Highland Park: Community Insights

Topics: Highland Park, Community organizing, Community Pages: 2 (839 words) Published: February 10, 2007
Communities perform important functions necessary for human needs. Community is defined as "the organization of social activities that affords people access to what is necessary for day-to-day living, such as the school, the grocery store, the hospital, the house of worship, and other such social units and systems"( Netting, F E; et al, 2004 ). In this experiential exercise, I decided to conduct a walk-about of my community, Highland Park. I have lived in the area for about seven years and I do not really consider myself an active member in this community. Highland Park is surrounded by neighborhoods such as Garfield, Morningside, Stanton Heights, Shady Side, and East Liberty. It is primarily a residential area and is one of the most racially diverse neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. Its residents are about 65 percent white, 30 percept black and 5 percent Asian and other races; it is a racial makeup that closely resembles that of the entire city. The Highland Park community comprises of landmarks such as the Pittsburgh zoo, PPG Aquarium and a park, Highland Park. Some of the houses in this community are mansions and showcase some the elaborate styles that were popular during the Victorian times. These houses are expensive and are located in sort of a secluded area, in close proximity to the zoo and park. I noticed that the other houses which are not as ornate are within spitting distance of East Liberty and the Garfield area which are areas with less affluent families and with high crime rates. Most of these houses located close to these areas are in poor conditions and the sections are not as kept as that of the elaborate houses. Another thing that I noticed, as I explored my community was the location of the businesses in the area. The businesses are mainly situated on Bryant Street, which is somewhat of an isolated area, that is, if you do not live close to that street you will be unaware of the stores there. As a matter of fact, I was not aware of stores...

References: Netting, F E; et al. Understanding communities (5). Allyn & Bacon, 2004. 125-159. [In Social work macro practice / F. Ellen Netting, Peter M. Kettner, Steven L. McMurtry.]
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