Changing Space

The Upper West Side is incredibly diverse, and residents share one common issue: housing prices. This neighborhood, despite its many schools, restaurants, stores, and markets, is known for its residential area. Ever since 1947, housing units were being built and landlords were increasing their rent. Out of all the three regions in the Upper West Side, De La Salle Academy’s neighborhood consists of the most amount people who have applied for and are using food stamps. The same goes for public assistance such as heating and cooling to a resident’s convenience in harsh temperatures.

Jeff Smith, a Youth Education Coordinator at Franciscan Community Center, shared his experiences  about the Upper West Side. Twelve years ago, there was much more development in the neighborhood. More housing units were built as well as public works. That included high-rise apartments. People once paid moderate rents until more housing units were available. This forced plenty of the neighborhood’s residents out to seek more affordable housing. The newcomers had much more money, and that caused a peak in housing prices. The FCC provides social service programs for the less advantaged. Because numerous residents cannot afford basic necessities, the community center has a food pantry every Monday, where they can pick up multiple groceries.

-Gaby Palines

The Upper West Side is a region in Manhattan containing neighborhoods that can be identified on the sociological level. There are many issues concerning the area but two major ones that have played a role are the urban planning of the region and the housing in these locations. To understand the sociological analysis and deeper meaning of urban planning, it is important to present the issue with the area as well as a complete description of the urban planning and housing in the region. Jeff Smith, from Franciscan Community Center who has lived in the region for decades, describes the effect on the region. Smith describes the area as the following, ” Inequality of Urban Planning has been oppressed. People 18 years ago were middle and lower class but recently new apartments of high class has emerged. There used to be moderated rents, but suddenly there was an emergence of high cost. New people have come to the neighborhood and the neighborhood has transformed.”

-Shivam Khatri

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