Category Archives: General Posts

New Publication in the Delaware Journal of Public Health

In the August 2022 issue Place Matters, Bill Swiatek and I have a new article entitled “Greening, Revitalization, and Health in South Wilmington, Delaware.” From the abstract: “We highlight the potential for paradoxical impacts of green infrastructure integrated with urban redevelopment. Absent directly addressing social inequalities in parallel efforts, green infrastructure may lead to negative health outcomes of disadvantaged residents, including eventual displacement. We present the research literature and reviews on this topic. We next highlight the case of recent in-migration of higher-income Whites and others in South Wilmington, Delaware, spurred on by high-end Riverfront redevelopment at Christina Landing. This migration may obscure how greening efforts—such as a new wetlands park to control area flooding—influence health outcomes in Southbridge, a low-income, African American neighborhood also within South Wilmington. The area’s Census tract boundary, often used in both health and equity assessments, is shared by these distinctive communities. When viewed through the lens of inequality, greening can have multi-faceted impacts that structure health outcomes. We underscore the importance of the mitigation of its potentially harmful effects.”

Trigger Warnings and Teaching Sociology

Several years ago, then-UD graduate student Andrea Kelley (now PhD!) and I gave an informative talk on trigger warnings when teaching sensitive topics in sociology. It came about because I once suggested to them, and was glad that they responded the way they did (“not a good idea!”), that I could “accidentally” eat a Snickers bar into the microphone before class started to begin a discussion of misophonia.

Thinking about trigger warnings has changed some since them, and new research is detailing the complexity and nuance of them. Here are two interesting recent pieces that you should check out if you are considering trigger warnings in your class before certain topics:

“The Data Is In: Trigger Warnings Don’t Work” (paywall through The Chronicle of Higher Education)

“Beyond Trigger Warnings: A Survivor-Centered Approach to Teaching on Sexual Violence and Avoiding Institutional Betrayal” (from ASA’s Teaching Sociology)


Southbridge Neighborhood Plan

It has been a pleasure to work with Asakura Robinson, Healthy Communities Delaware, the South Wilmington Planning Network, the Southbridge Civic Association, residents, and others in the formation of the Southbridge Neighborhood Plan! The plan provides guidance and actionable items that deal with the health, economy, and housing of the Southbridge community, among other things, in the midst of tremendous development along the Riverfront. See the draft plan here, and return for the final version coming very soon!

“Southbridge residents call for equal investment”

Yasser Payne and I were interviewed and quoted in a News Journal article on Riverfront East development and the community of Southbridge in South Wilmington. The community of Southbridge is organizing for the development to benefit them equitably, and there is strong potential for gentrification and displacement of current Southbridge residents over time. From the article:
“’You’ve got an area that has historic higher levels of poverty, brownfields, as well as active industry and then within half a mile you have hundreds of millions of dollars being invested into upper scale types of housing…and leisure activities,’ said Victor Perez, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware.”
Article information here:
News Journal author: José Ignacio Castañeda Perez
Title: “Southbridge residents call for equal investment in $100M Riverfront East plan”
Published August 3, 2021

Sharing in the Benefits of a Green City

Important video on sharing in the benefits of a green city from the CREATE Initiative. With extraordinary changes coming to South Wilmington, DE, this policy toolkit is a reminder that development and greening for the sustainability class comes with serious potential downsides for historic communities like Southbridge. #affordablehousing #greengentrification #climategentrification

CREATE Initiative

Wilmington’s Riverfront to expand east with new $100 million, 86-acre mixed-use project: “‘The civic association has submitted letters to ask for greater transparency and engagement with the Southbridge community as we face the dual threats of flooding and gentrification, which may be exacerbated by the plans along South Market Street put forth by the RDC,’ Dixon said.”

Southbridge Plan Draws Skepticism

$100 million overhaul planned for Wilmington’s ‘other’ riverfront

South Wilmington Wetlands Park