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Creating Networks of Community Builders

lnp classroom training students watchingThis past Saturday May 11, 2013, MAS held its biannual Livable Neighborhoods Training.  Community board members, grassroots organizers, and concerned citizens gathered at Pratt Manhattan to learn the knowledge, skills, and tools to implement community plans in their neighborhoods.  Instructors included city officials, non-profit leaders, academics and experienced community activists. Starting off the day with an opening panel on Defining Resilience and Building Back Green, training participants heard from an architect, botanist, journalist, and landscape architects on various techniques and opportunities for creating a more resilient New York through the implementation of natural infrastructure and building upon existing social networks.  Following the panel, Manhattan Borough President, Scott Stringer welcomed the participants with an engaging address about the power of community boards and how to approach challenges in your community. With a wide range of workshops to choose from, participants were able to develop multi-faceted tools to improve their communities.  Courses included: Advocating for Parks and Open Space, Navigating the Public Review Process: ULURP and Environmental Review, Zoning 101, Community-Based Energy Efficiency, Creating and Preserving Affordable Housing, and many more!  This year’s training also included a new resilience-building track with courses in: Funding the Resilience Process, Assessing Neighborhood Strengths and Addressing Vulnerabilities, and Strategies for Building Social Resilience and Cohesion.  Materials from the workshops are available here. The MAS Livable Neighborhoods training will continue to provide community activists with the knowledge they need to effectively participate in decisions that impact the livability of their neighborhoods. Since Livable Neighborhoods started in 2006, we’ve provided hands-on training to over 1000 New Yorkers (including over one third of the city’s 59 community boards). To learn more about Livable Neighborhoods, and our upcoming training in the fall, visit