Capstones

Graduation Date

Fall 12-15-2017

First Advisor

Ellen Tumposky

Subject Concentration

International

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Abstract

As many parts of Brooklyn buzz with a startling rate of economic resurgence, Brownsville seems like a neighborhood left behind.

Struggling with poverty, poor health statistics, unemployment and high crime rates, and with the highest concentration of public housing in the city, it has not seen the same commercial and real estate revival as Williamsburg, Bushwick, Crown Heights and other areas of Brooklyn.

“In Brownsville, which has had challenges battling negative perceptions of this community, most of the residents are lower income and investors in the past have deemed this community as not being as good as an investment as other areas,” said Pernell Brice, executive director of the Dream Big Foundation, which funds and mentors local entrepreneurs.

But new development and investment on the horizon is giving Brownsville hope that it can attract new businesses and shed its reputation as one of Brooklyn’s grittiest neighborhoods. At the same time, these plans, along with last year’s rezoning of East New York — part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s push for affordable housing — have sparked fears that commercial revitalization could bring with it the most dreaded side-effect of gentrification: displacement of longtime residents.

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