I am back living in East Harlem for the first time in 10 years. I spent all my life here, left and came back. Sadly not much has changed. Oh sure there are young white kids living here looking for deals but fundamentally nothing has changed.
The reason (partially) is the shear volume of public housing projects. Every avenue, in every direct from 96th to 125 from the East River to 5th avenue is a major housing project.
Why they are a blight?
1. The are dead zones. No business. No play no nothing. Just stark brown brick buildings.
2. The interrupt the flow of the city. We all know streets alternate moving east or west and avenues north and south. Projects break that rhythm with super blocks of no activity.
3. They are very difficult to turn around. Look at the East Village or the Lower East side? Park Slop or Carroll Gardens? All the neighborhood were able to be turned arounx due to the way the housing was designed. Single units, townhouses that could be purchased and alllow for ownership and communtity to build.
Why I chose this picture:
It is where a street should be.
Depite the greenery it is desolate. With no mixed use. Unless you live there, there is no reason to be there.
The none use of space. All the green empty space.
Am I wrong? Am I crazy? What is your issue or do you think public housong works?