Going Green and Curbing Gentrification: How the Bronx is Doing it Differently | 6sqft

Renderings of the 1,300 unit Compass Residences
Renderings of the 1,300 unit Compass Residences

On the heels of the many articles on The Bronx, with the majority being pro gentrification/developer focused pieces, here comes a refreshing article over at 6sqft that talks about how The Bronx is doing things differently and working to curb gentrification.

It’s not everyday that we get an article acknowledging that we are, in fact, waging a war against the powers that be that want gentrification.  There are many that do not understand the implications of gentrification and think that it can mean something good or be something different.

The point is that then it isn’t gentrification because simply put, by definition and among the plethora of what goes on with it, gentrification causes displacement so if it is a good thing then displacement won’t happen and then we return to the beginning of this statement: Then it isn’t gentrification.

Our Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr just doesn’t seem to get it, however.  The article quotes him as saying, “We don’t subscribe to the notion that gentrification has to be forcing out a community and bringing in a different community to the borough.”

Basically he’s saying that he doesn’t subscribe to the notion that the color black is, well, black.

6sqft author Emily Nonko writes:

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning.” The infamous phrase, uttered in a 1977 broadcast of a Bronx fire, has stuck in the mind of many New Yorkers even today. Indeed, the Bronx saw a sharp decline in population and quality of life in the late 1960s and 1970s, which culminated in a wave of arson. By the early 1980s, the South Bronx was considered one of the most blighted neighborhoods in the country, with a 60 percent decline in population and 40 percent decline of housing units.

Although revitalization picked up by the 90s, the Bronx never quite took off like its outer-borough counterparts Brooklyn and Queens. While media hype, quickly rising prices and a rush of development has come to characterize those two boroughs, the Bronx has flourished more quietly. The borough, nevertheless, has become home to growth and development distinct from the rest of New York City. Innovative affordable housing, adaptive reuse projects, green development and strong community involvement are redefining the area.

The article then closes out by saying:

“The Bronx is not a borough to be ignored. And as the pressure for affordable housing development in New York heats up, it will be impossible not to pay attention. These unique, affordable developments, alongside adaptive reuse that includes new community amenities and facilities, are making for an exciting future. The burning of the Bronx is a long-distant memory—the innovative building of the borough is what distinguishes it today.”

Read the rest of the article via Going Green and Curbing Gentrification: How the Bronx is Doing it Differently | 6sqft.

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.