We're creating a practice of building online tools neighbors can use to clear hurdles to community land access. The tools turn city data into information about particular pieces of land and connect people to one another through simple social networking functions.
In New York City we are community land access advocates and use one of our tools.
Tools for Community Land Access Advocates
We're really proud of these two partnerships:
And we've got a few more projects in the works:
LA Open Acres with Community Health Councils (Los Angeles, California) and C-Lab (NYC)
Living Lots, a prototype supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to meet the needs of the New Orleans Food and Farm Network's Farm This Now! Campaign
Our NYC Land Commuity Access Program started in Brooklyn in May 2011. Click for a PDF version of our 2011-2012 Recap!
In response to a steady stream of inquiries, in 2013 we expanded our work to support communities organizing for control of warehoused private land.
Hundreds of acres of vacant public land are hidden in plain sight behind chain-link fences in New York City, concentrated in neighborhoods disproportionately deprived of beneficial land uses. We are building the tools for communities to open all these rusty fences and the opportunities within them to improve the areas they live in.
596 Acres creates tools to help neighbors find the lot in their lives by:
(1) making municipal information available online and on the ground (e.g. by placing signs on vacant public land that explain a lot’s status and steps that the community can take to be able to use this land);
(2) providing education about city government and ways to participate in decisions that shape neighborhoods;
(3) assisting communities with legal support and campaign-development on land use issues;
(4) maintaining networks that allow communities to share knowledge and relationships with decision-makers;
(5) working with groups after they get access to land to build sustainable community governance as they become stewards of a public and inclusive resource; and
(6) advocating for municipal agencies to increase participatory decision-making surrounding public resources.
596 Acres is a project of the Fund for the City of New York.