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May 16, 2007

Livable neighborhoods, community planning, and community media 2.0

Today's installment on Atlantic Yards Report covers the Municipal Art Society's workshop for the "Livable Neighborhoods Program: Resources and Training for Community-Based Planners."

The next workshop is this Saturday. Community leaders and activists will want to read Norman Oder's account of the previous workshop to see if this is something that they might be interested in attending.

As Eve Baron, director of the MAS Planning Center, points out, the average New York City community district is the size of Connecticut cities like Bridgeport, New Haven, or Waterbury, all of which have “hundreds of employees and multi-million dollar budgets to provide services.” By contrast, the city’s community boards, with budgets of $200,000, can’t fulfill the demands placed on them.

Participants at the seminar get a planning “toolkit” with chapters on planning topics like community organizing and visioning, data collection, zoning, 197-a planning, “brownfield” planning, historic and cultural resources preservation, electronic mapping and the budget process.

The training component, using the toolkit as a textbook, is hosted by the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development (CCPD). I found the sessions I attended May 5 useful in some ways, basic in others, but, then again, I’ve been immersed in certain land use issues for a while.

Oder also offers additional advice on community media:

Interestingly, the community outreach advice during the Livable Neighborhoods program was rather traditional, advising community groups to make sure they sent press releases to media outlets, including web sites.

Unmentioned was how people and organizations can now create their own media via the web. Consider the ecosystem around Atlantic Yards. Community groups like Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, the Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods, and BrooklynSpeaks all have their own web sites.

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Posted by lumi at May 16, 2007 8:41 AM