Question: What is Sustainable South Bronx?
Majora Carter: Sustainable South Bronx is an environmental justice solutions organization. Our goal is to create viable alternatives, both economic as well as environmental, that actually bring life to the visions that people have expressed for their own community. Things like clean air, things like living wage jobs that don’t destroy and degrade the environment, parks in their own community.
These are simple dreams that people put out there for themselves and their neighborhood. And I wanted to be someone who actually was able to show people that you don't have to move out of your neighborhood to live in a better one.
I spearheaded the first waterfront park my community’s had in more than 60 years. I actually got married in it a couple of years ago, which is great. But that led to the development of planning the South Bronx Greenway project, which is an 11-mile network of on-water as well as on-street bike paths and waterfront esplanades that actually provide both recreation as well as economic development opportunities for the community. So we can actually get out and exercise and provide some opportunities for local entrepreneurial development as well.
And we are also working to create more opportunities to show that you can create green businesses in our communities. So we spearheaded the development along with another group called Green Worker Cooperatives, of an eco-industrial center. Which is a collection of businesses that use recycled materials as raw materials, so that you can; one, mitigate solid waste and, actually, provide a real value added product; and two, create hundreds of jobs. And so we’re trying to create that as a real sustainable model.
Recorded on: April 28, 2008