“A New Bronx Tale: Gateway Center and Modern Urban Redevelopment” by Lorraine Rolston Assessment

Relevance of the article

Social geography is a body of knowledge and a set of practices by which scholars look at, and seek to understand, the social world. As such, it is a strikingly diverse sub discipline of human geography that has many overlapping interests with other forms of geography rather than any fixed or strict boundaries. This discipline evaluates how social relations, identities and inequalities are made.

This paper analyzes the article “A New Bronx Tale: Gateway Centre and Modern Urban Redevelopment”, by Rolston, Lorraine, which describes the rehabilitation of West Haven. The video clip from ted.com presented in class inspired me to choose an article that addresses issues related to Bronx.

In the video clip, a renowned environmentalist Majora Carter gave a talk on the importance of fighting environmental injustice in South Bronx. Majora Carter highlights to the audience how minority neighbourhoods become the casualties of flawed urban policies.

After watching Majora Carter’s talk, the idea of assessing environmental inequity in West Haven was born. West Haven, which is located in Bronx, Morrisania was once New York’s industrial hub.

Lorraine states that the rehabilitation of West Haven and communities around it had been stalled for many years owing to a belief that it is impossible to salvage West Haven and its surrounding communities in economic and architectural terms.

However, the use of cooperative strategic development, which included the local communities in decision making and planning, necessitated the rehabilitation of West Haven back to its initial form of economic prowess.

Currently, West Haven, which focuses on ecological sustainability, is a key revenue generator of New York City. This article highlights the relevance of social geography in evaluating how social relations, identities and inequalities are made or solved with regard to West Haven.

Brief Summary of the Thesis Statements and Main Argument

West Haven is a key industrial centre of New York City. The economic prowess of this urban centre reached its climax in 1945 but started deteriorating thereafter. The deterioration turned West Haven into one of New York’s poorest urban centres. However, in 2006, environmentalists, geographers, and other stakeholders from New York City united in a bid to restore West Haven’s lost glory.

The stakeholders formed “a private public partnership, which addresses the challenges of site placement, environmental deterioration, and social stigma” so as to revive the economic prowess of West Haven (Lorraine 63). The revolution which restored West Haven’s lost glory involved the use of sustainable construction principles. The use of sustainable construction has enhanced sustainable land use and conservation.

In addition, the use of cooperative strategic development, which included the local communities in decision making and planning, necessitated the rehabilitation of West Haven back to its initial form of economic prowess. The author emphasizes the need to use sustainable development in addressing social inequities created by flawed urban policies.

Assessment of Strengths and Weaknesses of the Work

Methodology

Lorraine provides a detailed analysis of West Haven’s historical and current events. The author begins by highlighting the history of West Haven. After that, the author highlights the flaws which contributed to the collapse of West Haven. This author then highlights the mechanisms used in restoring West Haven’s lost glory.

Lorraine notes that “from the late 19th Century until 1945, West Haven, a small manufacturing district in the Morrisania section of Bronx, New York hummed as one of the cities bustling industrial centres” (63).

Lorraine also notes that “West Haven’s 19th century infrastructure of factories, stores, train lines, brick houses, and public buildings reflected a working middle class German immigrant values through the richness of industry, networked transportation, presence of civil authority, and diversity of recreation” (64).

Lorraine explains that the completion of 149th Street Bridge in 1910 enhanced the completion of the Cromwell Creek Landfill project. After the completion of the land fill projects, West Haven opened its doors to economic development. However, according to Lorraine (66) “West Haven’s community social atmosphere and commercial vitality failed to brighten its drab appearance”.

The New York City council together with other stakeholders unanimously agreed to rebuild West Haven and they have succeeded in restoring its economic prowess.

Logic and Clarity

The study conducted by Lorraine is organized in a logical manner and it has clarity. The reader is able to comprehend the author’s main argument. The author uses pictorial illustrations to argument his discussion. The author captures the readers’ attention through the use bold pictorial illustrations.

In addition, the author provides a historical and current picture of West Haven and this helps the reader to understand why the town deteriorated and how its economic prowess was restored. The author indicates to the reader the stakeholders involved in the redevelopment of West Haven, and the approach used. In this case, the stakeholders used sustainable development to rebuild West Haven.

Breadth and depth of research

The study conducted by Lorraine is detailed and covers many areas. The author gives a historical and current picture of West Haven in terms of architectural designs, economy, social amenities, and infrastructure. The author uses pictorial illustrations to support his arguments.

The pictorial illustrations given in this study highlight to the reader the transformation which West Haven has undergone. Some of the pictorial illustrations which have played a key role in supporting the author’s arguments include the Gate way project, the River Avenue and Gateway centre, the 145th street bridge, the power house building, the Mill Pond Park, and the regional transportation routes.

The detailed analysis highlights the transformation West Haven has gone through, turning from a failed urban centre to an industrial centre.

Evidence Cited for Conclusion

Lorraine tracks the steps that were taken in an endeavour to explain how West Haven’s economic prowess has been restored. Lorraine environmentalists, geographers, and other stakeholders from New York City united in a bid to restore West Haven’s lost glory. The stakeholders formed “a private public partnership, which addresses the challenges of site placement, environmental deterioration, and social stigma” so as to revive the economic prowess of West Haven (Lorraine 63).

“The New York City Council motivated by the goal of rebuilding social and economic value in West Haven and beyond to Morrisania, the Hub and Mott Haven, unanimously agreed to support the redevelopment of the former Terminal Bronx Market” (66). The use of sustainable construction has enhanced sustainable land use and conservation of the environment.

The use of cooperative strategic development, which included the local communities in decision making and planning, necessitated the rehabilitation of West Haven back to its initial form of economic prowess. The author highlights how sustainable development has been used to address social inequities created by flawed urban policies.

This paper analyzed the article “A New Bronx Tale: Gateway Centre and Modern Urban Redevelopment”, by Rolston Lorraine, which describes the rehabilitation of West Haven. West Haven is located in Bronx, Morrisania and was once New York’s industrial hub.

The video clip from ted.com presented in class inspired me to choose an article that addresses issues related to Bronx. In the video clip, a renowned environmentalist Majora Carter gave a talk on the importance of fighting environmental injustice in the South Bronx.

Majora Carter highlights to the audience how minority neighbourhoods become the casualties of flawed urban policies. This article highlights the importance of social geography.

Social geography is a body of knowledge and a set of practices by which scholars look at, and seek to understand, the social world. As such, it is a strikingly diverse sub discipline of human geography that has many overlapping interests with other forms of geography rather than any fixed or strict boundaries. This discipline evaluates how social relations, identities and inequalities are made.

Lorraine states that the rehabilitation of West Haven and communities around it had been stalled for many years owing to a belief that it is impossible to salvage West Haven and its surrounding communities in economic and architectural terms.

However, the use of cooperative strategic development, which included the local communities in decision making and planning, necessitated the rehabilitation of West Haven back to its initial form of economic prowess.

Currently, West Haven, which focuses on ecological sustainability, is a key revenue generator of New York City. This paper has highlighted the importance of social geography in addressing flaws in urban policies by using West Haven as an example.

Works Cited

Lorraine, Rolston. “A New Bronx Tale: Gateway Center and Modern Urban Redevelopment.” Focus on Geography 55.2 (2012): 63-74. Print.