How New Investment in Repurposed Infrastructure Can Produce Good Jobs for Residents of Disinvested Communities

Infrastructure reuse projects, which entail the “reconstruction of abandoned or underutilized industrial and transportation infrastructure to create new public open space,” have proliferated nationwide in recent years, including well-known projects like the Atlanta Beltline, DC’s 11th Street Bridge Park, and New York City’s High Line. Because of the new infrastructure funding in the Inflation Reduction Act, signed by President Biden last August, infrastructure reuse projects are likely to expand and multiply. – Urban Institute

New Strategies for Preventing Green Gentrification

The 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington, D.C., which landscape architecture firm OLIN is co-designing with Dutch architecture firm OMA, is a “great example of how to get into a community ahead of time.” Building Bridges Across the River, the non-profit organization leading the development of the park, set up home buyer’s clubs, created robust property protections, and increased support for local businesses and artists, so more of the community will benefit from the new park, even before it’s built. – The Dirt

Look at the Final Designs for DC’s 11th Street Bridge Park

“The park aims to be more than a place for recreation and relaxation: The goal is to knit together the two communities on either end of the span without displacing people in the historically disenfranchised neighborhoods on its eastern side. Residents have been heavily involved in planning, says Scott Kratz, senior vice president for Building Bridges Across the River, a Ward 8-based nonprofit that has been one of the main forces behind the park.” – Washingtonian

Can Anacostia Build a Bridge Without Displacing Its People?

“People in Ward 8 wanted this project, as small as it was, to be different. They wanted it to enrich the Black community that was already there, not accelerate an influx of white people. They wanted the value created by the bridge park to be invested in their neighborhoods. They wanted to own their own homes. They wanted well-paid jobs. They wanted art and music — and artists and musicians as neighbors. They wanted fresh food and safe streets.

It was a lot to ask of a bridge. But Mr. Kratz quickly learned that he couldn’t just build a bridge and ignore the needs of the community that contained it.” – The New York Times