BROWNSVILLE, NY

HOW DOES THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF THE PUBLIC HOUSING AFFECT THE INTERACTIONS OF TEENAGERS AND YOUNG ADULTS IN BROWNSVILLE?

Through observation, ethnographic research, and on-site workshops we were able to better understand relationships in the community and how young residents are affected by their environment. The topics below were the ones that surfaced the most during our research.

 

MAIN TOPICS

PRIVACY

TERRITORIES

Stimulation and AESTHETICS

SECURITY

"If we don't mess with them, they don't mess with us."

Young adult

"They start trouble for no reason."

Teenager

"My daugther would have loved this if she was still with us."

Adult resident

"It's not necessarily the youth just hang around and want to be front of the building. It is the fact that we got nothing to do."

Youth leader

"Do you know you are in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods of the whole city?"

Police officer

The territorial issues affect the use of public facilities. Community centers located in a

"neutral" facility not attached to any housing building may attract more participants and suffer less territorial problems. 

Simple changes to the aesthetics of the infrastructure, changes

attitudes and behavior. Creating an element of interaction within the area stimulates the creativity and imagination of the youth.

It creates interaction that cultivates healthy relationships among all ages.

The police presence is necessary due to crime, but they could create a less antagonistic environment. This can be done by reducing the amount of police infrastructure and by 

integrating themselves into the community so as to be approachable.

"Some don't go to that pool, there's always beef there."

Youth leader

Offering safe and more private spaces for the younger residents to interact could help the community in two ways. Adults will not complain of noise and teenagers will not feel like all eyes are on them.     

"What you doing down there?... No, don't do no mazin."

Mother yelling through the window

"I only hang out here because that's the only place my friend's parents let her hang out."

Teenager

GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS

QUOTES

MARLYN MARTÍNEZ MARRERO

SOCIAL IMPACT DESIGNER

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