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Attention Tweeters: The Community-Based Planning Task Force is now on Twitter!  Follow us @CommPlanningNYC.


The Maysels Cinema in Harlem will be screening  “Rezoning Harlem” this Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  This documentary film explores the recently-approved rezoning of 125th Street. Directed by students in Hunter College’s graduate planning program, it follows the opposition to the City’s plan through their struggle to advocate for affordable housing, and against the displacement of viable local businesses and the loss of a one of the world’s most famed African-American neighborhoods.

Maysels presents the film along with three panel discussions:

– Wednesday’s “Community Night Forum” features Monique Indigo Washington of  the Coalition to Save Harlem (pictured above), and Michael Henry Adams, an historian, preservationist, and author of “Harlem: Lost and Found.”

-Thursday’s “Next Steps: Making Community-Based Planning a Reality” features Eve Baron, Director of the Municipal Art Society Planning Center; City Council Member Tony Avella; and Mercedes Narciso, formerly of the Pratt Center for Community Development.

Friday’s “Housing Issues Workshop” features Julius Tajidin.

All three screenings begin at 7:30 pm at the Maysels Cinema, 343 Malcolm X Blvd / Lenox Ave (Between 127th and 128th Streets).  The directors, Natasha Florentino & Tamara Gubernat, will be present for each event.

Task Force member organization NAG (Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, formerly Neighbors Against Garbage), a community organization in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, has a new blog called “Neighborhood Watch.” Launched about a month ago, issues covered so far include: saving industrial jobs in North Brooklyn, the ongoing saga of the Finger Building, the Williamsburg Walks street closures on Bedford Ave., and the search for a new home for the McCarren Pool Parties. Check it out here.

Another opportunity to ask an expert this week: over at the NY Times’ City Room Blog, Ned Sullivan, the president of Scenic Hudson, will be answering questions about how New York City and its residents can preserve land and promote smart growth along the Hudson River. Readers are invited to submit their questions about preserving land and creating public parks and about environmentally friendly, sustainable development. Check it out!

On Tuesday, June 3 from 2-3pm, Gotham Gazette will host a live web chat with Tom Angotti, Hunter College professor, Gotham Gazette land use columnist, and member of the Executive Committee of the Community-Based Planning Task Force.  He will be available to answer questions and offer his views about what the plan does and does not do, its strengths and its weaknesses.

To participate, go to tomorrow at 2pm.  You can also submit pre-chat questions here.

Over my 14 years as a community board member it became ever more apparent that local communication in New York City sucks, sorry, is inadequate. In making the case for the .nyc TLD, I frequently make reference to the quantity of local media in Terre Haute Indiana, where I attended college for a couple of years, and Queens Community District 3, where I served on the community board. Here’s a little chart comparing the dedicated local media serving the two communities:


Terra Haute, Indiana

Community District 3 (NYC)
Television Stations
Daily Newspapers
Radio Stations


Also, we do have a few weakly newspapers that cover portions of the district. And should there be a catastrophe in the area (LaGuardia Airport is in our district), we will be inundated with far more media than one reasonably needs. But on a daily basis, to look into why the potholes aren’t filled, to the needs of the homeless guy, to examine the quality of our local schools, etc., local media doesn’t exist. Perhaps I should say “local media is inadequate.”

This is all preliminary to my directing you to a presentation that will be given this Sunday at the Grassroots Media Conference at Hunter College entitled “A Platform for Community Media.” The presenter (that would be me) will explore how the .nyc TLD (other TLDs are .com, .org, .edu…) will facilitate the development of participatory local media – media that we all contribute to and that helps us make decisions. Perhaps it might be thought of as community-based or bottom-up media. Not sure what I’ll call it yet. Come Sunday and find out.

Get a preview of my presentation here and info about the Grassroots Conference and it 40 other sessions, and film screenings, here.

Tom Lowenhaupt

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.

This blog intends to connect our Task Force and the public with opportunities to participate in shaping the city's future, and to inform about issues related to planning, decision-making, equity, social justice, and public participation.

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