Establishing Ground: representing gender and race in a mixed housing development
In this paper we explore the sociospatial transformation of the Columbia Point public housing project in Dorchester, Boston to Harbor Point, a mixed-income, multiethnic community. We examine gender, race, class and cultural representations of public housing generally, and of Columbia Point specifically, in order to understand the origin and significance of these representations for the physical and social designs of the new community. African-American women residents were and continue to be largely responsible for the transformation of the public housing project. We suggest how the combined representations of African-American women, the welfare system, single motherhood and public housing underlie media misperceptions of what the new Harbor Point is .