About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

51 Colum. J.L. & Soc. Probs. 225 (2017-2018)
Retaking Mecca: Healing Harlem through Restorative Just Compensation

handle is hein.journals/collsp51 and id is 239 raw text is: 

    Retaking Mecca: Healing Harlem

           through Restorative Just


                          MERON WERKNEH*

      Neighborhood redevelopment often brings about major cultural shifts.
   The Fifth Amendment's  Takings Clause allows for the taking of private
   property only when it is for public use, and requires just compensation.
   Courts  have expanded  the ')gublic use requirement to allow urban
   renewal projects where the economic development of the area stands as
   the public purpose. The consequent influx of private developers in the
   name  of economic revitalization has led to the displacement of many
   communities -particularly those made up of low-income people of color.
      This displacement has been extremely visible in Harlem. Harlem was
   once considered the Mecca of black art and culture, but the last few
   decades have brought changes that may cost it this title. Rampant land
   condemnations   and   redevelopment   efforts incited a   noticeable
   socioeconomic shift in the historic neighborhood. Residents and small
   business owners pushed against these eminent domain actions, but to no
   avail - Harlem's gentrification continued. Rising rents and institutional
   barriers compelled the slow exodus of longtime African American residents
   and business owners unable to afford the increasing costs.
      This Note explores the expansion of public use after Kelo v. City of
   New  London,  noting how  it encouraged gentrification, particularly in
   Harlem. It argues that the current compensation scheme does not meet the
   constitutional standard of being just because it does not account for the
   loss of the community as a unit, or the dignitary harm suffered due to
   forcible displacement in the name of revitalization. Finally, it proposes
   Community  Benefits Agreements as the vehicles through which gentrifying
   communities    can   receive   restorative  compensation,   offering
   recommendations for creating a CBA that could begin to heal Harlem.

   *   Articles Editor, Colum. J.L. & Soc. Probs., 2017-2018. J.D. Candidate 2018, Co-
lumbia Law School. I would like to thank Professor David Pozen for his invaluable guid-
ance, and the Journal editorial staff for their extraordinary work. I also thank my family
for their enduring support and love. Finally, I would like to dedicate this Note to black
Harlem: may your legacy and your beauty continue to inspire.

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing thousands of academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.

Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline.

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most