Tuesday, May 17, 2011

PlaNYC: No one asked you!

From the Gotham Gazette:

In the months leading up to the plan's four-year progress report, the city hosted a slew of community forums and created a special web site to solicit public input. Yet, as Earth Day came closer and the city's executive branch closed in on the revisions to the plan, the administration kept its ideas tightly under wraps. In fact, that mystery generated perhaps even more buzz than the plan itself among non-profit, media and policy folks, as rumors began to circulate about what would and would not be included in the update.

So why, after such an elaborate rollout, did the city's daily papers comment only on a few of the new city proposals, like the idea of putting solar panels on the city’s landfills or phasing out the use of dirty heating oil -- a proposal that has been under discussion for quite some time -- and pass on the rest?

Where are the policy wonks who dissect and analyze the city’s big plans?

Perhaps the lack of interest in the plan’s update, despite extensive public relations and outreach, can be traced to the final product's appears much like a corporation's report to its stockholders and not the result of an intense dialogue involving others, particularly the City Council, community boards and civic and community-based organizations.

From Gotham Gazette:

In short, PlaNYC provides an overarching vision for New York City’s growth. While much of the plan -- both the original and the update -- addresses actions to be taken by government agencies, numerous objectives require mobilizing the rest of New York City – especially businesses, community-based organizations, labor unions and other groups that can advance PlaNYC’s goals. This knowledge is empowering. It enables the community-based organizations and businesses that the Pratt Center works with to orient their efforts to work toward specific sustainability goals, whether by planting trees, investing in energy efficiency upgrades, developing affordable housing, or through a host of other activities.

Yet while PlaNYC provides important guidance for neighborhood-level sustainability projects, it does not involve New Yorkers in creating the PlaNYC vision itself, or holding PlaNYC's creators accountable to achieving their commitments. What’s more, PlaNYC takes an end-run around the governing document of New York City, the City Charter, and the democratic process.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

PlaNYC is part of of BumBloom's plan for a permanent, quasi-public government that will have power after he leaves office. He is establishing entities and putting his selected people in place; they are mandated to be funded with our money; they are exempt from oversight; they are tied in with a strange combo of public and private funding, and yes they skirt checks and balances that are supposed to be part of govt. He is a lame duck who is doing a side run--beware.