United for Housing is a collaborative project developed by first-year students from the MS Design and Urban Ecologies program, the Community Development Finance Lab, and United Families of Sunset Park, a group of over 15 families who are organizing to establish a housing cooperative in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park. The project involves the co-production of educational and organizing tools to advance the efforts of the group, the design of methodologies to identify potential properties for the project in the neighborhood, and the development of scenarios to create a cooperative housing considering local assets and available public programs and funds.
Women, Care, and Housing: Envisioning New Housing Cooperative Models for Sunset Park’s Immigrant Communities initiated in the fall of 2018 as part of Design and Urban Ecologies Studio 1. Students worked closely with Beyond Care, a worker cooperative led by immigrant women providing childcare services in Brooklyn, which became a partner during the previous semester. As part of this project, a number of workshops, working sessions, and discussions around housing cooperatives and Community Land Trusts were organized in collaboration with Beyond Care members to work toward the design of a new model of housing cooperative for their families.
This research-based design project is being developed by MS Design and Urban Ecologies students in collaboration with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. The project seeks to envision innovative organizing and planning tools to help underserved and immigrant communities build capacity as they start their recovery efforts. The tools will become part of LISC’s community-planning process ensuring equity and inclusion which remains at the center of the organization’s planning and collective impact process.
The Voces Ciudadanas’ Interim Sunset Park Library Campaign is a community-led project involving multiple community and grassroots organizations in Sunset Park. The campaign seeks to keep for the community the space currently used by the Interim Public Library as the new library opens in the Fall of 2023. This project has been developed by students from the MS Design and Urban Ecologies program in partnership with Voces Ciudadanas, a grassroots organization founded to create an alternative space for neighbors to come together and engage in dialogue about gentrification and other issues affecting Brooklyn’s Sunset Park.
This ongoing multi-year project focuses on Brooklyn’s Sunset Park. This immigrant neighborhood has become the next frontier of development with the revitalization of its industrial waterfront. Public and private investment along the waterfront has skyrocketed the neighborhoods’ housing prices in recent years. This and the fact that public funds have not been distributed to other parts of the neighborhood to benefit the existing communities have turned Sunset Park in a space of resistance. Sunset Park’s numerous grassroots groups and militant community organizations are fighting against the ongoing gentrification and displacement. They are making clear their neighborhood is not for sale.
This project was developed by first-year students from the MS Design and Urban Ecologies program from 2013 to 2015 in Bushwick. This woking-class neighborhood has been one of the most contested areas of North Brooklyn in recent years. Rezoning processes and profit-driven developments have made residents and local groups question the goals and outcomes of current housing policies and urban practices taking place in the city. Displacement in the name of development has become a policy.