Through focused organizing and strategic support, CCCE and Rockaway nonprofit partner RISE worked on a project led by Edgemere community members to articulate and advocate their own response and build a consensus around a vision for socially and ecologically beneficial use of undeveloped, flood-prone city-owned vacant land.
The project focused on aligning community priorities and goals for 55 city-owned vacant lots located on Edgemere’s “bayside” between Beach Channel Drive, Beach 43rd Street, Jamaica Bay, and Beach 50th Street. These lots account for approximately 40% of the overall 119 vacant lots in the neighborhood that have been designated for the “Edgemere Community Land Trust,” a project of the NYC Department of Housing, Preservation & Development (HPD) as part of the city’s coastal resilience effort to rezone the Rockaways.
The Collective, RISE, and a Community Advisory Board organized three community-led visioning sessions and collaborated on surveys, interviews, site visits, and outreach activities. CCCE provided zoning, land-use, and open space research to support the visioning, planning, and conceptual design activities.
The visioning sessions galvanized the enormous creativity, resiliency, strength, and expertise in the creation of an inclusive, equitable community vision for the use of a great many parcels of vacant, city-owned land that would at once help to protect Edgemere from flooding and respond to the community’s identified need for recreation, food, economic generators, art, and beauty.
CCCE and its partners worked to build broad-based participation and consensus for a vision for the socially and ecologically beneficial use of this vacant land. The collective vision was influenced and shaped by a planning analysis, a library of open space precedents, virtual walk-throughs in the neighborhood, and focus group brainstorming sessions.