2013-04-19 / Editorial/Opinion

Simple Idea For Community Input

There was an announcement about a Design Competition for Arverne East, an 80 acre site that has lain fallow for decades. The developers spearheading the competition are aiming high hoping it becomes a prototype for international designs everywhere. At the press conference they spoke forcefully about the importance of “community input.” But when asked about it the best they could offer was that there was an “advisory board.” Denean Ferguson, a resident of Far Rockaway, asked if social media might be used to engage and inform the community. It was a simple, common sense suggestion. A “no brainer” as Denean said herself.

The competition is supposed to be in two phases. There will be the first phase of submissions and from that group four selections will move on to Phase 2 (essentially the finals).

Denean suggested that the finalists’ submissions be made available online for community review. She added that the Rockaway community didn’t have to have the final say, not at all. But it would be nice to be asked.

The developers seemed to love her simple suggestion. It really isn’t that hard. We’ll see if they follow through and are really interested in community input.” It’s not like we haven’t heard that one before.

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