A few powerful men have tilted the landscape in Brooklyn in favor of big real estate development at the expense of urban livability. Disregarding time-honored urban planning principals and manipulating a desperate need in the African-American community for jobs and affordable housing, they have pushed their own interests forward—luxury housing and a 18,000-seat sports arena.
The project poses vital, timely questions that are relevant to cities across the country: What role does economic justice play in government-sponsored projects? Who represents the community? Should taxpayer money go to acquire private property for a sports arena? What and who determines if an area is “blighted?” What is the proper use of eminent domain? Should traffic-intensive projects be approved without mandatory mitigation measures? Does the public have a right to know about the use of public finances in large-scale real estate projects? The dangerously close alliance between government and real estate is a condition that threatens many cities and a full exploration of the risks that come with this type of concentration of power is an important inquiry. Brooklyn Matters brings a depth of expert commentary to the debate and introduces many important community voices that have struggled to be heard.
For more information about this film, please visit www.brooklynmatters.com.