The start of 2014 marked the end of the Bloomberg era and the start of something new. It’s an opportunity to gather thoughts about what happened in our city over the last 12 years, and stake a claim on its future. Ultimately, we know this city will change; it’s only a matter of how.
Bill de Blasio won the 2013 mayoral election as a progressive, and the new City Council Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, is a leader of the council’s Progressive Caucus. But what does being progressive actually mean? Now is the time to open up a discussion about what we expect from a progressive administration.
In that spirit, the New York City chapter of the Planners Network — an association of professionals, activists, academics and students and the publisher of Progressive Planning Magazine — has brought together a group of planners, activists, theorists, journalists, writers, and other everyday New Yorkers to share their thoughts about what ought to be done. The resulting document is neither a platform nor manifesto, but rather a set of visions for a better New York.
We aim to look beyond the easy answers and the conventional wisdom, and try to re-imagine what is possible for our city. The proposals presented here are big and small, transformative and pragmatic. Some of them could happen at any moment; others would require some significant structural changes. But all of the proposals represent specific actions that these authors believe would make our city a better place.
At this crucial moment for the future of our city, the New York City Chapter of the Planners Network invites you to read, to share, to challenge and to respond.
On January 24th, Planners Network NYC hosted a launch event at the New School, which was the first among a series of 2014 events critically investigating planning in New York. The next event will be on affordable housing and inclusionary zoning at Pratt Manhattan on February 21st.
Sunday, February 02, 2014
Opportunities for a New New York: a magazine of ideas from Planners Network NYC (including my EB-5 essay)
The public re-launch of the Planners Network NYC chapter features Opportunities for a New New York, a magazine of ideas (PDF) for a better New York City, including "A Policy Agenda for
Promoting Equitable Growth," "Towards Planning in the Department of City Planning," and "Create a City Wide After-School Initiative That Prioritizes Diverse Learning Experiences Over Test Prep," among 28 short essays.
My contribution is titled "Make Immigrant Investment Program Benefi t the Public, Not Developers," and yes, I wrote it before I knew Forest City Ratner would try again to raise money through the EB-5 program.
Frankly, the main way to change the EB-5 program is at the national level, though some local pressure could make public officials think twice about endorsing or encouraging such efforts. But my main goal was to put EB-5 on progressives' radar screen, but it surely wasn't.
Here's some background on the project: