Fordham University Press
On Sale: September 7, 2016
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Non-Fiction Memoir | Non-Fiction History | Non-Fiction
A major social and political phenomenon of how a
community overcame overwhelming opposition and obstacles to
build the Brooklyn Bridge Park.
along a waterfront that faces one of the world's greatest
harbors andstoried skylines, Brooklyn Bridge Park is among
the largest and most significant public projects to be built
in New York in a generation. It has transformed a decrepit
industrial waterfront into a new public use that is both a
reflection and an engine of Brooklyn's resurgence in the
twenty-first century. Brooklyn
Bridge Park unravels the many
obstacles faced during the development of the park
and suggests solutions that can be applied to important
economic and planning issues around the world.
Situated below the quiet precincts of Brooklyn
Heights, a strip of moribund structures that formerly served
bustling port activity became the site of a prolonged
battle. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey eyed
it as an ideal location for high-rise or commercial
development. The idea to build
Brooklyn Bridge Park came from local residents and
neighborhood leaders looking for less intensive uses of the
property. Together, elected officials joined with
members of the communities to produce a practical plan,
skillfully won a commitment of government funds in a time of
fiscal austerity, then persevered through long
periods of inaction, abrupt changes of government, two
recessions, numerous controversies often accompanied by
litigation, and a
Bridge Park is the success story of a
grassroots movement and community planning that united
around a common vision. Drawing on the authors'
personal experiences--one as a reporter, the other as a park
leader--Brooklyn Bridge Park weaves together
contemporaneous reports of events that provide a record of
every twist and turn in the story. Interviews with more than
sixty people reveal the human dynamics that unfolded in the
course of building the park, including attitudes and
opinions that arose about class, race, gentrification,
commercialization, development, and
Despite the park's broad and growing
appeal, its creation was lengthy, messy, and often
contentious. Brooklyn Bridge
Park suggests ways other civic groups
can address such hurdles within their own communities.
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