Repurposing for Culture-Focused Shopping

Spartan village

Author: Aliya Mckethern

At one point,the area of Spartan Village was heavily populated with graduate students, families, and regular-working citizens. This village is quite known for its diversity, yet the population has been shrinking dramatically. In the sense of planning and design, Spartan Village covers the basis of incorporating nature with the complex, giving tenants a feeling of tranquility. On the opposing end, however, designers and tenants would both agree that there has been active neglect on this matter, although Michigan State University’s campus is known for its great emphasis on nature—as well as aesthetic. Nevertheless, these aging complexes are in a state of uncertainty, leaving many international students and those of several different cultures and backgrounds left feeling in the dark about the apartment’s development.

Spartan Village contains culture beyond that of an undergraduate MSU student from Detroit, Michigan. The life that this area once held, including a child care unit which has since closed, has a lot of life that is waiting to reflourish. With this blend of cultures and ideals, one thing is certain: an area, defined somewhat as a “plaza,” with a variety of ethnic food markets and restaurants, would jump start this idea of inclusivity and togetherness. What one may observe is merely a village filled with people from different countries, but there is far more to that than what meets the eye. These people have their own culture food, and experiences just as we as local Michigan students do. By implementing a committee to seek help from the City of East Lansing, community members can have the opportunity to voice their input on what stores would be best and most relatable to see included. Doing so may reel many people to return to this area, bringing life back to it. When people are given a taste of home, negative feelings from residing in a slightly less familiar area can be depleted from having a center to, in a sense, congregate and shop for the things that ease the spirit of the homesick. After all, it does take a village.

An example of this principle at work: Project For Public Spaces