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Kara Cartwright

A city metamorphoses into a graveyard for once bustling districts and affluent vacationers. The surge of casino closures transpires into thousands of jobs lost creating an atmospheric ghost town. “Atlantic City was built on old gambling money which has only emanated into new drinking money.”(Stephanie 2016). A sustainable and stable economy cannot be built on the theme of transience. The dependence upon tourist fueled economic growth continues to divert funding to improving the “look” of Atlantic City while depriving funding for basic fundamental progress. The concept of tourism encourages gentrification to mask the reality of poverty that affects a large portion of Atlantic City. Overt inequalities do not sell the same as an artfully constructed canvas of distracting outlets and falsified prosperity. Members of the Atlantic City community feel that they lack a secure relationship with the existing government. A demand for a fortitudinous relationship between government and community is at the forefront of concern. The City symbolically hosts events, parades or concerts surrounding holidays that encourage tourism. The scarcity of community events outside of tourist motivation bolsters a deprivation of community interaction. When a space lacks the means for place making, a multifaceted approach to design an environment that addresses and protects ones interests, there is no longer a sense of ownership for those who reside within its boundaries. Weak relationships among the community, as well as between the community and government perpetuates a sense of losing control over ones place. Instead of solely showcasing “hallmark” events the members of the community should use the space and cultural practices as a medium to place make within their space (Jackson and Jones 2014). Redevelopment of Atlantic City will only succeed when the needs of the residents are met with resounding support and understanding from those who control the outcomes. A solution must be drawn up that satisfies governmental and local concerns. A solution that excludes one voice over the other no longer upholds the importance of coexisting among those with different ideas than oneself. Awareness of the importance of a tenacious community connection must be addressed to build a durable place making mechanism. One should harness the desire to place make for themselves while considering those who coexist within the same space.