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December 5, 2007

Panel on "oversuccess" raises questions about community review, CBAs, gentrification, and AY

The indefatigable Norman Oder attended last night's Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York panel on "The Oversuccessful City," where Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards project made its regular cameo appearance as development and planning-process bugaboo:

Unfortunately, [Ron Shiffman of the Pratt Institute] said, “too many comfortable relationships” favor projects that threaten communities. He cited the Columbia University expansion, where the City Council rejected a plan developed by Manhattan Community Board 9, and the Atlantic Yards project, where Forest City Ratner got “a deal to bypass the city review process.”

Affordable housing, he said, should be achieved not through a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), a “wedge issue” used to gain political support for a project like Atlantic Yards, but through policies, “not because we put zoning for sale”—another reference to the private rezoning for AY—“but because it’s a requirement for our society.”

Our political leaders, he suggested, are too insulated from the concerns. “We need to revisit public processes.”

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Posted by lumi at December 5, 2007 10:23 AM