Save the Date: Kick-Off of Gowanus Neighborhood Planning Process
Over the past three years, neighborhood leaders, community groups, elected officials, and hundreds of you have come together to envision a sustainable, livable, and inclusive future for the area around the Gowanus Canal. The "Bridging Gowanus" community planning process has laid a solid foundation of thoughtful, community-led planning and strong public action to shape our neighborhood.
Now, beginning this fall, the NYC Department of City Planning (DCP) will convene a series of conversations in our community—to build upon our work together though Bridging Gowanus, and develop plans for the future of the area. On Thursday October 27, DCP will host a kick-off meeting for the Gowanus neighborhood planning study:
At the kick-off meeting, you can meet the staff from the NYC Department of City Planning (and other City agencies who will work with us) and learn more about the neighborhood planning study process, also known as a PLACES study. As DCP describes these studies: “PLACES studies examine and address key land use and zoning issues in neighborhoods, but also take a broader look at current and future community needs to identify a wide range of strategies and investments that support the neighborhood’s growth and vitality.”
That approach will mesh well with the work we’ve done together through Bridging Gowanus. This summer, more than 500 of you helped to prioritize goals for the neighborhood – through an online survey and four in-person “open house” events. The top priorities you identified are:
- Invest in our parks, schools, transit and waterfront
- A sustainable, resilient, environmentally healthy community
- Keep Gowanus creative and mixed-use
- Preserve and create affordable housing
- Secure a pathway for responsible growth
- Strengthen the manufacturing sector and create good jobs
If you’d like to see the full results of the Bridging Gowanus survey, they are available here.
(If you didn’t get the chance to attend in person, you can read more about our open houses in Park Slope Stoop, and Brooklyn Daily Eagle. And you can also learn more about the Gowanus Canal cleanup, work to improve Gowanus neighborhood parks, support public art, build new school seats, and more on the Gowanus neighborhood page of my website.)
It won’t always be easy. We’re a neighborhood full of smart, creative people with strong opinions, and of course we’ll have different points of view on what matters most. As I said in a New York Times article this summer about this process: “Shaping real estate development in a capitalist economy is no easy feat. But our chance of seeing a future Gowanus based on the values we have — sustainability, livability, inclusion — get better if we try to shape that development ourselves, rather than just hope it doesn’t happen.”
Through each stage of the Bridging Gowanus process, we’ve brought diverse members of our community together—long-time and newer homeowners, tenants, NYCHA residents, business owners, environmental activists, artists, affordable housing advocates, and more—to talk honestly about the opportunities and challenges we face, and to develop a shared future.
As we begin working with the Department of City Planning on the next phase of this process, I’m looking forward to continuing this conversation together.
Hope to see you on October 27th.
P.S. One of the best Gowanus events of the year is coming up. Mark your calendar for Gowanus Open Studios weekend, on October 14-16. This is your opportunity to meet hundreds of local artists living and working in Gowanus, see their studios, and check out some really fantastic art.
While making your way through the extraordinary range of creativity that is #GOS2016, you can also learn more about the Bridging Gowanus community planning process. On Sunday, October 16 from noon to 5:00 pm, we’ll have an exhibit at 168 7th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.
Thanks to Arts Gowanus for continuing to organize and grow this fantastic event. More information here.