Pratt Center helped convene the Gowanus Summit, a coalition to establish ground rules for development in the Gowanus Canal area.
Pratt Center helped convene the Gowanus Summit: a coalition of civic, housing and community development, manufacturing, and labor groups to establish ground rules for development around the Gowanus Canal. Our work aimed to ensure that new development meets the needs of area residents and sets high standards for local quality of life.
The Gowanus Summit's Platform for Responsible Development of the Gowanus Canal Area, developed with the Pratt Center's support, calls for the following:
The platform was agreed upon by a coalition that included the Gowanus Canal Community Development Corporation, Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation, Fifth Avenue Committee, Carroll Gardens Association, ACORN, Public Housing Communities, New York Industrial Retention Network, AFL-CIO, Mason Tenders' District Council of Greater New York, Laborers' International Union of North America, New York and Vicinity, Carpenters Labor-Management Corporation, Local 32B-J SEIU, New York City Central Labor Council, New York City District Council of Carpenters, New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, UNITE-HERE, and the Pratt Center for Community Development.
In October 2007, the coalition submitted its platform to the Department of City Planning, which is responsible for finalizing a framework for proposed land use changes in the one-and-a-half--mile area around the Gowanus Canal. Pressures for rezoning the area mounted as developers moved to build large housing developments in the still largely industrial area.
Pratt Center also worked with the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation and the New York Industrial Retention Network on zoning and development strategies to preserve and enhance manufacturing, and genuinely mixed-use areas where manufacturing can co-exist with housing (rather than be displaced by it) in the Gowanus area.