Results on the Ground—Impacts in New York City
As of October 2016, we have directly facilitated the creation of 36 new community spaces where there were once vacant lots. In total, these amount to over 7 acres of new green space in neighborhoods that need it—a total area larger than Union Square Park. 30 of these spaces have been made permanent through transfers to the Parks Department or leases with public authorities. We saved two additional spaces from foreclosure by transferring them to a land trust and continue fighting for others threatened by the NYC tax lien sale. We also know of several spaces that people created on their own after seeing our signs on fences and following their directions.
There are invisible results too—by unlocking data that impacts the shape of the urban landscape, we have transformed the information landscape and the political landscape for neighbors who wish to take an active role in building their city. Organizers start by creating new spaces in their own neighborhoods with our support and continue their local engagement from there, sometimes even becoming members of NYC’s Community Boards.
Shaping the Conversation—NYC, USA, and Beyond
As a result of our work, neighbors and decision-makers at all levels are thinking differently about vacant urban land.
Our work has been featured by the New York Times, the Nation, the Guardian, Fast Company, Grist, and more. We presented our work at the Municipal Art Society’s Summit for New York City, New Museum’s New Ideas for the New City Festival, the Just Food Conference, Smart Cities, the Allied Media Conference, and the London School of Economics, among others. In January 2015, we were invited to do a monthlong residency at the Queens Museum, which focused on our work on the living legacy of urban renewal in New York City.
Our Press and Awards page lists further recognition our work has received, and About Community Land Access Advocacy gives more information on the movement to create pathways for community members to participate in shaping their neighborhoods and their cities.