This week our team has been focusing on the best way to approach writing our final group report for our community partner. We have found reputable articles and outlined our paper. We want the paper to be both cohesive and consistent in our analysis of the two case studies. We did not realize how challenging writing a group report is, so this week in our team meeting we brainstormed various ways to write the paper. The first idea we came up with was assigning each person an aspect of the case study to focus on; for example, one person could focus on the economic aspects, such as incentivizing businesses to move into innovation districts, for both the Boston Seaport District and the Freemont Innovation District. A drawback to this approach is that the two cases are different and we don’t want to force a broad framework that may not necessarily fit or apply to the situation. The second idea we came up with was having two people focus on the Boston Seaport District and having the two other members of the team focus on the Fremont Innovation District. We are going to continue to discuss the best approach to writing the paper, as we add to our research and further develop our outline, but we all agreed that it would be best to meet to draft a conclusion and best practices section so that we can compare findings, discuss why the case studies matter, and relate our findings back to Milpitas. We think it is very important to synthesize our findings as a group, and make sure all of our perspectives are represented in the executive summary.
Next Friday, we are going to the Fremont Innovation District to meet with Christina Briggs, the Economic Development Director of the City of Fremont. We are planning on touring their district. Below are some of the questions we are planning on asking Christina:
On Monday in class, we visited the Stanford Educational Farm and heard from Ryan Thayer on what he learned from working with corner stores in the Tenderloin District. The unifying thread for our visit to the farm and our discussion with Ryan was food security. While, the development of an innovation district in Milpitas does not directly tie back to food security, the introduction of an innovation district to the Milpitas area does have the potential to impact the composition of the city, and thus potentially impacting the food landscape. On our visit to Milpitas, we noted that there was only one grocery store in the city, a bargain grocery store located on the outskirts. Alex pointed out the location of the Sunday Farmer’s Market and told us that many people buy their fresh produce from there. Additionally, many of the restaurants we saw were mom and pop shops and many of them also appeared to be run by immigrant families. While the main focus for our project, is not on food security, I think we can find ways to include this in our report as it is an important topic relating back to social equity, something our team is really interested in. Additionally, this is an important issue for the city to consider going forward, as it is important to make sure residents have access to healthy options; however, the city must be strategic to work with existing restaurant and grocery store owners, so that they do not cause local businesses to be displaced.