Project Title: Understanding and Modeling the Urban Decay of America’s Cities
Project Description: Rochester is one of America’s original boomtowns. This rust-belt city was once home to the likes of Frederick Douglass, the Emancipation Movement, and the film camera. But today, it seems to be a shadow of its former glory. Its population has fallen nearly one–third in 50 years, is the fifth most impoverished city in the US, and has one of the lowest-performing schools, extreme poverty, and high crime rate. And Rochester isn’t unique; numerous towns in Upstate NY and throughout the US have experienced the similar fate of deterioration. So what makes a city great, and what causes it to lose its greatness? What underpinnings are the cause of urban decay? I wish to understand the decline of Rochester on a qualitative basis by examining housing records, political history, and construction projects. Then, I want to quantify the data points of Rochester’s history to produce a model. I hope to use Cellular Automata (CA) to represent population growth and die out to represent what causes a city to rise, fall, and perhaps, one day, rise again.
Most Important Accomplishment:
I am proud to have founded Cornell’s photography and videography club, Capture at Cornell. I
strive to keep CAC free and open to any person of any study. We provide workshops,
collaborations, photo walks, competitions, and more to support learning and creativity for the
entire Cornell community.
Reflections on College Scholars Program: I am excited about the freedom and opportunities that the program has given me. Without curriculum requirements, I am grateful free to pursue and discover my passions and to work closely with faculty on a research project of my own. I especially appreciate the cohort of diverse scholars and creative thinkers with whom I can discover and grow.