The context of our project is complicated by the shifting demographics of the gentrifying (yet disinvested) Bushwick neighborhood, as long-term residents (primarily poor and working class Latin@ families) are in the process of being displaced when wealthier (and whiter) tenants move in. As we carried out the research, we continually worked to place our conversations about schools and education within this larger context.

We tried to create a foundation for young people and their families to resist the forces of gentrification impacting their communities. So we asked, “How might a community school itself create space for supporting long term residents who are struggling with and against processes of gentrification and disinvestment?” “How can we ensure that the community school would continue to serve long-term residents and not just newcomers to Bushwick, Brooklyn?”

Etapas de la gentrificación de un barrio

Mapeo colectivo, cartografías, investigación e imágenes de libre circulación

La gentrificación es un proceso de transformación urbana que implica la revalorización de un barrio históricamente excluído o pauperizado, con el fin de cambiar su perfil y atraer a pobladores de alto poder adquisitivo, provocando la expulsión o desplazamiento de sus históricos habitantes (por encarecimiento de viviendas, serivicios públicos, alimentos, etc). Estos emprendimientos especulativos son impulsados por corporaciones empresarias y proyectos inmobiliarios que compran propiedades a bajos precios, invierten en infraestructura y provocan una progresiva mejora urbana en beneficio de una elite. Este proceso se da a escala global y es posible caracterizarlo a partir de una serie de pasos que definen su avance. Es por esto que hemos realizado esta serie de pictogramas que resumen el proceso, y pueden ser utilizados para identificar territorialmente una situación en un barrio, zona o región, o rastrear las etapas de un proceso acaecido en un barrio ya gentrificado.

Voces de Fillmore: Celebrating Stories from Los Sures, 2014

Voces de Fillmore is a film tracing the memories and experiences of families living on one block in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The block, Fillmore Place, is a small street nestled in theSouthside, or more affectionately known by long time residents as Los Sures. The Southside’s Latino population has steadily decreased from seventy to forty-five percent of the neighborhood. In the past decade, the population has gone from roughly 20,000 to 15,000 Latino residents. Voces de Fillmore is a first-person narrative of families who have lived and raised children in Los Sures for several decades and their quest to preserve a sense of community in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.

We Won’t Move: Tenants Organize in New York City

Exhibition at Interference Archive, Brooklyn, NY

Exhibition dates: March 26 – June 15, 2015
Opening March 26, 2015, 7-10pm
Exhibition dates: March 26 – June 15, 2015
Program Series April 4, 2015 – May 16, 2015

An exploration of collective action by NYC tenants for decent and affordable housing from the 1940s to the present. The creation and subsequent dismantling of the rent regulation system forms the backdrop to a rich history of tenant struggle, including: neighborhood resistance to urban renewal in the South Bronx, integration struggles at Stuyvesant Town and in Brooklyn, rent strikes in Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant, the coordinated takeover of vacant housing during Operation Move-In, and repeated campaigns to renew and strengthen the rent laws. In addition to highlighting the diverse array of tactics employed by tenant organizers, the exhibition situates the fight for affordable housing within racial and economic justice struggles. Through these campaigns New Yorkers have claimed the right to live in a city that is integrated and affordable. The exhibition brings together materials from tenant organizations, community archives and institutions to present flyers, posters, photographs, newspaper clippings and audio recordings from past and present tenant organizing.

How Gentrification Flips a Neighborhood

On the real estate practice of ‘retenanting’ and how commercial real estate agents target landlords.

Anti-eviction Activist Mapping Project

Documenting the Dispossession of SF Bay Area Residents

Activism and geography in San Francisco, another place experiencing massive gentrification of neighborhoods and displacement of people.

Root Shock by Mindy Fullilove, 2005

How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America, and What We Can Do About It



It Took 50 Years: Frances Goldin and the Struggle for Cooper Sq.

Robert Moses was New York City’s “Master Builder”, a force of nature that transformed the built environment and the lives of millions of New Yorkers. When Moses came to the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1959, he intended to level the area known as “Cooper Square” in the name of urban renewal. Little did Moses know that he would meet his match in the Cooper Square Committee (CSC) and in Frances Goldin, the committee’s tenacious co-founder.
The CSC and its multi-ethnic motley crew of radicals, shopkeepers, artists and housewives were different than other organizations that had fought urban renewal. Using an innovative mix of community organizing and urban planning, the Committee not only opposed the Moses plan but emerged with it’s own: The Alternate Plan for Cooper Square. The guiding principle of the plan was that urban renewal should benefit, not displace, existing residents of Cooper Square.

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