May 24, 2010
Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth? An Examination of Brooklyn Bridge Park in Terms of the Politics of Development
Noticing New York
Michael D.D. White publishes an epic three-part look at the politics of development in New York City, viewed through the prism of Brooklyn Bridge Park. It touches only tangentially on Atlantic Yards, but the delays in construction of the park conjure scary visions of a 50-year buildout in Prospect Heights.
This three-part article, which is principally about the new Brooklyn Bridge Park currently under development, wends a long, more serpentine path through the politics of New York City development than perhaps any other we have written. As you would expect, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's appearance is much more than a cameo. We don’t offer him praise.
Inevitably the metaphor of looking a gift horse in the mouth comes to mind when we contemplate the spectacular change to the city’s waterfront that will one day be Brooklyn Bridge Park. Whatever our government agencies ultimately do, the park will provide desirable benefits that will be extremely hard to complain about. But not conscientiously examining “gifts” that government officials deliver just doesn’t work in the political environment of New York. Besides Brooklyn Bridge Park is not truly a gift; it is something that community activists worked for years to obtain. Our elected representatives are, after all, supposed to be working for us. It is their job to properly administer our available public resources. Whether they are doing so requires a conscientious examination. We hope you will find that conscientious examination takes us on an interesting and worthwhile trip.
Posted by eric at May 24, 2010 10:59 AM