Sinica Geography 400
Find tag "planning"
89 views | +0 today
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Rescooped by Brett Sinica from Geography Education!

In the Shadows of the High Line

In the Shadows of the High Line | Sinica Geography 400 |
The High Line has become a tourist-clogged catwalk and a catalyst for some of the most rapid gentrification in the city’s history.


Earlier I have posted about the High Line, a project in NYC to transform an old elevated train line into a public green space. This project has fallen under criticism as the property values of homes below the High Line have risen and the neighborhood is undergoing gentrification. Linked is the NYTimes opinion article that critiques the High Line as a “Disneyfied tourist-clogged catwalk.” This project has change the economic profile of the neighborhood and its sense of place and communal identity. The critic’s blog is (self-described) “a bitterly nostalgic look at a city in the process of going extinct,” so he is naturally going to be against anything that at changes the historic character of the city. As geographer Matthew Hartzell has said, “to say that nothing should change is an awfully conservative view of urbanity. Cities evolve—neighborhoods evolve.” This is a good article to share with students to get them to think about the economic and cultural issues associated with urban revitalization projects and the impacts they have on the city.

Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

The issue of gentrification is always a sensitive topic.  I personally have never been a "victim" of planning that would displace my home or anything of the sort, though an idea to help a neighborhood should always be evaluated and considered.  As other members stated before, this could actually be beneficial to residents in the surrounding neighborhoods by giving them an area still in the city, but unique to them as well.  Green spaces, parks, any areas with greenery that acts as a meeting place have been proven to lighten communities as an attempt to bring people together and even reduce crime.  There will always be people that will complain about projects such as this, but in the end if it shapes the existing community into a better place overall, it should at least be given a chance.

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, February 19, 2014 10:59 AM

This is a scary article to read, as I find it immensely relevant to an issue that is very clearly here in Providence as well. In studying the impacts of Water Fire on Providence in a class here at RIC we spoke of talking points that the city could use to attract high end investment. It's become increasingly apparent that this sort of investment is the last thing my city, or any other city, needs. This project could have served New Yorkers as opposed to tourists and the elite, but it hasn't. As someone who wants to head into the field of urban planning and community revitalization I must be aware and keep thinking ahead. What will my project do for a community? Will it make it stronger or completely decimate it.?

James Hobson's curator insight, September 15, 2014 6:07 PM

(North America topic 4)
I was surprised to find out how projects such as the High Line could raise strong oppositional viewpoints. Before looking into this topic it seemed like an all-around beneficial project. Delving deeper, however, the unseen consequences of revitalization and gentrification (2 major keywords right there!) become more apparent. Also at this level it is important to note that what is "good" vs. "bad" becomes much less objective, but rather mainly subjective and viewable in many different lights.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, September 25, 2014 5:55 PM

I found this article extremely insightful, a first hand account of how gentrification affects the lives of those who witness their community changing to suit the needs of people who can bring revenue in for the city. Also it shows how well-intentioned grassroots efforts to improve a neighborhood can be high jack by those who see the potential to make money. In the beginning the idea to take this unused high line and convert it into a public green space seemed like a terrific way to take the landscape of the neighborhood and convert it into a public good that reflected the community in which it existed. The railway was covered in graffiti with a "wild urban meadow", if I lived in that community I would have supported making it a public space because it showed my communities creativity and culture. Unfortunately, the policy makers in NYC saw a way to bring tourist in with a new trendy hot spot. They covered the graffiti, erasing the communities imprint on the high line. The NYC government used the walk way as a means to increase revenue and in doing so they over crowded the neighborhood making no room for those who were already living under the rail. What is even more striking is that these gentrification efforts even lead to the rezoning of West Chelsea so they could build luxury developments and destroy existing buildings. This public space started out as a great communal asset that was perverted through gentrification.

Rescooped by Brett Sinica from Geography Education!

Dhaka: fastest growing megacity in the world

A five-part, multimedia series on the coming dystopia that is urbanization.


This is a great introduction to the explosion of the slums within megacities.  This video as a part of the article is especially useful.   Click on the title to read the accompanying article.

Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

I recently did a project on the topic of megacities in the past, present, and future and how the natural risks they posed.  In past decades there was Tokyo, New York City, or even Mexico City.  I also covered present cities such as Shangai and Los Angeles to name a few.  The city that basically topped the growth charts in my statistics was Dhaka.  The city literally is growing like a chia pet, but with no direct plan or proper use of land.  According to future calculations, the city of Dhaka can reach roughly 23 million by 2025, that's about 600,000 new people coming in every year up until that point.  This video is just an example of how poorly planned this megacity is, and what the future holds for all of the people living there.  It's simply chaos.  There are already squatter settlements and unorganized living conditions for the current residents, picturing the population to grow even more is outrageous!

Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, November 19, 2013 10:58 AM

This video is incredibly interesting in that it describes just what it means to be the fastest growing megacity in the world.  Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are moving to Dhaka, Bangladesh from smaller towns outside the capital city.  The current population of Dhaka is 15 million but people are migrating to the city so quickly that it does not take very long for the census data to become outdated.  People are moving to Dhaka with hopes of a better life for themselves and their families.  Their situation upon moving goes from worst to bad.  People move out of slums and squatter settlements in their hometowns into other slums and squatter settlements in Dhaka, but they still believe they are beginning a better life.  There are many interesting aspects of this video.  For one, there is a girl who is happy because she works in a fabric factory and she might receive a $4/month increase in pay.  To us in the United States, this is nothing, but to her, it is a huge help to her and her family.  Also, there is a girl who could rarely afford fish or meats but she can now buy one good piece of meat each week because she can afford it in Dhaka.  While there are many glimpses of hope and opportunities to live better lives in Dhaka as seen in this video, there are many geographical implications for Dhaka as it becomes larger and larger each day.  The government is very informal and people who move to Dhaka do not have any land to build homes on, so they build illegally on someone else's land.  Also, traffic on Dhaka's streets is, for lack of a better term, insane.  The city just cannot handle all of the migration from elsewhere.  Resources such as clean water and food are very slim.  Even though Dhaka might suffer as a city due to its rapid growth and inability to support everyone, newcomers still choose Dhaka as the gateway to a better life.

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, November 20, 2013 11:43 AM

The city of Dhaka has experienced a massivie boom in population. Both the rich and the poor are flowing into this city causing many problems that all complain the government is ignoring instead of fixing. The city is very inefficient, with traffic so bad that it is costing the city millions of dollars. There are frequent water shortages resulting in protests in the streets. There is much infrastructure throughout the city as well. But it is also represents a sense of hope to the people that are coming in and moving into the slums, that with the better jobs and money they will be able to get they can better provide for themselves or their family.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 6, 2014 11:23 PM

Dhaka is the fastest growing city in the world, as rich and poor people move to the city everyday. So many poor people are moving here due to the fact there is no other place worth living in Bangladesh. The city is facing many problems, such as lack of traffic signals, minimal clean drinking water for residents and horrible housing for many people. However, some feel the city’s slums offer the best chance for an improved life.   

Rescooped by Brett Sinica from Geography Education!

2014 World Cup: Will Brazil Be Ready?

ESPN Video: With the FIFA World Cup two years away, will Brazil be ready to host soccers premiere event?


This short sports documentary (12 minutes) looks at some of the socioeconomic and urban planning issues that are a part of the logistics for a country to prepare for a sporting event on the magnitude of the World Cup.  The discussion of demolitions in the favelas (squatter settlements) is especially intriguing.  Major sporting events of this magnitude that last for two weeks can reshape local geographic patterns for decades.  


Tags: sport, Brazil, planning, squatter.

Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

I know my soccer, and I know Brazil knows its soccer considering the country has one of the richest histories in the world.  The nation eats, sleeps, and breathes the beautiful game and to host a World Cup right now is immaculate timing.  Some of the best players (possibly ever) in the world would be playing next year, all from star-studded nations.  The forecast for this spectacle will surely be one of the best in history, but that's if it all goes to plan.  There's been many videos and articles of Brazil coming into more problems than solutions.  Repairing and even building new stadiums have set back schedules and have even angered many locals.  In some cities, there have been cases of gentrification, places such as favelas have fell victim.  Being such a passionate fan of the sport, it's almost upsetting that all of these people are being misplaced to house the tournament which has been anxiously waited on since 2010.  The main picture says it all with the three hands covered in blood...  A nation which cares so much about a sport, where it is a way of life and prosperity, is in fact doing more harm than good in some areas.  In the end I hope Brazil can get back on schedule, and leave as little people harmed in the process so the world can enjoy one of the greatest sporting events come summer of 2014.

Ashley Raposo's curator insight, December 19, 2013 12:16 AM

The World Cup is getting closer and all eyes are on Brazil. The Favelas are seeing the worst of it. To improve their country for it's soon to be influx of tourists, the Favelas are going through practically forced renovations. Not to mention safety hazards in Brazil are being pushed to the limits with the building anf remidelling of the soccer stadiums. Just last month 2 construction workers part of the rebuilding were killed by an accident. The question is especially true. Will Brazil be ready? Soccer fans around the globe sure hope so.