Civic organizations in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Boerum Hill, Park Slope and Prospect Heights today announced the launch of Atlantic Yards Watch (http://www.atlanticyardswatch.net
), a web site which will monitor ongoing construction and operational impacts from the Atlantic Yards project on surrounding communities. The largest single development in Brooklyn’s history, Atlantic Yards is unusual as a State-sponsored project that does not have dedicated public oversight.
“With construction in full swing and the Barclays Center expected to open in September 2012, local community members are concerned over the lack of transparency in identifying and resolving the many traffic, noise, air quality and safety issues associated with Atlantic Yards,” said Danae Oratowski, Chair of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council
. “By tracking concerns reported through its web site and the NYC 311 system, Atlantic Yards Watch will provide a centralized record of reported incidents and resolutions.”
In addition to submitting reports of construction and operational impacts, site visitors can also participate in discussion forums on quality of life and safety topics. “We’d like to see Atlantic Yards Watch become a resource for the Empire State Development Corporation, City agencies, and also Forest City Ratner,” said Michael Cairl, President of the Park Slope Civic Council
The idea for the web site grew out of a study by a graduate class at Pratt Institute
led by Professor Jamie Stein. The class researched public responses to projects in other urban areas, and proposed potential models for structuring a response in relation to Atlantic Yards . “Communities faced with large development projects having the potential to disrupt local life for decades have to find ways to effectively communicate risks, make recommendations to government authorities and developers, and ensure that proper disclosures are provided,” said Professor Stein.
“Atlantic Yards Watch is intended to address gaps in oversight that we hope will eventually be closed through the establishment of a local development corporation or authority that is accountable to the public,” said Howard Kolins, President of the Boerum Hill Association
. “Until that entity exists, it’s critical to document the community’s experience with the impacts of the Atlantic Yards project.”