It is well-known that I believe Atlantic Yards is the right project at the right time in the right place for Brooklyn. Although my support began with the idea of bringing an arena and a national sports team back to Brooklyn, I now view Atlantic Yards as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create the center of urban life that Brooklyn has long deserved, adding important amenities to the Downtown Brooklyn area.
Atlantic Yards represents a chance to affirm our identity as the most ethnically and economically diverse urban area in America. At the same time, the project provides a national model for 21st Century development that accommodates future population increases by creating the appropriate mixed-uses every American downtown has, at a location served by an almost unprecedented number of public-transportation modes.
As Mayor Bloomberg points out in his PlanYC sustainability initiative, our city is growing – Brooklyn’s population alone is projected to grow by some 300,000 residents by 2030 – and we must confront demands that come with growth. I believe that Atlantic Yards is a strong example of “smart growth” for Brooklyn’s future, and that we will resolve these issues efficiently and equitably.
Over the past three years, I have heard from many community members on the Atlantic Yards Project. Regardless of their position, I thank every single person and organization that came forth to testify or write a letter on this project. Everyone can be confident that their voices have been heard and will continue to be heard. Their input, which has been an invaluable resource to me and my staff, will guarantee that the project works for all of Brooklyn and New York City.
Throughout the project’s planning process, I have been candid about my concerns. I suggested changes including a reduction in scale, including that the Williamsburg Savings Bank building remain Brooklyn’s tallest, and I am encouraged that my request was heeded. I called for increased open space, made suggestions regarding air quality, noise, views, and shadows, and advocated building the school that is now part of the plan.
To see a copy of my comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, click here.
Discussions about Atlantic Yards will continue and modifications will be made as the project moves forward. I continue to support engaging the best minds to address quality-of-life concerns, and remain committed to working together to ensure that this project delivers on its promise of setting a new standard for urban development across America.