This assignment is intended to help you gain familiarity with a community using your five senses while on a walking tour of a neighborhood in the ECO community partner region.

Through making informed observations about people, businesses, and the environment in the neighborhood, you’ll collect subjective data about the community. By utilizing the Seattle light rail network, you will explore a community around one of the southern stations.

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** Please do not embark on this exercise until after the ABCD lecture on asset-based community development.

For this assignment, there are three steps:

Beacon Hill Station

NOTE: If you grew up in, or currently live in one of these neighborhoods, and are familiar with the area around the light rail station, I recommend you find a part of the neighborhood that is unfamiliar to you. Your observations will clearly be shaped by your historical understanding of the neighborhood and we encourage you to expand your awareness, rather than confirm what you already know. We have confidence you are able to find an unfamiliar part of one of these 5 neighborhoods.

Step 2: Explore the Community

For the purpose of this assignment, the neighborhood is a minimum of five blocks once you leave the light rail station and find the heart of the community. This assignment is meant to get you out into the community! To complete this assignment you need to hit the pavement and explore the neighborhood on foot.

Take notes during your walking tour and use the below prompts to guide your field notes during your tour. (You don’t have to make a note for every question, and don’t limit yourself to observations defined by these questions. . .they are suggested things for you to take note of during your walking tour.)

Treat this like an observation exercise and do your best to maintain an asset-based lens.

Step 3: Summarize Your Observations

You will use these notes to write a 5 page summary of your observations. You are welcome to use headings in your paper to guide the reader. Your grade is largely based on your ability to use specific examples of your observations.

Please be mindful of your biases and refrain from stereotypes in your descriptions.

The Five Senses Survey Summary is due Feb. 19, 2020 and is worth 50 points. While your Five Senses summary is due online before class.

Guiding Prompts for Five Senses Survey Observation
What can you hear when you walk around the neighborhood?

Do you hear children playing?

Are there any loud noises?

Are there any animals around?

Is the area quiet?

What kind of foods are available in the neighborhood? Are they familiar to you?

What do the available sources of food tell you about the community you are surveying?

How does the neighborhood smell?

Are the odors pleasant?

Describe what you smelled.

What did you first notice about the community?

Are there natural or artificial boundaries surrounding the neighborhood?

What is the style of housing?

What transportation is available?

Are there stores, pharmacies, schools, or churches nearby?

Who do you see on the streets around the neighborhood? Children or older adults?

How are people dressed?

Are there particular ethnic groups present?


Do residents seem friendly? Do you feel comfortable?

Are people willing to say hello?

Do they ignore you?

Describe how you felt.

Content Rubric:

Full Points

Half Points

No Points

Thoroughly and insightfully addresses aspects of the assignment. Discusses the topics in-depth and clearly.

Does not completely address the assignment. Content sometimes strays from the assigned topic.

No clear content and does not address the assignment.

Five Senses Survey
Five Senses Survey
Criteria Ratings Pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeCite at least 5 specific examples
30.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeDemostrates use of at least 3 different senses
15.0 pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomePaper organization, ease of reading
5.0 pts
Total Points: 50.0

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