‘My Brooklyn’ Examines Public Policy’s Role in Gentrification

A new documentary takes an important look at a force that's transforming the country's cities.

By Jorge Rivas Aug 17, 2011

Williamsburg in Brooklyn, Silverlake in Los Angeles, The Mission District in San Francisco: these neighborhoods are synonymous with discussions about gentrification. Discussions that usually lead to big questions: How can communities stay involved? Who’s to blame and how did this happen?

"I think we all need to get beyond feeling guilty or like ‘nothing can be done,’ documentary filmmaker Kelly Anderson tells Vanishing Point, "and starting being aware of land use policy and getting involved to create a more just city."

"My Brooklyn," a documentary written and directed by Kelly Anderson and Allison Lirish Dean, looks at how Brooklyn has evolved over the past ten years and how some of those changes have been fueled by public policy. The film, which is still in the works and could use some Kickstarter help, centers around a set of 2004 re-zoning regulations in downtown Brooklyn that displaced a strong African-American community of residents and shoppers.