Photo credit: @julesdwit.
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The guest/trustee brought up the proposition that you cannot have a park with commercial interests, which is complete nonsense. As a kid growing up in Brooklyn, there were no stores or condos at any park I played in. The city should give the people on the westside a regular old fashioned, dare I say, public park.
There is a huge difference among the three possibilities for the Pier. All three provide the revenue legally required by the Trust, but the Related proposal apparently offers revenue beyond that, whereas the other two proposals devote the remaining capacity to fulfilling urgent needs of the community--for desperately needed schools and recreational opportunities and other uses. The citizens of lower Manhattan will not be going to Cirque de Soleil more than once or twice in their lives. The theater, with all its short-term parking, is for tourists, not New Yorkers. But isn't there enough real New York for tourists to see? Why do we have to give away our precious park space to cook up new gimmicks for them? And where, once we've done that, will the dramatically increasing numbers of New York kids run around and go to school?
There is a big difference in the proposals about where the sports fields would be sited-- which was not mentioned by either your reporter or Diana Taylor. Related (Cirque de Soleil complex) would put them on the roof, which is very windy and unprotected, the Urban Dove and Partnership proposals keep them where they are now, in a large open space in the middle.
Also, these two latter proposals provides space for schools; Related does not. Our public schools are massively overcrowded and our community want to ensure that whatever proposal is adopted, there is space for one or two new schools.
the development along the river in the west village parallels developments all over NYC--on the lower east side and chinatown, in brooklyn, etc. and they all mirror the same process: city-run corporations dubbed "public/private partnerships" implementing development that caters to the wealthy and drives out working class folks under the guise of "economic development." this must be challenged through community-lead problem solving and strategizing so we can take back our city.
I couldn't agree more Laine. Even though LGBTQ communities are not the only stakeholders who stand to lose/gain from development along the waterfront, their case is an enlightening way to look at how privately driven public development impacts communities that lack access to capital and resources necessary to participate. The question remains: what kind of space is this? Public? Private? Something new?There was a discussion of homelessness and LGBTQ youth on BL a few weeks ago, but the interconnection is fascinating territory that can show us a lot about the future of development, especially public and park space development, in the city.
Clearly the development of open space on the waterfronts can a wonderful thing for communities, but it is critical that this is done in that responds to realities and needs of current residents and other community members (for example LGBT youth on the west side), rather than solely accelerating gentrification in these communities.
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