Saturday, November 19, 2011

Design for the Hood

What Do You Want Your Hood to Look Like?

"I wanted to mention this project as being important to people taking control of their own communities. Far too often, a group of "experts" are brought in to a community and then decide what it should look like, leaving the community to either like or battle from the weakest position about what was already decided.

People must STAND UP, envision, and DEMAND what configuration, services & uses the futures of their communities will have. Otherwise, you will fall victim to the power-brokers who are only thinking about how much they can make on [Y]OUR community. Bed-Stuy is the latest one to be the target of these forces. In addition, communities of people of color, in particular, have traditionally been altered, overrun, and destroyed by these forces.

STOP the cycle...STOP the infantilization process that keeps us begging for services in our communities." - 
Darryl Montgomery-Hell of sektor 6 kommunications

Darryl brings up a poignant topic on the issue of the control we have (or give up by default) when it comes to where we live and what we choose by voting with our dollars and our voices.

What can you do right now to inspire more community action?


  1. I would suggest everyone attend their local community board meetings. If you live in Queens, start here:

  2. Do you know how much repair work needs to be done to the infrastructure?

  3. One of the first things we will have to do is raise money for a proper feasibility study that would include a survey of current conditions and what physically needs to be fixed [as opposed to transformed]. We know that there is one train t...restle that has to be completely replaced. It was the sole wooden trestle on the line and burned in a fire. The other trestles are made with steel and concrete. To a non-engineer they look good, but I do not know if they are in good enough condition to be used without any sort of renovation or strengthening. We will also have to take a hard look at some of the station platforms at the southern end of the line as they have certainly suffered some degredation and decisions will have to be made about how best to deal with them. Discussion of those details may have to await a study that can evaluate all of this.

  4. I think the most feasible part to make a Queens highline would be from South Ozone Park to Rockaway since there is no dense growth of forest and would be the easiest to do work on and clear up the tracks.

  5. >> Thanks Anil, that is a first step!

    >> CRina3, if I'm not mistaken, a good portion, if not most of those tracks to the Rockaways are still being used by the A line.

  6. Thanks Peter. I agree that we do need a structural engineer's point of view and to figure out what can be salvaged, repaired, etc. before transforming or restoring the space. Russ Nelson did suggest selling the rails to help fund the project.

    Some other conversations from the fb group:

    Peter W. Beadle: Intersting idea, though keep in mind the rails are currently NYc property. Also there may be some historical preservation issues, but certainly an idea to put on the list.

    Anandi A. Premlall: Well I'm not about selling all of them; but Michael Perlman would be the expert on historical preservation...

    Michael Perlman: It is my belief that those classic rails can remain in place, or as much as possible, undergo a major clean-up, & become planting beds, similar to how it was accomplished in Manhattan. I feel a significant tool which may help in initiate funding is nominating the the line for the State & National Register of Historic Places. If successful, it would not only commemorate its history, but increase the likelihood of obtaining tax credits & grants for any restoration work & much-needed upgrades, with respect to the dominant architectural features. If we were to advocate for recycling what I'm sure will be tons of waste, would there be any compensation, which can be used for its revitalization? Also, maybe local councilmembers can collaborate & allocate funding for a feasibility study. I look forward to your thoughts on the above. Thank you!

    Monina Cabanada: You make good suggestions Michael! Are there experts here that will be willing to volunteer their time to do the study of the current condition of the area? How about the previous proposals... will they have some data that might help you?

    Anandi A. Premlall Brilliant ideas and suggestions Michael. I love the idea of it being a historical site and all the perks that go along with it.

    The suggestion of selling the rails came as they are in good condition, albeit covered in debris right now and can be recycled for other track work around the city and definitely use those funds to help revitalize the space.

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