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Archive for 'Yolanda Garcia Community Planner Award'

The Yolanda Garcia Community Planner Award

The Yolanda Garcia Community Planner Award acknowledges the hardworking leaders of grassroots community-based planning. This award was created in 2006 to honor the work of the late Yolanda Garcia, a community activist from the South Bronx. Under Ms. Garcia’s leadership, the residents of Melrose founded Nos Quedamos and transformed a neighborhood by successfully creating its own vision and alternative to the city’s urban renewal plan. Each year the Municipal Art Society presents the award to an individual who embodies the spirit of Ms. Garcia—overcoming the many obstacles to grassroots, community-led planning and succeeding in bringing neighborhood need and vision into New York City’s planning process. Laurie Beckelman, founding partner of the project management firm Beckelman+Capalino, LLC, will open this segment of the program. Yolanda Gonzalez, CEO of Nos Quedamos and daughter of Yolanda Garcia, will present the award to Kelley Williams, executive director of the Strycker’s Bay Neighborhood Council.

Frances Goldin Receives 2009 Yolanda Garcia Community Planner Award

“A renewal effort has to be conceived as a process of building on the inherent social and economic values of the community. Neglecting these values through programs of massive clearance and redevelopment can disrupt an entire community.” These words could easily have been written by South Bronx activist Yolanda Garcia. In the early 1990s, she founded an organization known as We Stay/Nos Quedamos, and led a movement of residents who wanted to remain in their neighborhood despite the City’s plan to redevelop it with low-density, mixed-income housing.  They created an alternative plan for affordable housing development at Melrose Commons that is still being implemented today. However, the words above are actually the opening statement of the Cooper Square Alternate Plan, written in 1961 by a group of activists from the Lower East Side, including Frances Goldin. Known as the Cooper Square Committee, they opposed Robert Moses’ urban renewal plan to demolish and redevelop more than 2,500 housing units in their neighborhood. On July 13, the Municipal Art Society celebrated the kindred spirits of these two community activists by presenting the annual Yolanda Garcia Community Planner (YGCP) Award to Ms. Goldin.  Continue Reading>>

MAS Announces Winners of 2009 Awards at Annual Meeting

MAS announced the winners of its Annual Awards honoring individuals and groups that help define the character of New York City at its annual meeting earlier this week at the Chelsea Art Museum. This year’s awards were highlighted by the Brooklyn Flea, the flea market that is becoming an essential weekend activity for all New Yorkers and IRT: A Tragedy in Three Stations, an original play that actually takes place in the subway. This year’s award-winners also included the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival; Sustainable Streets Strategic Plan for the New York City Department of Transportation 2008 and Beyond; and the Center for New York City Law. “It is an honor for us to be able to recognize all of these unsung heroes and institutions that contribute to New York City’s greatness and we are privileged to do so every year,” said Vin Cipolla, president of MAS. Continue Reading>>

MAS Celebrates Activism with Yolanda Garcia Community Planner Award

far rockaway historic bungalows street small by eve baron Ahead of this year’s Yolanda Garcia Community Planner Award (YGCPA), MAS’ Lacey Tauber talks community activism in the Far Rockaways with last years’ YGCPA winner, Jeanne Dupont, Executive Director of the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance. MAS is accepting nominations for this year’s award through Friday, May 29 (2009). For more information, and a copy of the nomination form, click here.

Nominations Now Open for Fourth Annual Yolanda Garcia Community Planner Award

yolanda garcia bronx street signThe Yolanda Garcia Community Planner Award (YGCP) acknowledges the hard-working leaders of grassroots, community-based planning. The award was created to commemorate Yolanda Garcia, a community activist in the South Bronx. Under Garcia’s leadership, the residents of Melrose challenged the city, created an alternative to an urban renewal plan, and transformed a neighborhood. The organization created by Garcia, We Stay/Nos Quedamos, is bringing that community’s vision to life through planning, design, construction, and programming. In 2007, MAS presented the second annual YGCP award to Elizabeth Yeampierre for her work with the United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park (UPROSE), which has engaged local residents, particularly youth, in multiple community planning and environmental justice initiatives along the Sunset Park waterfront in Brooklyn. Last year’s winner was Jeanne DuPont, Executive Director of the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance. The award recognized her work engaging a diverse community and local youth in open space and environmental issues on the barrier island of Far Rockaway, Queens. Continue Reading>>

South Bronx Hero Shows the City ‘the Way’

yolanda garcia way streetThe bright sun reflected off the many new buildings of Melrose Commons in the South Bronx, as elected officials, activists, developers, friends, family, and other admirers gathered on East 157th Street to honor the memory of Yolanda Garcia yesterday. Third Avenue between 156th and 157th Streets is now known as “Yolanda Garcia Way.” Ms. Garcia’s family owned a carpet shop in the Melrose section of the Bronx, where she was working in the early 1990s when she learned of a City urban renewal plan that called for displacing local residents and creating low-density housing. Incensed that those residents who stayed in the South Bronx despite decades of disinvestment were going to be displaced, Ms. Garcia founded Nos Quedamos/We Stay. This grassroots group was dedicated to rethinking the plan, including the community in the process, and preventing displacement. The resulting Melrose Commons plan helped to create over 1,500 units of affordable housing in the area, kept thousands of residents from being displaced, and even brought green building principles to the South Bronx. Continue Reading>>

2008 Yolanda Garcia Community Planner Award Winner is Announced

jeanne dupontJeanne DuPont, Executive Director of the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance (RWA) is the 2008 Yolanda Garcia Community Planning Award recipient. This award, which recognizes the often-unsung leaders of grassroots community-based planning, was awarded to Jeanne for her work promoting public waterfront access in the Rockaways. In 2005, the RWA created the Rockaway Waterfront Park Project, which laid the groundwork for the present PLANYC public park project for Far Rockaway. Like Yolanda Garcia, Jeanne has a strong commitment to community-led planning-working across cultural and generational lines to create a community vision. Continue Reading>>

2008 Yolanda Garcia Community Planner Award Call for Nominations

The Yolanda Garcia Community Planner Award (YGCP) acknowledges the often-unsung leaders of grassroots, community-based planning. The award was created to commemorate the work of Ms. Yolanda Garcia, a community activist in the South Bronx. Under Ms. Garcia’s leadership, the residents of Melrose challenged the city, created an alternative to an urban renewal plan, and transformed a neighborhood. The organization created by Ms. Garcia, We Stay/Nos Quedamos, is bringing that community’s vision to life through planning, design, construction, and programming. On April 19, 2007, the second annual YGCP award was presented to Ms. Elizabeth Yeampierre during a spirited celebration for her work at UPROSE. Continue Reading>>