Lecture

Urban Ownership in NYC: We Own The City Book Launch Event

NYC we own the city launch

Overview
September 29 2014, We Own The City launched in NYC, kick starting a dialogue better enabling citizens and city makers to practice inclusive, community-based urban development.

Type of activity
Lecture
Date of the activity
September 2014

Location of the activity
TrimLab, NYC
Background
We Own The City, the publication, is on a world tour this fall, bringing conceptual urban ownership into local projects in New York City, Hong Kong and Taipei, continually pushing for new, more inclusive and integrated urban development standards.

September 29 2014, we were honored to host a launch in NYC, where four case studies in the book highlight successful citizen-focused developments garnering significant top-down support. Together with our partners Design Trust for Public Space and Manufacture New York (MNY), we organized an event featuring local speakers involved in the book’s production.

Held at the TrimLab, home of a giant wooden zipper, the evening commenced with an introduction of the book’s theme, scope and goals by Francesca Miazzo, co-editor and co-founder and managing director of CITIES. Following, Design Trust executive director Susan Chin shared insight on Design Trust’s contribution to NYC’s chapter: they structured the inclusive stakeholder approach that helped Manufacture New York successfully develop in an impressive and large space. “Manufacture New York is a hybrid fashion incubator and factory dedicated to providing independent fashion designers with the resources and skills to streamline their process, from concept to customer”, transforming local manufacturing to be the most viable option for all. Following Susan Chin, we welcomed Rob Sanchez, Chief Strategy Officer of MNY, to share a first-hand look into their initiative.

To conclude the speaking panel, honored guest Lee Trotman from the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) joined to share a top-down perspective on Brooklyn’s community Garden of Eden, one of NYC’s community garden initiatives that is part of NYCHA’s 1963 Garden and Greening Program focused on reaping the increasingly recognized benefits of community gardening activities: i.e. beautifying urban space, building social cohesion, generating healthy citizens through activity and access to healthy food.

Resonating with members of the audience, Trotman’s presentation transitioned into a lively Q&A, where local citizens raised questions about the book, the processes of urban development, and specific concerns for their neighborhood. For instance, two women concerned with local urban agriculture and selling their goods were able to discuss answers to their concerns directly with city officials and members of relevant organizations. In this way, We Own The City NYC edition kick started local partnerships between citizens and city makers, reshaping urban ownership and practice.

In the weeks following NYC, We Own The City will launch in Hong Kong, and unravel a jam-packed, five-day event in Taipei.

Relevant websites:

Design Trust for Public Space:
http://www.designtrust.org

Manufacture New York:
http://manufactureny.org/

TrimLab:
http://www.trimlab.com/

More on Garden of Eden case via Guardian Cities:
http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/may/20/new-york-success-story-growing-the-garden-of-eden-in-brooklyn

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