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What We’re Reading, 9/24/19

Check out our top three reads covering the challenges and opportunities in American communities. This week, we’re thinking about a plan to "re-street" NYC public housing superblocks, how the unemployment gap is actually growing in black communities, and the fraught state of recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.

Have something to add to our list? Let us know on Twitter at @LISC_HQ

“Re-streeting” the Projects
by Howard Husock, City Journal

“Today, as New York struggles with an aging public-housing system in need of billions of dollars in capital repairs, the design flaws in its architecture suggest an opportunity, at last, to pursue the revival that Jacobs suggested. Call it “re-streeting”—a plan to reintroduce street life through mixed-use development. With NYCHA under pressure from a federal judge because of its slum-like conditions, re-streeting offers a way for it to raise new revenue, to bring amenities to many of the city’s 400,000 public-housing residents, and to make possible the construction of tens of thousands of new apartments. Without demolishing any existing housing, it would create safer green spaces for residents and provide access to supermarkets and other services now absent from much public housing.” Continue [+]...


Black workers are being left behind by full employment
by Andre M. Perry, Brookings

“Although economists consider the U.S. economy to be approaching full employment – a situation when there are more jobs than people – black Americans are experiencing unemployment at Great Recession-era levels. For many black Americans, the unemployment rate is significantly higher now than during the recession. While the national unemployment rate is the lowest in 50 years, this figure primarily reflects white employment dynamics. Last month’s lower employment figures certainly should raise concerns of an economic downturn, but black communities are already in a recession.” Continue [+]...


In Puerto Rico, FEMA Flood Zone Residents See Little Relief
by Alleen Brown, The Intercept

“The need to reduce the vulnerability of people living in flood zones is undeniable. But for Puerto Ricans whose only reliable resource during Maria was their community, relocating select neighbors, one by one, to different parts of the island may only serve to deepen deadly isolation during the future storms that will inevitably come. Determining how to justly relocate low-income neighborhoods in flood zones, and who will benefit after they leave, are among the most pressing climate justice questions of our time.” Continue [+]...

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The views and opinions expressed in the articles above are those of the authors and publications we are listing, and do not necessarily reflect LISC’s perspective.