Camfield Estates, formerly Camfield Gardens, is a predominantly African-American, low- to moderate-income housing development in the Roxbury section of Boston, Massachusetts. Camfield is a participant in the HUD's demonstration-disposition or "demo-dispo" program. HUD implemented this program in 1993 as a strategy to deal with its growing inventory of foreclosed multi-family housing, much of which was in poor physical and financial condition. Through this national demonstration program, approved and implemented only in the City of Boston, the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency was designated to oversee the renovation and sale of HUD properties to resident-owned organizations. As a result, the 136 low- to medium-rise apartments of Camfield Gardens were demolished in 1997, and residents were relocated throughout the greater Boston area. Reconstruction of the property was completed in 2000 as residents returned to Camfield Estates to occupy 102 units in newly built townhouses. The renovated property also includes the Camfield community center, which houses meeting space, management offices, and the Neighborhood Technology Center. Finally, in 2001, HUD disposed (transferred ownership) of the property to the non-profit Camfield Tenants Association, Inc., making Camfield the first of several participants in the demo-dispo program to successfully complete the process.
Two digital stories: a group story about Camfield Estates and the lessons it holds for designers and planners; a 3-5 minute-long personal story about how you perceive your role as a designer/planner in working with communities. The Camfield Estates story will be worked on in teams, which will be formed on the basis of individual proposals, interests, and skills. A draft of your personal story will be completed in the first three weeks of class, then revised, expanded, and refined throughout the semester.
Your journal is a place to reflect on the themes of the course, to integrate observations, experiences, and readings. It is a place to work on your personal story, to refine your own story in light of themes that emerged in class. Each week the journal should include a revised script for your personal story with a commentary, revisiting these questions: What is my story? What was presented/discussed in class this week? How did that change my story? Collectively, the journals, sent to the faculty via email each week by Sunday evening, suggest points of departure for class discussion on Mondays.