Marta Gutman Envisions Child-Friendly Urban Neighborhoods

CUNY Newswire | February 3, 2011

…Rather than only build brand-new facilities, however, children’s advocates should consider repurposing and adding small-scale projects to New York City neighborhoods that can attract additional investment, contends Dr. Marta Gutman.  A licensed architect and professor of architecture history in the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York, she has made studying how child-friendly city neighborhoods get created a focus of her research.

Her doctoral dissertation at University of California, Berkeley, examined how women in nearby Oakland repurposed houses, stores and even a saloon to create a “charitable landscape” full of places for immigrant and migrant children.  The effort began with an orphanage, but quickly expanded to more homes for children, free kindergartens, settlement houses, day care centers and playgrounds…

…Today innovators continue to think about the city in terms of kids.  Women collaborated to make possible Sugar Hill, a mixed-use building being constructed by Broadway Housing Communities at St. Nicholas Avenue and West 155th Street that will serve as home to the Faith Ringgold Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling, a childcare center and 124 units of affordable housing….

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