Group project made for mapping assignment. Class is NMDS5540– Documentary Practice and Emerging Media at the New School for Public Engagement in NYC.
Cities have always been sites of change, as centers of population and immigration. The forces of investment and disinvestment continue to be central to themes of transition in neighborhoods– whether they are part of gentrification, change in population, or forces of politics, zoning, and redevelopment.
Our methods of investigation include research, personal narrative, and interpreting archival material. This project includes stories from property owners talking about vacant homes in Atlanta’s West End, a nonprofit arts organization being priced out of the Lower East Side after 20 years, walking the streets of Alphabet City and talking to residents, a gigantic developement at the Armory in Kingsbridge, Bronx, and the story of the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston from the late 19th century to today.
What are the precedents, causes, and antecedents that make these places productive or unproductive? This is the central question of the project ‘Cities in Transition’. We consider owners vs. renters, gentrification and redlining, community activism, and development when addressing these questions. Cities will continue to be crucibles of innovation when facing the challenges of the 21st century, so how do we embrace change while keeping cities affordable and viable to people on the margins?
Amy Shand (LES/BK, NYC), Tiffany Keough (Bronx, NYC), Dannielle Thomas (ATL), Joe Steele (BOS)