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Thursday, May 14, the Community-Based Planning Task Force will join the One City/One Future initiative for a day-long forum about Economic Development and Recovery in New York City.
A follow-up to 1C1F’s recently-released Blueprint for Growth that Works for All New Yorkers, this conference will bring together elected officials, advocates, and grassroots leaders from a range of sectors – from jobs and workforce development to housing, greening our economy, and strengthening our neighborhoods – to explore the current economic context and its impacts on communities, and to work toward solutions for the City’s long-term recovery and sustained economic health.
The forum will be held from 9:30am to 5:30pm at New York University’s Kimmell Center, 60 Washington Square South. The Task Force will present and discuss our legislative agenda at 2:45pm. Register online – It’s free!
The City Planning Commission certified its planned rezoning of 180 blocks in Flatbush, Brooklyn, signaling the start of the public review process.
“Flatbush is one of the city’s most architecturally diverse and breathtakingly beautiful residential neighborhoods,” said Commissioner Amanda M. Burden, “The historic 20th century Victorian architecture, generous lawns and mature trees as well as the diversity of its apartment building and active retail character are what make this area so special.”
Flatbush Gardner has more details, including maps and an analysis of how the rezoning plan intends to meet the community’s goals, articulated during the Imagine Flatbush 2030 community visioning process.
Pressure is mounting to halt the national tide of foreclosures. New York’s housing advocates are working at the frontlines to keep people in their homes and to ensure that solutions currently being generated at the city and state level respond to New York’s unique housing and neighborhood needs.
A Municipal Art Society Planning Center panel discussion moderated by Eva Hanhardt of the Pratt Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment late last year, tapped the insights of Audrey Waysee, Center for New York City Neighborhoods; Josh Zinner, Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project; Mark Winston-Griffith, Drum Major Institute; Patricia Kerr, Neighborhood Housing Services, Jamaica; and Ingrid Gould Ellen, Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, to confront the question: How do we stabilize neighborhoods experiencing high rates of foreclosure?
Check out a summary and video clips on MAS’s website.
Mark Gorton of the Open Planning Project is working on ways to connect community planning initiatives and open-source techology. (Check out this Wired article for more info). Toward this end, the Open Planning Project hopes to create an online toolset that makes community organizing and grassroots activism easier and more effective. So, the site is asking for your input about what tech tools you currently use and what tools you would find most helpful. Help them out by filling out their quick online survey.
Beginning tomorrow, the Brecht Forum will host a six-part series of workshops focused on building consensus. From their site:
Consensus Mechanics is a study of Consensus Decision-making as a revolutionary and liberating tradition. This course will explore Consensus as historically cultural practice, and examine the diverse threads which have converged in the contemporary practice of Consensus in American communities: from Quakers, to intentional communities, to leftist
coalitions. We will look in depth at the structure of, and beliefs embodied by, the consensus decision-making process. Participants will learn the practical skills and tools that make Consensus work – including Active Listening, Co/Facilitation, Agenda Planning, and Mediation – through discussion, storytelling, games, and role plays.
Autumn Brown is a mother, organizer, theologian, artist, and facilitator. She is a founding member of the Rock Dove Collective, a radical community health exchange, and Past President of the Fertility Awareness Center of New York. Trained in Consensus Process and Facilitation by the U.K.-based collective Seeds for Change, Autumn is experienced in facilitating group process and training community organizers in Consensus Decision-making. She has taught and presented in New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Montpelier and Tokyo, and is currently based in Brooklyn.
Community boards, once known as community planning boards, are responsible for advising on land use and zoning matters, as well as service delivery and other community concerns. Community Boards are also authorized by the New York City Charter to create plans for the future of their districts (known as 197-a plans).
Each board consists of up to 50 unsalaried members, appointed by the Borough President, with half nominated by the City Council Members who represent the community district.
Application deadlines for community board membership are coming up! Find your community board here.
Applications are available online for:
Deadline January 15.
For more information, contact Shaan Kahn at Borough President Scott Stringer’s office, 212-669-4416. There will be an information session held by BP Stringer’s office on Wednesday, January 7th from 6:30-8:00 pm at 1 Centre Street, 19th Floor.
Deadline February 6.
For more information, contact Tom Lucania at Borough President Adolfo Carrion’s office, 718-590-6005.
Deadline February 13.
For more information, contact Camille Socci at Borough President Marty Markowitz’s office, 718-802-3700.
Deadline May 15.
For more information, contact Jason Razefsky at Borough President James Molinaro’s office, 718-816-2232.
Applications are available by calling Karen Koslowitz at Borough President Helen Marshall’s office: 718-286-2900. City Council members often also have applications available at their offices. Queens applications are due before January 14.
Have you recently been involved in a community-based planning initiative in your neighborhood? If so, we want to hear about it.
Last year, the Municipal Art Society Planning Center and the Community-Based Planning Task Force launched Planning for All New Yorkers: an Atlas of Community-Based Plans in New York City. The Atlas is an interactive, online, map-based tool that allows users to search plans by type and download summaries in PDF form. It is the only resource in NYC that brings together community planning initiatives of all types, including 197-a comprehensive plans, waterfront access plans, economic development plans, transportation plans, and more.
The 87 plans currently in the Atlas represent countless hours of work by grassroots organizations, community boards, and New Yorkers from all five boroughs since 1989. As community planning in NYC continues, the Atlas is always growing. If you know about a planning process that has taken place in your neighborhood and you don’t see it included in the Atlas, please let us know!
The Community-Based Plan of the Month is a new feature, highlighting plans included in Planning for All New Yorkers: An Atlas of Community-Based Plans in New York City, an interactive map created by the Municipal Art Society and the Community-Based Planning Task Force. As the recent economic slowdown gives us the opportunity to take a step back and reevaluate New York City’s planning processes, community-based plans can provide a framework for growth that works for all New Yorkers. The plans featured in this column will provide examples of how inclusive planning processes work on the ground, and ideally will help inspire future community planning efforts.
When the Fort Hamilton Parkway interchange of the Prospect Expressway was completed in 1962 under the direction of Robert Moses, a small, eight-block section of Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn was severed from its neighbors. This quirky area was once home to a number of horse stables due to its proximity to Prospect Park, but now only one remains: Kensington Stables, located at East 8th Street and Caton Avenue. Since Claremont Riding Academy near Central Park closed last year, Kensington Stables is among New York’s few remaining urban stables.
The desire to preserve the stables and the low-rise residential enclave that surrounds them inspired a group of residents to come together in 2005 to plan for their neighborhood’s future. Calling themselves the Stable Brooklyn Community Group, they began organizing their neighbors with a walking tour to survey vacant lots and buildings under development (shown above in front of the stables, via the group’s website). Next, homeowners, renters, visitors, and equestrians discussed the neighborhood’s development, traffic, sanitation, and safety concerns with representatives of Brooklyn Community Board 7 and the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office. In spring 2006, representatives from the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development led two community visioning workshops in the neighborhood. The process culminated in the release of a report, Stable-izing Brooklyn (PDF), in July 2006. Read more after the jump.
Yesterday, the Department of City Planning proposed a new zoning text amendment that will require indoor, secure, long-term bicycle parking in new multi-family residential, commercial, and community facility construction.
With commuter cycling on the rise in the City, this new amendment seeks to support current riders and encourage new ones, while decreasing congestion and air pollution. The DCP website outlines the details, including the fact that these bike parking areas would not count toward a building’s floor area.
ULURP for this proposal will begin with review by all community boards starting November 17.
Photo of indoor bike parking at a Portland, Oregon office building by Mark Stosberg on Flickr.