Blog 1 – Right to the city – Hoiting Chan

Do people have a right to the city? Do longtime residents and businesses have a right to remain where they are?  If so, how should local governments, urban planners, and other decision-makers ensure these rights are maintained?

People definitely have a right to the city that they are living in. A place where people grow up in, or have been living there for a long time, it calls home. People care about how their home looks like, what should be there, and who will be there. In the films “My Brooklyn”, talks about many people and local businesses owners are forced to move out their places because of the government and urban planners need to redevelop that area for luxury apartments and stores. Longtime residents and businesses have put so much time and effort in their community and their businesses. Even though the small businesses might not be big but they are so meaningful to those owners because they are the support for their businesses and their families. I can understand the new development for the area is good in long term, but I disagree with the way that the governments, urban planners and other decision-makers deal with the people who are original live in the area and those business owners. It is so unjustifiable that they are told to move out to their home without any help from the government for suddenly losing the profits of their business or even metal effects.
In another film “Citizen Jane: The Battle for the City”, talks about a similar issue which is how different programs and plans that created by the government and urban planners affect a community and people who live there, such as people from doing different activities on the street to change to stay home and only can look down the street from the window. Robert Moses thinks that his project will make people’s living easier and create a better community, but in fact, people are not happy with the area where they at. There is a saying I remember from the film, “Project built for them because they are poor”, which brought me feeling and upsets me. The governments and those urban planners should first think about what people really want in the community. I know that it is hard to satisfy both the government and the people who live in the community, but it will be better, like what Jane Jacobs does, if the government and the urban planners can first observe and listen to the community before they want to do any changes.

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