Posted on July 27, 2010 by Aron Goldman
The Men of Color Health Awareness movement (MOCHA) kicked off their Monday walks last night (weekly at 6:30PM, at the mini-track behind the YMCA).
We had a great discussion about the Real Food Challenge, thanks to Myles Postell Reynolds (video below).
Filed under: Food systems, nutrition, & urban agriculture, Health disparities | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 22, 2010 by Aron Goldman
Seven of us headed out from the Y at noon yesterday to discover the North End. Gorgeous weather, visually rich. We used the Gerena community corridor to pass under I-91, we happened upon a bountiful community garden, and followed the giant cement wall that separates the Connecticut River and “Riverview Apartments and Senior Center.”
We were fortunate to be joined by a group of young people from all over New England who are spending the summer riding bikes and raising awareness about climate change (Students for a Just and Stable Future). They share their perspectives on Springfield in the 2 min. video below, and they are hosting a discussion about climate change at the Forest Park Branch Library TONIGHT (Thursday) at 6PM (flyer here).
Join us every Wednesday at noon at the YMCA on Chestnut St. (map) for a casual bike ride to a different neighborhood each week. Let us know if you’d like to guide a tour of your neighborhood. We’re headed to Mason Square next week. Try Holyoke, too!
Filed under: Food systems, nutrition, & urban agriculture, Health disparities, Housing & community development, Local democracy & civic engagement, Transportation & infrastructure, Wednesday Rides | 3 Comments »
Posted on March 26, 2010 by Aron Goldman
Gentrification may seem like a problem we wish we had, but I am convinced that the time is now to plan for sustainable and equitable development. One risk is that, at the first sign of economic opportunity, big boxes and national chains will pour in, curtailing an historic opportunity to build real community. 125th Street? Times Square? Holyoke Mall?
This image (above) is part of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts’ exhibit, “The Gentrification of Brooklyn: The Pink Elephant Speaks.” More images here. From their press release: “This exhibition, guest curated by Dexter Wimberly, will examine how urban planning, eminent domain, and real estate development are affecting Brooklyn’s communities and how residents throughout the borough are responding. The exhibition will include the works of several Brooklyn-based artists, as well as those who have been forced to relocate as a result of gentrification. In addition to works of art featured at MoCADA, there will be a schedule of public programs taking place throughout Brooklyn.”
From the City Limits Magazine review: “Anyone who’s lived in New York for a while has done it: Walked down a familiar block and remembered the old days – even three or four years ago – when that yoga studio was a bodega, that multinational bank was a local business, and you could rent a one-bedroom apartment for under $2,000.”
Filed under: Arts & culture, Civil/human rights, Food systems, nutrition, & urban agriculture, Housing & community development | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 4, 2010 by Aron Goldman
Yesterday I talked about environmental justice and land use with Ben Rajotte’s students at Western New England College School of Law. Van Jones (Obama’s exiled green jobs czar) set the stage with this excellent video (below). And I followed up with a guided photo-tour of Springfield’s most dramatic built environment equity issues (environmental justice tourism!). Download the slideshow here (PDF, 11.5 MB).
UPDATE: My friend Bill Childs (see his WNEC “Blawg” here) alerted me that the commercial activity around the Basketball Hall of Fame is not all national chains. Onyx is owned by two local guys (WARNING: annoying music!), one of whom is a WNEC alum. And Max’s is a regional chain.
UPDATE: Relatedly, today’s NY Times piece, “Slumbering Pittsburgh neighborhood reawakens,” is about the revival of a Pittsburgh neighborhood (East Liberty). The article refers to a “community plan” that called for “attracting shoppers to a broader range of businesses than the aging mom-and-pop stores that remained, reviving the street grid, and creating jobs and better housing.” Big boxes are never neighborhood upgrades, but I couldn’t help but consider the possibilities of attracting national chains but requiring that they are scaled appropriately, located downtown, and pedestrian-friendly.
Filed under: Civil/human rights, Economic & workforce development, Food systems, nutrition, & urban agriculture, Green jobs/economy, Health disparities, Housing & community development, Immigrant community, Transportation & infrastructure | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 2, 2010 by Aron Goldman
Leighton Ku, a health policy researcher at George Washington University School of Public Health and a member of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, came to The Springfield Institute last week to learn more about the community impact of health reform in Massachusetts. The need for education, employer challenges, needle exchange, and minority workforce development were among the themes discussed. These video highlights from our conversation (below) include comments from José Claudio, Michael Denney, Vanessa Otero, Trevis Wray, Herbierto Flores, and me.
Filed under: Economic & workforce development, Food systems, nutrition, & urban agriculture, Health disparities, Immigrant community | 1 Comment »