Note — Feb 21, 2021

Can a Park Prevent Gentrification?

When hearing about backlash against gentrification, I’m often wondering what else can be done specifically, surely the two options aren’t “leave it be” or “hipsterize all the things”? This look at the “Building Bridges across the River” nonprofit in Anacostia, Washington, D.C. gives an excellent example of how a likely gentrifying project can connect with a community and act as a conduit for resources and financing, to help the locals instead of pushing them out.

The strategies used by Building Bridges and its partners – engaging the community, building trust, backstopping existing residents and businesses – offer a model for the Biden administration and others working to rebuild from the wreckage of the last year. […]

Building Bridges Across the River helped build seven community gardens and launched a community-supported agriculture network that provides fresh produce to hundreds of low-income residents each year.