Gravesend Bay, A Geographic Case Study in Brooklyn, New York

Authors: Rose Jimenez*, CUNY - Graduate Center
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Urban Geography, Geography and Urban Health
Keywords: combined sewer, New York City, political ecology, Gravesend Bay, infrastructure
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download


Gravesend Bay helps illustrate the importance of social dimensions, ecological considerations, and historical analysis in the decision-making process for infrastructure development. Fishing and other recreational activities in Gravesend Bay may be good for physical and mental health outcomes and economic outcomes. These activities are dependent on maintaining a clean, safe body of water. Unexpected consequences of Superstorm Sandy and other environmental stressors, as well as major economic factors like the bankruptcy and (temporary?) closing of Toys “R” Us, Inc. have had a great effect on the timeline of infrastructure development in that area. The project’s purpose is to encourage and explain economic and ecological stressors on infrastructure plans and policies. Methodology included geospatial analysis of combined sewer outfall overflows, historical analysis, and critical analysis through the lens of political ecology. One anthropological, chemical, and political factor includes the controversy over dredging in the Gravesend Bay area, in which the sediment contains pesticides from old processes that have since been banned by the EPA. Dredging threatens to contaminate surrounding areas and make fishing unsafe for people in the surrounding area. Results showed that anthropological disasters (unexploded munitions [UXO]presence), economic proposals (development of a new waste transfer station that promises to shorten NYC garbage collection routes), and natural disasters all have major impacts on the feasibility of building new infrastructure in NYC. Co-constitutive stakes are social, economic, and ecological. They include shopping centers, New York waterways, transportation infrastructure, CSOs and waterway testing locations, surrounding residences, waste transfer infrastructure, and ecological pathways.

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