Robert Moses’s Negative Impacts

Cities around the world must always work competitively to stay modern and draw more people and resources to them. This is especially true of cities such as New York City (NYC), which one of the top global cities, which is an important title. To stay in this position of power and importance, the city has to continue to be the first to new advances in areas such as technology, finance, and education. Another area a city must excel in is in its architecture and infrastructure. Transportation is also very significant.

In the early-20th century, Robert Moses began his numerous projects to upgrade the NYC. He built several remarkable bridges and parks. He also built other public works such as golf courses, swimming pools, and highways. He was well known for his commitment to the Title I program, a government initiative to get rid of slums and renew those areas. Moses is so controversial because he helped shape the city to a great extent, and those effects are still being seen today. Some say he changed NYC for the better, and that his works are part of NYC’s fabric. Others claim he was racist and discriminatory, and that his public works impacted generations of minorities negatively.

I wanted to find a video of someone who might have been affected by Robert Moses speak about him and his projects, and I was able to find one video that was not a documentary on YouTube. The title of the video is “5 Reasons Robert Moses Sucks,” and it is a three-and-a-half-minute video by Adam Levine-Peres, known on YouTube as Project Bronx. His channel is described as a “community inspired channel”. He has posted many videos about Bronx over the past four years.

While Levine-Peres’s video starts off by giving some context about some of Moses’s more beneficial project, but then focuses on how Moses’s projects negatively impacted the Bronx. The first thing he mentions was the Cross-Bronx Expressway and how cuts straight through Bronx, which caused migration of upper and middle class residents to the north side. This meant the south side was “underserviced and predominantly low income”.  He also mentions how that project destroyed the existing communities and displaced thousands of people.

Moses’s projects tended to ignore individuals and their needs, but focus on the needs of the city as a whole according to his own opinions (Jackson 70). Levine-Peres uses this argument for most of his points. He also mentions that Moses’s highway projects disregarded any community in their path, and how he didn’t consider the opinion of New Yorkers who used public transportation. Levine-Peres says that his clear disregard for public transportation shows Moses’s classism because only the rich could afford cars, and Moses spent a lot of time on highways and no time on subways and buses.

Moses’s projects clearly have a lot of impact to this day and have helped shape NYC. He will continue to be controversial because of his actions and public works for many generations to come.



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