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The video above is the trailer for the documentary Some Place Like Home – The Fight Against Gentrification in Downtown Brooklyn, produced by Task Force member organization Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE). The Accountable Development Working Group and the Fifth Avenue Committee host a free screening on Wednesday, June 24 at 7pm at the Fifth Avenue Committee’s office, 621 DeGraw Street, near 4th Ave., Brooklyn.  From 6-7pm there will be an abridged meeting of the Accountable Development Working Group – the last monthly meeting until autumn.

Admission is FREE and refreshments will be served!  Small business owners and residents interviewed in the film will be on hand for Q & A.

To RSVP (not necessary but helpful) or further info, contact FAC at 718 237-2017, ext 148 or


On Friday, the State Senate Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions (chaired by Sen. Bill Perkins) held a hearing on the Atlantic Yards project.  The scene was hectic, with both pro- and anti-development factions representing in large numbers.  Norman Oder has a thorough recap at Atlantic Yards Report.

The Community-Based Planning Task Force prepared testimony, to be delivered by Executive Committee member Molly Rouzie of the Red Hook Civic Association.  While she was not able to deliver oral testimony because of the chaotic nature of the hearing, the following testimony was submitted in writing to the State Senators present:

Read the rest of this entry »

Do you have thoughts you would like to share about the proposed Atlantic Yards development?  If you’re like us, you definitely do!  Now you finally have a chance to weigh in on this proposed $4 billion Brooklyn mega-project.

The Community-Based Planning Task Force will join City and State agencies, environmentalists, planners, and other community members and advocates to give testimony at a public hearing on Atlantic Yards on Friday, held by State Senators Bill Perkins and Velmanette Montgomery.  Oral testimony on Friday is invite-only, but the public may submit testimony via email.

According to an email announcement about the hearing, it’s purpose is the following: “This hearing will trace the history of the Atlantic Yards project to determine its current status. The Committee’s intent is to examine the process by which decisions are made, to understand where the project is now, and to envision where this project might lead. Issues involved include but are not limited to whether this is the best possible deal for taxpayers and the local community; whether the use of eminent domain is necessary and is it being exercised responsibly; the meaning and use of the concept of ‘blight’ in condemnations; what is a ‘public benefit’ sufficient to justify massive state action; and what are the financials?”

The Task Force’s testimony, which we will post online soon, will focus on three main points:

1) The ongoing debate over Atlantic Yards shows the need for a comprehensive plan to precede major land use actions;

2) the public should have a strong voice in the use of eminent domain; and

3) community-initiated alternative plans should be given more weight in the decision-making process.

Although they cannot testify, members of the public may attend the hearing:

Friday, May 29
1PM – 5 PM
Pratt Institute, Higgins Hall
61 St. James Place (corner Lafayette Ave.)
Brooklyn, NY 11238

For some great background on the issues, check out Atlantic Yards Report’s extensive overview of questions that should arise at the hearing.

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 Accountable Development Working Group, a project of the Fifth Avenue Committee, meets this Wednesday evening (April 29th)  from 6-8pm, at Fifth Avenue Committee -621 DeGraw St. near Fourth Avenue (R train to Union).  The agenda is as follows:

  • Gowanus Canal Superfund nomination.
  • Formation of a Gowanus tenants’ union?
  • Sunset Park Rezoning — it’s moving!
  • Sunset Park housing survey — volunteers needed!

For more information, or to RSVP, contact Dave Powell via email or (718) 237-2017 ext 148.

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

On Saturday, May 16th the Municipal Art Society Planning Center will launch the third annual Livable Neighborhoods Program training at Hunter College. Join over one hundred New Yorkers from neighborhoods across the city to learn more about how to make positive transformations in your neighborhood. Past facilitators have included Tom Angotti of the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development, Anthony Borelli of the Manhattan Borough President’s Office and Vicki Weiner of the Pratt Center for Community Development.

Important Information:

Date and Time: Saturday May 16, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Registration Deadline: Friday, May 1, 2009
Who Can Attend? Registration is open the public, however priority is given to members of grassroots organizations and community boards.
What Is The Cost? Participation in the program is free.
Where Is The Training? The training will take place at Hunter College with special assistance from Hunter College’s Center for Community Planning and Development (CCPD). Hunter College is located at 695 Park Ave (Manhattan). Corner of 68th Street and Lexington Ave.
Will Food Be Served? Yes. We will provide breakfast and lunch.

Can I Bring My Child? Yes. The LNP is designed to be as convenient for participants as possible. We will have a supervised children’s activity room available for children school age and up.

To register online please visit

For more information, please contact Sideya Sherman, at or call 212.935.3960 x259.

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.

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!

Last week, all work on the Atlantic Yards project came to a halt. Developer Forest City Ratner’s spokesperson blamed the delay on the ongoing eminent domain lawsuit. However, project opponents (and Community-Based Planning Task Force members) Develop, Don’t Destroy Brooklyn point out that the economy and financing concerns are more likely causes of the work stoppage.

According to Atlantic Yards Report, this morning another Task Force member organization, Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods, held a press conference calling for an audit of the project upon the five-year anniversary of its announcement. Their press release stated:

Five years since Forest City Ratner debuted its plans for an arena and skyscraper complex in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent, hundreds of residents have been displaced, historic buildings have been destroyed, businesses have been driven out, and profound blight has been created by the developer. Now the developer has announced that all work on the project has stopped and there is no timetable for future activity.

Please join the Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods for an inspection of the stalled project and to learn more about the call for a complete audit of public monies directed to the Atlantic Yards Development Project.”

AYR speculates that the group may need “a few more elected officials to get momentum on an audit.” Perhaps this is a good opportunity to contact your Council Member.

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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