What’s The Trade-Off?

WHAT IT IS. The mayor’s ambitious affordable housing agenda will be realized through the rezoning of over a dozen neighborhoods across New York City’s five boroughs. While many communities are eager to see more affordable housing, they are concerned about what new development could mean for their communities, and whether they will be able to play a meaningful role in the decision-making that shapes them.

The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) is developing What’s the Trade-Off? to help communities more effectively participate in the process. Using hands-on activities with a gameboard and plastic blocks, workshop participants use a scaled-down version of their neighborhood to explore what a proposed rezoning could (and should) look like. Through the activities, participants discuss their concerns about increased density — Will new schools be provided to accommodate new families? Will subway service be increased? Won’t existing residents be displaced by increasing rents? — and use case studies from other communities in NYC to identify ways those issues could be addressed through the rezoning. Working together, participants identify shared priorities that they hope to advocate for, and the kinds of trade-offs they are willing to make to achieve a rezoning that benefits their community.

The workshop prepares participants to productively raise their concerns and priorities during public discussions with city agencies and throughout the planning and public approvals process.

WHERE IT WORKS. The toolkit works in organizing settings, staff trainings, college classrooms, Community Board meetings, and lots of other places. Workshops can be customized to include specific issues that are important to your community, like affordability, jobs, and housing preservation. Workshops can range from 60 minutes to 1.5 hours.

HOW TO GET ONE. We can arrange workshops anywhere in the five boroughs with 3-4 weeks of notice.

Workshops normally start at $500, but we are offering free What’s the Trade-Off? workshops for community groups in certain neighborhoods as we develop and test this new tool.

Contact info(at)welcometocup.org to find out more.