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Gotham Gazette Examines Public Participation in Planning Processes, Quotes MAS

willets point garagesIn yesterday’s Gotham Gazette, writer Courtney Gross examines in detail the ongoing conflict between the Bloomberg administration’s rampant rezoning of the city and community advocates’ call for more public participation in the planning process. From the Jamaica Plan to Williamsburg to Willets Point, she points out the flaws in the process that allow plans to proceed despite community opposition. She also tackles the issue of the lack of teeth given to 197-a planning under the current system. Eve Baron of the Municipal Art Society Planning Center and our the Campaign for Community-Based Planning Task Force says, “When we’re talking about public participation, sitting down and being willing to talk before rezoning happens is one thing,” said Baron. “There is another thing that is working with the community beforehand to create proactive plans.” For more news, MAS Issues in the Press: – The first phase of the High Bridge restoration in Washington Heights, a bike and pedestrian access path, is complete (New York Daily News). The imminent end of the Bloomberg mayoralty is expediting DOT projects to make streets as livable as they are utilitarian (New York Observer). – Growing buzz around sustainability is mirrored in an increasing number green building consultants (New York Times). This week, author Benjamin Chesluk is answering questions about the cultural transformation of Times Square (New York Times). -Brooklyn Councilmember Reyna built a new park in Williamsburg over the summer (New York Daily News). A Williamsburg sculptor’s works commissioned for Hudson River Park (Architect’s Newspaper). -Debates on the urgent need to update infrastructure made an appearance, albeit small, at the Democratic National Convention (New York Observer).