Grand Hope Park is a neighborhood park where students and residents rarely rub shoulders because they use different areas of the premises. This implicit use of space is imposed through security rules and reinforced by non-verbal behaviours, all of which are highly respected. Activities and behaviours are numerous, and belong to different symbolic zones.
In Grand Hope Park, most of the interactions involve students of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, who are mainly Whites between 20-30 years old and include men and women alike. Despite the impressive presence of this group, there are enough amenities in the park to give it a feel of a neighborhood park; a playground attracts the kids, and benches under pergolas are appreciated by the elderly and the resident neighbours and workers (mainly Latinos).
Activities and behaviours are numerous, and they are practiced with due respect to symbolic zones. Indeed, the informal norms that are imposed and respected by the users mainly concern the reproduction of invisible subterritorities within the park. There are places to socialize, places for kids to play, and spaces for solitude and quietness. When trespassing occurs, non-verbal behaviours signal the mistake. Furthermore, Grand Hope Park is under formal surveillance, which is truly appreciated by the users who see this as a guarantee of a space free of undesirables.
Grand Hope Park plays the representational role of a neighbourhood park that is warm and restful, and great for relaxation and meditation. The site allows many activities to take place in parallel, and its in-between zones and overlapping periods of use generate frequent contact between different citizens, sometimes leading to minor contestations that are conducive to a healthy use of the park. The neighbourhood is not yet well defined in the minds of Angelinos, but this park offers a representation similar to proximity in a residential neighbourhood.
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