‘Like His Own Town’: Residents of North Side Latino Face Thriving Community and Stifled Development | Neighborhoods

Veronica Figueroa at her home on the North Side of Madison, Wisconsin on Friday, November 19, 2021.


“I also believe that there are developers who support development focused on public transport and will seek to create housing, in the years to come, on the proposed BRT North / South line (rapid transit bus)”, Rhodes said.

“The island of underdevelopment”

North Side residents consistently use one word to describe the area: “island.”

But instead of water, the North Side is isolated by a lack of public transportation and economic development.

For Figueroa, the area’s vast public spaces, like Warner Park and Cherokee Marsh, are often underutilized because people without a vehicle cannot easily reach them. The limited options for shopping can be difficult for some to access, and she thinks twice before sending her own children on a bus to the northern transfer point, which is poorly lit at night.

Enrique Market Photo 3

Enrique’s market employee, Xiuhtemoc Ferrer Ibarra, talks to restaurant patrons. Madison offers grants and loans for business renovations and the purchase of commercial space. Yet they have been underutilized by North Side contractors.


“I always hope that something will change, that we are really going to inject into the North Side of economic development and activities that kids can get involved in,” she said.

When it comes to commerce, shopping is mostly limited to the North Side Town Center, which is home to Willy Street Co-op North, Goodwill, a few restaurants, a municipal library branch, and a dollar store.

Watch Now: Madison's Pop-Up Shop Program Features Various State Street Retailers

“The North Side is an island, and it is an island of underdevelopment,” said Armando Ibarra, professor at UW-Madison and former North Side resident who has studied working-class Latin American communities. .

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