Monday, July 7, 2014

Real Democracy? Neighborhood Groups Holding 'Take Back Gowanus' Forum on Wednesday

Many residents of Gowanus don't sound very happy with the "scripted" and overly "curated" community planning meetings called "Bridging Gowanus," convened  by Council Member Brad Lander and other local official.

According to the Pardon Me For Asking blog, many groups feel the meetings are designed to funnel public opinion into a narrow number of choices, all of which enable developers to build more housing along the Gowanus Canal.

For a more open discussion about the future of Gowanus, neighborhood groups have organized a "Take Back Gowanus" forum on Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 at 7pm at the Green Building, 452 Union Street at Bond.

More at PMFA.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.


Anonymous said...

I have attended the meetings and washed how Pratt has filtered and over-generalized the community discussions.

For example, my table discussions we defined mixed use as mixing, industry, artists, and other commercial, no one thought housing should be along the canal for many good reasons. Others told me that had a similar discussions at their tables. defining a mixed use that deliberately excluded housing. But we now have Pratt repeating that we have consensus for a mixed which includes housing. Their over-generalization, which they call consensus, has lost all the nuances of the kind of mixed use many have been expressing at these meetings.

The meetings that followed the consensus-setting discussions have been about where to put the housing and this last, about how much height we will trade for for other community interests, like more open-space and park land.

The meetings have grown more frustrating because the initial meetings never did the hard work of developing and gauging actual consensus.

The City Councilmen should know better than this, when addressing a highly engaged community like Gowanus. It's the process that needs to change.

mcbrooklyn said...

Thank you for this comment.

The website says:
"Many people spoke of liking the model of a mix of uses within a building: having active, commercial uses on the ground floor – including light industrial businesses – with residential on upper floors....
There is much agreement that affordable housing across a wide range of levels of affordability – and preventing continued residential displacement – is needed, but there’s little consensus on how to achieve this..."
Sounds like there is a difference between what attendees are saying and what Pratt is reporting they said.