What are your plans?
In the first place, to get the petition out to other residents. We would also like to organize an alternative policy summit to answer the question: what policies would New York need to support a human-scale city?
Who is paying for you?
Our coalition members donated the small out-of-pocket costs of getting this website up. We have no real estate developers in our coalition that we know about. We are not a front for any lobby group. We have no budget, no staff and no salaries. We are just New Yorkers from everywhere in the city.
Are you against change?
No. With respect to our built environment, we are for good change, useful change, desirable change, and regulated change. We are for all kinds of change – if the adjective in front of the word “change” is accurate and meaningful to us. We do not think unqualified “change” proposed by a developer or planner is inherently good just because the planner proposed it. Change in our built environment also needs to be supported by city residents in a democratic process that is more extensive than it is now and that gives residents more control over the fate of their neighborhoods. Planners don’t like that, but that’s similar to not liking democracy.
Are you against affordable housing?
Not at all. We think there are other, less destructive policies beyond that of hyper-density that can be used to address the affordable housing problem in New York City.
Are you against affordable density?
Odd question. Why do you assume we are against density? We are city dwellers, after all. There is a range of densities (meaning housing units per acre) that create human-scale, livable cities that people delight in, not merely endure. Call those optimal densities. We support optimal densities. We welcome a policy debate about how that range of optimal densities should be defined with numbers. We understand the answer will vary by neighborhood and history.
Are you NIMBYs?
No, we favor environmentally responsible development that respects the historic scale, fabric, and character of our neighborhoods. We do not support parking and favor policies that return the streets to non-car owners, pedestrians, children, bikers, and small-scale vendors. The said, one of the key roles of government is to do regional transportation planning so that car-dependent neighborhoods are car dependent no more. We haven’t seen much evidence of that kind of regional thinking.