Neighbourhood: Coney Island
The purpose of Bridge 3 is to organise the information that we have already gathered, verify what is missing, and further explore, and strategise our final step. Zukin’s and Monidapur’s texts, and the ‘My Brooklyn’ documentary provided us with not just historical information about public spaces, but also their social and economic complexities which showed the involvement of diverse actors/stakeholders. Bridge 3 is now about identifying problems related to public spaces within the context of our neighbourhood, which in my case is Coney Island, and make decisions about how we plan to tackle them.
The 2D visual is a mind map of the various problems I identified through extensive primary and secondary research and interviews with the locals.
Final 3D Model:
The 3D model is a visual representation of the potential solutions to four main problems that I chose to focus on from the above mind map:
- Through interactions with the locals I found out that the neighbourhood isn’t exactly safe beyond the boardwalk, and is home to many gangs. Hence, the first solution is the installation of an immediate and easily accessible emergency security system that acts almost like a siren to allow people to avail protection anywhere anytime.
- Furthermore, the construction of a Community Centre is necessary to replace the one that was lost in hurricane Sandy. This would make the neighbourhood more youth friendly and habitable, and provide a safe environment for people to convene, and discuss ideas. This spurs from the concept that to make a neighbourhood feel like a community, the people need to be given a safe space to interact with each other, and feel a sense of belonging. Also, the community centre can double down as an education centre for the children to keep them off the streets.
- The entire boardwalk can be renovated to make it entirely wooden because one of the interviewees complained that the boardwalk near Brighton Beach didn’t have a wooden boardwalk which made it hard to walk on.
- An enclosed indoor amusement park – this is because during the winters, it gets too cold for people to visit the outdoor amusement park. This affects businesses all over Coney Island since one of the primary sources of income in this neighbourhood comes from the tourism and service industry. Hence, businesses like restaurants and small shops suffer during the winters. As of now 39.5% of the population is below the poverty line, and the average income per year is just $23,958 per capita. So, an enclosed park would help save the tourism in Coney Island, hence helping the economy, and bring in funds to Coney Island to develop the aforementioned Community Center, security system and boardwalk.