Several community groups dissatisfied with Brad Lander’s “Bridging Gowanus” planning meetings are organizing their own forum, called “Take Back Gowanus,” Wednesday night. Katia Kelly of Pardon Me for Asking writes that the purpose of the meeting is to “bring local residents, business owners, and manufacturers together for a true democratic discussion on the future of Gowanus. The goal of ‘Take Back Gowanus’ is to create a manifesto of what the community wants to see in the neighborhood they live and work in.” Neighbors and community groups felt that Lander’s meetings were “highly curated affairs” where facilitators stuck to scripts and didn’t engage in a real discussion, according to Kelly.
In contrast, tomorrow’s forum aims to foster a genuine conversation between the Gowanus community and city officials, according to the flyer.
Gowanus residents are worried that the Bridging Gowanus meetings will lead to the city rezoning the neighborhood from manufacturing to mixed use, allowing developers to build more housing and retail along the canal. Several allies are fighting to protect the city’s industrial business zones, which includes Gowanus, to keep jobs in those neighborhoods.
Organizations participating in tomorrow’s forum include Friends And Residents Of Greater Gowanus, Voice Of Gowanus, Carroll Gardens Coalition for Respectful Development, and Save Kentile. Anyone can attend. “Take Back Gowanus” will happen tomorrow at 7 pm at the Green Building at 425 Union Street at Bond Street.