Giving Neighborhoods a Role in PlaNYC

New York City's long-term sustainability plan is coming up on its three-year anniversary. Tom Angotti says that now's the time to take its broad citywide efforts down to the neighborhood level.
April 15, 2010, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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PlaNYC2030, the city's lauded long-term sustainability plan made strides in the city's efforts to reduce its eneergy consumption and improve its environmental friendliness. But, as Tom Angotti writes, its language left out an active role for community groups and neighborhood activists to participate in crafting those goals.

"It was a top-down plan, conceived at City Hall with minimal input, and it was never approved as an official plan. In the long term this will only undermine the ability to sustain the plan itself, and both implement and improve it.

The plan now stands at a critical juncture, Rohit Aggarwala, director of the Mayor's Office of Long-term Planning and Sustainability, recently announced his resignation, and the city's budget situation and the overall economic situation have delayed and even derailed some of its initiatives. With Aggarwala's departure and the convening of a commission to review the City Charter, now is the time to fill the gap that excluded neighborhoods. An updated PlaNYC2030 could then be reviewed and voted on by community boards, borough presidents, the City Planning Commission, and City Council, as required in the City Charter."

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Published on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 in Gotham Gazette
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