Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Useful and the Beautiful - Meet Here

Once more, Art, meet Wonk...Wonk, meet Art.

See?! HERE’s what I mean about The Municipal Art Society (MAS).

MAS, in conjunction with Brooklyn Speaks , has just reminded us about their June call for Forest City Ratner to revamp its plans for the Atlantic Yards Project (16 skyscrapers, 18,000 seat arena), citing 5 design and planning principles:

1. Respect the character of existing nabes (i.e. reduce the density of the project and don’t build megaskyscrapers).
2. Public streets should not be eliminated (keep 5th Ave open)
3. Create a real public park (don’t pretend that strip of green behind the skycrapers is going to be geographically inviting for locals who don’t have access to proposed skyscrapers)
4. Promote lively streets ( by promoting the small businesses that characterized the area, and not overshadowing them with skyscrapers)
5. Deal with the traffic increase that will be created (by actually coming up with a plan for it, including improving public transit).

Check out the featured Brooklyn Speaks slideshow contrasting the current Ratner “vision” with what is and could be. You can also add your name to those who support the Brooklyn Speaks.

I keep the 2003-04 Annual Report for MAS on my desk, because in addition to being the most useful and beautiful (my two principles for anything) annual report/ advocacy tool combination ever, it quotes, over a photo of the lawn at Bryant Park, their founding members from 1893:

“To make us love our city, we must make our city lovely.”


Anonymous said...

“To make us love our city, we must make our city lovely.”

Thats a lovely quote. Shame that MAS and BrooklynSpeaks support the degradation of our city by supporting eminent domain abuse, an arena in a residential neighborhood, and massive taxpayer subsidies w/o democratic process but rather a glaringly corrupt process.

kimberly kinchen said...

Ah, yes. That is so.

What is also so is that cities change over time, and that the Atlantic Yards project will come to pass in one form or another, whether you or I like the parts of the process that brought us here. Since it will happen, I think the effort should focus on SIGNIFICANTLY improving its design and execution.
And that's what MAS and BrooklynSpeaks are about.

Anonymous said...

It will? and how does supporting eminent domain and the arena make the project better? Seems to me it abets a crime.