Urban Authenticity in Williamsburg, Brooklyn: Industry, Gentrification, and the Future of a Neighborhood

Janes Walk


Led By Katelin Penner

Williamsburg has been at the center of conversations around gentrification for decades. This event will explore this history through a 60-90 minute in-person walking tour of Williamsburg’s waterfront/downtown. We’ll explore the history of the neighborhood from the second half of the 20th century to today, and explore the ways in which local community groups, organizers, the city, and even real estate developers have tried to preserve the “character of the community”. While, for organizers and community groups, this preservation work often feels like self-defense, developers and the real estate industry have often co-opted the industrial character of Williamsburg’s waterfront. Together, we’ll ponder some big questions: what makes Williamsburg feel authentic? Who gets to decide if it is authentic? (Led by Katelin Penner, an MUP student).

My walk should be accessible to wheelchair users, no steps will be neccessary. My walk is accessible by the Bedford L, an accessible subway station. The walk will total out at around 1.5 to 2 miles, and will be done at a slow pace.
Location Information

RSVP is required and capacity is limited. Meeting location, ending location, and directions will be provided via email before walk date.


Saturday, May 6, 2023
1:00 PM
Greater than 1 hour

Borough: Brooklyn
Theme: Advocacy, History & Culture
Language: English
A game of bocce at Domino Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Andre Carrotflower. Modifications: photo cropped.