A news archive of past Gowanus based events and announcements.
What is Community-Based Urban Planning?
Community-based urban planning is understanding urban planning and design as a process which integrates any new development with the existing communities and infrastructure around it. This requires a negotiation of the needs and desires of the existent community stakeholders with the business plans of developers and rigorous coordination between various city agencies that service the existing community and will service any new entities created by new development.
The Gowanus is a canal and neighborhood under assault. For every clean up there is an illegal dumping; for every marine species that returns to the canal there is an toxic overflow from the local CSOs. Even though Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill are neighborhoods of primarily four and five story buildings, the City has started selected rezoning and approved two development proposals that include 12-story buildings. The fact is - the area suffers because there is no master plan for the Gowanus.
The Gowanus area is supported by a number of neighboring community groups - most of which work in concert with the unified goal of achieving a clean and safe canal and responsible, improved resources for the community and appropriate development.
Statistics and information about the Gowanus community:
The Gowanus Canal abuts and connects the communities of Red Hook, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Park Slope, Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill.
One of the most important aspects of planning for the Gowanus is understanding details about the area. To aid potential planners, private developers and schools of architecture, GbD offers the following maps and mapping resources.
It is public knowledge that the Gowanus Canal is polluted. Many are coming to accept that worse the canal is toxic to the extent that it is dangerous for human beings to come into physical contact with.
Maximizing the canal's potential requires understanding what private developments are proposed to be built around the canal and looking for public space opportunities within them and between the developments and the canal. Here we look at local development plans plot by plot.
Independent Proposals and Students Projects
Historically the canal and the streets abutting it served as transport conduits for local manufacturing. As manufacturing has left the area, use of the canal as means of commercial trucks and barges has declined as well.
One of the notable successes of New York City’s recent efforts to reconnect communities with the bays, rivers, creeks, and estuaries that flow through the five boroughs has been the creation of urban greenways. They're a combination of paths and landscaped linear connections between communities, green spaces, and the waterfront. So far, the City Parks Department has added over 100 miles of bicycle and pedestrian paths, and hopes to complete a total of 350 miles of new greenways throughout the five boroughs.