Isaac Milley

My walking tour starts in the Back Bay Fens and takes you south down the Southwest Corridor Park running parallel to Boston’s Orange Line train, through different areas of Boston’s more suburban area. After the Southwest corridor ends my walk continues on a little further taking you through Egleston Square to the Franklin Park Zoo area where my walk concludes. Throughout the walk I wanted to focus on two different themes that I felt coincide with one another and connect well with my sites along the Southwest Corridor. My first theme focuses on gentrification and organization and division of social classes. As I walked south through my sites from the center of Boston to the more rural areas of Boston, I wanted to focus on areas where I believe gentrification existed and may currently exist as well to see if there was some type of pattern that exists when it comes to social classes, connecting my chosen sites to the theme of gentrification and segregation of social classes. My second theme that I chose to focus on along my walking tour was segregation and racial separation in the communities along the Southwest Corridor and how my sites potentially promote segregation or work to break this barrier. Boston has a long history of racism and a lot of the racial separation that was created in the past that unfortunately still exists today across Boston. I wanted to explore the sites I chose and how the walking tour I created connects with my theme of racial segregation and how my sites promote or work to heal racism across the area. My sites and cohesive walking tour explores the themes of gentrification, social class division and segregation across the Southwest corridor and the greater surrounding areas to see if these themes currently exist or once existed in the past and how my sites work to promote or fix these issues.


My walking tour starts and ends in the Emerald Necklace and works its way down the Southwest Corridor which is seen as the final piece to the Emerald Necklace connecting the final piece. My sites run along the Southwest Corridor and conclude in the Emerald Necklace in Franklin Park and I believe I used my themes to connect my sites and the surrounding areas to the Emerald Necklace as a relational landscape through social and ecological histories and processes. I was able to use the history and information about my sites to relate them to pressing issues that were existent and are still existent in Boston and talk about how my sites worked to suppress and solve these issues through the design and ecological performance and how this affects the people in the city, demolishing the division of races and classes and creating a community space. I touched upon this in my sites on the Emerald Necklace and in my other sites and how they affected the areas they were located in. 


I am crafting different narratives about the Emerald Necklace by linking it to seemingly unrelated or invisible stories by sandwiching my sites between two sites that are on the Emerald Necklace. My first and last site reside on the Emerald Necklace and I believe by doing this all of my sites in between relate to the Emerald Necklace because I am creating this walking tour that someone can take and experience these sites that all revolve around the Emerald Necklace. I believe I am also doing this because the remainder of my sites are all along the Southwest Corridor which once again is seen as the finishing piece of the Emerald Necklace and intersects with the Emerald necklace at the Forest Hills T station, one of my sites. Because all of my sites are either on the Emerald NEcklace or Southwest Corridor I believe I am crafting different narratives about the Emerald Necklace by linking it to seemingly unrelated or invisible stories. 


My thematic walking tour help us think more deeply about the entangled histories of landscape preservation and urban segregation in Boston because one of the themes I focused on along my tour and addressed at every site was urban segregation amongst race and social class. In my historical sites I mention a brief history of what some of the areas around my sites use to look like in terms of segregation and mention landscape preservation. I also go into how landscape preservation today may be helping solve some of these segregation issues that existed in the past and still exist today. My thematic walking tour help us think more deeply about the entangled histories of landscape preservation and urban segregation because of my chosen themes and how I relate landscape preservation back to the help of changing urban segregation. 


My walking tour relates to videos and readings we have done throughout the semester in many ways. I think my tour most similarly relates to Richard Rothstein’s book, The Color of Law and the Boston Globe Spotlight series on racism in Boston because I talk about racism and segregation across my tour. At each historical site I address the current racial segregation status and talk about how the sites I chose either once promote or currently do or are working to heal the issue of segregation. I think I expand on this further and connect it back to the readings by also talking about segregation amongst social classes and how this also affected racism and racial segregation around my sites. I also take it one step further at each of my sites to talk about how landscape preservation and current steps are being taken at my sites to dissolve this separation which still seems to exist across Boston.