596 Acres presents
on the Queens Museum Panorama
January 11 to February 8, 2015
596 Acres will present all 155+ urban renewal plans that the City has ever adopted in an intervention directly on the Panorama of the City of New York, realizing the online Urban Reviewer map on a 1:1200 scale of the 9,335 square foot Panorama.
New York City began to adopt “urban renewal plans” in 1949 to get federal funding to acquire land, relocate the people living there, demolish the structures and make way for new public and private development. The legacy of these neighborhood master plans remains active across the city, from sites like Lincoln Center to the many vacant lots cleared in East New York and Bushwick for projects that were never completed. Even after federal funding for the program was cut in 1974, New York City continued to adopt renewal plans for neighborhoods – 82 plan areas, where the city has eminent domain power to take private property for the public purpose of eliminating blight and economic “under-performance,” came into being between 1975 and the present.
“The whole theory of urban renewal was based on the idea of urban obsolescence,” says curator Paula Z. Segal. “It was not about blight, but about making way for the new, on the idea that urban structures are made to last 30 or 40 years.”
Urban renewal transforms the city, and changes the lives of many New Yorkers, for better or worse. Over 60 plan for areas of the city remain active today. Some communities are taking advantage of active plan areas to make community aspirations into official plans.
What can we learn from the continuing story of urban renewal in NYC?
Curator: Paula Z. Segal, Esq., 596 Acres, Inc.
Exhibition Design: Mary Bereschka, Greg Mihalko, Stephen von Muehlen
Design: Partner & Partners
Event Production: Amy Fitzgerald, Oksana Mironova
Exhibition made possible thanks to the support of Mapzen and the Queens Museum.
The Queens Museum is open weekly Wednesday through Sunday, 12-6pm.
Sunday, January 11, 12 – 6pm
12:30 – 2pm: Willet’s Point Walk with Queens Borough Historian Jack Eichenbaum RSVP Required
2 – 3:30pm: Film Presentation: The Pruitt-Igoe Myth
3:30 – 4pm: “Who Makes A Neighborhood?”
Sunday, January 18, 12 – 6pm
12:15 -1:45: Takings (with Continuing Legal Education credits, attorney RSVP required)
2 – 4pm: Reviewing Mitchell Lama: The Past, Present and Future of Affordable Housing in NYC
4 – 6pm: Film Presentation: It Took 50 Years: Frances Goldin and the Struggle for Cooper Square
Sunday, January 25, 12 – 6pm
12 – 1pm: The Manhattan Projects Tour
1 – 2:30pm: Before Lincoln Center
2:30 – 4pm: Williamsburg’s South Side
4 – 6pm: Queens
Sunday, February 1, 12 – 6pm
12 -1pm: Film Presentation: The Rink
1 – 3pm: What happens to a neighborhood “renewed?
3 – 4pm: Artist Walk & Talk: Damon Rich
4 – 6pm: From Redlining to Gentrification & Urban Renewal is People Removal (film)
Sunday, February 8, 3 – 6pm
3 – 4pm:Curator Walk & Talk in the Panorama: Paula Z. Segal
4 – 6pm: Discussion, Reception and Film Presentation: The Tragedy of Urban Renewal: The destruction and survival of a New York City neighborhood
Media Inquiries: Paula Z. Segal, Esq.
Executive Director and Legal Director, 596 Acres
About 596 Acres
596 Acres is New York City’s community land access program. We help neighbors organize around and gain access to the city’s warehoused and empty public land. Our work enriches the quality of life for all New Yorkers by facilitating community-based civic action and helping to transform unused vacant land into new open spaces. We are currently adapting our model in Philadelphia (groundedinphilly.org), in Los Angeles (laopenacres.org), in New Orleans (livinglotsnola.og) and are in discussion to extend this land access movement to 15 other cities worldwide that have expressed an affirmative interest in 596 Acres’ approach. We are a small and young organization that has been working on a shoestring budget since 2011 and are now looking for financial partners to help us revolutionize land access processes worldwide. Spread the word!