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Tonight at 6:30pm at the Hudson Guild, the Hudson Yards Community Advisory Committee and Manhattan Community Board 4 are sponsoring a meeting to gather community input on the Hudson Park and Boulevard project.

The Hudson Yards Development Corporation and the Departments of Parks, Transportation, City Planning and Design & Construction chose five finalists in a design competition for the project, which is being planned as app. four acres of newly created parks and open space between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues from West 33rd to West 42nd Streets.

The Hudson Guild is located at 441 West 26th Street (bet. 9th & 10th Ave), and the meeting will be in the Dan Carpenter Room. For more information, call Pat Conway at (212) 736–4536.

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Hudson Yards Community Advisory Committee, an official community coalition made up of members of Community Board 4, local electeds and community organizations, has written an open letter to the MTA in response to the development proposals for the area, which were presented to the public in December.

The letter goes into detail about the following 13 points:

  1. There is too much density for a successful environment. 
  2. There is no public infrastructure and no commitment to build it. 
  3. There is no plan for affordable housing. 
  4. Allowing changes in the ERY zoning and WRY design guidelines will create a better plan. 
  5. Make real New York City blocks. 
  6. Big open space may not be best.    
  7. The entire High Line can and must be preserved. 
  8. Require a genuine commitment to sustainability.         
  9. Strong labor provisions and opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses must be provided. 
  10. Put the school in a good location.
  11. Modify the cultural facility zoning on the ERY, since there is no committed not-for-profit user. 
  12. Make good connections to Hudson River Park.
  13. The financial aspects of the proposals must be made public.

Read the full letter over at Rail Yards Blog.

Friends of the High Line have created a new blog covering plans for the Hudson Yards site.  You can watch video of presentations given by each development team last week at Cooper Union, leave your comments about FOTHL’s principles for development of the site, and even link to the MTA’s comment site.  Visit here!

 UPDATE:  Also, Tonight:

Hudson Yards Community Advisory Committee, a coalition of community organizations and representatives of elected officials, will hold an input forum as an opportunity for the public to view and comment on the rail yards proposals. Following presentations of the five proposals, we will break into moderated round-table discussions.

When: December 10, 2007   6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Where: Hudson Guild – Dan Carpenter Room, 441 W. 26th St. (bet. Ninth & Tenth Aves.), Manhattan
Cost: Free
RSVP: None required.

west side yards commentsFriends of the High Line reminds us that proposals for the West Side Rail Yards are on view through December 3:

The MTA is now taking public comment on the five bids to develop the West Side Rail Yards. One Third (1/3) of the High Line runs through the Rail Yards site, and this section may be torn down depending on the MTA’s planning process. It’s crucial that you let the MTA know that you support full preservation of the entire historic High Line structure. You can view the five proposals and give the MTA your comments through December 3.

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Since 2000, The Community-Based Planning Task Force has been leading the effort to create a more meaningful role for communities in New York City’s planning and decision-making processes.

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