Saturday, April 22, 2006

More Local e-Democracy

From the New York Times:

When a state agency released plans for studying the environmental impact of the proposed Atlantic Yards project, a vast residential, commercial and arena development near Downtown Brooklyn, the response from critics was swift, brutal — and largely online.

"Major flaws in the final scope," pronounced Norman Oder, the proprietor of the blog Atlantic Yards Report, pointing out that the agency, the Empire State Development Corporation, had not examined the possible security risks facing the 18,000-seat arena....

Atlantic Yards may well be the first large-scale urban real estate venture in New York City where opposition has coalesced most visibly in the blogosphere.

"If Jane Jacobs had the tools and technology back when she was fighting Robert Moses' plans to bulldoze Lower Manhattan, I bet 'The Death and Life of Great American Cities' would have been a blog," said Mr. Naparstek, 35, referring to Ms. Jacobs's seminal 1963 book criticizing the urban renewal policies in vogue among city planners of that era.

About a dozen blogs follow Atlantic Yards closely. The authors are usually Brooklynites, some of them experts in fields like urban development. But even the amateurs among them have boned up on arcane zoning provisions and planning-law quirks that can induce headaches among the less devoted.

The result is an unusual ferment of community advocacy and opinion journalism, featuring everything from manipulated caricatures of Forest City Ratner executives to technical discussions of traffic flow....

Daniel Goldstein, the spokesman for Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, a group opposed to the Atlantic Yards, said that the blogs "have been a key part of the public education about the project."


At 6:44 AM, Anonymous Norman Oder said...

Some comments on that NYTimes article:


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