Thursday, November 12, 2020

Black In The Core Visits And Reports On Fascinating History, Evolving Present And Likely Future Of Roosevelt Island - Sees Gentrification And A Stolen Dream For Working And Middle Class People

You Tuber Black In The Core visited Roosevelt Island recently and made an excellent video report on Roosevelt Island history and current issues of affordability and gentrification.

According to  Black In The Core:

There's more to New York City's Roosevelt Island than some random landmarks and a place to see the skyline. In this first episode of Black in the Core we'll see the tourist sites, but we'll also dig deeper.

We'll examine the island's fascinating past, evolving present, and likely future, joined by some long-time island residents. In its early days of being called Blackwell's Island and Welfare Island, it was a place of hospitals, asylums, and prisons. It was renamed Roosevelt Island in the 1970s, when New York officials decided to create, in the words of the master plan, a "multi-mix community in every way". 

Celebrated architects and urban planners were brought in to design a brand new island town in the middle of the metropolis. They combined progressive architecture and technology with socioeconomic guidelines, and a racially and economically diverse community was born. Clean, safe, car-free, and surrounded by parks and water, it was a success close to an urban utopia as you can imagine.

But now, decades later, the affordable housing is being transitioned to luxury units and a new technical college is pushing prices even higher. The Black, brown, and working class white people who formed a unique, close-knit community are being economically pushed off the island by wealthy newcomers. Will this oasis in the city be turned into just another Manhattan neighborhood, with no sense of community or soul? Watch this episode to learn more.

2000 Median Income: $49,976. 

2010 Median Income: $76,250. 

47% jump in 10 years!

Watch the entire video  - it's very well done.

One does not necessarily have to agree with all of the reporting in this video but the issues raised of gentrification and affordability are real.

The video does not mention the new 340 unit Hudson Related Riverwalk Park affordable housing building in the process of opening on Roosevelt Island or the hard fought affordability plans negotiated for privatization of the original Mitchell Lama buildings.

Here's an introduction to Black In The Core.

Check out more from Black In The Core.