Advocates Push for Gowanus Rezoning, Stuck in COVID-19 Limbo, to Move Forward

According to advocates, the relative affluence of Gowanus is the reason a plan to rezone the neighborhood must move forward.

June 23, 2020, 6:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

New York City

The Gowanus Canal and the Gowanus Expressway, pictured in April 2020. | Felix Lipov / Shutterstock

"Open New York, a volunteer group that focuses on changing the city’s zoning laws to allow for more housing, launched a letter-writing campaign this week encouraging the city to move forward with its plan to rezone the Brooklyn neighborhood despite the pandemic bringing the process to a halt," reports Eddie Small.

According to Small, Mayor Bill de Blasio's had been mired in a rough patch even before the pandemic froze the review process of the Gowanus rezoning plan. "Plans for Bushwick and the South Bronx were stopped by the local City Council members — Antonio Reynoso and Rafael Salamanca, respectively — and Judge Verna Saunders ruled against its Inwood rezoning in December for not adequately examining the potential socioeconomic fallout." (Planetizen picked up the news of the Inwood rezoning court ruling, which focused on the lack of racial impact analysis in the rezoning process, earlier this month.)

Advocates are saying that the Gowanus rezoning plan is the only of a series of rezonings proposed during de Blasio's tenure that would upzone for new density in a mostly affluent part of the city. According to Open New York, allowing [the Gowanus rezoning] to fail 'will confirm the worst suspicions about New York’s leadership: that for all its talk about racial, economic and environmental justice, it has no interest in giving working New Yorkers a chance to live in affluent neighborhoods.'"

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 in The Real Deal

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

Single-Family Housing Construction

New White House Housing Initiative Includes Zoning Reform Incentives

The Biden administration this morning released a new program of actions intended to spur housing construction around the United States.

May 16, 2022 - The White House

Complete Street Vancouver

Study: Most of Vancouver Is a ‘15-Minute City’

A large majority of Vancouver residents can access a grocery store in 15 minutes or less by bicycle or on foot.

May 20 - Vancouver Sun

Montreal, Quebec

Urban Design, Transport, and Health

The Lancet medical journal published a series of articles that explore how to evaluate and guide urban planning decisions to create healthy and sustainable cities. Live long and prosper!

May 20 - The Lancet - Urban Design, Transport, and Health

MoGo Bikeshare Bikes

Detroit Bike Share Celebrates Five Years

In its five years of operation, Detroit’s MoGo bikeshare has added electric and adaptive bikes to its fleet of more than 600 bikes.

May 20 - MoGo

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.