Envisioning The Future Together With NYC Communities
No matter what neighborhood you live in, we are in your community, listening to your voice.
Over the past few weeks, NYCEDC has been spending more time on the ground, speaking directly to communities to develop new neighborhood strategies.
Engaging with local residents is critical to the way we plan and implement future projects. After all, New Yorkers know best what their neighborhoods need. That’s why we’re getting input on priorities from the people who actually live, work, and play in neighborhoods all across the city.
This bottom-up approach to community development is inspired by the successful community engagement that lead to our Jamaica Now Action Plan and it will guide even more of our work as we continue to build resilient, livable, and equitable neighborhoods.
You’ve given us great ideas, ranging from making the waterfront more accessible in the Lower Concourse to enhancing open space in Inwood. One open house participant even drew a detailed rendering of her idea for converting old warehouses into a public market space!
Here's just some of the other public input we've heard at recent community vision meetings.
October 3: Inwood NYC Planning Initiative Public Open House
Inwood NYC is a neighborhood planning study that aims to build on this Upper Manhattan neighborhood’s considerable assets, while identifying new opportunities to develop and preserve affordable housing, connect residents to quality jobs, and build a more resilient, livable, and equitable city.
On Saturday, October 3, over 250 people—including Inwood families and seniors, Community Board 12 members, and representatives of local nonprofits—turned out (despite nippy weather) to share their ideas and perspectives about the neighborhood’s future. It was a diverse, multilingual crowd with residents of all ages and backgrounds in attendance.
New York City Council Member Ydanis Rodríguez kicked the event off in both Spanish and English, encouraging attendees to share their visions for Inwood NYC. NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer emphasized the importance of inclusive neighborhood planning that incorporates community goals and priorities from the start. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Assembly member Guillermo Linares urged the community to take an active role in articulating and advocating for their priorities.
Interactive stations got attendees discussing their ideas on key topics like housing, jobs and businesses, open space and waterfront, streets and pedestrian safety, and community services. Representatives from NYCEDC and the Departments of City Planning, Housing Preservation & Development, Parks, Small Business Services, Transportation, Health & Mental Hygiene, and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs engaged in conversations with attendees in both English and Spanish.
NYCEDC also staffed a comment box and an Inwood NYC “Idea Wall,” along with a photo booth that let attendees show off their #InwoodNYC vision through hopeful sketches and evocative words. See photos of a few of those creative visions here.
Next on the agenda are a series of planning workshops focused on the key topics mentioned above, in which participants and City agencies will roll up their sleeves and get to work developing recommendations for the plan, including a framework for new development, and capital investment priorities. We will also host another public meeting this winter where we will present the feedback we have received and discuss preliminary recommendations for the neighborhood plan.
With all the great feedback we received, we’re looking forward to building on this momentum and keeping residents updated as the Inwood NYC Neighborhood Plan takes shape!
October 1: Hunts Point Distribution Center Tour
The Hunts Point Food Distribution Center in the Bronx is critical to our city's economy and our food system, encompassing 329 acres, 115 private wholesalers, and more than 8000 employees.
The food distribution center alone comprises 36 family-owned wholesalers, many of which have been there for generations.
NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer visited this economic engine on Thursday, October 1, making stops at the Fish, Meat and Produce Markets, and Baldor Specialty Foods.
After touring the facility, Maria sat down with the Hunts Point Cooperative and the Teamsters Union to discuss their priorities for the future. The Coop expressed its desire to remain in Hunts Point and work with NYCEDC on investments that will help upgrade aging infrastructure, facilitate better working conditions, support business expansions, and create new jobs.
The Teamsters, whose members span several of the markets, see the success of their members directly tied to the success of each of the businesses. In the coming months, we will be considering their suggestions about improvements that can be made in collaboration with our Market Partners.
Thanks to George Maroulis and Richie Klein of the Fish Market, Ben Mosner and Bruce Reingold of the Meat Market, Danny Kane and John Rieder of the Teamsters 202, Myra Gordon of the Produce Market, and TJ Murphy and Mike Muzyk of Baldor Specialty Foods for making this tour possible and providing valuable input.
September 29: Lower Concourse Community Listening Session
As we begin to think through the investments needed in critical infrastructure in the Lower Grand Concourse and surrounding sections of the Bronx, our first listening session at Hostos Community College revealed crucial insights about what is truly important to the residents.
Some folks wanted more waterfront access. Others voiced concerns about traffic safety issues. We are taking these (and more) into serious consideration, and are in the process of discussing investment options and scenarios based on the results of engineering investigations and feedback received.
Thanks to Hostos Community College for hosting us, and to representatives from NYCEDC, Department of City Planning, NYC Department of Transportation, as well as the offices of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, for helping to facilitate the discussion. This is truly a cross-agency effort.
We will be back in in the Lower Concourse in November and look forward to continuing to work with local residents and groups in the meantime. Email [email protected] with any questions, or to get involved.
If you didn’t get a chance to attend any of these events, stay tuned – there will be many more opportunities to discuss a range of important issues throughout the planning process.
More than anything, it is people who are central to the future of our neighborhoods. We cannot do our work without hearing from you, so we hope to see you at future events!
Together, we will work towards the strongest, most representative and inclusive New York City possible, one neighborhood at a time.