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Zoned Out! Gowanus Rally

Hilary Huckins-Weidner

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Zoned Out! editor, Tom Angotti, and contributor, Philip DePaolo, rallied with Gowanus residents last Wednesday “calling for a moratorium on the city’s controversial plan that could bring 20,000 new residents to the area. Protesters argued that the cleanup of the toxic Gowanus Canal should take precedence over a rezoning.” More from Brooklyn Daily Eagle, article and photo by Scott Enman.

'Clean It Before You Rezone It,' Gowanus Activists Tell City by Anna Quinn in Patch - Gowanus.

In 2008, Angotti “The Race to Develop a Toxic Waterway” (Gotham Gazette).

The Gowanus Canal in south Brooklyn at the center of a formerly active industrial area once bustled with ocean-going ships. Today, it bustles with real estate investors who are pressing to convert industrial properties to condos and reinvent the canal as a miniature Venice.

At a recent public meeting with the city's water experts many Gowanus residents did not exactly break out the sparkling to celebrate. Some remembered that when the flushing tunnel, which first opened in 1911, failed in 1961, it took the city almost 40 years to repair it. Over the years, the city has taken major action on water pollution -- building sewage treatment plants, stopping ocean dumping and addressing sewage overflows - only when the courts have forced it to.

Photo by Jim in Times Square, 2008

Photo by Jim in Times Square, 2008

In 2013, Angotti: “New York City after Sandy: Who Benefits, Who Pays and Where’s the Long-Term Planning?” (Seventh Generation)

Bloomberg’s rezoning of Coney Island included new opportunities for condos and commercial development near the waterfront. He has been outspoken in his support for new condos in Gowanus and Newtown Creek, both located in the floodplains of Brooklyn and saturated with toxic waste. He ignored calls from community activists to clean up Gowanus before promoting new residential development, and the administration even opposed a federally funded Superfund cleanup. The mayor argues that the best hope for cleaning up the toxic land and water lies in private real estate development, which would improve each site as it develops. However, this would only shift the problem from one property to another and still expose new and older residents and workers to toxic waste.

In perhaps the most dramatic rezoning, the City overcame substantial opposition by neighborhood groups and in 2005 rezoned the waterfront in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods. This unleashed a frenzy of luxury condo development on the waterfront, resulted in the displacement of thousands of industrial jobs and virtually wiped out one of the last remaining city neighborhoods to combine industry and housing.

See Philip De Paolo’s analysis of the effects of Bloomberg’s rezoning of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods in Zoned Out: Race, Displacement, and City Planning in New York City.

“New York is a city of neighborhoods, but Angotti, Morse, and their coauthors show that city planning policies systematically disenfranchise and displace low-income New Yorkers who live in historic communities of color. They urge us to rethink what ‘affordable’ housing means, and develop the political will to aim for a radically different system of public resources and community plans.” — Sharon Zukin, Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center

“New York is a city of neighborhoods, but Angotti, Morse, and their coauthors show that city planning policies systematically disenfranchise and displace low-income New Yorkers who live in historic communities of color. They urge us to rethink what ‘affordable’ housing means, and develop the political will to aim for a radically different system of public resources and community plans.” — Sharon Zukin, Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center

Editor’s note: In one of the final written statements about urban planning, the legendary Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) commented on the future of the Williamsburg-Greenpoint waterfront:

April 15, 2005

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and all members of the City Council

c/o City Council President Gifford Miller

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

My name is Jane Jacobs. I am a student of cities, interested in learning why some cities persist in prospering while others persistently decline; why some provide social environments that fulfill the dreams and hopes of ambitious and hardworking immigrants, but others cruelly disappoint the hopes of immigrant parents that they have found an improved life for their children. I am not a resident of New York although most of what I know about cities I learned in New York during the almost half-century of my life here after I arrived as an immigrant from an impoverished Pennsylvania coal mining town in 1934.

… More via Brooklyn Rail.

On Speculation and Smartness: Vyjayanthi Rao at Columbia GSAPP

mariacecilia fagel

Terreform co-director Vyjayanthi Rao’s lecture, “On Speculation and Smartness: Urban Practices and Forms of the 21st Century “:

Her lecture, was part of The Lectures in Planning Series (LiPS), an initiative of the Urban Planning program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.Urban Planning program.

Abstract:

For nearly a century, the city has served as a metonym for modern life. Both as geographical entity and as heuristic concept, the city gave birth to the modern social sciences as forms of knowledge in the quest for understanding newly emergent forms of social life. The idea of modernity gave the city and urbanism the power to stand in for emerging forms of social life, even as older forms were breaking down with the advent of mass society. At the beginning of the 21st century, urban studies is preoccupied with discussions about the endless city and the end of the city, the homologous association between capitalization and urbanization and the intimate relationship between climate change, planetary urbanization and the end of human life on earth as we now know it. In part, this talk will argue that these debates signal the breakdown of the association of the city as spatial form with modern civic life.

In this talk Rao explores the transformation of the modernist association of city form and civic life into a set of speculative practices and inchoate forms that are gathered together under the rubric of the ‘urban’. She argues that the rise of speculation as a distinct feature of urban practice - where speculation broadly signifies the production of value from states of uncertainty - has undermined the association between modernity and newness and a distinct sense of the future, instead replacing the modern sense of a progressive future with a multitude of speculative alter-realities.

See Vyjayanthi Rao’s body of work as an anthropologist and writer studying architecture, infrastructure and social life in large cities.

NYCxDesign Week Open Studio: Terreform and Michael Sorkin Studio

Hilary Huckins-Weidner

Join the architects, designers, researchers, and editors of Terreform Center for Advanced Urban Research and Michael Sorkin Studio at our pint-sized utopian dream factory for an evening of drinks, snacks, and informal conversation, plus a behind the scenes look at recent and upcoming projects.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019
6-8 PM
180 Varick Street #1514, New York, NY, 10014

Space is limited, please RSVP http://bit.ly/TFOpenStudio2019

Discover UR (Urban Research) books. Up to 50% off at event and online for #NYCXDesign.

Deen Sharp in Artscope Magazine

mariacecilia fagel

Terreform co-director, Deen Sharp, was featured in Artscope Magazine May/June 2019 issue: “Making Connections with Julie Mehretu”.

….Sharp made the opening remarks and introduced the panel. Each panelist was tasked with responding to Mehretu’s two artworks inspired by the Arab Spring: “Mogamma,” a huge four-piece work produced during the early days of the Tahrir uprising that forced Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down and “Epigraph, Damascus,” a six-panel reaction to the Syrian Revolution in its fourth year of mortal struggle against the ruthless regime of Bashar al-Assad. Sharp’s talk “Marking Moments: The Actually Existing Third Space of Julie Mehretu” traced the progression of Mehretu’s work in “Mogamma,” “Cairo” and “Damascus, Epigraph.” He outlined how her marks documenting the uprisings shifted to marks making meaning out of the social chaos. “Mehretu … illuminates how we can see outwards by looking within; how tensions, contradictions and difference can exist together; how absences can create the most powerful presence; how the smallest mark can be the deepest,” said Sharp >> PDF

Thread on some number of books, events and people Deen turned for his introduction.


Early on in the process of putting together  Beyond the Square , Deen had approached Julie Mehretu about including her work on Egypt–specifically,  Mogamma (A Painting in Four Parts)  (2012) and  Cairo  (2013). Asking her felt like a long shot so we were both over the moon when she agreed to be involved.  (Co-editor Claire Panetta in Jadaliyya) .    Beyond The Square: Urbanism and the Arab Uprising   (Urban Research 05) Edited by Deen Sharp and Claire Panetta. With contributions from Khaled Adham; Susana Galán; Azam Khatam; C. Lanthier; Ed McAllister; Julie Mehretu; G. Ollamh; Duygu Parmaksizoglu; Aseel Sawalha; Helga Tawil-Souri. Cover art courtesy of Julie Mehretu, Marian Goodman Gallery. Cover design by Isaac Gertman / The Independent Group.

Early on in the process of putting together Beyond the Square, Deen had approached Julie Mehretu about including her work on Egypt–specifically, Mogamma (A Painting in Four Parts) (2012) and Cairo (2013). Asking her felt like a long shot so we were both over the moon when she agreed to be involved. (Co-editor Claire Panetta in Jadaliyya).

Beyond The Square: Urbanism and the Arab Uprising (Urban Research 05) Edited by Deen Sharp and Claire Panetta. With contributions from Khaled Adham; Susana Galán; Azam Khatam; C. Lanthier; Ed McAllister; Julie Mehretu; G. Ollamh; Duygu Parmaksizoglu; Aseel Sawalha; Helga Tawil-Souri. Cover art courtesy of Julie Mehretu, Marian Goodman Gallery. Cover design by Isaac Gertman / The Independent Group.

Symposium at MIT organized by Nasser Rabbat and Deen Sharp

mariacecilia fagel

On May 10-11, MIT will host a symposium “Reconstruction as Violence: The Case of Aleppo”. Organized by Nasser Rabbat, Aga Khan Professor, and Deen Sharp, AKPIA@MIT Post-Doctoral Fellow and Terreform co-director, participants will tackle the following questions:

How do violence and conflict not only destroy but constitute, design, and organize the built environments and infrastructure? How do we understand the urbanization of warfare in relation to urban theory and reconstruction practices? Finally, participants will be asked to consider the recent warfare in the Middle East, with a special focus on Aleppo, in relation to the built environment and the extent to which reconstruction processes can be weaponized?

The event is sponsored by the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It will be held at MIT Room 6-120

UPDATE LIVESTREAM: May 10 2:30p The opening will be live-streamed on https://www.facebook.com/AKPIAatMIT/

Download the program. Cover photo by Sergey Ponomarev.

What Piques UR Interest?

mariacecilia fagel

Check out and support forthcoming Terreform Urban Research books.

“While other publishers continue to pare down their offerings, UR has doubled down on the production of thought-provoking work.” — 2019 AIA Honors – Collaborative Achievement Michael Sorkin

UR authors at CUNY Climate Action Lab

mariacecilia fagel

On May 3, Vanessa Keith (2100: A Dystopian Utopia - The City After Climate Change) and Tom Angotti (Zoned Out! Race, Displacement, and City Planning in New York City) will take part of an event at the CUNY Climate Action Lab.

The full-day event is a collaborative planning, workshopping, and discussion on climate justice. Climate Action Lab was founded by Ashley Dawson (Extreme Cities The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change).

Program and RSVP.

Michael Sorkin at MIT

Hilary Huckins-Weidner

On May 2nd, Terreform president Michael Sorkin will be speaking at MIT as a part of the Department of Architecture - Spring 2019 Lecture Series.

Thursday, May 2, 2019
6 – 8 PM
MIT Department of Architecture
77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, Mass. 02139

📸 New York City (Steady) State initiated during Terreform's inception. Our long-term inquiry seeks to answer the question: can New York City become self-sufficient within its political boundaries?

The first volume, Home Grown, will soon be published. Learn more about Home Grown, our forthcoming books as well as how to support future initiatives.

Terreform at Bauhaus University, Weimar

Hilary Huckins-Weidner

On May 1, 2019, Terreform research director Andrea Johnson will be taking part in the 2019 International Model Project Forum at Bauhaus University, Weimar.

“Together with renowned institutions and experts, the International Model Project Forum 2019 reflects objectives and challenges in current urban development and design, considering existing gaps between practice and theory. Dedicated to international knowledge exchange and good practice the forum celebrates 20 years of »Model Projects«. The praxis-based module focuses on application-oriented research, cross-boundary experience and urban strategies and is convened through the bauhaus.ifex.”