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Posts Tagged ‘Ned Jacobs’

Save Coney Poster of the Day: Jane Jacobs Would Save Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Save Coney Poster of the Day: Jane Jacobs Would Save Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

This morning a group of Save Coney Island activists disguised as Jane Jacobs took their message to the dedication ceremony for “Jane Jacobs Way” in Manhattan’s West Village. Wearing wigs and glasses and waving signs that said “Jane Jacobs Would Save Coney Island,” they caught the attention of city officials who had gathered at Hudson Street between Perry and West 11th. The block was dedicated Jane Jacobs Way in honor of the late activist and urban planner who battled Robert Moses. The sign’s message implies that if Jacobs were alive today, she would battle the City’s Rezoning plan.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, whose district includes the West Village, acknowledged the group’s presence by saying that Jane Jacob’s spirit was alive because her phone has been ringing off the hook about Coney Island. Last week, Save Coney Island made a video featuring Dick Zigun of Coney Island USA urging people to call their City Councilmembers and also call Speaker Quinn and deliver the same message. Save Coney Island is asking the City Council to fix the City’s plan by expanding the acreage for open-air amusements, removing four high-rise towers from the heart of the amusement district and preserving Coney Island’s historic buildings The City Council will vote on the rezoning plan later this month.

Save Coney Island also issued a statement from Jane Jacobs’ son, Ned Jacobs, a community activist in Vancouver, Canada, who assisted his mother with her last book, “Dark Age Ahead.” Ned Jacobs wrote in his statement:

In my view, this rezoning plan for Coney Island does not appear to reflect the urban values and planning principles she espoused. These include sensitivity and integration with the scale, character and performance of existing neighborhoods and their established uses; the need to retain aged but serviceable buildings for the sake of economic diversity and continuity, as well as for their history and charm; the benefits of planning and redevelopment based on organic, iterative change, and the inherent dangers of top-down urban renewal-type schemes, propelled by ‘cataclysmic money.’

“These considerations are just as valid today as in the past. I therefore urge Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Council to prevent this dysfunctional, developer-driven proposal for the Coney Island amusement district from being adopted in its current form. Instead, the city should work with the community, who possess much local knowledge and appreciation of the importance that scale, atmosphere and heritage play in the amusement district’s success as an irreplaceable public amenity, and who have expressed considerable openness to change and new development, provided it is based on sound planning.

Helen Pontani, Angie Pontani and Jo Weldon "Save Coney" on Jane Jacobs Way. Photo © Kevin Downs

Helen Pontani, Angie Pontani and Jo Weldon "Save Coney" on Jane Jacobs Way. Photo © Kevin Downs

Helen Pontani, Angie Pontani and Jo Weldon “Save Coney” on Jane Jacobs Way. Photo © Kevin Downs

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