"EMINENT DOMAIN:The American Dream on Sale" Wednesday night at N.Y.P.L.

My pal Brian Berger from over at Who Walk in Brooklyn is on a panel discussing "Eminent Domain Abuse" tomorrow night at the New York Public Library. Check out the related photography exhibit while you are there, details at the bottom.

Brian has also recently reported about that little known Brooklyn neighborhood near the Jackie Robinson Expressway called "Highland Park" over at Kevin Walsh's awesome Forgotten New York site!

Here are some details on what you can expect....

What is the American Dream? Does it mean having a “better life” by creating a home and a community, living together for generations, building and tending relationships to one another and to a place? Or do we create a "better life" by moving up, moving out, removing the old, replacing with the new?

Between 1949 and 1973 urban renewal, a program of the U.S. government, bulldozed 2,500 neighborhoods in 993 American cities and dispossessed one million people. Roots got cut, neighbors and families became separated, languages and cultures were destroyed, and social bonds were broken.

The current exhibition at The New York Public Library,Eminent Domain: Contemporary Photography and the City through August 29, features the work of five contemporary New York–based photographers—Thomas Holton, Bettina Johae, Reiner Leist, Zoe Leonard, and Ethan Levitas—whose works intersect and resonate with current concerns about the reorganization of urban space, and its public use, in New York City. Artist Glenn Ligon offers the literal narrative of his own housing in the city. In addition to proposed regulations that threaten First Amendment rights to photograph in public places thus becoming a form of privatization of public space, questions also arise with the current private/public arrangements that characterize much of modern urban development, particularly the legal power of eminent domain, or the taking of private property for public use.

Marshall Berman, Professor of Political Science, City College and the Graduate Center; Mindy Fullilove, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Public Health at Columbia University; Tom Angotti, Professor of Urban Affairs & Planning at Hunter College; and Brian Berger, photographer/blogger, will discuss the use of eminent domain and how urban renewal is changing the cityscape of New York City. Filmmaker Michael Galinsky will moderate.

The Atlantic Yards, a hotly contested developer driven project in Brooklyn, will serve as a focus through which the evening will begin. A short trailer from the film Battle of Brooklyn, directed by Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley, will portray the arguments of some of the main players in this current eminent domain debate.

After a summary of how the use of eminent domain is shaping our City, an open discussion with the audience will address what all of this means for the future of NYC.

Starts at 7pm at the main branch on 5th Avenue, Manhattan.

Clilck here for details about the talk.
Click here about the photography exhibit.


Anonymous said...

All those pictures are really cool, did you have a motive behind taking all those?

- Fritter

Anonymous said...

I wanted to inform you about a situation that is occurring here in New York over eminent domain abuse. Nick Sprayregen, owner of the family business Tuck-It-Away, may lose his business to Columbia University if he loses his long fight against their attempt to take his property (see the petition below). We are trying to garner the attention of bloggers, activists, and citizens across the country. For further information visit his site at www.mylandismine.com. Thank you in advance for your assistance.
The Petition:
We, the undersigned, object to the use of eminent domain in the Columbia University Expansion Plan.
First, Manhattanvile is not a blighted community and Eminent Domain is not needed to stimulate economic development or to eliminate blight.
Second, The Columbia Plan has been developer driven and developed principally to benefit Columbia. The taking of private property and transfering it to Columbia, a private institution, is unconstitutional and illegal because it does not constitute a “public use” and is without a dominant public purpose.
Third, since Columbia now owns over 80% of the property in the affected area and will have control over 96% of the area, Eminent Domain is not necessary or appropriate to attain any legitimate public purpose in Manhattanville.
By signing our name below, we, individually and collectively, say NO to the use of Eminent Domain in the Columbia Expansion Plan in West Harlem/Manhattanville.