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Change and Memory on the Fresno Fulton Mall

  • Author(s): Perez, Doris Dakin
  • et al.

Revitalization of the Fresno, CA Fulton Mall serves as an anthropological case study centering around a discussion of changing urban forms. The creation and maintenance of community as it pertains to open urban space is central to my argument that context and placemaking matter when confronting urban change at the street level, querying the role public space plays in 21st Century urban areas. I ask what do preservation efforts really seek to save in a rapidly changing region like California's greater Central Valley? What do such preservation efforts say about the role of citizens in their community at the local level and how their participation in the urban revitalization process include hidden transcripts (Scott, 1990) of cultural meaning that reinforce and counter the discourse of a dominant local planning regime? Through ethnographic research and an intimate and empirically-grounded understanding of place, I showcase the different negotiations of space and self that community groups and local government entities develop, even as they seek to both revitalize and preserve the character of the Fulton Mall through political dialogue and community mobilization.

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