Archive | May, 2009

Its So Hard to Say Goodbye…to Harlem!

18 May
The following is an illustration of Harlem in 20 years according to NYC's city planning devision.

The following is an illustration of Harlem in 20 years according to NYC's city planning devision.

According to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Mayor Michael David Bloomberg, has plans to create new open space throughout the city and make neighborhoods more attractive and liveable by implementing the Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan.

On March 30, 2009, the West Harlem Pier Park was opened for New Yorker’s enjoyment. The park is two-acres of green that connects West Harlem to the Hudson River Greenway and features a docking pier, fishing pier, bicycle and pedestrian paths, public art and landscaped open space.

Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Robert C. Lieber believes that the new plan will create more jobs for New Yorkers, establish long-term economic growth, and create affordable, attractive neighborhoods.

Harlem’s Pier Park is just one of the many developments that city planning has in store. Others include the expansion on Columbia University’s campus and the restoration of a number of public housing units. Specifically, Lincoln public housing, which is a waterfront property, has already been targeted.

Many Harlem residents have been sedulous in their attemps to end gentrification and have joined groups like the Harlem Tenents Council in their efforts. Harlem gentrification is not a new issue. In fact, the New York Times published an article entitled, “Harlem’s Hedge Against Gentrification” in 1987.

In the article, David N. Dinkins, the Manhattan Borough President condemned a city plan that would allow white construction companies access to 45 empty buildings, while allowing them to construct 900 living units. Mr Dinkins said, “the proposal would only open the way for widespread gentrification of Harlem with no promise of improvement for present residents.”

Below is footage of a Harlem Tenants Council demonstration against Harlem’s deconstruction.