Whose visions for Gowanus? Come take a look.

You may have seen the recent New Yorker cover on Gowanus, in which artist Adrian Tomine makes fun of “people eating their organic kale and quinoa salads while gazing across the opaque, fetid water.” It’s a funny cover, and it’s good to be able to laugh at ourselves (and our neighbors). And there are certainly many ironic contradictions around the Gowanus Canal these days.   

But the issues we face in Gowanus are serious ones: How do we confront the legacy of industrial pollution, and the challenges of climate change and resiliency? How can we create inclusive neighborhoods – with room for working- and middle-class families, for public housing, for artists, for manufacturing – amidst skyrocketing real estate values? What’s the right balance of housing and jobs? Can we preserve, (or even strengthen) the mixed-use, eclectic, creative character of the neighborhood amidst change? Read more »

Public Art is Coming to Gowanus!

In your walks around Gowanus, you might have noticed a few more art pieces popping up over the last several months – like this colorful new mural on the side of the Dykes Lumber building, or the new "lounge area" at Ennis Playground.

These pieces, and several others throughout the neighborhood, are all part of a new Gowanus Public Art program that I’m launching with community partners at Arts Gowanus, the Old Stone House & Washington Park, and Groundswell. Read more »

Your Neighborhood Needs You!

Our 5th year of Participatory Budgeting NYC (PBNYC) is about to kick off, and we need your help! 

The PBNYC process gives New Yorkers the power to decide how to spend tax dollars in our neighborhoods. If you’re not familiar with PBNYC, here’s how it works: Read more »

Welcome Back to School

It’s a big day for NYC families as 1 million kids head back to school – including mine, who are starting 7th and 11th grade today (incredible how fast the years go, since it was just yesterday they were starting pre-K).

We’re starting off the school year with a lot of good things going on in our schools:

Read more »

Moving Forward with Pedestrian Safety Changes in Kensington and Windsor Terrace

We've been hard at work improving pedestrian safety in Kensington and Windsor Terrace. Here are some of the most significant improvements from the summer: Read more »

Op Ed: In Defense of Plazas, from Times Square to Brownsville

As posted in Gotham Gazette:

by Brad Lander, Daniel Dromm, & Laura Hansen

Police Commissioner Bratton's suggestion to remove the Times Square plazas in order to rid them of desnudas is not just about the future of one of the world's best public spaces. This regressive response could undermine a policy that has transformed New York's public realm.

Pedestrian plazas are an inexpensive, effective way to advance Mayor de Blasio's agenda for a more equitable city, addressing the essential tenets of his admirable OneNYC Plan. They improve public safety, promote health and wellness, cultivate arts and culture, create new open space (30 acres so far), and generate economic activity. Miles away from the crowds on 42nd Street, dozens of New York City neighborhoods have embraced their plazas and the civic benefits they deliver. Read more »

Wondering what happened to that project?

I’ve worked hard to bring more transparency to the New York City budget process each year. Thanks to Participatory Budgeting NYC, you can weigh in on the City Capital projects you want to see.  Thanks to new rules that I championed, and that the City Council adopted last year, you can get more information than ever about all the projects we fund.

However, once City Capital projects are funded, it’s still not easy to keep track of project timelines and see when winning projects get finished.

That’s why I’m excited to tell you about our new Capital Projects Tracker, an online map and database that allows you to see the status of every project I’ve funded since first taking office in 2010. Read more »

Help Citi Bike Expand to Our Neighborhood

Since Citi Bike launched in 2013, many of you have been asking the same question: When is it coming to our neighborhood?

I’m pleased to report that we’ve got an answer: 2016.

Next year, Citi Bike will be expanding into Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Park Slope, and Red Hook. And right now, you’ve got a chance to help identify good locations for the bike-share stations (or places you don’t think a station would make sense). Read more »

A Role Model for Me … and All of Us

This past week, David Lander retired from his law firm in St. Louis, after a 45-year career as an attorney. He won’t be resting on his laurels, though he would surely be within his rights to do so. In the coming days, he’s starting his “encore career” (as some people call it), working half-time each at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (which he directed many years ago), and St. Louis University Law SchoolRead more »

Following up from the Climate Change Town Hall

Thanks to many of you for attending last week’s Town Hall Meeting on Climate Change. We had a great room, full of engaged community residents, who came eager to work together on the steps NYC must take to confront one of the great challenges of our generation.

As we heard, the problems we face are daunting. New data from the NOAA shows that the global warming trend continues, with May, March, and June of 2015 all breaking previous records. Leading climate scientist James Hansen and a team of experts have put out a new study (not yet peer-reviewed, but still alarming) that resulting multi-meter sea-level rise could come much faster than previously thought.

The good news is that the scale of response – by global activists (like the 350,000 of us who took part in the People’s Climate March last fall), in public policy, and now even from Pope Francis –  is growing as well. Hopefully, and with all of our help, it will become commensurate with the challenge we face.  Here are some steps you can use to stay connected and continue to take action. Read more »

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