Amidst Gowanus's transformation from disregarded heavy manufacturing neighborhood to bulwark of artist studios and expensive housing, councilman Brad Lander is spearheading a plan to leverage that change for the benefit of the neighborhood. His Bridging Gowanus initiative, which DNAinfo describes as a 15-month effort to craft a proposal for how Gowanus should develop, is a "comprehensive plan for the infrastructure and land use regulations" of the canal area with the mission of "develop[ing] and put[ting] forth a united vision that could serve as an innovative model for inclusive, sustainable, low-lying, vibrant, mixed-use urban areas...". Bridging Gowanus was developed using the input of some 300 area residents gathered at local meetings over the course of a year.
The plan lays out several broad goals like creating a "super manufacturing" zone to protect businesses, mandatory mixed-use housing to preserve artists space, adding more green space and beefing-up the area's existing parks, taxing new developments to pay for much-needed infrastructure upgrades, diversifying transit options, and adding more school seats. The plan also welcomes larger new development to the neighborhood along the canal, as is already being seen with Lightstone's 700-apartment mega-development, under the requirement that they include affordable housing and meet certain sustainability standards. Lander's plan still needs to win support from the Mayor and the Department of City Planning. He'll present it in full and exhaustively at a meeting on Monday.
· Gowanus Rezoning Plan Envisions High-Rise Development [DNAinfo]
· Bridging Gowanus [official]
· All Gowanus coverage [Curbed]