UTSA research center dissects economic tale of two South Side communities

UTSA looking at income inequality of South Side communities

By Tiffany Huertas - Video Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - UTSA Urban Future Lab is collaborating with the Southside First Economic Development Council to assess some of the challenges in the Mission San Jose and Quintana Road communities.

Antonio Petrov, a UTSA assistant professor of architecture, is leading the team and said they are looking at the income inequality of the communities.

"What we mapped out for example in Quintana Roads is that there is a high entrepreneurial spirit, but it's very auto-related. So tire stores. Auto repair on one hand, which I think is very important, but the quantity of them. We have close to 50 in a small community. Then on the other hand we have taquerias, which is very important in the community, but with over 40 of them," Petrov said.

The collaboration came together and created two books filled with data focused on the two communities.

"Ultimately this is about economic revitalization and community development," Petrov said.

Petrov said in the Mission San Jose community the median household income is $27,500. The population is 5,630.

In the Quintana community, the median household income is $25,636. The population is 11,780. 

Petrov said they see residents who have anxieties about new developments in the entire city.

He said the way they have engaged with these anxieties is through dialogue and challenging the communities to think together. Petrov said they are working hard to provide research and facts. 

"Dr. Petrov and his team was able to assess the layers of the neighborhood and understand the economy a little bit better," Andrew Anguiano, executive director of the Southside First Economic Development Council, said.

Anguiano said he is looking to help the community with this collaboration.

"What you have in neighborhoods, is like the San Jose neighborhoods, you have millions of tourists that visit every year. But then you have what we call generation poverty around the neighborhood around it. So the question for us, how do we improve the relationship between the economic assets and the communities around them, so the communities can then benefit from economic impact?" Anguiano said.

Petrov said they have worked closely with the Witte Museum.

This September they will work with the San Antonio Public Library to develop a series that will continue to define San Antonio.

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