On March 6th, nearly 140 participants attended Assembly Member O’Donnell’s Manhattan Valley Visioning event, including representatives of small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, block and tenant associations, and individual community activists.
Following a brief presentation on the neighborhood’s history, attendees worked in small groups, facilitated by staff of The Municipal Art Society and students from Pratt Institute, to catalog the neighborhood’s strengths, opportunities, and challenges. The Saturday afternoon program wrapped up with each group reporting back to the whole.
Eva Hanhardt, a Pratt professor who attended the visioning, noted the diversity and high level of engagement of those who attended. She remarked, “There are no greater experts on the strengths, weaknesses, and potential of Manhattan Valley than those who live and work there. Their ideas and visions will serve as the best guide for the future of the neighborhood.” Assembly Member O’Donnell couldn’t agree more.
In early May, the Pratt students presented a report that summarized the small group discussions and outlined recommendations to improve the quality of life in this community. The recommendations centered around three areas – youth, seniors, and open space. Participants were also linked to trainings on neighborhood-based decision making and activism.
Assembly Member O’Donnell will continue to work closely with Manhattan Valley stakeholders to ensure that this unique and diverse neighborhood gets the attention it deserves.
Please click here to view the report.