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Thursday, January 13, 2011

"The Design Difference: In Brownsville, Enormous Urban Challenges, and Hope" by Alissa Walker

Check out this article written by Alissa Walker who writes for GOOD. GOOD is a online publication that covers and reports on topics such as Action, Health, Politics and Technology. The article Alissa Walker wrote "The Design Difference: In Brownsville, Enormous Urban Challenges, and Hope" speaks about the solutions Brownsville needs in the community! 

It is a 3 part series!

Read this excerpt right here:

GOOD was asked to attend The Design Difference, a charrette held by the Japan Society, Common Ground, and the Designers Accord. In this series, we're examining design solutions to social problems and ways for designers to contribute pro bono work for the proposed solutions.

As I ride a bus through the neighborhood of Brownsville in Brooklyn two days after Halloween, I see ghosts. The location of a once-thriving famous pickle factory. The abandoned steel plant laced with razor wire. An empty main street that once was filled with bustling furniture stores.

As part of a group of thinkers gathered for a charrette to focus on one of New York’s most underserved communities, we hear plenty from our tour guide about a phantom neighborhood of front stoops, street ball, and a vibrant Jewish community that lived here in the early 1900s. What we see is Brownsville’s reality of broken windows and vacant buildings.

The bus stops outside what looks like an unremarkable building, a low-slung concrete-covered complex. Just stepping inside we know this place is different. The warm air is humidified by a large public pool. A hallway is draped with vivid murals made to look like an Egyptian tomb. Visitors are greeted by a slow-moving iguana named Juliet. And the most remarkable part: There are people here, lots of people here, perhaps more people than we’ve seen during our entire 30-minute tour. This is the Brownsville Recreation Center, and it is the heart of the community.

To read the article in its entirety log click here The Design Difference: In Brownsville, Enormous Urban Challenges, and Hope

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