The Municipal Art Society Planning Center, with assistance from the Community-Based Planning Task Force, has developed an interactive, online tool that compiles community-based plans in New York City. Planning for All New Yorkers: An Atlas of Community-Based Plans in New York City contains 87 individual plans, created since 1989, the year that the City responded to pressure from communities to simplify and strengthen provisions in the City Charter for 197-a planning (197-a plans are officially-recognized, community-initiated local plans).

The plans in the Atlas represent countless hours of work by community-based organizations, community boards, and New Yorkers from all five boroughs. The interactive map depicts the borders of each plan, and allows users to search plans by type. Users can then download a PDF summary of each plan.

The Atlas has several uses. It is the only publicly-accessible compilation of community-based plans in New York City. It was originally created to provide local candidates running for office with an overview of the creative planning work already being done by local communities, and has now become an educational tool for the public as well.

It is a resource for communities that wish to create a plan, but do not know where to start. By highlighting other communities that have already undertaken similar planning activities, the Atlas can point to groups and individuals with whom they can consult and collaborate. It can also be used to develop background on community-based planning and to elicit ideas from other community-based plans. The Atlas is also a resource for city agencies, developers, or anyone wishing to initiate a land use action that accords with a community vision.

The Atlas is a living tool—it will be updated and upgraded regularly, so if you know of a plan that you feel should be included, let us know.

To use the Atlas, simply click on the image above.