After finishing school, getting married and settling here in Milwaukee I have learned a lot from this country. When you look at things from a different perspective especially coming from a different country (Puerto Rico, A.K.A. “The oldest existing colony in the world”) you start to notice details. Something that I have been noticing is the way houses in these new developments do not have a defined front. All you see is two huge garage doors and a single door with a doorbell button. Not only that, the house sits as far away from the street as possible. All there is between the street and the house is a concrete curb some grass, a narrow sidewalk, more and more grass and then a huge concrete driveway. I also noticed how quiet these neighborhoods are, you would not think people live in these houses. People work all day and then they come back home, open their remote controlled garage door, drive their car in and they don’t even put a foot outside of the house. The way people come in and out of the house is very antisocial there is no interaction with the neighbors at all.
All these observations have inspired me to study the social experience in a residential neighborhood. I would also like to focus on how architectural elements like porches and stoops would help promote street life in these “dead” neighborhoods. I will investigate how other options like changing setbacks, sidewalk widths, and street landscape could also encourage interaction between neighbors and street life.