated to, they did confirm that one of the ai ms of Section 8 is to redistribute poverty. Outside of these relocation anomalies, when poverty is considered spatially, it becomes evident that poverty is not just concentrated among the African American and other Minority communities, but spatially with in the Midtown distri ct. These findings are consistent with previous research (Massey and Denton, 1989, 1993; Massey and Anderson, 2001; Wilson, 1987, 1996) which has esta blished a connectio n between spatial segregation and the existence of poverty. A ccordingly, the failure of the city to adequately address the spatial concentra tion of minorities and poverty has exacerbated the conditions experienced w ithin these neighborhoods and ensured the maintenance of the conditions of poverty.

PAGE 124

115 When examining other income characteris tics, we find similar racial disparities. The average household income for the entire city is $34,597, with 25 % of Whites having a median household income at or below $34,999 whereas 64.87 % of African Americans live below this level. The average per capit a income for the city as a whole is $19,484, but when considered by race, the White pe r capita average is $20,713 which compares to $13,154 for African Americans. At the other inco me extreme, using a little over twice the average as the baseline, 17.82 % of Whites have a median household income of $75,000 or above, compared to 7.38% fo r African American residents. When these statistics, which were obta ined from the 2000 Census, are compared with figures from 1990, the gap in income s between White and African American residents seems to be closing. In 1990, av erage per capita income for Whites was $14, 503 and for African American was $7,916 which compares to the levels for 2000, at $20,713 for White and $13,154 for African Americ ans. Although these levels indicate a slight narrowing of the gap between the races, there still exists a marked racial difference within the city. When the racial and economic extremes within the city are considered together, they support the claim of a dual city as described by Mollenkopf and Castells (1991). The drastically different c ity identities were plainly apparent throughout the city and the different responses obtained from in terviewees provided support for the idea of St. Petersburg as a dual city These responses are detailed in the following sections.

PAGE 125

116 Results of Interviews The interviews yielded a variety of re sults and the process in itself was very enlightening. The process and results for gr oup one (city officials) and group two (city residents) were different, and will, therefore, be discussed separately in the sections which follow. Prior to conducting any structured interviews, several informal discussions were conducted randomly with city residents to act as a focus group and these will be discussed first. These discussions were not organized interviews and consisted of casual discussions with people who were at leisur e and willing to talk. The purpose of these discussions was to gauge what issues residents were concerne d about, and to ascertain if there were particular planning projects whic h residents were aware of. These discussions were not statistically random, nevertheless, they provided an brief insight into residents views of their city. The first discussion was conducted with f our African American residents seated in a local park near downtown St. Petersburg. These residents were very willing to speak to me in this informal situation and when asked, they expressed concern about a number of city development issues. They felt the city did not provide for African American residents and said they did not like the ne w retail mall, that is, Baywalk. They were interested in my background and I spent some time explaining the conditions of public housing in Great Britain. This led them to di scuss the redevelopment of Jordan Park and how the area is now like a ghost town. They acknowledged that the previous Jordan Park was a high crime neighborhood, dilapidate d and ugly, but there was the overriding feeling that community spirit had been lost. They then discussed the 22 nd Avenue

PAGE 126

117 business district and reminisced about how it used to be a vibrant center of the African American community and how it was now mostly empty. The second discussion was with an African American truck driver who discussed at length how the city has changed and how he barely recognizes downtown anymore. He was coming to see the Baywalk development for the first time since it had opened more than two years ago. His first impressions we re very positive, because he though it looked nice and was clean and new. However, he chos e not to stay at Baywalk, but instead went to a park bench to read his newspaper. The last of these informal discussi ons was with a White resident whom I approached inside the Baywalk development. She commented that it had nice shops, but she was not from St. Petersburg but from Sarasota. She had been aware of the development in the local press and said that th ere had been a number of articles about the development in her local media, which was why she came to see it. She felt it was a positive thing for St. Petersburg and would rai se the profile of the entire area. Although these discussions were very in formal and no demographic or economic information was recorded, they do illustrate an interest in development from parties which have been traditiona lly excluded. African Ameri cans were not deliberately targeted for these discussions; it just happened that they were the residents who were relaxing in public areas and were most easily approachable. A number of other individuals were approached w ho were too busy to talk at th e time, or were tourists. The experiences from these early discussions rein forced my commitment towards interviews as part of the research process.

PAGE 127

118 Interviews with Officials The interviews with city officials we re conducted primarily in person, although due to the violent protest that occurred close to the interview time, two interviews were conducted by telephone. There was a definite cha nge in attitude after the violent protests, because several individuals who had agreed to be interviewed pr ior to the incident subsequently retracted their offers. This coul d be either due to an increased workload after the protest (a number of individuals are directly involved in issues related to the protests and were frequently interviewed by the local media), or it could be a reluctance to go on the public record at such a sensit ive time. Whatever the motivations for the change in attitude, it serves as a useful illustration of the e ffects of these protests on the city as a whole. As discussed in Chapter Three, the criter ia selecting officials to interview were quite broad, focusing on those who had a specific involvement, or a personal interest, in the citys development. The Developmenta l Services Department provided several interviews which offered important insights in to the finer details of the planning process and the policy motivations of the department. I also received input from eleven additional sources: the developmental company invol ved with Baywalk, the Midtown Business Development Office, the Midtown Developmen t coordinator for the Mayors office, the St. Petersburg Housing Authority, the Uhuru group, neighborhood associations and citizens advocates as well as several independe nt business owners. It should of course be acknowledged that each of these groups and se veral of these individuals have their own personal and political agendas which shoul d be considered when evaluating their

PAGE 128

119 responses. Likewise, individuals who claim to speak for a community can never fully represent the diversity of opinion and motivations within a community and can at best only provide a sample viewpoint. No commun ity is homogenous and any generalizations about community opinions or thoughts will necessarily simplify the diversity of opinions. Interviewees in this section were asked th e same set of broad questions as those in the resident sample, but interviews also in cluded questions which were specific to the area of expertise of the indivi dual. In order to create some semblance of order among the interview responses, and to prevent the repetit ion of views, the reporting of interviews will be limited to those responses which directly relate to equitable planning of the city. Some of the key questions asked of all interv iewees will be addressed towards the end of the section and the responses will then be co mpared. The first formal interview was with a representative from the Developmental Services Department, so it would seem appropriate to begin there. The representative was interviewed several times between August of 2003 and May of 2004. He provided vital information a bout the inner workings of the planning process and the organization of the citizen pa rticipation. His rhetor ic was understandably positive and focused upon the future potential of the 2020 plan. He commented that the city needed a new plan as the existing plan ha d been modified to such an extent that it no longer looked like a plan. He also noted that : The plan contains some major utopian ideals which are unworkable and impossible to a ttach to an already developed city. This comment raises questions about the extent of the ideology contained within the Vision 2020 document. If it is felt that previous pl ans are too ideological this would either

PAGE 129

120 indicate that the new plan is not as innovative as the city rh etoric would suggest, or that the principles in this plan are like ly to be similarly unworkable. He identified some problems with the planning process and specifically planning which includes citizen participation: I don t think people realize how difficult it is to organize citizen participation. Its not as easy as you think and it takes up a considerable amount of time. He also stressed the im portance of ensuring that the process of participation is strictly contro lled in order to prevent narr ow focus interest groups from monopolizing the process. This view is captured by the following excerpt: If we dont control it in some way, it becomes a free-for-all and can get out of hand. We encouraged indivi dual citizens to participate, but the decision process was always going to be limited to the steering committee.(W hy was that?) For purely practical reasons, in order to ensu re that consensus was actually reached and to prevent the unworka ble ideas of the citizens from stalling the planning process. Sometimes they have ideas that are totally unworkable, thats what the education portion was all about. These comments appear sharply at odds with the rhetoric of citizen participation contained within the Vision 2020 document, and raises serious questions about the true extent of citizens participation in the fo rmulation of the development plan for St. Petersburg. It seems that the City Developm ental Services Department intended to shape the process to fit an already established ideology. Consequent ly, the true degree to which citizen voices were incorporated into the plan is seriously questionable. When asked about participation from the African American and other Minority residents, the official deta iled the key community members who had been involved in the process. Most of these individua ls were in fact council member s and city officials. To be sure, the invitation for community representation was also advertised in the Weekly

PAGE 130

121 Challenger, a local African American newspaper. The official also commented that attempts were made to specifically invol ve the Uhuru group, but they refused to participate: They are just not interested and they dont want anything to do with us. He was asked if he knew why, but he said he was not aware of any reason. When asked to comment on polarization in the city, the existence of polarization was acknowledged, but it was felt that the c ity was approaching the issue with new developmental strategies and as such, the fu ture would bring improvements. He believed that as these strategies had been developed with participation from residents, they would provide the best solution for pe rceived inequities. The histor ical neglect of the Midtown area was attributed to the high crime rates in the neighborhood a nd the inability to develop without first solving the crime issu e. We can try all the economic development incentives we can think of, but without solv ing the crime problem, they will ultimately fail. The overall focus of all the interviews was very positive and there seemed to be a genuine interest in developi ng an ideology for the future development of the city. However, the overall impression gleaned from this interview raises serious doubts about the commitment of the city to an ideology wh ich includes the future development of its low-income community. Likewise, the interview conducted with a representative from the Business Development Center followed the claims of a city-wide commitment to improve the conditions in the low-income neighborhoods. As detailed on page 81 of this study, she commented on the need to educate citizens about what economic development was. She claimed that most citizens were unaware of the improvements that had occurred in the

PAGE 131

122 area: they just said, so you put up lights, so what, but once we explained the connection between infrastructure and economic development they were, oh we didnt see that. Although the provisi on of basic infrastructure is necessary to encourage economic development, the type of infrastruc ture raises questions about the nature and benefits of this investment for the city as a whole. The Business Development Center claims to focus upon supporting small businesse s, but the infrastructural investments arguably provide more of an incentive for larger developments from outside of the city. A strong element which ran throughout most of the interviews concerned the need for Minority communities to acknowledge the positive aspects of recent developments. Echoing the Midtown Strategic Planning Ini tiative, the Vision 2020 document and the rhetoric from Mayor Bakers office, the city officials interviewed all felt that there was a negative media image of Southside which wa s damaging the potential benefits from advancement. This view was echoed by the representative of a developmental company involved in Midtown development: the medi a attention on the bad aspects doesnt do justice to all the efforts from a number of men and women to improve the community. The development representative continued to say that the negative image further exacerbates racial divisions and makes it hard for us (presumably the developers) to feel motivated about what we do. The city officials and those involved in Midtown development projects commented that residents need to be patient and that so cial changes take time to administer and organize. However, some community members (business owners and residents) indicated that they felt the slow process was a symptom of the citys lack of

PAGE 132

123 commitment and that progress should be faster. This argument is reinforced by Wilson (1993, p. 11): But the history of social change in the United States has not always reflected a slow incremental process. the major reforms of the New Deal, the comprehensive legislation of the Civil Right s movement, and the broad-based policies of the Great Society programs were all achieved within a short period of time. If a true commitment to improving low-income and Mi nority communities existed in the city of St. Petersburg, it is likely that eight years would have achieved more than is evidenced today. The city representatives claimed that me mbers of the Uhuru group were asked to participate in plan preparations but they had refused. In order to address this claim, an interview was conducted with a representativ e of the group. At the same time, comments were also received from the leader of the organization and an a dditional member. When specifically asked why they did not part icipate in planning the Vision 2020 the representative replied: We are not interested in being involved in anything th ats gonna just result in deals for us or is gonna come at the e xpense of our community, unlike some other forces that they choose to work with, so the business plan, in our estimation was not something that was gonna result in economic development for the entire community. It would be seriously problema tic for us to be involved in such a program when our commitment is to the African working class and poor people in our community not to the agenda in city hall. We work for the people not the city. The Uhuru representative detail a specific example of alternative economic development which was organized and established by the Uhuru group and that had resulted in the establishment of eight local businesses. Howe ver, the group admits that the small steps

PAGE 133

124 they have achieved in furthering the developm ent of Midtown pale in comparison to the big investment projects the city has undertaken to improve its image. Likewise, the improvements cited by the city, such as the new supermarket under construction in Midtown, are considered by U huru to be methods for those in power to make money at the expense of the community. The Uhuru repr esentative argued that the jobs created by these types of developments are all low-wage, no benefit jobs. Instead of economic development, economic benefits ar e extracted from the community by large corporations: The issue is about a policy that they have thats designed to funnel resources away from this community into another community to continue this historical relationship that has existed he re; its like a colony if you w ill. Clearly, the perception is that the city does not serve the interests of the low-income African American community and a radical re-adjustment of power relations in the city is necessary in order to address community inequalities. Although the interviews with officials fo cused primarily on their respective roles in various planning initiatives the interviews also include d the same questions which were posed to the resident samples. The responses from these questions will be grouped together for ease of comparison. When asked if they felt there was racial or economic segregation in the city, most respondents replied yes, th at segregation existed to a certain extent. Notably, responde nts who worked for the city were quick to comment that great strides were being made within th e African American communities. Several respondents offered interesting elaborations on the conditions of within the African American communities of St. Petersburg. For instance, one White respondent commented

PAGE 134

125 that: ethnic groups like to live together. We cant tell them where to live ... thats what civil rights was about. Contra st the above view with that of an African American local business owner in the Thirteenth Ave nue business district who commented: Communities are segregated, but that is because there is no affordable housing elsewhere. Blacks are forced to live in th e bad neighborhoods cos they cant afford anything else. However, another African Amer ican respondent indicated that there is an historical connection to the Midtown area for African Americans and that is why they want to live there. The responses from the city officials indi cate a greater awareness of the spatial polarization within th e city and the variety of res ponses illustrates the complex motivations which govern the choice of residential location. As noted by Marcuse (1996), the question of residential polar ization should not be confused with perceived individual choice. The institutional framework establishe d by the city limits the available choices, be it through location of pub lic housing, transportation in frastructure or economic development. Therefore, the se lection of residentia l location is indirectly restricted by these institutional forces, leaving residents with limited choice. It is this constraint on choice and the resulting patterns of exclus ion and polarization which need to be recognized. Interviewees were also aske d if they thought the city provided adequate services and amenities for all of its residents. The re sponses were similarly positive, qualified by an acknowledgement that there is an historic al context to inequ ity, followed with an assertion that this situation has now been addressed. City representatives echoed claims

PAGE 135

126 contained within the Midtown Initiative and Vision 2020 with respect to the development grants and monies which have been spen t on improving Midtown. Local business owners also felt that there had been an increa se in funds allocated towards Midtown development, but felt that the achievemen ts were going too slowly. One respondent offered possible corruption as a reason for slow progress in Midtown: the money doesnt go to the community itself, it goes outsi de the community or to other projects or efforts, though they call it economic devel opment what it really results in is gentrification. Although ther e exists some contention fr om African Americans not employed by the city, those acting in an official capacity, both White and African American, echoed the positive rhetoric of the city. Understandably, many of the interviewees were actively involved in city development and improvements issues, which helps to explain the marked optimism about the future of the citys African Am erican/minority communities. Thus, whenever concerns about inequity or uneven development were acknowledged, they were quickly qualified by assertions of positive plans for the future. However, the underlying rhetoric enforces the opinion of the city regardi ng Midtown and city-wide development. The focus is upon shaping development to a pre-determined citywide ideal and establishing economic development based on a particular pattern and not necessarily acknowledging the needs and desires of residents.

PAGE 136

127 Interviews with Residents The residents interviews achieved va rying levels of success in terms of responses, but the interview process was inva luable for the insight it provided about spatial polarizations within the city. By phys ically walking the streets of the city, the stark contrasts between the low-inco me and high-income neighborhoods became painfully apparent. My feelings are best summed up by Harveys (2000, p. 257) experience in Baltimore: the inequalities ar e so striking, so blatantly unnecessary, so against any kind of reason, and so accepted as part of the natu ral order of things, that I can scarcely contain my outrage and frustration. The two area s selected for the resident study were a short drive apart, but vastly diffe rent in character and exhibited the extremes of wealth, poverty and racial concentration found within the city. The spatial differences between neighborhoods could be experienced with in a forty-five minute walk from South St. Petersburgs redeveloping area to th e downtown redeveloped area. Given the citys claim about investing in the revitalization of Midtown, one would expect to notice less variation; however, the revitalization effo rts within the two areas are dramatically different. It is also worth sharing my personal reactions to th e different urban spaces and how the social dynamics affected my impre ssions. Within the largely African American neighborhood surrounding my study area, the so cial dynamics of the built environment appeared to be more open and comfortable with significantly more street activity. In contrast, the dynamics of the upper-income White neighborhood were those of isolation, exclusion and separation, w ith long driveways and physical barriers. There were no

PAGE 137

sidewalks and no centers of activity, making the neighborhood appear very unfriendly and exclusionary. It was also interesting to note the cautionary comments from friends and colleagues to the prospect of conducting field research in the low-income, African American neighborhood. The media attention given to South St. Petersburg creates the impression that the neighborhood is uniformly dangerous, so despite never having been to these neighborhoods themselves, friends and colleagues assumed that these areas were unsafe. In actuality, the neighborhood appeared to be a regular neighborhood, except that it is extremely poor and lacking in public services and facilities. There was a dramatic difference between the responses from the two study areas which is detailed in Table 7 below: Table 7: Resident Response Rates Study Area A Study Area B Conducted Interview 5 13 Refused to Participate 11 0 Vacant or Vacation Home 1 3 Not home, no survey returned 5 4 Not home, survey returned 0 2 Total Contacted 23% 78% The White, upper-income neighborhood contained 22 homes, one of which was vacant for sale, one of which was vacant in a dilapidated state with a city disrepair notice, one was confirmed by a maid as a vacation home and two others appeared to be vacation 128

PAGE 138

129 homes. I conducted thirteen interviews and found seven homes with residents who were not home (including the two potential vacation homes). Three attempts were made to reach residents and if there was no reply on th e third attempt, the survey was left along with details of the study, in a stamped self-addressed enve lope requesting completion by the resident. All members of sample B who were home, when approached, were willing to be interviewed. With the low-income, African Americ an and Minority neighborhood (sample A) there were considerably more homes in the Block than registered according to Census 2000. Although the Block was registered for 22 home s, this would have been prior to the completion of the Jordan Park housing complex, the actual figure was 54 homes. In order to maintain parity with the other sample gr oup, and in light of the lack of success with interviews, I decided to interview the first 22 homes on one side of the Block. There was one home vacant in this sample group and five residents who were not home. I received eleven refusals to participate in the study, a nd managed to conduct five interviews. Most residents were immediately unwillingness to participate. Notably, some refused to participate as soon as I explained my affilia tion to the university and the details of my study. The very dynamics of the interview proces s were also vastly different between the two racial groups, with the residents in sample A opening their doors only a little, or calling though a closed door. This contrasted with residents in sample B who opened their doors fully and were willi ng to participate in the study. There are several possible reasons for the lack of involvement on the part of sample A. The first is the obvious issue of r ace. I am a White resear cher in an African

PAGE 139

130 American neighborhood which is highly racially and socially segregated. Hence, I am unfamiliar in the neighborhood and considered as different. Although my position as an outsider has the potential to plac e me in a neutral position as suggested in Chapter Three, this relationship can only be fostered when an interview actually occurs. In pre-arranged interviews, the outsider as a neutral outsid er has the potential to benefit research; however, given the fieldwork method of this case study, it appears in hindsight to have greatly hindered the process of gathering information. A second potential barrier to fieldwor k was the recent violent protest which occurred in the area and which led to consid erable negative media attention. Many of the news articles portrayed the African Am erican neighborhood of Midtown in an unfavorable light and this may have influenced the reactions of resi dents to an outsider. Additional barriers which might help to explain the low response rate from the African American community is the requirement by th e universitys Institut ional Review Board (IRB) for signatures from participants. Similarl y, affiliation with an official body, such as a university, automatically creates a hierarc hy between researcher and subject which may affect the participation rates of the low-income, minority communities in research projects. The final potential obstacle of note is the dynamic of door to door survey techniques. This interview process is of ten not the most conducive to obtaining unsolicited input and can be intrusive, creating barriers to dialogue. A process which involved fostering a relationship with memb ers of the community prior to interview might have provided more willingness to participate. However, that may have potentially

PAGE 140

131 altered the responses of residents and fo r the purposes of the study, this was not appropriate. Nevertheless, there always remain s the potential for incorporating such an ethnographic approach into future research. It was suggested that I might return to study area A with a black or African American companion in order to gain additiona l access to the residents. I felt that if the sex, race or class of an interviewer is adju sted to fit those being interviewed, then the research process would become biased. As the purpose of the interviews was to gauge the level of awareness of and inte rest in planning issues, any re fusal to participate becomes part of the research in itself. For this reason I chose to record the re sults obtained as they were. The role of race in studies of this nature is potentially an additional avenue of research which might add to the explanation process. Whilst race may encourage participation in some circumstances, it may also temper or alter responses given in another. Assessing the different results obtaine d would be a research project in itself and would raise additional questions beyond the scope of this document. If residents responded to a person from their own racial gr oup, this would indica te that race was the barrier to the research ; if the residents did not respond, this might imply that it was the official nature of the study which was the ba rrier. Likewise, the results obtained from researchers of the same racial group could be compared with results obtained from those outside the racial group to examine the extent of social ease with members of a different race. As suggested, this in itself would be an interesting study, but one which is more anthropological in nature and separate from the intent of this research.

PAGE 141

132 Nevertheless, the entire in terview process, irrespective of the responses from residents, reinforced the claim of sociospatial polarization in St. Petersburg. The interviews, as they were conducted, allowe d the study to specif ically compare the reactions and level of interest of residents from the two so cio-spatial extremes of St. Petersburg. The vastly different response from the two sample areas is indicative of the power asymmetries across the city with resp ect to planning issues The residents in sample B were encouraged and reassured by the supporting paperwork and the mention of a university affiliation. However, residents in sample A seemed to find the official aspect of the interviews a deterrent. A possible explanation for this differe nce relates to perceived or actual community voice. It is feasible that sample B residents are more used to having their opinion asked and having their voice heard, whereas sample A residents are unused to being asked for an opinion. The historical and institutional silencing of low-income and minority residents throughout St. Petersburgs hi story has potentially fo stered a culture of distrust of those percei ved to be acting in an official cap acity. This culture of distrust can also create conditions whereby members of the African American community do not bother to speak as they expect their voices to be silenced. Indeed, this much was confirmed by the representative from the Uhuru group. In comparison, the willingness of the high-income residents to speak indicates an accepted level of influence which exists for those who have historically been in positions of power in St. Petersburg. The middle and upper classes are familiar with having a voi ce and having their opinions solicited and reported, hence they are more likely to be willing to speak when questioned.

PAGE 142

133 Analysis of Resident Responses Admittedly, the resident sample size is not significantly large to conduct any major statistical analysis, but the limited response s gained help to outline the extent of the differences between the African American a nd White communities of St. Petersburg and the level of planning awareness city-wide, particularly with respect to Vision 2020. The differing responses of White and African Amer ican residents to each of the research question yields some very interesting results. Each group was asked what they consider to be St. Petersburgs defining char acteristic. Most residents, ir respective of their race or class, cited the waterfront area or downtown as the citys defining characteristic. One resident mentioned that the city is a great place to live. These responses reflect the developmental focus of the city and the prom otion of the downtown and waterfront area as the focal point of the city. Residents were then asked what developmen tal projects they were aware of in St. Petersburg. Once again, in both communities, the development of the downtown and waterfront area was the most often cited pr oject. Although this wa s not surprising given the large amount of publicity surrounding th e downtown development, it is quite significant that the African Americans re sidents in Midtown did not mention the revitalization efforts w ithin their neighborhood. There are several potential reasons for this, not least of which is the lack of success of the revitalization of Midtown. It could also be a reflection of the extensive publicity which the city has utilized to pr omote downtown development and the lack of publicity for the Midtown district. With it s major focus on downtown revitalization, the

PAGE 143

134 city sends the message of prosperity and exuberance to pot ential visitors. The revitalization of inner city residential neighborhoods does not receive the same publicity unless the efforts are in the form of gentrification (Harvey, 1996; Smith, 1996). When asked about their awareness of the Vision 2020 project, the vast majority of the residents interviewed were neither aware of the plan nor had they participated in any capacity. One resident indicated that he had gone to one of th e meetings as part of his employment, but he did not know anything about it. This comp lete lack of awareness of Vision 2020 brings into serious question the exte nt of the citys encouragement of citizen participation in the formulation of the Visi on 2020 project. Although city officials claim that they have made all reasonable efforts to solicit public particip ation, there appears to be a vast gap in the awareness of city reside nts about the plan from both extremes of the city. Residents were asked if they felt the c ity provided them with the public services and amenities they needed. Sample A mostly commented that the city did not provide them with the services they needed, although one resident did indicate that he was provided for fairly well. The residents in sample B all responded that the city adequately provides them with services a nd amenities. One resident commented very forcefully: Yes, the city does an excellent job. The next question asked residents if th ey felt the city provides equally for all members of the city. The sample A residents all responded no, that the city does not provide equal amenities for all. The sample B residents provided a mixed reaction with about 50% responding yes and 50% responding no. One resident commented that it was

PAGE 144

135 unfortunate, but he felt the c ity probably did not provide for all residents equally (the same resident acknowledged polarization). When asked if they thought there was a ny segregation within the city, all but one in sample B indicated that they did not think there was segregation. One resident offered a typical response: Of course there is no segregation any more, people are allowed to live wherever they want. We dont care if any black people live round here. Another resident in sample B offered the following remark: No, its all blown out of proportion, the media focuses on it, here l ook (he points to the front page report of racial inequality within the school system in Fl orida) they focus on the differe nces rather than focusing on the similarities. Another resident even went so far as to suggest that racial segregation in St. Petersburg does not exist in reality and is all media-hype. Only one resident in sample B admitted that there was probably racial polarization within the city, while the majority feels that St. Petersburg is not raci ally or socio-economically polarized. These findings are in stark contrast to residents from sample A where the majority believes community segregation exists. When they were then asked why they thought it existed, there were two key responses. One resi dent said: The poor black folks have to live here, we have no where else to go. Anothe r indicated that I dunno, this is where the housing is (meaning public housing). Although there are often a myriad social, racial, economic, familial and historical reasons for the selection of residential location, it is possible that the historical a nd institutional conditions of St. Petersburg have played a major role in the shaping the views of Afri can Americans regarding segregation in the city

PAGE 145

136 These limited results from resident inte rviews offer additi onal qualitative support to the concept of polarization within the cit y. Residents from sample A exhibit markedly different opinions regarding the allocation of services and amenities than residents in sample B. It could be a function of the in creased need for amenities of low-income residents leading to an increased awarene ss of a shortfall in provisions, or it could indicate a genuine disparity in the provision of services. Thus, in light of this analysis and given that only one resident indicated an aw areness of the Vision 2020 plan, the results of this study raises serious doubts a bout the citys commitment to participatory planning and equitable development for all th e citizens of St. Petersburg. Comparison of Responses The responses obtained from the two resident groups illustrate the dual nature of the city. The two resident groups clearly inhab it vastly different urban spaces and have a different image of their city. These reside nt responses can be compared with the responses obtained from officials. Likewise there appears to be a difference between the views of the city obtained from officials a nd those obtained from residents. The responses obtained from the two resident samples a nd officials for the yes/no questions are summarized in table 8 below.

PAGE 146

Table 8: Summary of Responses to Yes/No Questions Resident Resident Sample A Sample B Officials Yes No Yes No Yes No Are you aware of Vision 2020? 0 5 1 14 6 6 Did you participate in the planning? 0 5 0 15 6 6 Does the city provide for all residents? 0 5 14 1 9 3 Do you believe there is racial or economic segregation in the city? 5 0 1 14 10 2 The responses obtained from officials indicate an awareness of the socio-spatial polarization which exists in the city which contrasts with the awareness of residents. There is also a disparity between the city wide awareness of the Vision 2020 plan and the claimed promotion of the document to citizens. Officials appear to be ignorant of the lack of resident awareness of city developments and planning issues. The Vision 2020 plan and the Midtown Strategic Planning Initiative were supposed to address this lack of awareness, but the results obtained would indicate that these intentions have failed. It appears that the city is divided along socio-economic and racial lines within the residential population and along organizational lines between those in power and those who are served. As such, the Vision 2020 document cannot claim to speak for the residents of the city or to representative of resident opinions. Conclusion This study reveals systematic signs of socio-spatial polarization at several different levels within the city of St. Petersburg. Moreover, the extent of racial 137

PAGE 147

138 polarization inside the city, specifica lly with respect to Midtown, is a prima facie case of hypersegregation as defined by Massey and Denton (1993). The extent of the economic polarization in the city contradicts the lofty rhetoric of urban equality in the 2020 Vision plan and instead exposes th e citys continuing obsession with attracting high-dollar residents while ignoring the increasing conditions of ex treme poverty for the vast majority of its residents. The spatial con centration of extremes of wealth and poverty inside St. Petersburg reinforces the dual na ture of the city and represents a significant challenge to the advocates of the Vision 2020 project. The interviews of both residents and offi cials underscore the vast differences of opinions throughout the city with respect to w ho has the right to the city, including issues such as urban social justice and the fight for public space (Mitchell, 2003). The vastly different material c onditions and opinions between Af rican Americans and Whites with respect to the segregation in the city represent a major obstacle to any development plans for the future of St. Petersburg. This challenge is made worse by the widespread lack of awareness of the Vi sion 2020 plan and raises seri ous doubts about the citys capacity to involve all its citizens in the planni ng of their city. And, to make matters even worse, the fact that some of the citys high-income residents clai m ignorance of social segregation is an example of their exclusion and isolation, or what Robert Putnam (2000) refers to as civic disengagement from the everyday realities of the vast majority of the citys residents. The interviews with officials regarding the citys developmental projects and its planning ideology to promote the city, points to an equally bleak future for the citys

PAGE 148

139 most deprived citizens. While city officials in dicate an awareness of inequality within the city, their responses thus far are wholly inadequate to addr ess these inequalities. It is ultimately against this backdrop that the optimistic rhetoric of Vision 2020 about the future development of St. Petersburg has to be judged. From this perspective, Vision 2020 is clearly no match for the developmen tal challenges faci ng the city of St. Petersburg. The final chapter will pull together the themes and claims of the previous chapters as they relate to the sociospatial polarization of St. Petersburg.

PAGE 149

140 Chapter Six Conclusions This case study has demonstrated the conditions and ex tent of socio-spatial polarization as it exists in St. Petersburg. As a southern city, St. Petersburg strictly enforced residential racial segregation unde r the Jim Crow system The resulting racial patterns since desegregation rema in little changed to this day. The city is highly spatially polarized with certain areas exhibiting conditions of hypersegregation (Massey and Denton (1999, [2000]). This spatial concentr ation of race and/or poverty has created a dualized city which is reinforced by the inst itutional practices of the citys planning practices. A consequence of this spatial polarization is that minority communities feel alienated and political disengage d and distrustful of the citys efforts to develop plans on their behalf. This condition has exacerbated the cultural and psychological barriers between African American and White residents of St. Petersburg. St. Petersburgs racial concentrati on is correlated with high poverty and unemployment rates. This concen tration of extreme poverty into a single area has led to additional problems, such as high crime, lack of opportunity and physical separation from the rest of the city. The end result of these conditions has been the creation of an urban underclass which is physically and socially separated from the rest of the city (Wilson,

PAGE 150

141 1987, [1996]). African Americans participation in city life is limited and the community has become the other. This effectively ne utralizes any citizens voice or public protest and encourages the continued representation of the community as different from the rest of the city. The representation of the community as the other allows city officials to absolve themselves of blame for to the poor conditi ons within the African American community in the Midtown area. The infrastructure of the built environment is organized both directly and indirectly through the actions and policies of city planners and developers. In the case of St. Petersburg, the planning pr ocess has (Arsenault, 1996) and continues to contribute directly to the racial and social po larization in the city today. Thus, social and spatial patterns within the city must be considered in light of the goals and aims city developers and their desires to create and maintain a certain city image. St. Petersburg planners have historically promoted the city as a destination for leisure and tourism. Although these goals are not necessarily at odds with the equitable provision of amenities to city residents, th e focus within the planning has thus far overstressed the construction of up-scale, high profile developments. It is this singular focus on prioritizing the construction and mainte nance of an identity for St. Petersburg which has places limited importance on providing amenities and services to all the citys residents. The maintenance of the citys upscale image has exacerbated the social exclusion of certain residents, particular ly the African Americans community whose voice has been effectively muffled a nd its physical presence played down.

PAGE 151

142 The built environment of St. Petersburg has been manipulated to further the motivations of elites and to uphold and reinfor ce the citys image as a tropical paradise. The communities which are problematic to th e maintenance of this image have been systematically excluded th rough relocation, dislocation a nd the creation of physical barriers. In this regard, the design for Tropica na Field is particularly instructive. The design of this monumental sports stadium i nvolved physical barriers in the form of grass medians between the low-income minorit y neighborhood and the stadium. Supposedly this was to give organization to traffic flows towards the interstate, but it also served to create a physical barrier be tween the African American resident community and the mostly White visiting sports fans. Similarly, African American communities have been targeted for development that has involved the forced relocation of residents and the dispersal of the community. The official response to growing inequali ties within the city has been to support development projects in a manner which fails to consider the individual historical character of the community as it has evolved over time. Thus proposals for mixed-income housing is unlikely to succeed and will only lead to more gentrification of African American neighborhoods and the resulting reloca tion of the poor. The development of the area to fit the ideals of new urbanism fails to address the desires of the community and does not solve the conditions of extreme poverty in the area. Even if the proposed improvements were desirable individually, th e true commitment to improving the lot of the African American community of St. Peters burg must be questioned in light of the citys goal for overall development.

PAGE 152

143 The Vision 2020 plan was ostensibly create d to address the concerns of residents and provide a workable plan for future de velopment. Many of the claims contained within the plan are honorable a nd potentially uplifting for seve ral residents. However, the manner in which the document was prepared contradicts the claims of equitable development and the citys commitment to a seamless city. The citizens participation element of the plan, which was promoted as one of the primary goals, did not extend the necessary efforts to ensure even participat ion from all sectors of the community. Given that the document claims to represent the voices of all citizens, it can be assumed that the residents whose voices are not featured in th e plan are considered lesser members of the city. As the Vision 2020 plan is a document whic h is preparing for the future of the city, the exclusion of some residents from involvement with the preparation of the plan sends a message to these residents about their fu ture role in the city. As the plan fails to specifically address the existing inequalities w ithin the city or detail aims for improving living conditions for low-income, minority re sidents, it can be assumed that these residents have no place in the future of St. Petersburg. In a city with such drastically different identities, city pla nners and urban developers are faced with deep-seated social obstacles, not least of which is the providing of public services to a dual city with paradoxical motivations. The extent to which development officials directly address the polarized nature of the city ultimately reve als their commitment to improving the lot of all of its citizens, including the African American community.

PAGE 153

144 Problems and Limitations of the Study As with any study, this project has enc ountered several problems. The first major problem was controlling the size of the projec t. There are numerous factors which affect community choices, and many tempting avenues of inquiry exist. However, the purpose of the project was to examine the role of city planning, specifically the Vision 2020 plan, in light of highly spatially polar ized communities. As such, it is recognized that this case study cannot tell the complete story of soci o-spatial polarization in St. Petersburg, but instead addresses one of the crucial elements which affect the residential patterns within the community, namely the role of the institutional framework. A second problem encountered was en suring the focus did not exclusively examine polarization in terms of race. Although the citys polarization of race and class is closely correlated, the conditions of poverty are more of a defi ning factor in the exclusion of residents from public amenities. The exclusion of African Americans from full participation in the city made it difficult no t to focus upon this element of polarization alone. The contextualization of power relations the exclusion of residents who fall into the underclass and St. Peters burgs historic exclusion of African Americans based on race, is a story that needs to be told in the context of power and powerlessness. The final problem was the timing of the interviews. This was ultimately beneficial in one aspect and a hindrance in another. The timing ensured there were numerous editorials, news conferences and media storie s related to St. Petersburg which provided information specifically related to this research project from more participants than I

PAGE 154

145 could ever have hoped to interview personally. The negative media attention also ensured many interviewees were very vocal about the issue of race and exclusion. On the negative side, the violent protes ts doubtless altered so me of the responses given by community leaders, with many record ing very rehearsed and tempered opinions. Likewise, the refusal of some o fficials and residents to participate may have been directly related to the timing of the research, poten tially limiting the extent of the interview process. As such, the context of the timing of the interviews needs to be considered when the responses are analyzed. Although every effort was made to addre ss issues within this study, there are inevitably some inadequacies. As indicated in the introduction, this research is limited in that it only examines the institutional role, a nd specifically one document, in influencing residential patterns. This study aimed to c onsider just one element of residential distribution and therefore the ro le of other factors is not known. The study also simplifies the racial diversity which exists and assume s a unity within racial categories which in actuality may not exist. It is therefore limited in its explanatory potential with this simplification. There are also limitations within the em pirical data which was evaluated. There are numerous methodologies which can be a pplied to examination of residential polarization and additional st atistical calculations which c ould potentially improve the validity of the data presented. Additional spatial statistical studies could be conducted as well as statistical regression to evaluate the significance of resu lts obtained. There are also additional quantitative calculations which can be applied to measures of spatial

PAGE 155

146 polarization which could potenti ally improve the explanativ e ability of the study. This study chose to divide the research between qualitative and quantit ative and therefore limitations were placed upon the processes wi thin each category. Both the quantitative and qualitative analyses exhibit theses lim itations which need to be acknowledged. Future Research Many of the inadequacies of this study c ould be addressed with future research in order to augment to description of city conditi ons. As such, this case study is certainly an on-going project. As with any research exam ining the dynamics of an urban area, the study is never completed as the dynamics of the built environment continue to change. Specifically with regard to St. Petersburg, th e extent to which the community in Midtown is changed with the adoption of the Vision 2020 plan will illustrate the extent of the citys commitment to the project. As the development in the midtown area increases, it will be important to measure the success of these ve ntures alongside other developments in the city. As such, there is the potential for ongoi ng research which examines the dynamics of the city and how they change. Revisiting the study area after a period of time, for example another 5 years, would poten tially provide interesting results. There also exists the potential for futu re research examining additional factors which affect the residential patterns within the city. Although this study considers the institutional role to be the most influential in guiding residential choice, there remains the potential for examining the numerous other factors which steer residential patterns.

PAGE 156

147 The role of these other factors could be c onsidered alongside the institutional role to construct a fuller picture of elements governing residential spatial patterns. Further research to augment the study could potentially invo lve collaborative work with an anthropologist, as discussed in Chapter Five, in order to more specifically evaluate the role of race within this research. There is also potential for a more empirical analysis of spatial dynamics in order to add to the justificat ion of socio-spatial polarization. A more in-depth analysis of economic factors a nd the fiscal constraints of the city and the region as a whole might pr ovide greater explanation for the economic development of the city. The examination of the institutional fram ework could be extended to the regional, state and national levels to examine how the developmental aims at these scales affect local residential patterns. This extension of the scale of th e research could potentially extend to a global investigati on of the conditions of polari zation and exclusion and the creation of dual identi ties globally. This case study was originally chosen as a local example of the global conditions of poverty and exploitation and the factors which affect the creation of a global underclass. As such, the study will hopefully provide me with a useful framework and basis for further research at different scales and different locations.

PAGE 157

148 Bibliography Arsenault, Raymond, St. Petersburg and th e Florida Dream, 1888-1950, University Press of Florida, 1996. Acker, Sandra, In/out/side: Positioning the Researcher in Feminist Qualitative Research, Resources for Feminist Research 2000, Vol. 28, p. 189-208. Baker, Rick, Mangroves to Major League: A Timeline of St. Pe tersburg, Florida: Prehistory to 2000 A.D. Southern Heritage Press, FL, 2000. Beauregard, Robert A., Voices of Decline: The Postwar Fate of U. S. Cities, Routledge, NY, 2003. Benhabib, Seyla, ed. Democracy and Differe nce: Contesting the Boundaries of the Political, Princeton University Press, NJ, 1996. Castells, Manuel, The Economic Crisis and American Society, Princeton Universtiy Press, NJ, 1980. Castells, Manuel, End of Millennium, Blackwell Publishers Inc., Malden, MA, 2000 Campbell, Scott and Fainstein, Susan, eds., Readings in Planning Theory, Blackwell, MA, 1996. Chrisp, Eric F, The Power of the Past in Community Development: Coordination of A Community History Project in St. Petersburg, Florida, 2000. Duncan, Otis Dudley and Duncan, Beverly, A Methodological Analys is of Segregation Indexes, American Sociological Re view, Vol. 20, No. 2 (1955) pp. 210-217. Farley, John E. P* Segregation Indices: What Can They Tell Us about Housing Segregation in 1980?, Urban Studies, Vol. 21 Number: 3 Page: 331336 Farley, Reynolds; Frey, William H., Changes in the Segregation of Whites from Blacks During the 1980s: Small Steps Toward a More Integrated Society, American Sociological Review, Vol. 59, No. 1. (Feb., 1994), pp. 23-45. Feagin, Joe R., Racist America: Roots, Current Realities and Futu re Preparations, 2001, Routledge, NY.

PAGE 158

149 Fotheringham, A.S. and D. W. S. Wong, The Modifiable Areal Unit Problem in Multivariate Statistical Analysis, En vironment and Planning A, Vol. 23(1991) pp.1025-1044. Gilbert, Nigel, ed., Researching Soci al Life, Sage Publications, London, 1993. Glaeser, Edward L. The Future of Urban Research: Non-Market Interactions in Papers on Urban Affairs, eds., William Gale and Janet Rothenberg Pack, p. 100-150, The Brookings Institute, DC, 2000. Goldsmith, William and Blakey, Edward, Poverty and Inequality in U. S. Cities, Temple University Press, PA, 1992. Harvey, David, Justice, Nature and the Ge ography of Difference, Blackwell Publishers Ltd., Oxford, 1996. Harvey, David, Social Justice and the Cit y, The John Hopkins University Press, MD, 1973. Harvey, David, Spaces of Hope, University of California Press, CA, 2000. Harvey, David, The New Imperialism, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003. Jennings, James, Understanding the Nature of Poverty in Urban America, Praeger Publishers, Westport, CT, 1994. Johnston, R. J., Geography and Geographers : Anglo-American Human Geography Since 1945, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 1997. Knox, Paul and Pinch, Stephen, Urban Social Geography: An Introduction, Prentice Hall, 2000. Marcuse, Peter and van Kempen, Peter, eds. Globalizing Cities: A New Spatial Order?, Blackwell Publishers Ltd. 2000. Marcuse, Peter, Space and Race in the Po st-Fordist City: The Outcast Ghetto and Advanced Homelessness in the United States Today, in Urban Poverty and the Underclass, Blackwell Publishers Inc., MA, 1996. Marth, Del, St. Petersburg: Once Upon A Time, City of St. Petersburg, FL, 1976. Massey, Douglas S. and Denton, Nancy A., Am erican Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass, Harvar d University press, MA, 1993.

PAGE 159

150 Massey; Douglas S. Nancy A. Denton, Hypersegregation in U.S. Metropolitan Areas: Black and Hispanic Segregation along Five Dimensions, Demography, Vol. 26, No. 3. (Aug., 1989) pp. 373-391. Massey, Douglas, and Anderson, Elijah, eds ., Problem of the Century: Racial Stratification in the United Stat es, Russell Sage Foundation, NY, 2001. Mingione, Enzo, ed. Urban Poverty and the U nderclass: A Reader, Blackwell Publishers Inc., Cambridge, MA, 1996. Mollenkopf J. H. and Castells M., Eds., Du al City: Restructuring New York, Russell Sage Foundation, New York, 1991. Narayan, Kirin, Creativity/Anthropology, Cornell University Press, 1993. Ollman, Bertell, Dance of the Dialectic: St eps in Marxs Method, University of Illinois Press, IL, 2003. O Loughlin, John and Friedrichs, Jurgen, ed s., Social Polarization in Post-Industrial Metropolises, Walter de Gruyt er and Co., Berlin, 1996. Openshaw, S. and P.J. Taylor, A Million or So Correlated Coefficients: Three Experiments on the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem in, Statistical Applications in the Spatial Sciences, eds. Wrigley, N. and R.J. Bennet, Pion, London, UK, 1979. Peet, Richard, Modern Geographical Thought, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, UK, 1998. Putnam, Robert, Bowling Alone: The Collaps e and Revival of American Community, Simon and Schuster, NJ, 2000. Quigley, John M., A Decent Home: Housing Policy in Perspective in Papers on Urban Affairs, eds., William Gale and Janet Rothenberg Pack, p. 53-100, The Brookings Institute, DC, 2000. Rose, Demaris, Revisiting Fe minist Research Methodologies: A Working Paper, Ottawa: Status of Women Canada, 2001. On-line: Status of Women Publications: http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/pubs/revisiting/revisiting_1_e.html 6 July 2001. Sassen, Saskia, Cities in a World Ec onomy, Pine Forge Press, CA, 1994. Sassen, Saskia, ed. Global Networks, Linked Cities, Routledge Press, NY 2002. Sassen Saskia, Losing Control: Sovereignty in an Age of Globalization, Columbia University Press, NY, 1996.

PAGE 160

151 Sayer, Andrew, Realism and Social Science, Sage Publications, London, 2000. Searle, Clive, The Quality of Qualitativ e Research, Sage Publications, London, 1999. Smith, David M., Geography, Inequality, and So ciety, Cambridge University Press, NY, 1987. Smith, David M., Geographical Perspectives on Inequality, Barnes & Noble Books, NY, 1979. Smith, Neil, Uneven Development, Basil Blackwell Inc., Oxford, 1984. Smith, Neil, The New Urban Front ier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City, Routledge NY, 1996. Soja, Edward W. Postmetropolis: Critical Studies of Cities and Regions, Blackwell Publishing, MA, 2000. Stephenson, Bruce, Visions of Eden: Envi ronmentalism, Urban Planning and City Building in St. Petersburg, Florida, 1900-1995, Ohio State University Press, OH, 1997. Tobin, Gary A., ed. Divided Neighborhoods: Cha nging Patterns of Racial Segregation, Sage Publications, NY, 1987. Wilson, William J., The Truly Disadvantage d: The Inner City, The Underclass, And Public Policy University of Chicago Press, IL, 1987. Wilson, William J. ed., The Ghetto U nderclass, Sage Publications, CA, 1993. Wilson, William J., When Work Disappear s: The World of the New Urban Poor, Random House, Inc., NY, 1996. Wilson, William J., The Bridge Over the Raci al Divide: Rising Ine quality and Coalition Politics, Berkeley University of California Press, CA, 1999. Wong, David, Enhancing Spatial Studies Using GIS, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, Vol. 20, No. 2, (1996) pp. 99-109.

PAGE 161

152 Appendices

PAGE 162

153 Appendix A: Interview Questions What are the defining characte ristics of St. Petersburg? Which development projects within the c ity of St. Petersburg are you aware of? What planning projects are you aware of within the city? What planning projects ha ve you been involved in? Are you aware of Vision 2020? Did you participate in the planning? To what extent do you believe the city ha s provided you with ade quate services and amenities? Does the city provide services and amenities equally for all residents? Do you believe there is racial or economic segregation in the city? Why do you think this exists? Do you have any comments about the recent civil unrest?

PAGE 163

Appendix B: Map of Downtown St. Petersburg 154