Community Planning Gives Voices to the Voiceless
Oscar Perry Abello reports on the work of the neighborhood group Queens Neighborhood United in New York City as an example of how community-based planning can give voices to people cut off from other mechanisms of democracy.
"Many of Queens Neighborhood United’s members can’t vote, but they can still make their voices heard," explains Abello. "[T]his is also a story about what it looks like to participate in community development and democracy, in an era where citizenship status can exclude people who are by other measures lawful, productive members of society."
The most recent campaign championed by Queens Neighborhood United is an opposition to a proposed Target development in a corridor zoned for local business. "Queens Neighborhoods United met the Target developer and the Department of Buildings in New York State Supreme Court this past January to force construction at the site to stop while their zoning challenge continues to play out," explains Abello. The case failed to stop construction, but a second hearing is expected at the Board of Standards and Appeals in May.