The images that I have chose to do analysis on are of (1) the Camden Waterfront and (2) a street view of the Pyne Point neighborhood in North Camden. I chose to do image analysis on both of these areas of North Camden, because it shows how gentrification unequally resolved the issues of environmental justice, in modern time, the issue of lead pipes in older buildings. The image of the Camden Waterfront pictures a city on the uprise, attracting professionals, students, and families alike. The other image is of a North Camden neighborhood, which has broken sidewalks, and overgrown weeds with children playing on the streets. This particular neighborhood is a lower income neighborhood and has more people of color compared to the Waterfront according to ejscreen.epa.gov.
The Camden Waterfront image is an image from 2015 found in a New York Times article about the renewal of the Camden Waterfront. The reason why I chose this image is because it shows the importance of the Camden Waterfront, and why it was given such preferential treatment. The image of the Camden Waterfront pictures various significant buildings, including the United States Cold Storage (the white building in the back), the L3Harris Technology building (the flat building in front of the US Cold Storage) as well as 3 huge dedicated parking lots, the Victor luxury apartments building (building pictured right of the US cold storage), the US post office and court house ( building with the red building), the US district court for the district of New Jersey (building behind US post office), and the Rutgers Camden welcome center and dormitory (building with the red and white pattern). The Pyne Point neighborhood image is, also from a 2020 New York Times article, on the new policing system in Camden. The reason why I chose this image to compare it to the image of the Camden Waterfront is because shows that the city of Camden has neglected the environmental issues of poorer neighborhoods like Pynes Point in regards to replacing older buildings that still have toxic lead pipes in use. This image shows the state of the neighborhood, with the cracked sidewalk, trash ridden streets, and untended yard.
The first piece of evidence of inequality in between the Waterfront and the residential neighborhood is the parking and sidewalks. In the Waterfront image you can see that there are several parking lots and parking garages, there are 3 dedicated lots to the L3Harris building and as well as others for Rutgers Camden and the other buildings. This can shows that the city wants to bring people into Camden from outside of the city to work, study, and for leisure. The image of the Pynes Point neighborhood however is completely different. Non of the houses seem to have driveways, and people are forced to park their cars on the sidewalk which further damages the walkways. This shows the cities lack of investment into their current residents.
The second piece of evidence of inequality that I would like to point out is the greenery in each picture. In Waterfront image there is an abundance of trees carefully lined up in on the wide sidewalks to bring life into the city, whereas in the Pynes Point image there are much fewer trees, and weeds growing in the cracks of the sidewalks. This again shows investment from the city into the Waterfront, and a lack of attention to the residential neighborhoods.
The last piece of evidence that I would like to point out are the perspectives of both images. Since both images are from the New York Times, it can be said that the arial view of the Waterfront is able to show an abundant, growing, and developing cityscape, while the image of Pynes Point is shot from the ground to show a more desolate and broken street. It is also important to note the context of both of these pictures. The Waterfront image came from an article about the renewal of the Waterfront and the billon dollar investment, while the Pynes Point image came from an article about policing and crime in Camden.
In conclusion, Camden New Jersey is a site of environmental injustice, because of the cities unwillingness’s to put money into the poorer neighborhoods that are troubled by the issue of having lead pipes in their older buildings. The cost of renewing the Camden Waterfront was estimated to be around $1 billion dollars, but the government is hesitant to spend the $100 million dollars that is required to fix the infrastructure and replace all the lead pipes in the schools in Camden. Camden has faced environmental justice issues since postwar America, but it was not until Camden started gentrifying that the issues started to be resolved, and still yet the older schools are having trouble getting the necessary funds that they need to ensure safe drinking water to the growing youth in Camden.
Race, Class, Water, African American, Toxics