Short Film: Citizen Jane: Battle by for the city by Matt Tyrnauer
Super interesting historical documentary!
Jane Jacobs’s was a writer as well as an activist that set effective movements through the architecture and planning worlds. She disagreed with several New York master plans of Robert Moses that saved many areas that we love most today. This film explains the struggles of Jane Jacobs protecting NYC from bad urbanization proposals.
Like most of the city of NY, her neighborhood was a place you can live a whole life without a car. In NYC life depends on how alive the street and interacting with the community. Robert Moses view was that cars where the future that belonged on those streets. This was a time where CO2 emission are not considered life threatening. He advocated that the ground level was for cars, and people would enjoy the city from the high rise levels. He was far away from the actual reality. His master plans required vast residential relocation which would break communities to create massive highway, that were not in demand even. This was not what the locals needed, therefore they protested it. These ambitious plans of the time should have been planed with no effect to local residents,to improve their lifestyles.
Once I heard the point of Jane Jacobs where she emphasis the importance of the typical new yorker on the street level being a part of the community, she would make us question the hierarchy of the public street. Urban planing then further develops a set of design rules from this precedent layering Pedestrian path>Bike Lane>Parked car > Street Lane which to means a protection for the community.
Society keeps trends in fashion, technology, leisure, social/behavior, art, architecture, literature creates the dynamic in constant change, for renovation or gentrification. The more we know, the more we want. Its a viscous circle that effects those that appreciate change , and those that do not will suffer decline in behavior of business, economy and politics. These declines effect the economy of a neighborhood, and many other behaviors.
My Brooklyn, filmed by Kelly Anderson, a bias film toward companies that actually develop NYC.!! The film focuses on the interviews of local businesses that were hit by gentrification. If you can understand that OUR demands effect the small business, or big, that we used to care about. The meaning of gentrification is a process of renovation of deteriorated urban neighborhoods by means of the influx of more affluent residents. If a neighborhood is depreciated of those whom occupied it and/or governed it, this means the people whom lived there are not taking care of their city properly. And it seems like developers are the only investors, that would have the vision to upgrade a fallen area. I dont think it ok to allow your hometown to depreciate its value. The residents are at fault to allow the land value to drop so low and opening the doors to a corporation to easily come buy out the land…
During our last class, we hosted Joseph Alexiou, whom is the author of Gowanus: Brooklyn’s Curious Canal, published October 2015. We have been discussing the characteristics of the Gowanus since the beginning. He brought light on many details we have captured during our walking trip, videos and readings. Water has been the key feature of a strong successful city. Every great city is around water; NYC, London, Barcelona, Istanbul, Budapest, Paris, Venice, etc. Waterfront areas tend to develop faster. But when a water body takes the abuse of all its tenants throughout the years it turns into the toxic state.
During the canal’s early phases, the powerful rich men came up with many different versions of how the canal should be reconstructed. All in favor of toxic industrial factories that polluted the canal. In 1870 there was no life in the water. At this time, sewage was the side of the street. Through residential density increase and urban planning, the canal branches out. There were many interesting proposals that benefited each industry and their operations on the canal, but I really think the hybrid of all the designs we saw could be much more interesting and purposeful for the entire community, maybe. When looking at the history of this canal and its currents state, does make you want to point fingers to those that abused this water body. Humanity destroyed this asset, and just realized the damage. I do believe there are faster efficient ways to clean the 10’ waste off the bottom of the canal. I do agree that there should be a current of flow, maybe created from hydraulic pressure to create the canal to clean itself with the flow of water, and I also believe everyone involved has waited too long to resolve this issue. I am astonished of the slow pace of the government with the superfund program, the EPA for not moving faster, or acting concerned. Or most importantly the local community. I don’t understand how and why if the condition of the Gowanus not improving.
The topology of the area is extremely close to sea level. Sea level infrastructure is very risky and in today’s climate we must design with consideration of the rise of the sea level as well. Areas at risk would need mitigation precautions like Pond Mills to move the water around to prevent floods and sustain any energy from it. Water is a sustainable asset that allows humans to harvest its energies for our daily consumption. In my opinion, we should hybrid all the historical designs, and elevate the site so it can reject floods. This would help the water flow and have clean current that could eventually push the bad water out. All buildings that built around the canal also have combined sewage system, where the rain water and wastewater are combined. We are in the day and age that these systems are obsolete. The system needs to be updated, rain water needs to be reused. And the rest to a waste plant, not our waters that we try to clean.
I live in a condominium complex, its the first condo community in Queens built in 1975. It is a two 15-story tower condominium complex, 2 buildings 458 units total. The complex is the tallest building in the 15mile radius. It has its own outdoor pool, and a double floor parking lot.The building has the first floor rented to health clinics, and a bank. Majority of the houses in this area are an average of 3 stories. This complex shares a mega block with a Catholic church and elementary school. Uber still cannot find the front door of the building since the site is so big.
The complex is adjacent to Union Turnpike that stretches from Queens county to Nassau County. Located as at the crossroads of Briarwood, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows and Kew Gardens Hills, Village Mall complex is located between Main Street and Parsons Blvd.
Kew Gardens train station is a short bus ride away. Kew Gardens is a densely populated residential area. The county’s civic center, Queens Borough Hall is on Queens Boulevard, in a complex extending from Union Turnpike to Hoover Avenue. Its is next to one of the Queens county criminal courts, located at the northern part of the neighborhood. Kew gardens is famous for its 1964 murder case of Kitty Genovese, that started great research on social psychological phenomenon. Ironically since then Kew Gardens became the safest place in Queens. Today, its image stands as a suburban culture with garage spaces, green streets, back yard bbq, kids playing in parks, etc. Union Turnpike is the cornerstone of the manhattan long island traffic, the queens-manhattan busses run on this turnpike so everyone traveling to Manhattan must pass by my building. Local and Express Busses are just outside our door transporting residents to and from local subways, shopping and Manhattan. North of the complex is the Long Island Expressway and south is the Henry Hutchinson and Grand Central Parkway which in 10 miles you can arrive to the JFK International Airport and in 15 miles to the LaGuardia Airport. While living on the Turnpike, our apartment elevation level filters the motor noises. We are 20 miles to the beach.
The closest decent supermarket is 6 miles, therefore I do online supermarket shopping, just like most of my neighbors.. But there is an AutoZone a block from the apartment complex. The Queens, and Jamaica Hospitals are no more than a 10 minute ride away. CLosest public library is 5 miles, and closest gas station is a block away. The closest place to grab a coffee is Dunkin Donuts, 5 blocks away.
Queens College and St. John’s University are very close. The students that come from all over the U.S. think they are coming to the popping NYC, but they actually get this semi suburb location.
The demographics have been the same for 20 years. Mostly Eastern European, Asian, and Indian. These demographics are the same for the small businesses.