Air Grievances

In environmental justice communities, knowledge about air pollution hotspots comes from the ground up. Shouldn't remedies start there too?

Hidden Maladies and Misplaced Remedies

Toxic industrial legacies — and their hazards — extend far beyond high-profile parcels. Measures to remediate them need to treat a broader urban landscape, too.

Gasworks, Lost and Found

Manufactured gas plants disappeared from cityscapes long ago. In most cases, so did awareness of their toxic traces. Can neural networks now detect the hazardous remains that elude regulators?

Staying Means Leaving

How do you respond to remediation when it falls short, again and again? For New Jersey's Ramapough Lunaape, mending the impacts of pollution on ancestral land means restoring health and indigenous culture on new ground.

Learning Environment

With origins in a massive underground oil spill, the new Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center is seeding future generations of neighborhood activists.

Unlikely Attractions

In works from digital dérives to a floating opera, artists bring new perspectives to New York City's most damaged environments.

Seed Money

After a historic oil spill and an unprecedented financial settlement, a Brooklyn community oversees its ecological repair.

Concentrated Cleanup

Since 2009, New York City has been incentivizing private cleanup of contaminated sites. Who benefits?

Getting to Zero

Banned from residences for more than half a century, lead paint still poisons thousands of children a year in New York City. Who is responsible for ensuring healthy homes for all?

A Resilience Workshop

A long-term, community-based project brings critical knowledge about risks of contamination and engages local industries as partners in preparedness in the wake of Sandy. But extreme weather is not the only threat to vulnerable businesses.

About this Series

Cleaning Up? is edited by Mariana Mogilevich.

Francesca Johanson, Sam Velazquez, Olivia Schwob, and Amy Howden-Chapman conducted research for this series. Ana Baptista (The New School), Rebecca Bratspies (CUNY School of Law), Sara Carr (Northeastern University), Catherine Fennell (Columbia University), Scott Frickel (Brown University), and Samara Swanston (City of New York) generously shared their insights and expertise in the initial development of this series. They are not responsible for its content or any errors within.

Cleaning Up? is supported, in part, by the Cowles Charitable Trust and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.