New York City air pollution monitored after years of urban development

  • Years of development in New Rochelle’s black communities may be linked to higher rates of respiratory disease.
  • Now New York is studying the air quality there, and in nearly a dozen other areas of the state.
  • The project is one of several spending measures designed to benefit communities disadvantaged by the effects of pollution and climate change.

As a child, Stephanie Bartee bathed in a pewter basin outside her parents’ two-story house on Cedar Street. In their historically black neighborhood of Pugsley Hollow in New Rochelle, New York, which dates back centuries, not all streets were paved in the 1960s, the 65-year-old recalls. But everyone knew each other.

Much larger streets were soon paved on Pugsley Hollow, as well as other black communities in New Rochelle. Freeways, car dealerships and wide thoroughfares have transformed the suburban town into what it is today.

Eminent domain forced hundreds of families out, razing areas that were known as prosperous middle-class enclaves for Harlemites moving to the suburbs. Many were confined to apartments between these large developments. Bartee’s family ended up in public housing.

USA Today

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