A couple excellent student driven articles on Northside appeared this week.
Too often local media focuses narrowly on the business of carving up the community rather than providing a broader context – injecting the human dimension into the story – which better informs the wider community on why folks living in Northside mourn its passing.
Reese News,UNC School of Journalism & Mass Communication’s Digital Newsroom, leverages the power of the multimedia ‘net to give voice to 10 community members’ concerns in their story The struggle for a neighborhood.
Itâ€™s no secret that Northside isnâ€™t the neighborhood it used to be.
The change is visible in the increased diversity of its residents and the ten-story high-end condominiums that tower across from the traditionally working class neighborhood, where massive duplexes are replacing single-family homes. Change is also evident in the growing tension and frustration of residents in a neighborhood plagued by the effects of gentrification.
The pressure for development is taking its toll on the historically black neighborhood, and the town is struggling to balance the need to grow with the needs of neighborhoods like Northside.
Since 2010, the town has been working with the Raleigh-based consultant KlingStubbins to develop a Downtown Framework and Action Plan, which could revise and redevelop parts of downtown Chapel Hill and the surrounding areas.
The downtown proposal could have significant effects on Northside. In its current draft, the framework suggests building new road connections and parking decks in areas where homes currently stand. It also underscores certain areas of Northside as prime for redevelopment.
Well done folks!
Want a bit of additional perspective on the development pressures facing Northside?
IndyWeek reporter (and former Daily Tar Heel editor) Joe Schwartz put together another excellent overview last June (2010): Greenbridge: A new chapter in a tense history .
Greenbridge, as reported by the Chapel Hill News, faces its first foreclosure hearing next Tuesday. This Sunday they promise a further exploration of not only Greenbridge’s problems but other Downtown developments putting pressure on Northside, Cameron Ave. and Pine Knolls neighborhoods.
Change is going to happen. The question is how the whole of our community can benefit from that change. Articles like these help create a broader perspective, one that has been missing so far, in the discussions over development policy Downtown.
It is critical that the nearby neighborhoods play a vital role in determining their own fates. Until their voices are heard and their neighborhoods are treated like living, breathing communities rather than convenient parcels of land for future development, our development policy is as broken as Greenbridge’s financing.