Gowanus Neighborhood Planning Study

Gowanus Neighborhood Planning Study

Gowanus - March 25, 2017 Workshop
Thank you to all who came out and participated at our workshop on March 25, 2017! Over 100 attendees shared their ideas on locations of uses, activities and improvements related to industry and jobs, housing, public realm, sustainability, resiliency, arts and culture and more. Each table sought to balance the various neighborhood goals in two activities that delved into use compatibility, mixed-use constraints, neighborhood assets and needs and key urban design challenges.

See the PDF Document summaries and results of each table’s workshop activities.

Community Engagement Platform
We are also excited to announce a new way to interact and provide feedback on the neighborhood study. The Department of City Planning is piloting an online engagement platform called Plan Gowanus where you can give your input on a variety of topics in new interactive ways. Plan Gowanus is part of the multi-pronged outreach approach developed in response to feedback from the community.

Head over to to learn more and tell us what you like and what you think needs improvement within Gowanus and its context area in our first interactive map! Additional features and topics will be added in the coming weeks.

Why Gowanus?

Over the past decade, the community has engaged in a number of planning initiatives, most recently Bridging Gowanus, which was led by local elected officials to create shared goals and priorities for the area’s future development. View the Bridging Gowanus report and its recommendations. The Gowanus Neighborhood Planning Study seeks to build upon this work undertaken by residents, businesses, local groups and elected officials by taking goals/priorities and turning them into actionable strategies that can be implemented.

Jerome Ave Study Area

The Gowanus Neighborhood Planning Study seeks to foster a thriving neighborhood by reinforcing and encouraging a robust local economy anchored by a mix of uses and businesses, while creating opportunities for new housing with affordable housing in appropriate locations. The study will also examine ways to balance the range of issues and needs in Gowanus by seeking to:

  • support existing and future resiliency and sustainability efforts;
  • encourage and expand neighborhood services and amenities, like supermarkets;
  • improve streetscapes and pedestrian safety, and access along the Canal for all people;
  • explore ways to support and develop space for job-generating uses, including industrial, arts and cultural uses;
  • promote opportunities for new housing with affordable housing and protect residential tenants against harassment and displacement; and
  • coordinate necessary infrastructure improvements throughout the area to support the continued cleanup of the Gowanus Canal and to accommodate existing and future needs.

This collaborative planning process seeks to coordinate ongoing work by government agencies and leverage recent and planned public and private investments to promote a thriving and inclusive neighborhood. The study will engage community groups, stakeholders and local elected officials around core issues and bring together government agencies to align recommendations and resources.

View the PDF Document framework study areas map and PDF Document the annotated study areas map.

In the fall of 2016, DCP and other city agencies started a public process that will include multiple forms of community engagement and active participation, including workshops and other public meetings, as well as topic-specific discussions.

There are a number of ways to stay involved. If you would like to participate, come to our events and workshops, sign up to our mailing list, and contact us with your ideas, interests and priorities. Also be sure to check our website for any updates and upcoming events.

Online Engagement Tool

To help gather broad community input on a variety of topics early in the planning process, DCP is piloting an online engagement platform called Plan Gowanus. This new interactive tool is designed to complement other forms of outreach, including public events, smaller forums, and other targeted stakeholder meetings. Feedback from these outreach efforts will be used by DCP and other city agencies to develop a draft planning and land use framework that will document recommendations and propose strategies to support the study goals.

Working Groups    
During the winter and spring of 2017, working groups will be held on specific topics in order to identify strategies and recommendations in five topic areas:

  • Housing
  • Arts & Culture
  • Resiliency & Sustainability
  • Industry and Economic Development
  • Public Realm

These groups were formed in February and are comprised of City agencies and community members working together to develop mutually-prioritized recommendations that will – along with other public events, workshops and targeted outreach – help shape a planning and land use framework. Those who cannot attend should still participate by giving us your input and receiving updates on our webpage and mailing list. (See PDF Document a summary of the proposed process.)

For more information on the study, please contact:

Mailing Address:
Brooklyn Office, NYC Department of City Planning
16 Court Street, Suite 705
Brooklyn, NY 11241

Telephone: 718-780-8280