May 2012
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Archive for May, 2012

Livable Neighborhoods: Training Emerging Community Planners from all Five Boroughs

livable neighborhoods training

On May 12, MAS hosted the 6th annual Livable Neighborhoods Training. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer gave the welcome address to a group of more than one hundred people representing all five boroughs. The all-day training was held at Pratt Manhattan and co-sponsored by Pratt Institute’s Programs in Sustainable Planning and Development. The semi-annual event brings together a diverse group of participants from community boards, community organizations, and the planning and design fields to learn from experts with practical experience in city planning, economic development, zoning and more. Instructors included city officials, non-profit leaders, academics and experienced community activists.

In preparation for Manhattan Borough President Stringer’s speech at the MAS Livable Neighborhoods Training, we asked him a few questions about his experience in public service, his thoughts on community planning, and the need for programs like Livable Neighborhoods.

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Youth Council Monitor Electricity Consumption at Henry Street Settlement

henry street youth council

Last Friday, ten 9 and 10 year old boys and girls from the Henry Street Settlement Youth Council visited the Settlement headquarters to survey the number of electrical devices in each office. This survey is part of an effort to illustrate how staff can help reduce energy consumption.

Experts participating in the Henry Street Settlement eco-charrette–a collaborative design and solutions-seeking process–that took place last year, identified occupant behavior has a huge factor in the amount of energy used. Of particular concern was the office plug loads—the amount of electricity appliances, such as computers, water coolers, microwaves, cable boxes or space heaters use while on standby.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the following plug load costs, assuming 9 cents/kilowatt/hour:

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Two MAS Projects Selected as Partners in Preservation Finalists: Cast Your Votes!

MAS’s planned restoration of the “Rocket Thrower” statue and our energy retrofit at the Henry Street Settlement, were announced today as two of the 40 finalists of American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2012 Partners in Preservation Initiative in New York City.  Partners in Preservation is a community-based program providing preservation grants for local historic places.

From April 26 through May 21, you can cast your vote for this year’s finalists online at We hope you’ll support our MAS projects and help us get the most votes! Voters are allowed one vote per day, so vote early and often! The three projects receiving the most votes will have their grants fulfilled. The remaining funding will be distributed to the other sites by a jury of civic and preservation leaders along with American Express and National Trust advisors; awards will total $3 million dollars!

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Jane’s Walk NYC 2012: A Great Success!

janes walk

More than 2,500 New Yorkers (and visitors!) took to the streets last weekend for Jane’s Walk NYC. Coordinated by MAS, working with over two dozen partner organizations, Jane’s Walk NYC is a weekend of free, hosted walks, and bike rides in all five boroughs led by local residents, urban enthusiasts and those who care deeply about their neighborhoods and city.

Started in Toronto in 2007, Jane’s Walk is an international program created to commemorate the life and legacy of beloved urbanist Jane Jacobs.  This year it grew to include 600 walks in 85 cities and 19 countries!

From Inwood to Tottenville to Red Hook, there were 70 New York City walks this year, including a 13-mile walk down the entire length of Broadway hosted by artist Mary Miss and The Center as Living Laboratory. The half marathon walk began with 30 people on 238th Street in the Bronx, and by the time the walk reached the base of Manhattan twelve hours later, nearly 200 people had participated in at least one leg of the journey.

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Walk the Entire Length of Broadway on a Jane’s Walk with MAS & Mary Miss


MAS, artist Mary Miss and her organization City as Living Laboratory (CaLL) will be hosting a Jane’s Walk down the ENTIRE length of Broadway, from 240 Street to Bowling Green, on Sunday, May 6th.

The walk will start uptown at 8AM and end at the lower tip of Manhattan around 8PM. We hope you’ll join us for the half-marathon walk—or even just a portion of it – as we seek to re-imagine this historic corridor through varied perspectives on its past, present and future.

A whole host of interesting professionals, ranging from local artists and environmental scientists to activists and historians and even MAS President Vin Cipolla, will be lending their expertise as guides, serving as “eyes on the street.”

The schedule of the sections of the daylong walk follows, we hope to see you there or on another Jane’s Walk! MAS is pleased to coordinate Jane’s Walk in New York City, a weekend of free neighborhood walks hosted and guided by local residents, urban enthusiasts and others who care deeply about their neighborhoods and cities.

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