Housing subdivision apartments are at the center of urban life in New York City. For example, the Hammel Housing Subdivision in Far Rockaway, New York is a lesser version of Le Cobusiser’s Radiant City. Although Le Cobusier believed in creating a better life for its residents, many that live in remnants of radiant cities may not see his vision as clearly. The Radiant City (Ville Radiuse) is an unrealized master plan designed by Le Corbusier. It was first presented in 1924 and published in 1933. In modern day planning, he influenced high-density housing subdivisions to deal with overcrowding. Not only did his plans focus on high-density skyscrapers, Le Cobusier planned a vast green area arranged in a Cartesian grid. Le Cobusier’s style was characterized by geometric forms and structure. Furthermore, the master plan permits the city to function as a “living machine.” A Radiant City allows for great views of living beings such as trees, shrubs, grass and other shrubbery that usually would not be allowed in a concrete jungle otherwise known as New York City. There are many ways for not only kids but parents to enjoy a radiant city. However, American realized visions of Radiant Cities are not fully implemented to Le Cobusier’s liking. There are no parks and recreation centers at the tops of the buildings like Le Cobusier intended. The separation of the recreation center from purely residential areas may be the reason that crime is on the rise.
Not much is written on the beginnings of this housing subdivision besides hgh crime rates in Far Rockaway. Many injustices such as shootings and robberies have left those in the neighborhood skeptical to walk home after dusk. Students in the up and coming neighborhood of Far Rockaway look to the streets for an upbringing that schools may never teach them. This is why it is so important to gain public interest when implementing a radiant city. Although the neighborhood is very diverse, the public school is majority minorities. To prove my point, in a study conducted by the US department of Education Office for Civil rights, “African-American students, for instance, are 3.5 times more likely than their white classmates to be suspended or expelled” (Marilyn Elias). Policies and practices that send minor disciplinary acts of students to juvenile detention centers all around the county is a bust. In my opinion the school-to-prison pipeline clearly exists in Far Rock. It favors incarceration over the “living machine” dream that Le Cobusier intended his residents to live amongst.
This year alone in Far Rockaway, there has been 332 counts of theft, 243 counts of assault, 54 counts of robbery, 35 counts of robbery, and 5 counts of shootings. According to NYCHA, there has been an increase in security cameras to control crime in the Hammel Housing neighborhood. On the upside, this is a good sign that the Housing Authority is trying its best to lessen crime in one of the worst subdivisions in Queens NY.