Briefcase: Neighborhood Names

Guest: Professor Dave Fagundes


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Have you ever wondered how a local community got its name? Dave Fagundes, with The University of Houston Law Center, teaches property law and discusses how neighborhoods get their names.

Professor Fagundes said "It's often through informal cultural processes, like Oakland's Jingletown. Other times they are given by real estate professionals. And local governments sometimes declare what a neighborhood's official name should be."

Host Dean Leonard Baynes said people are certainly proud of where they're from and wondered how important these names are for a neighborhood's identity.

"Urban residents often feel that their neighborhood's name demonstrates that their community belongs to a given city or a particular neighborhood," Fagundes continued. "This is why decisions about what to call neighborhoods can be controversial, as when local businesspeople tried to rebrand South Harlem as SoHa."

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