MAS Livable Neighborhoods Training will be offered again this fall. Please check back often for more information.
MAS hosts the Livable Neighborhoods Training at least two times a year. The full training is held in the spring, while a half-day training is held in the fall. Livable Neighborhoods offers New York City-specific workshops on a range of planning topics including community organizing, building resilient communities, the use of census data to understand neighborhood concerns, the role of environmental impact statements, economic development as well as instruction on the creation and implementation of comprehensive plans. Participants also have access to the Livable Neighborhoods Training Toolkit, an in-depth online resource on community planning in New York City. If you’d like information on targeted or advanced trainings, please contact Courtney Smith, Project Manager, Resilience and Community Engagement, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Created in consultation with grassroots planners and community advocates and first launched at Hunter College in 2007, the program is free and open to the public with a special preference given to members of community boards, community-based organizations, neighborhood associations, and other grassroots community groups.
The population of the average New York City community district is comparable in size to Bridgeport, New Haven or Waterbury, Connecticut — cities that have hundreds of employees and multi-million dollar budgets to provide services. The responsibilities of New York’s community boards are met by a small staff, typically consisting of the district manager and two administrative assistants. Any extra personnel, such as a planning expert, must be paid for out of the board’s annual budget of approximately $200,000. For 30 years the city has relied on its 59 community boards, their members, and civic-minded New Yorkers to make critical planning and budgetary decisions on a range of geographically-based issues without regularly providing them with up-to-date training on key land use topics or the latest map-making technology. Instead, the boards must draw on their modest funding to pay for these tools and for a knowledgeable planner to put them to effective use.
As part of a broad civic agenda, Livable Neighborhoods serves grassroots planners in their efforts to transform and revitalize their communities, while also empowering participants to take control over the future of their neighborhoods. The spring 2013 session of Livable Neighborhoods is presented in partnership with the Pratt Institute’s Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development and is supported, in part, by Sterling National Bank.