Community Planning: Don’t Let San Diego be San Die-gone!

This week’s readings were placed perfectly with the ending of this course.  This entire semester, we have been speaking about the causes and effects of gentrification, and what the solutions to those causes and effects could be.   In these readings, we find a perfect mix of local advocacy and transparency from government officials within community planning.  “Progressive community planning is defined here as planning that seeks to achieve local and global equality, social inclusion, and environmental justice (Angotti, 8).”  Thus, the solution proposed in the readings is the idea of the people of a community standing up against proposed plans which could severely alter their communities.  However, the key is not just advocacy and resistance, but remaining persistent in the advocacy.  The persistence is what led to the success of many community planning projects.  However, as much as a the people want to be involved with projects, often time politicians distract the people and fool them into thinking that they are being helpful in the exact manner they wish to be.  For example, with the destruction of the Twin Towers, there was huge public uproar over the plans of building more offices in that area instead of rebuilding the towers.  However, officials had given the public menial tasks to do and continued to carry out their agenda anyways, which made the people’s help rather futile.  Thus, we can see that the advocacy is not as effective if people do not consistently hold politicians liable.  As we see in this article about community planning, it can be effective. Continue reading “Community Planning: Don’t Let San Diego be San Die-gone!”

Gentrification: The most Ungentle Process out there.

Often times, when we think about gentrification, we think about the people immediately being displaced.  However, rarely do we consider first the purpose and function the neighborhood served, and how that will be affected.  After all, the reason why gentrification is such an issue, besides the displacement of people fact, is that it alters the old neighborhoods as we know the.  What caught my attention most from this post was when Stabrowski discussed that “Focusing on the lived experience
of space thus casts light on the myriad ways in which processes of gentrification produce displacement without relocation.”  Stabrowski discusses how the Polish people living in Green Point continued to be displaced everyday, and who survived on diminishing resources.  Thus, it’s evident that gentrification does not stop even after the official process of moving in has occurred for the new culture, race, or ethnicity.  This brought my attention to a video on YouTube, which describes the experience of an individual being kicked out of his own neighborhood.   

Continue reading “Gentrification: The most Ungentle Process out there.”

Does Atlantic-Barclays Land Us in a Future of Success?

When I return to my home in Long Island every weekend, I can’t help but notice the giant billboard near the huge, empty grasslands located 200 feet away from the house.  Depending on which side you look at the billboard from, you receive two different messages.  If you look from one side, you will see an advertisement for a beautiful potential-100 acre mall and town plaza; on the other side, you will see the same advertisement, except with a giant red ‘x’ on it, showing the opinion of the community members of Syosset.  That sign has been up for a few years now, and thankfully, those 100 acres of fenced grass are still there.  Unlike me, however, the families, cultures, and ethnicities displaced by the Atlantic Yards Project weren’t as lucky.

Continue reading “Does Atlantic-Barclays Land Us in a Future of Success?”

Diversity: we preach it, but It SHOUTS back!

This weekend, I travelled to San Diego for the Sunset Cliffs Debate Tournament.  As I explored San Diego, I noticed two things: nice, clean neighborhoods surrounded by breathtaking nature, and a lack of people on the streets.  In fact, while my team and I were walking around downtown San Diego, I remarked “Are you sure this is downtown??  I barely see any people here.”  It then hit me that upon hearing the word “downtown” our minds always jump to a populated area filled with noise and culture, but if you look at Brooklyn’s downtown, it’s the exact opposite. I think the key missing presence in San Diego, which I see a lot of in New York, was diversity.  On the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University, I noticed that almost 97% of the student population was of white color.  While the diversity that lacks in San Diego is omnipresent in New York, New York still isn’t the best city it could be.  So, what exactly is lacking?   Continue reading “Diversity: we preach it, but It SHOUTS back!”