Critical Review of Cope, M. 2008, Patchwork neighborhood children urban geographies in Buffalo, New York





Critical Review

Cope, M. 2008, Patchwork neighborhood: children’s urban geographies in Buffalo, New York: Environment and Planning A 2008, volume 40, pages 2845 – 2863


The information contained in this article relates to aspects related to neighborhood and how it is perceived by people from a social, political and physical boundaries perspective. The article documents information from a practical study conducted by the author on children and comparing it with adults. It is indicated that the neighborhood is fluid flexible facet that is continually under construction as regards to the diverse perceptions of people of their physical and social environment that they live. The spatial space created by people amongst themselves within their neighborhood aids in defining and understanding its perceptions from the point of view of children and adults (Cope, 2845).

Critical Review

The author of this article offers information on the concept of neighborhood by asserting that it is notoriously fluid and is perceived differently in urban geography and urban literature, with good intentions. It is noted in this article that despite people living in neighborhoods, they are bound to have their own differences as regards to either their physical boundaries or what encompasses their social aspects within the neighborhood (Cope, 2849). Irrespective of these underlying factors in the analysis of neighborhood precepts, it remains an imperative concept in assessing and understanding the attitudes and perception of people or their activities in their immediate residential settings. This study is based on a study conducted in Buffalo, New York in 2005 and the author of this article attests that the children he has worked with portray impressive knowledge about their places and meaning of neighborhood to them.

It is noted that children have an acute perception of the good and the bad in their neighborhoods. It is also indicated by the studies done that children acknowledge and analyze both social and physical factors that influence their places within the neighborhood. Another notable aspect is that children’s understandings of micro-geographies of the region they live are tuned and sensitive to details and variations of everyday life due to their social positions as young people. Martin (2003, p. 362) affirms that people do not know neighborhoods when they see them but they construct them for purposes of their research or social lives based on common ideals. This has an implication that the neighborhoods defined through research or social exchange are always subject to redefinition and contention since they are not self-evident.

Neighborhoods are embedded in multiple contexts at many scales ranging from the body to the local and to the global contexts. Neighborhood is also noted to include political aspects both in adults and children. In children it a bit complex but can be explained through the interactions between parents and their children in aspects such as where children are allowed to go alone, how they engage in negotiations with parents and other authorities as well as whom they associate with and create their own safety. Irrespective of these interactions between children and adults, it is noted that their perceptions do not mesh due to differences in their values and perceptions of their local spaces (Cope, 2862). Through engaging children in the research through participatory, research, the researcher noted vital information on the concept of the neighborhood and its flexibility with regards to the physical, social and political factors that determine the spatial space of people within the stated settings.

IFAD. 2010, A guide to developing a participatory communication strategy to support participatory mapping.


This article provides information documented by the International Fund for Agricultural Development on participatory mapping processes in communication among marginalized communities. The significance of participatory mapping communication strategies and how it supports people’s decisions is conducted in this paper (IFAD, 10). It is indicated that through publications by IFAD on strategies and mechanisms of participatory mapping in communication, people will share information, skills and knowledge on aspects related to farming so as to improve their productivity and lifestyles.

Critical Review

The international fund for agricultural development (IFAD) offers comprehensive information on use of participatory mapping processes so as to facilitate the capacity of individuals and communities in rural areas to represent and plan the sustainable use of natural resources. These mapping strategies ought to be properly considered and implemented so as to share and make viable project development decisions (IFAD18). These strategies are cited by IFAD as being imperative in enhancing coherent approach to the use of communication of community spatial knowledge presented on the communities’ maps. There is a need to develop a participatory approach among pastoralists, indigenous peoples and forest dwellers so as to improve their agricultural productivity and livelihoods. The IFAD intends to enhance on these aspects through its publications of Good practices in participatory mapping (2009) and The IFAD adaptive approach to participatory mapping (2010).

It is noted in this publication that the implementation of participatory communication strategy is relevant when involving in mapping activities with pastoralists and other indigenous people who engage in any form of agriculture. This is because these strategies indicate in a visual and broadly accessible manner the natural features that are pivotal to them and their society as a whole (IFAD, 2010). The communities targeted in this context, by IFAD, represent the most powerless and marginal societies and this means that implementing these communication processes will promote proper management and monitoring of their activities. Through participatory communication, it is noted that people’s knowledge, needs, priories and decisions will be supported through effective communication processes.

Works Cited

Cope, M. Patchwork neighborhood: children’s urban geographies in Buffalo, New York: Environment and Planning A 2008, volume 40, pages 2845 – 2863. 2008.

IFAD. A guide to developing a participatory communication strategy to support participatory mapping. 2010.