The New York Foundation looks to connect its grantees and other nonprofit organizations in New York City with resources useful in achieving our common goals. With our Knowledge Center we collect reports, case studies, policy briefs, and other knowledge assets produced by New York Foundation grantees and affiliated organizations. While some of these works were funded by the Foundation, our goal in providing this collection is to put a spotlight on the contributions that Foundation grantees have made to social issue analysis and problem solving.
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Public Action Public Value

November 1, 2019

The Gowanus neighborhood in Brooklyn, known for its unique mix of industrial, artistic, and commercial activity is poised for significant changes driven by public actions and planned neighborhood investment. The polluted Gowanus Canal, designated as a Superfund site1in 2010 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is in the process of being cleaned up. The responsible parties, which include the City of New York and National Grid, are required to contribute to remediation costs currently estimated at $1.257 billion.Despite this public housing crisis, the City has not meaningfully linked its Housing New York and NYCHA Next Generation strategies to preserve public housing as part of the Gowanus rezoning. By excluding Gowanus NYCHA developments from the rezoning boundary, the City prevents NYCHA from directly benefiting from the land use action and therefore risks exacerbating the existing inequalities between residents of public housing and the community's wealthier and white neighbors.The City is missing an opportunity to address the public housing crisis that deserves its full attention, especially given NYCHA's extensive capital needs and the amount of property value being created through the City's land use actions. In New York, when regulatory actions such as zoning changes increase land values, landowners or speculative investors disproportionately reap the benefits. Property values increase, rewarding landowners while soaring rents often displace longstanding businesses and existing residents.

Mobility and Equity for New York's Transit-Starved Neighborhoods: The Case for Full-Featured Bus Rapid Transit

December 17, 2013

New York City's public transportation system moves millions of people every day. But an increasing number who live in outer borough neighborhoods are stuck with unreliable transit options and long travel times tracked in hours, not minutes.It does not have to be this way.Developed by the Pratt Center for Community Development and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, this report highlights the limitations of New York City's current public transit system, the adverse effects those limitations have on our economy and quality of life, and the role Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) can play in remedying these transit inequities.BRT has transformed cities across the world from Mexico City to Barcelona to Cleveland. At a fraction of the cost to build just a mile of subway rail, BRT gives riders a reliable way to get where they need to go.BRT is effective. It is innovative. And it could be the solution for New York's transit-starved neighborhoods.

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