This research explores the forces, politics, and agents that once shaped the community organizing and neighborhood development efforts led by the Brown and Black communities that repopulated and revived neighborhoods abandoned by both the middle-class and public officials in New York City. It traces the evolution of those efforts and the emergence of new practices to preserve such areas in a context of increasing profit-driven development and gentrification by looking at Latinx Brooklyn.
Drawing from shifts in global economic and immigration patterns, the state’s role in community and neighborhood development, housing policy, and the motives and agents driving the new scale of gentrification, this research brings out the continuous community struggles and efforts for housing access in two particular neighborhoods that rose from the ashes after the atrocious fiscal crisis of the mid-1970s and turned into thriving communities with the arrival of new immigrants from Latin America and other nations starting in the 1980s. The evolution of Bushwick and Sunset Park from tight-knit underserved Puerto Rican communities to vibrant Latinx barrios recently cast as new frontiers for real estate development in northeast and southwest Brooklyn, respectively, is particularly examined. Based on narratives from the Mexican diaspora, a vital immigrant community in the city and yet neglected by urban scholars, it lays out the Latinx population’s housing challenges as they fight to stay put in the neighborhoods they have forged and call home.
Principal Investigator: Gabriela Rendón, Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and Community Development
Research Assistants: Jacqueline Castañeda Nuñez and Jiray Avedisian, MS Design and Urban Ecologies students.