RPA Assembly: Give Communities the Tools to Plan their Future

It has been nearly 30 years since New York City’s charter was last comprehensively reviewed, and the City has changed dramatically in that time. In the early 90s the City was still climbing back, job growth was stronger in the suburbs, you could still find a decently affordable apartment in Williamsburg. But starting in the mid 2000s job growth has grown dramatically in New York City, real estate prices have skyrocketed and inequality has grown.

There is an increasing sense that many residents have very little say in the shape of their neighborhoods. In response to that, advocates, including Regional Plan Association in  its Fourth Regional Plan, have called  to channel housing and infrastructure investments in a way that promotes equity, and reforming decision making in order to enable such investments in an inclusive way.

So when the City of New York recently announced not just one but two new charter review commissions we knew that it was a topic we had to explore further at the Assembly.

We’re hosting a panel discussion on how to give NYC residents the tools to plan their future and enable inclusive growth.  Using the City Council’s new charter review committee as a starting point, panelists will explore different options for promoting more inclusive growth, improving land use decision making, and even whether the  environmental review process can be changed to include health.

The panel will be moderated by Mitchell Korbey, Partner & Chair of the Land Use & Zoning Group at Herrick, Feinstein LLP.  Panelists include Letitia James, NYC’s Public Advocate, who has long been leading efforts to give a greater voice to communities in deciding their future; Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President and an advocate for civic engagement in land use decision making and city charter reform;  Antonio Reynoso, NYC Council Member, who has been leading the city council’s efforts to achieve more equitable land use; Robert Schiffer, Managing Director, SL Green who has been leading the development of One Vanderbilt as part of the East Midtown rezoning; and Malo Hutson, Associate Professor of Urban Planning at Columbia University, who will bring a national perspective and comment on the connections between civic engagement and health.

Click here to read the recommendations made by the 2017 land use reform working group lead by the office of City Council Member Antonio Reynoso,  the office of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Regional Plan Association.

And to learn more about  out RPA’s recommendation on reforming the process of planning in the New York region, click here.

Visit our website to learn more about this year’s Assembly.



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