Last Tuesday, the NYCEDC released their long-awaited—and dreaded—master plan for development over Sunnyside Yards. In it they praise themselves for their “robust engagement efforts” and “inclusive, community-driven process”, and for making this $14.4 billiion project about human and community needs rather than the profit desires of developers. They position the act of decking over the yards as a necessary way of creating public land because, as NYCEDC’s head James Patchett states, “We’re running out of land..and it is harder and harder to find places for real affordable housing.”
However this statement, like many of the claims in the plan, are myths that NYCEDC is propagating to push this plan forward. Herein, we address five of them. This is not exhaustive, but it is enough. Decking over the 180 acres of these rail yards isn’t the answer to the challenges facing Queens residents. Better to consider dissolving the entity responsible for such a proposal.
>> Continue Reading: Opinion: Sunnyside Yards Master Plan Sits on a Deck of Myths
This piece was written in consultation with Jenny Dubnau, a Queens resident and a working artist who grew up in New York City. Jenny is active with the Western Queens Community Land Trust, and the Artist Studio Affordability Project, and is also a member of the Justice For All Coalition, a group of LIC and Astoria residents fighting for dignified housing, good jobs and just development in Western Queens.