Futures Initiative Faculty Fellows Prithi Kanakamedala and Tarry Hum, who this Fall semester co-teach the “Voices of the City” class, will be holding an open classroom session on Thursday, October 3 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at Sunset Park in Brooklyn.
Sunset Park is a dense, majority Latinx-Chinese immigrant industrial waterfront neighborhood. Since 2013, Industry City’s investor-owners have been rebranding its massive 16-building complex as an innovation hub. To further catalyze investments and renovation, Industry City is proposing a rezoning for a Special Sunset Park Innovation District. On September 16, 2019, City Council member Carlos Menchaca presented his argument for modifications in Industry City’s proposal and called for a community benefits agreement. In response, the packed auditorium’s chanting for several minutes —No Rezoning, No Concessions— prompted the City Council member to walk out of the meeting.
This teaching tour will start at Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a local non-profit organization, which advocates for Sunset Park’s rent stabilized and low-income tenants at risk of gentrification and housing displacement. We will then walk along 3rd Avenue with a stop outside the Metropolitan Detention Center to discuss its role in 9/11 immigrant detention and more recent human rights violations, and then walk along Industry City’s perimeter to continue our discussion about city planning, real estate-driven economic development, hyper-financialization of the built environment, and forms of community resistance.