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August 7, 2006

New York magazine gets the big picture: "absolute absence of democratic process"

Atlantic Yards Report

NewYorkMagazine-Rendering01.jpgFinally the epic Atlantic Yards story has been given some sustained attention, in New York magazine political reporter Chris Smith’s cover story, Mr. Ratner’s Neighborhood, subtitled “Manipulative developers, shrill protesters, and a sixteen-tower glass-and-steel monster marching inexorably forward.”

Smith, who lives in Fort Greene, writes that he’d stayed out of the debate, having “shrugged off the complaints of Atlantic Yards opponents as shrill and reflexively obstructionist.”

But after immersing himself in the story, he comes out deeply troubled. While he acknowledges the concerns and claims of supporters, he's not fully convinced of the benefits, and, above all, he concludes that the project is profoundly undemocratic. It's a notable counterpoint to the credulous, compromised, and contradictory New York Times editorial published yesterday.

Smith does make a few small errors, some of which I’ll mention, but he gets the big picture and, in some instances, adds to it.

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Posted by lumi at August 7, 2006 7:31 AM