In yesterday’s Times, architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff followed up his excoriation of Related Companies’ Hudson Yards proposal with an editorial on big development projects and their accompanying architectural renderings. These renderings, he writes, undermine democratic process:

“As the battles over mammoth-scale development grow more heated, developers and their marketing teams have become extremely cautious about the information they release before a project passes review, for fear of inciting a public outcry… The images released to the public are often restricted to a few renderings that are carefully scrutinized in advance by marketing experts. As a result the public is often left without the visual tools it needs to make thoughtful judgments about a development’s impact.”

Ouroussoff once again uses the Hudson Yards as his example, but this phenomenon goes far beyond this one project. Atlantic Yards Report has a breakdown of these tactics at work in Brooklyn. After the jump, another choice recent example.

This is Toren, a condo tower planned for a busy stretch of Flatbush Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn. That’s right, Flatbush Avenue, not exactly the pastoral parkland depicted above.

Have you come across this phenomenon in your neighborhood?

Rendering via Curbed.

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