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Defining Neighborhood Character

Class: Architecture 452
Role: Research Methods in Architecture
Agency: City of Bozeman
Working Group: Bozeman Planning Department

Students collected and analyzed data from a literature review, census data, and historic maps of a Bozeman neighborhood as well as from data gathered from a survey of neighborhood residents, stakeholder meetings, and a physical inventory of neighborhood attributes. The goal of the project was to better define neighborhood character and its meaning in terms of residents’ quality of life.

Student presentations: Neighborhood Character

The Neighborhood Character project was a collaborative effort over multiple semesters and academic departments. The study examined the changes occurring in the built environment and in the social character of Bozeman’s northeast neighborhood. The project was initiated at the request of the Northeast Neighborhood Association, or NENA, whose members are concerned that growth is negatively impacting the affordability, inclusive social character and informal social interactions of their neighborhood. Working with the city of Bozeman and NENA, the project aimed to document the existing character of the neighborhood and the residents’ perceptions of social, economic and architectural changes. Students from three MSU departments helped to conduct and analyze a physical inventory of the built environment, as well as run a survey, interviews and focus groups.

In 2021, faculty received an MSU Outreach and Engagement Seed Grant to synthesize and document the study outcomes to provide data for future planning in the northeast neighborhood.

A link to the resulting report is provided here: Investigating Neighborhood Character in the Northeast Neighborhood of Bozeman MT

Academic Year/Semester: Spring 2021

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