My work explores how urban community gardens can be spaces of social and environmental justice in communities of color facing uncertainty and the threat of displacement due to gentrification. Longtime Latinx residents of central Santa Ana are being displaced by the forces of gentrification, but despite this, residents have developed creative strategies not only to combat unwanted development, but also to (re)create the community they want to live in today and for the foreseeable future. Scholarship on this topic has focused on the interactions between public and private stakeholders in redevelopment projects such as community benefits agreements for example. My case will focus on the micro dynamics situated in an urban community garden that serves residents of central Santa Ana. My study will inquire: how has gentrification impacted local community practices and narratives in urban gardens of central Santa Ana? And, how has the community resisted and adapted to unwanted changes?
Emanuel Preciado is a 3rd year Ph.D. student in Urban Planning and Public Policy focused on community-driven planning, urban politics, social movements, and community-based research here at UC Irvine. His work explores how urban community gardens can be spaces of social and environmental justice in communities of color facing uncertainty and the threat of displacement due to gentrification. He examines the intersections of space, culture, and politics in urban communities of color inspired by his previous experiences as an artist: a poet and emcee.