“Why are we here tonight?” the presenter asked.
“To be heard!” the crowd in the auditorium of P.S. 250 hollered back.
And so began the unveiling of a renegade plan for the Broadway Triangle, a roughly 40-acre parcel of land near the border of Williamsburg and Bed-Stuy. The evening was hosted by the Broadway Triangle Community Coalition, a collection of neighborhood groups that oppose the current plan proposed by the city. The BTCC claims they were shut out of the planning process for the site, and that their alternative plan, developed with a graduate urban planning class from Pratt Institute, provides more affordable housing and open space by building taller, higher-density buildings than the ones included in the city’s plan. The BTCC plan was presented by one of the Pratt students — with Spanish translation — and the crowd applauded loudly at the affordable housing figures: 3600 affordable units (out of 4800 total) in the BTCC proposal, compared to 760 (out of 1900 total) in the city’s plan.
The BTCC plan also included some rather forward-looking ideas: a community-owned utility that would generate energy for the site, and a system of pneumatic tubes to carry away trash. “I know many people are going to say the proposals you see here are futuristic,” said Professor Ron Schiffman, but Schiffman insisted the plan could become a reality. He said new funding opportunities from the federal government could help make Broadway Triangle “the first sustainable community in the United States.”
The BTCC urged attendees to attend the upcoming meeting of Community Board 1 on June 9, where the board will consider the rezoning plan proposed by the city.