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Key Issues in Brooklyn

KeyIssues in Brooklyn

Brooklynis one of the five most populous boroughs of New York City in theUnited States. A Recent census conducted indicates that it has apopulation of more than 2 million people. It covers a land area of 71square miles and 26 square miles of water (DeSenaand Jerome 3).It was an independently incorporated town until January 1898 whenextensive political campaign and battle for public relations, wasconsolidated with other nation’s states, counties and boroughs tocreate a modern City of New York. Brooklyn is repelling somepotential dwellers as a result of inadequacies includinggentrification, poor quality of air, presence of unhealthy foods, andforced tree planting activities within people’s residents.


Issuesof gentrification

Oneof the key issues troubling Brooklyn is that the city is strugglingto make room for its current population and all the new ones to come.Like the longtime tenants in states like Harlem and San Francisco,West Indians and African-American who have developed homes overgenerations in Brooklyn, are scattering and being muscled out by thesurging rents. Advocates of these tenants claim that landlords harasstheir clients, withhold repairs or employ evictions to create roomfor other people who are ready to pay higher rental fees. It is saidthat some residents scrabble for a foothold in the remaining cheaperareas while others give up altogether. Likewise, cocktail bar ownersare forcing out fried chicken vendors. Brown-Saracino(46) says that Brooklyn residents’ former homes are being renovatedand are drifting away creating room for white college graduates aswell as young families. Most people affected are those in the CrownHeights.

Airand lead pollution

Brooklynis among the top cities that are highly affected by the emission ofpoisonous gasses in the country. The region has numerous industriesand traffick (DeSenaand Jerome 4).These negatively affect the quality of air in the region andtailpipes are the major hitters in Brooklyn. The bad quality of airin the area is responsible for the increasing cases of asthma. Thosepeople who live near major highways and truck routes are mostlyaffected by these emissions. Children in Brooklyn are the mostaffected by asthmatic symptoms, and there are high cases of missedschool which has become a problem in the region. The medicalcomplication has also led to a high number of hospitalization whichis higher than that in New York City as a whole.

Additionally,lead pollution in the area causes neurologic problems. It is stillbelieved to be lowering intelligence levels especially among thechildren and how they behave. Contrary to the decrease in the numberof lead-poisoned children in New York City in the past decade, theproblem has been on the rise in Brooklyn. There are more than fivehundred children newly diagnosed with this poisoning since 2001 whichis an issue troubling the local parents.

Problemof soil and land use

Severalformer industrial sites in the area are still full of contaminants.These were mostly from previous occupants (DeSenaand Jerome 6).They are designated Brownfields by the City. Though a major processis in place to get these sites cleaned up and be ready for reuse,chemicals have remained in the soil. They are hazardous especially topeople who live near them or those who visit the sites.

Presenceof unhealthy foods in the area

InBrooklyn, there are many fruit and food vendors. Though they arecheap and readily processed, most of them are reported to beunhealthy for human consumption (DeSenaand Jerome 7).According to Brooklyn residents, these products are in essence aluxury rather than a human right. These food joints are reported tobe responsible for the increasing cases of obesity, heart diseases,and diabetes among the residents.

Issueof forced tree planting in the area

Theresidents have raised the issue on numerous occasions that the treesbeing frequently planted around their residential area areproblematic (Brown-Saracino47). The move is agitating the Americans in that city because someclaim that they are posing a risk especially to their children whoare climbing them in the absence of their guardians. Another issue isthat they have grown big and have covered their entire roofs hencecreating habitat for dangerous animals like snakes. They also accusethem of not taking care of the trees which have lost their greenadditions. The issue has also troubled the disabled who cannot findenough space to use their wheelchairs around the compounds.

Inappropriategarbage disposal

Dumpingof trash has been one of the major concerns among the residents ofthe area. Brooklyn has played a major part in the declaration of NewYork City as a whole as the dirtiest state in America. The town doesnot have a subsequent plan for the disposal of garbage(Brown-Saracino48). The problem presents awful odor which creates inconveniences tothe residents and makes the population susceptible to illnesses. Someof the dreaded conditions in the city include cholera and typhoidwhich can lead to mass fatalities especially in the low-incomeneighborhoods.

Recommendationsand Solution to the problems

Onthe issue of planting trees forcefully, the authorities should alwaysseek the opinion of the key stakeholders before indulging in theactivity. They should also cut short the ones which are growingextremely tall posing a danger to the buildings and people. Theyshould also educate people on the hazards associated with the treesespecially to children to avoid creating risky situations and alsohelp people in maintaining their green additions.

Moreover,in the case of air pollution, all vehicles should be inspected by therelevant authorities before plying certain routes that are denselypopulated (DeSenaand Jerome 9).Those automobiles that do not comply with the regulations pertainingthe amount of gas emission should be restricted from using Brooklynhighways. Alternatively, innovation and technology should also beapplied to ensure more efficient car traffic systems to eliminatecongestion that can belch lots of poison into one’s lungs andairways. On the side of local industries, they too should bediscouraged from emitting dangerous gasses which are harmful to thepeople’s health. Stiff measures should be introduced whereby allthe industries within the region are supposed to employ techniqueswhich would ensure that the gasses emitted are not poisonous. Else,they should use underground dumping of the gasses and those that donot comply with the rules the relevant authorities should terminatetheir licenses.

Onthe issue of soil condition in Brooklyn, the federal governmentshould ensure that they have neutralized all the chemicals that arestill present in those sites previously contaminated. Before therectification, the residents should also avoid growing any food onthose sites (DeSenaand Jerome 10).It may lead to major losses if one decides to plant withoutconducting a soil test. Worse still, any person consuming food grownon those sites may experience health complications or even death. Thedepartment of sanitation should intervene and advise the residents onthe precautionary measures to undertake.

Someof the ways to address the issue of unhealthy food in the area arefor the local authorities to take stern measures against the vendors.Licenses to commence such businesses in the area should beintroduced. Potential businessmen and women should only be awardedsuch documents upon undergoing some health inspections by the areahealth officer. Residents too should shun trusting those roadsidefoods and avoid consuming the same. They should always trust the onesthat have passed the health inspection requirements.

Solutionto gentrification in Brooklyn may consist of such measures asprotecting the residents from forceful eviction. Such cases asbuyouts which are common in the area should be reported to thefederal government, and those responsible brought before the law.Every Brooklyn resident should be protected by the state. They shouldsee out the rental contract if any and which should be obeyed by allparties involved. Where eviction is necessary, compensating thoseaffected must be done.

Correspondingly,a solution for the waste disposal in Brooklyn may be addressedthrough measures such as the development of a system that wouldensure proper handling of the garbage. For instance, trucks should beemployed in the area to ferry out the waste materials to avoidinconveniencing the residents (DeSenaand Jerome 11).A solid management plan which may use trains to export most of thetwelve thousands tons of trash dumped daily in the region. Moreover,since the Hudson River Park is just adjacent, the proposal of amarine transfer station may also help address the menace.


Thetown constitutes 153,000 inhabitants. It is situated in the northcentral part of the New York borough of Brooklyn, and for decades thetown has been a cultural center for African-American population inBrooklyn (Woodsworth236).However, there are various problems in the area that potentiallydiscourage people from living in the region. One of the issues is thestate of insecurity. The security agents in the area do not respondto a complaint immediately. There are reported cases of robbery andthreats in the division. The reason for the increase in insecurity isthe decrease in the police force in addition to high rates ofunemployment and overcrowding.

Lackof proper transportation is also a problem in the area since peopletake long hours to commute from one place to another. The trains thatare mostly used by the residents mostly take approximate fiftyminutes to travel a distance that normal ones in other regions coverin only thirty-five minutes. People spend considerable time on thesubways (Woodsworth236).The trains in the region are unpredictable, particularly at night.Buses are less reliable since they are no express ones to transportpeople from one point to preferred destination. Additional issuetroubling the people of Bedford Stuyvesant is the overpriced foods inthe areas. Most of the products sold at the groceries, supermarketsand the local hotels are mostly above the financial capabilities ofmost local people.

Asignificant number of residents are low-income earners hence finddifficulties in obtaining some of the vital commodities. Despite thenegative issues, businessmen and women usually experience businessboom just shortly after commencing their activities in the area. Mostfirms that are set up in the region do excel. On the other hand andin contrast with Brooklyn, residential houses in Bedford-Stuyvesantare fairly cheap, and the current rental fees are affordable to mostresidents.

Inthe initial steps of addressing some of the issues in theBedford-Stuyvesant, the New York Police Department (NYPD) should comeup with a security plan to curb cases of insecurity which is rampant.For instance, they can provide a local emergency line to call whencases of insecurity like robbery arise. The judicial system shouldalso help the police department in enacting heavy penalties orpunishment against the perpetrators. The move would help the townregain its reputation as far as safety is concerned. The localindustries should employ a large number of residents to ensure thatthe rate of unemployment is addressed to help curb insecurity.Besides, the local government should also create more railway linesto accommodate extra trains to ease the problem of transportation.


Summarily,the problems in Brooklyn potentially discourage some of the peoplewith an intention to live in the area as they fear the delayedefforts to deal with gentrification, pollution and unhealthy eatinghabits. The town of Bedford-Stuyvesant which is also situated in NewYork City, like Brooklyn, has its problems. The issue of insecurityhas been troubling the residents for quite a long time, and propercollaboration of the residents and the local authorities can helpneutralizes some of the issues in these regions. Residents of the twotowns should be provided with emergency telephone numbers throughwhich they can be reporting issues that need an immediate response.Victimization in cities like Brooklyn should also be discouraged, andeveryone should be allowed to live in their house safely despiteimprovement of the houses.


Brown-Saracino,Japonica. Thegentrification debates a reader.New York: Routledge, 2013. Print.

DeSena,Judith N., and Jerome Krase. &quotBrooklyn Revisited: An IllustratedView from the Street 1970 to the Present.&quot (2015). Print.

Woodsworth,Michael. Thebattle for Bed-Stuy: The Long War on Poverty in New York City.Massachussets: Harvard University Press, 2016. Print.