Gowanus Neighborhood Planning Study

PLACESGowanus Neighborhood Planning Study

Gowanus: A Framework for a Sustainable, Inclusive, Mixed-use Neighborhood is a roadmap for potential goals and strategies, including recommended land use changes, to be developed and implemented as part of a Neighborhood Plan. The framework is the culmination of more than 100 hours of public outreach and community meetings to solicit input since the Gowanus PLACES Study launched in October 2016. (More information about the Gowanus PLACES Study is available on the Project Overview and Milestones tabs). It is informed by previous reports and studies, including Bridging Gowanus, and ongoing community efforts by government agencies and community stakeholders and organizations.

The vision laid out in this framework aims to foster a thriving, inclusive and more resilient Gowanus where existing and future residents and workers are able to participate in civic, cultural and economic activities and where a wholly unique resource – the Gowanus Canal – can thrive and play an active role in that equitable and sustainable growth.

This framework document is organized first into chapters that describe planning and policy strategies proposed across the Gowanus neighborhood – addressing Sustainability and Resiliency, Environmental Remediation, Community and Cultural Resources, Housing, Economic and Job Development, and Transportation – followed by a discussion of Land Use and Urban Form.

Gowanus is a neighborhood with a diverse and complex mix of uses. The Land Use and Urban Form chapter identifies three types of areas in Gowanus with distinct approaches and recommendations: Industrial and Commercial, Enhanced Mixed-Use, and the Canal Corridor. To learn what kinds of land use and urban form strategies are proposed in each of Gowanus's different neighborhood sub-areas, see the Land Use and Urban Form framework chapter (above), and explore the Interactive Land Use and Urban Form story map.


The framework consists of proposed goals and strategies to make Gowanus a cleaner, greener, inclusive neighborhood that can serve as a model of sustainability for New York City and beyond. Stitched together, the tapestry of policies and proposals aim to support the evolution of Gowanus into an eco-neighborhood where existing and future residents and workers can live, work and play with a minimal carbon footprint and impacts on climate change. Key strategies include:

  • Promoting a more resilient future, where buildings and infrastructure are designed to manage flood risk today and into the future
  • Increasing public open space that is green and resilient along the Canal and capitalizing on opportunities to green public spaces throughout the area
  • Creating new job-generating space and fostering a mix of uses within the neighborhood so residents can live, work, create, play and shop and all users can reach their destinations by walking and bicycling or other means
  • Promoting new housing -- creating and preserving affordable housing and improving public housing -- near public transit to further reduce carbon footprint
  • Improving access to new jobs, training opportunities and other resources that support social, economic and environmental resiliency in the community
  • Improving mobility and safety for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers on streets and public areas
  • Planning for meeting the infrastructure and community resources needs of growing neighborhood

Since the neighborhood study launched in October 2016, thousands of community stakeholders, residents, workers, business owners and elected officials have articulated Gowanus's challenges and needs, set goals and objectives, and generated ideas about policies and investments to achieve a thriving, more resilient neighborhood. This framework is a product of all those voices and ideas heard through over 100 hours of meetings and large public events, and DCP's first-ever online engagement forum, PlanGowanus.com.

Community Outreach
  • 100+ hours of workshops and meetings
  • 26 working group meetings
  • Four large public events
  • NYCHA Tenant Association meetings
PlanGowanus.com Online Engagement
  • 10,000 visits to PlanGowanus.com
  • 30-35 average daily visitors
  • 73 contributors placing 220 pins on the comments map

Through refinement and community feedback on this framework, a draft Neighborhood Plan will be developed to begin implementing this collective vision. Evolving from the goals and objectives outlined here, the draft Neighborhood Plan will further align community and government resources with draft zoning and land use changes to realize the shared vision. Land use actions, including rezoning, aimed at facilitating the Neighborhood Plan would subsequently enter public review. For more information, see the timeline and process map below.

Thank you to those who joined us to discuss the framework at the Open House event on June 27 at P.S. 32. A summary of the event and comments provided is available on the study Milestone tab.

Feedback and input can be provided through PlanGowanus.com and by emailing the DCP team at gowanus@planning.nyc.gov or calling DCP’s Brooklyn Office at 718-780-8280.