English Ave community, the in-home and out-of-home environments

Described by one program facilitator as “one mile from tech geographically but miles away culturally” the English Avenue neighborhood lays just to the west of campus, directly across Northside Drive on North Ave. The links below describe some of the recent efforts that Tech has sponsored to provide resources for redevelopment.
http://www.honorsprogram.gatech.edu/files/Newsletters/april%202011%20for%20web2.pdf
http://www.honorsprogram.gatech.edu/files/News/BethunePlayground.pdf
http://www.whistle.gatech.edu/archives/08/apr/28/english.shtml
http://smartech.gatech.edu/jspui/bitstream/1853/36956/3/technique_2010-10-01_focus.pdf

This area has huge potential, due in large part to its proximity to Tech and downtown Atlanta, its accessibility to Marta and the interstate system, and its status as a historical Atlanta neighborhood. The English Ave area is also very close to the site of the new proposed Atlanta football stadium
(http://www.ajc.com/business/falcons-push-for-open-848736.html).
In its current condition, however, the area has huge problems, many of whic are described in the previously mentioned links.  In the spirit of Interaction Design for Home Innovation, one project will involve the systematic investment and redevelopment of several properties in this area, along with notes detailing the integration of technology in the home and in the community. The project will be called IDEAL, since real estate is the Ideal investment (Income, Depreciation, Equity, Appreciation, Leverage). The first property, located at 755 Meldrum Street NW Atlanta Ga 30314 (http://maps.google.com/?q=loc%3A+755+meldrum+st+30314+atlanta+ga+US) 4 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, was purchased for $9500 and was in a complete state of disrepair (photos forthcoming, if they can be found). Apparently, the previous owner was vandalized and all of the electric wire and copper piping was stolen, meaning gaping holes in every single wall and substantial water damage. Basic renovations are almost complete (added 1 bedroom, split one of the full bathrooms into two full mini-bathrooms, refinished hardwood floors, kitchen, etc). The next phase will include the integration of technology (wireless security systems including ip cameras, home network, VA teleHealth components*, etc.), and will soon begin.
The next project is at 590 English Avenue Atlanta Ga 30314 (http://maps.google.com/?q=loc%3A+590+english+ave+30314+atlanta+ga+US). This one is even worse shape than the first.
Note that, in the midst of the first project, the house was vandalized and the pipe and wire stolen. The next project will include an essential item first: a 10 foot fence.
With respect to Home Innovation, Inner City Home Innovation takes potential ideas in a totally new direction. Instead of value being placed on comfort and automation, value here is placed on safety and security. The ways in which computing technology will be incorporated into these projects include:
1. smart meters (electric and water) that will allow residents to better control their use of these resources
2. solar panels (to the extent possible) to mitigate utility costs for the all electric home (no gas)
3. wireless security systems with motion-detecting ip cameras
4. residents will receive training and/or counseling (depending upon the VA program chosen) via videochat

Details and updates to follow.

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