Columnist: New York City Needs Economic Recovery Strategies Other Than Gentrification

It's a tale of two cities as New York starts to emerge from the pandemic.

1 minute read

June 10, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Pandemic Protest

Protestors gather outside New York City Hall on June 5, 2021. | Ron Adar / Shutterstock

Ginia Bellafante writes that New York City is "newly awakened to pleasure." Outsiders might be surprise to see a city full so much evidence of that pleasure—"[from] biking everywhere, to dining sheds covered in peonies, to jazz bands turning up in Prospect Park on random weekdays, to Little Island and drinking orange wine at lunch.

Unfortunately, these scenes of joyful late-stage pandemic life are "hardly a reality for most New Yorkers," according to Bellafante. "To the contrary, a recent survey of 700 workers in Astoria, Queens, conducted by the New School’s Center for New York City Affairs, found that of the third laid off during the past year, only 38 percent have returned to work."

This discussion of the post-pandemic city is place in context of the city's upcoming mayoral election. The Democratic primary, expected to determine the eventual winner of the election, is scheduled for later this month. Bellafante's verdict about the next mayor's role in the post-pandemic city: the economic recovery will have to break from the mold of previous recoveries by investing in neighborhoods defined by extreme poverty.

"No one really knows what to do with a neighborhood that cannot gentrify its way to glory," writes Bellafante to conclude the column. "Brownsville isn’t struggling with the question of whether or not to keep outdoor dining sheds. It doesn’t have any."

Friday, June 4, 2021 in The New York Times

Chicago Intercity Rail

Amtrak Ramping Up Infrastructure Projects

Thanks to federal funding from the 2021 infrastructure act, the agency plans to triple its investment in infrastructure improvements and new routes in the next two years.

September 25, 2023 - Smart Cities Dive

View of Interstate 205 bridge over Columbia River with Mt. Hood in background.

The Unceremonious Death of a Freeway Expansion Project

The end of an Oregon freeway project didn't get much fanfare, but the victory is worth celebrating.

September 19, 2023 - Streetsblog USA

Google maps street view of San Francisco alleyway.

Ending Downtown San Francisco’s ‘Doom Loop’

A new public space project offers an ambitious vision—so why is the city implementing it at such a small scale?

September 26, 2023 - Fast Company

Aerial view of coastal development and bright blue ocean in Kaua'i, Hawai'i.

Kaua’i County Uses Long-Range Models to Mandate Resiliency Standards

The county requires builders to assess potential flood risks using models that account for sea level rise projected as far out as 2100.

2 hours ago - Smart Cities Dive

Semi truck driving down freeway with twilight sky in background.

California Governor Vetoes Autonomous Truck Ban

Gov. Newsom called the new law unnecessary, citing existing efforts by state regulators to develop new rules around autonomous trucking.

3 hours ago - Wired

Roadside motel with turquoise room doors in Tucumcari, New Mexico.

Low-Barrier Motel Shelter Is a Success—But Not an Easy One

Many guests at Motels4Now are on their second or third stays—but staff say that's doesn't equal failure, and the numbers bear that out.

4 hours ago - Shelterforce Magazine

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.