On November 20, Fellows were invited for drinks and discussion on the history of the community planning process in New York City.

Over the past half century, New York City residents have advocated for greater representation in the planning process. Through the creation of community boards, power over land use decisions was decentralized. As major redevelopment projects now reshape neighborhoods, community boards provide greater representation and a seat at the planning table.

Though New York City has historically created mechanisms for greater democratic participation, the process of planning continues to be complex and contentious. Community board power is advisory rather than regulatory. Some mechanisms such as 197-a plans and participatory budgeting promote community-based master planning, but they often lack real power and permanence. As neighborhoods struggle for a greater voice over land use, how do we balance individual neighborhoods’ needs with broader citywide goals? When did community power devolve and what strategies can help rebuild it?

Rebecca Amato, Esteban Girón, Emily Goldstein, and Tawkiyah Jordan discussed the history and future of the community planning process in New York City.


Event Photos ↓


Guest Policy ↓

The Urban Design Forum promotes conversation between invited civic leaders, designers, developers and advocates. Forum Fellows are welcome to invite one additional guest to attend.


Our Sponsors ↓

This program is made possible through the support of Citi Community Development and our Director’s Circle and Fellows.

Shape our year-long inquiry and promote conversation between our Fellows and invited decision-makers on developing a progressive agenda for the built environment. To learn more, please contact Daniel McPhee, Executive Director, 646-928-0553, daniel@urbandesignforum.org.


About Shape Shift

Rules of Engagement is the second event for our Shape Shift series, a year-long inquiry into the current state of planning in New York City. As we approach the mayoral election cycle, the Forum will revisit historic planning shifts, survey international cities, and debate alternative approaches on ways the next mayor should shape the built environment to build a more equitable city.


Image Credit ↓

NYC Dept. of Transportation