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Visualizing SPURA An exhibition by students of the City Studio at Eugene Lang College, the New School & Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani, in collaboration with SPURA Matters, a project of Place Matters, GOLES & the Pratt Center for Community Development

common room 2 465 Grand Street, NYC, NY 10002 tel: 212-358-8605

January 29 - March 21, 2009 Opening: January 29, 2009 6-8pm

The City Studio

Visualizing SPURA: A guide to the exhibition

Forty years ago, New York City took ownership of an area on the Lower East Side bounded by Essex, Delancey, Grand, and Willett Streets—the Seward Park Urban Renewal Site (SPURA). Few renewal projects have been so contested, and as a result, it remains the largest undeveloped city-owned parcel of land south of 96th Street. The hopes, memories and meanings of this place are intertwined with the history of housing and politics on the Lower East Side and in New York City at large.

City Studio developed Visualizing SPURA to help envision this site’s future. What are the stories of its present and its past? What are the politics that surround it? Visualizing SPURA uses photographs, oral histories, maps, listening stations and opportunities for you to make your voice heard about the future and everyday life of this complex site. The following is a guide to each piece in the exhibition. The student-creators of Visualizing SPURA are: Anastasia Ehrich, Savannah Foster, Kara Gionfriddo, Winhkong Hua, Evan Iacoboni, Samantha Lewis, Rachael London, Hannah Lyons, Gabriel Tennen, and Samantha Washburn-Baronie. Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani is the professor and exhibition curator.

During the Fall of 2008, the City Studio course of the Urban Studies department, Eugene Lang/New School explored the SPURA site, trying to understand the life of this urban space through archival, ethnographic, visual and participatory research. The course stressed engagement with community, and our partnerships with local organizations were an important part of the course. This course is sponsored by the Eugene Lang Office of Civic Engagement. City Studio partnered with SPURA Matters, which mounted visioning sessions, an interactive cell phone history tour (by Field Play, Inc.), and an oral history project (by Kara Becker) to get people talking about SPURA’s future. SPURA Matters is a collaboration between local organizations, Good Old Lower East Side, Pratt Center for Community Development, and City Lore and its Place Matters project. The series is funded in part by the New York Council for the Humanities, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation and the Altman Foundation. Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) ( was founded in 1977 and is a neighborhood housing and preservation organization, dedicated to tenants’ rights, homelessness prevention and community revitalization through organizing and advocacy. The Pratt Center for Community Development (www. empowers low- and moderate-income communities in New York to plan for and realize their futures. As part of Pratt Institute, it uses urban planning, architecture, and public policy to support community-based organizations. Place Matters ( was founded in 1998 by City Lore and the Municipal Art Society to foster the conservation of New York City’s historically and culturally significant places. It conducts a citywide survey called the “Census of Places that Matter” to discover places that evoke associations with history, memory, and tradition.

Delancey Street: To help visualize what could be Anastasia Ehrich

Vote for what you’d build on the SPURA site! Savannah Foster As part of the SPURA Matters project, in the Fall of 2008, a series of four public visioning sessions were held to trigger community discussion among the residents of the Lower East Side about the future development for the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA). A total of 233 people attended these sessions where lists of possible priorities for development (priority maps) were distributed to tables of community members. To “vote” on these priorities, each person was given dot stickers, each standing for money to allocate toward the issues most important to them, and what they envisioned for the future of the SPURA site. One of the main goals of this exhibition is to continue the discussion of what people envision for the future of the SPURA site in hope of eventually promoting change.

Learning from our homes Kara Gionfriddo I take this opportunity to make some suggestions. Yes, regarding housing, but also regarding all of the activities and elements of life that relate to housing structure. What are these, you ask? Socializing, eating, work, play, transport, commerce, emotional wellbeing, exercise, and all those mundane and profound actions that makes us human. The cubes in the exhibition are demands that you pay attention to how housing structure powerfully affects the livelihood of all New Yorkers. The photographers, residents of the Lower East Side, have lent me their pictures so that I might illustrate these demands. Christopher Alexander, architect and urban visionary, has lent me his language so that I might articulate these demands. Pick up the pieces and weigh them in your hands. Take a careful look at how these New Yorkers, perhaps with considerable obstacles, have transformed their housing structures into homes. Let Alexander’s words lead you to consider the ways in which we might build better housing for the past, present, and future residents of SPURA.

Inside, p. 3: SPURA inSite: SPURA, ULURP, Urban planning and how YOU can get involved.

Mapping SPURA 1930 Hannah Lyons

SPURA in Site Winhkong Hua, Gabriel Tennen, Samantha Lewis

Photographing SPURA Samantha Lewis

The series of articles which begin on page 3 are intended to spur both thought and action in regards to the various issues surrounding the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area. We wanted to deliver a wide range of information with respect to the SPURA site and urban planning, while contextualizing it in the history of the Lower East Side. We hoped to emphasize the role of the resident and the citizen in the decision making processes that affect shape the landscapes in which they live, work and play. We fundamentally believe that it is through democratic participation that we can come to a more just, equitable and inclusive America. We hope this text will inspire you, the reader, to speak out and to stand up for your beliefs, as so many have done in the past. A human being is only as strong as their voice, so help to usher in an era of an ideal Lower East Side, an ideal New York City, and an ideal United States of America.

My project orients viewers to the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area and the spaces that border the site. The photos differ in subject, composition and time to illustrate the varied built environment as well as the diverse population that lives and works in the neighborhood. I think it is important to exhibit the SPURA site as a “space” interlaced with personal and cultural meanings for the community, past and present. The sites, sounds and smells of an environment create the atmosphere, but the lived experiences at a place can also bring meaning. My photography captures places and people, where they linger, shop or sell their goods, signs, streetscapes, gateways to enter and exit the neighborhood, objects or buildings people look at, or refuse to address… SPURA as a site has the potential to affect an individual’s, or a communities’, physical, social and emotional environment.

Texture walks Evan Iacoboni

Listening to each other Rachael London

How does one capture the current SPURA site? The site represents major trends in housing in New York City, including tenement housing for immigrants, the brute force of urban renewal, and the bureaucracy of the planning process. These trends can be read in the landscape of SPURA. By examining the textures of the SPURA site through detail photographs of building exteriors on three walks around the Lower East Side, I created abstract streetscapes that represent elements important to the feel of SPURA. The first streetscape represents what SPURA used to feel like through historical analysis of architectural trends on the SPURA site prior to demolition. The other streetscapes represent the current site. These pieces examine the current SPURA site in relation to its past and surrounding area and could inform future discussions of what should grow here.

My goal in constructing this listening station is to create a tool for reflection. These clips come from long oral histories told to Kara Becker as part of the SPURA Matters project. The exhibition is filled with opportunities to be active, to study maps, respond, etc, often prompting people to simplify their views and isolate one or two issues they care about. Lack of listening often inhibits people from coming together. By offering this listening station with open-air speakers close to the chair I have created a personal, yet easily listened to space. Hopefully listeners will even walk away with a feeling of connectedness to those with whom they can also disagree. By humanizing the complex issues of the SPURA site by giving them a literal sound, I also attempt to bring those from outside to invest in the neighborhood and into the story and the space.

I chose to create a map of the SPURA site as it existed in an earlier era because I wanted to highlight what is at the heart of urban renewal—the built environment. Urban renewal is such a controversial topic not because the government decides to tear down buildings, but because of the after-effects of these actions. I hoped that by emphasizing the tangible element of urban renewal, I could prompt the viewer to consider why it is that the built environment (and its destruction) is so powerful to both government and citizens. 1930 stands between two eras which define the Lower East Side, the immigrant enclave of the turn of the century and the urban blight beginning in the 1960s. I hope that by simplifying existing land use maps to create a compelling representation of the SPURA site. I hope that this map conveys the area as it physically stood and sparks a deeper conversation of what was lost in the name of urban renewal.

Start The Conversation! Samantha Washburn-Baronie I was inspired to incorporate the opinions or positions of politicians in response to my research of the SPURA site. Here, as there often is, there seems to be a disconnect between the voices of residents and the voices that politically represent the community. I chose to display sketched images of representatives to provoke the vague symbolism politicians often hold in the American mind. It was important to incorporate listening and communication between politicians and their constituents into the piece. For an interactive component, I used simple post-it notes and pencils and hope that viewers will take the time to respond to the “influential voices”. I hope this piece will inspire conversation between community members and their representatives.

Visualizing SPURA and the Fall 2008 City Studio class would like to give our special thanks to: Joseph Heathcott (Urban Studies Dept, Eugene Lang College); The New School Office of Civic Engagement; Damaris Reyes (GOLES); Marci Reaven (Place Matters); Kara Becker (GOLES & NYU); Paula Crespo (Pratt Center for Community Development); Rosten Woo (CUP); Lars Fischer, Todd Rouhe, and Maria Ibanez (common room).

SPURA inSite SPURA, ULURP, URBAN PLANNING. And how YOU can get involved. by Vinh Hua, Gabriel Tennen & Sam Lewis

What is SPURA inSite?

A brief history of SPURA’s urban renewal

In New York City, citizens have a right to make themselves heard, and this pamphlet seeks to facilitate community members’ discussion and participation in the future of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA). We want to encourage New York City residents’ participation in the process of planning the city and their communities.

The Seward Park Urban Renewal Area Extension (SPURA) is located on the Lower East Side, bordered by Grand Street to the south, Delancey Street to the north, Essex Street to the west and Willett Street to the east. It is the largest city-owned parcel of undeveloped land south of 96th Street.

This pamphlet briefly addresses the history of SPURA, what it is, how it came about and why it has remained vacant for so long, and not been used to serve the community. We include a photo time line of participation and community organizing on the Lower East Side to give context on the rich history of community participation and engagement in this uniquely vibrant community. We hope that by being informed of this Lower East Side history of organizing for better, more just living and working conditions, you, the community member, will be inspired to get involved in what goes on in your community, especially in regards to urban planning. In this pamphlet, we list ways to get involved in the decision-making processes that affect your life. The Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) is explained in a section of this pamphlet. ULURP is an important tool and opportunity for city residents to make their voices heard about how their communities are developed. Also included here is a listing of local community organizations and local government officials and offices that you can get involved with. The Urban Planning Glossary explains some of the technical terms that are a part of the city planning process. We hope you use this as a tool to empower yourself, to gain insight on what urban planning is and how it operates, and to realize that you have a voice in the decision-making of both the SPURA site and your community in general.

The Seward Park Urban Renewal Area was originally tenement housing—at the time called a “slum”—that was torn down in the 1960s, after the Housing Acts of 1949 and later years authorized urban redevelopment. The 1949 Act consisted of three titles. Title I enabled urban renewal, which would raze buildings considered “subpar” in neighborhoods deemed “slums” in order to re-develop the land. Title II allowed the Federal Housing Administration, or the FHA, to insure new mortgages, which sped up the process of rapid suburbanization that was beginning to define the United States’ metropolitan areas during the mid20th century. Finally, Title III extended Federal money to build new public housing units, most of which were developed on land cleared by Title I’s Urban Renewal Program. New York City’s government, encouraged by powerful city planner Robert Moses, embraced both Titles I and III. The city utilized urban renewal to clear and rebuild areas throughout the city—many in low-income neighborhoods. In some cases, organizations like the United Housing Foundation, a coalition of unions and other non-profits, partnered with the city to develop housing on these sites.

Many local residents and businesses were displaced because of the demolition. Concerns about displacement and the availability of housing grew in the wake of urban renewal project. Various controversies and issues came to define SPURA, creating a difficult process for re-development of the parcel. Due to controversies involving racial bias, a retrenchment in federal involvement in urban planning during the 1970s and 80s, lack of funding, contested plans, and residents’ protests,

Much of the site now houses cars, not people. SPURA has never been fully developed. Although some housing was built, including the Seward Park Extension, and the Grand Street Guild Houses, the majority of the site is covered with parking lots— housing cars, not people. Getting involved in discussions about the future of the SPURA site offers a valuable opportunity for community members to voice their opinions, desires and concerns. Furthermore, it is an opportunity to help solve our country’s and city’s, current housing crisis, while continuing the Lower East Side’s long tradition of community activism and involvement to improve conditions for community members.


Organizing for change on the Lower East Side

Henry Street Settlement Playhouse, c.1900

Children on the Lower East Side, Jacob Riis, How The Other Half Lives 1890

Jacob Riis

In the late 19th Century, Eastern European Jews and Italians began to arrive in droves at Ellis Island and settled on the Lower East Side, overwhelming the cobble stone streets and tenement houses. These groups brought with them different cultures, ideals, and values, but were also subject to both terrible working and living conditions.

May Day Rally- Union Square circa 1953- Source: Life Magazine

Ralph Morse

The Socialist and Communist Parties relied on mass organizing to make their points heard. The Lower East Side was one of just two neighborhoods, including Brownsville, Brooklyn (another predominantly Jewish neighborhood at the time), where membership in the party swelled. By the time the Great Depres-

In 1886, a community of reformers and philanthropists, mostly 2nd Generation Irish- and GermanAmericans, founded University Settlement House on Eldridge Street. The purpose of the Settlement House was to provide basic services for those in need, but University, and its successors like Henry Street Settlement, went beyond any basic charity. Besides basic amenities like lodging (initially only for men), also offered were kindergarten classes, lessons in the English language, libraries, community theaters, and bath houses.

Ladies Garment Workers’ Union- Madison Square Garden- 1958 Source: Life Magazine

Joseph Scherschel

During the labor movement of the mid 20th Century, labor unions and the Socialist Party became prevalent on the Lower East Side. Using organizing techniques to mobilize the masses, these groups pushed for better working conditions and wages.

Rent strikes were developed to demand better housing sion hit in 1929, organizing within both labor and community became successful, and tactics such as Eviction Resistance and Rent Strikes were developed to demand better housing from landlords who were completely abandoning their duties to tenants due to the economic crash. Meeting on Race Prejudice in the Garment District. Circa 1960. Source: Life Magazine


Al Fenn

During the second half of the 20th century, demographics shifted on the Lower East Side, with more African-Americans and Hispanics moving into the neighborhood. Despite a change in demographics, the problems familiar to the Lower East Side persisted, and in many senses, worsened. The Civil Rights Era saw a renewed sense of protest for equal rights.

SPURA Matters

Robert Moses, circa 1952

Alfred Eisenstedt

Urban renewal and Robert Moses

Urban renewal, played out by the Federal Government and powerful New York City planner Robert Moses often destroyed the fabric of neighborhoods in the post-World War II years. Due in part to economic disinvestment in inner-cities, and a focus on suburban planning, neighborhoods declined. Slum lords abandoned their property and provided little upkeep for their buildings. Residents protested through tactics such as rent strikes and eviction refusals. Lower East Siders continued to fight for better conditions, and founded community assets like the Betances Health Clinic.

Sam Lewis In the Fall of 2008, participants at four SPURA Matters Visioning sessions allocated dots, each representing one million dollars, to their priorities for the SPURA site. Session #4, November 2008

Today, the Lower East Side is facing a new set of issues. The real estate market boom in New York City has led to an unprecedented scale of gentrification, and long time residents of the neighborhood are being displaced. The redevelopment of SPURA offers an opportunity to bring new housing into the area.

We hope this exhibition inspires you to you to express your vision for the future of the SPURA site. Through four SPURA Matters visioning sessions in the Fall of 2008, the public was invited to envision the kind of development they’d like to see on the SPURA parcel. Hopefully, this exhibition inspires you to you to take action and protect the community and its character. Take action and stand up for your beliefs. As generations of Lower East Siders have proved in the past, a community’s voice can make a world of change.

 Adam Purple, a leader in the Community Gardens movement, circa mid 1980s

In the 1960s and 70s, in the wake of the inner-city disinvestment and New York’s fiscal crisis, community residents on the Lower East Side sought to reclaim the abundance of vacant land plaguing the neighborhood. In 1973, the first community gardens on the Lower East Side, including Adam Purple’s Garden of Eden, and the Liz Christy Bowery-Houston Community Farm and Garden, had been created as a means to beautify the devastated neighborhood. These gardens, despite the real-estate boom and the threat of their destruction during the Giuliani mayoralty, continue to thrive in the neighborhood, with gardening being used as both a tool to further community involvement on the Lower East Side and “green” the cityscape.

Participants at the SPURA Matters Visioning Sessions labeled memorable places around the site.

Sam Lewis


ULURP & you: The uniform land use review procedure

Sam Lewis

Looking South West, the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area is currently utilized by monthly parking lots

ULURP step-by-step

Land Use Decisions in New York City

1) Application submitted to Department of City Planning Applicant completes two parts: -Project Data Statement -Preliminary Environmental Impact Statement

The Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) is the process that New York City uses to give you, the community resident, a say in the planning that goes on in your community. It is used for such important decisions as rezoning areas of the City and urban renewal plans.

2) Director of City Planning certifies Application a. Commission witnesses certification b. ULURP time-table begins

By taking part in ULURP, you will be able to get more knowledge on plans being proposed in your community, voice your opinion, and hold your local governmental officers accountable.

3) Community Board Receives Application Within 60 days: a. Holds public hearing b. Gives advisory vote 4) Borough President Studies Case Within 30 days: a. May hold public hearing b. May call borough board vote c. Gives advisory recommendation 5) City Planning Commission Reviews Materials Within 60 days: a. Holds public hearing b. Votes on item 1. Positive vote moves into to City Council 2. Negative vote defeats item 6) City Council Gives Final Vote Within 50 days: a. Holds public hearing b. Votes on item

You can: • Watch for announcements for public hearings • Attend public hearings • Communicate with your local government officials


Under the ULURP structure, plans must proceed through: the local Community Board; the office of the Borough President; the City Planning Commission; the City Council and the Mayor’s Office. Both the local Community Board and City Planning Commission are required to hold hearings.

Multiple public hearings are required to be held. At these you will be able to see and hear what developers and planning institutions propose in your community. You may voice your concerns with any plans that are put on the table. Public hearings are announced in the City Record and the City’s Planning Calendar, as well as in local newspapers and in notices around your neighborhood. Keep your eyes open! As the Community Board, the Borough President and the City Council are directly accountable to you, have the right to petition them as well as hold them responsible for any problems you see in plans that affect you. ULURP is a powerful tool that you can use to help you push through important concerns as well as to keep you informed.

Your Hand in Planning Vo t e By voting, you can hold responsible government officials from the mayor to the assemblymen to the community board that have a say in how planning is done and what gets approved. Your vote really does matter in daily city life, especially in local elections. The more you vote, the more you exercise your power as a citizen, making your opinion felt and heard. Lobbying Government officials are responsible for representing their constituents--you! By lobbying them with letters, emails, phone calls and other forms of contact, you can make your concerns heard. Let your politicians know how you feel. You can also lobby private developers and community organizations, letting them know how you feel about their actions and what you would like to see happen in your community. Get Involved with Community Organizations Almost all of the community organizations listed here are directly involved in organizing around the SPURA site or are local organizations that have a strong stake in the community. By volunteering, going to their meetings, or donating you will be able to help organizations that match your goals and desires to fight for the kind of planning you want to see in your com-

munity. Furthermore, many of these organizations offer other services than can help you improve your life and housing situation. These institutions exist to serve you, the community member, so you should take advantage of the opportunities and services that they provide. Attend Public Meetings New York wants you to voice your opinions and concerns, which is why there are so many public hearings in ULURP and in the City Charter. By attending these meetings and speaking out, you will make both your community as well as your government officials hear and understand what you have to say. Furthermore, many community organizations offer hearings and visioning sessions that give you a chance to participate in discussions about your community. Attend, so you can speak and be heard! Work on a Government Campaign By working for the campaigns of those government officials who share your views or by running for elected office yourself, you will be able to have a larger say in planning and in what gets developed.

Your Government Officials A Glossary of Urban Planning Terms 25th District State Senator The State Senator, in his role as an arbiter of state law and budget, has a powerful role in shaping New York City’s finances and thereby its landscape. The current State Senator is Daniel Squadron. 250 Broadway, Suite 2011, New York, NY 10007 Telephone: (212) 298-5565 64th District State Assemblyman As the representative of the district in the State Assembly, the Assemblyman has a large say in New York City funding and has an influential role in what goes on in the community. The current Assemblyman, Sheldon Silver is also the Assembly Speaker, one of the most powerful Democrats in the New York State Assembly. Sheldon Silver has been vocal in the SPURA controversy, as he represents the district in which the site is located. 250 Broadway, Suite 2307, New York, NY 10007 Telephone: (212) 312-1420 Mayor’s Office The Mayor of New York City sets much of the planning policy for New York City, as well as holding a large amount of influence with the various boards and officials involved in the planning and development process. The current Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has taken an active role in city planning, putting forth many plans and development ideas. 2 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10007 Telephone: (212) 788-6879 Manhattan Borough President The Borough President of Manhattan has a strong say in what can and cannot be built all over Manhattan, with a voice in ULURP as well as influence all across the planning process. The current Borough President is Scott Stringer. 1 Centre St, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10007 Telephone: (212) 669-8300 1st District City Councilmember The City Councilor, as both a voice in the ULURP process and as one of the main legislators for New York City, has an important role in approving, budgeting and attracting plans and development in the community. The current City Councilmember for District 1 is Alan Gerson. 51 Chambers St, Suite 429, New York, NY 10007 Telephone: (212) 788-7722 Community Board 3 The Community Board for the Lower East Side and Chinatown also have a strong voice in the ULURP planning process, and are directly accountable to the community. Community Board 3, Manhattan 59 East 4th St,New York, NY 10003 Telephone: (212) 533-5300 E-Mail: Board Chair: Dominic Pisciotta New York City Department of Planning The Department of City Planning spearheads plans for development, as well as provides a crucial role in the approval of developments through ULURP. Charged with the responsibility to oversee planning and growth throughout New York City, the NYCDCP is an important player to address concerns to. 22 Reade St, New York, NY 10007 Telephone: (212) 720-3300 Director: Amanda M. Burden Department of Housing Preservation & Development HPD is the office through which New York City develops affordable housing and preserves existing housing. This office has a central role to play in any actual development that would include affordable housing on the SPURA site. 100 Gold St, New York, NY 10038 Telephone: (212) 863-6300

Area Median Income – A figure used to assess the average income of an area, which then determines eligibility for certain affordable housing programs. Business Improvement District - A public-private partnership in which businesses and property owners in an area choose to pay an additional fee to pay for improvements and maintenance of the public space.

Mitchell-Lama – The Mitchell-Lama Housing Pro gram is a form of housing subsidy in the state of New York named after State Senator MacNeil Mitchell and Assemblyman Alfred Lama and signed into law in 1955. The law provided for the development of affordable rental and co-operative housing to moderateand middle-income families. Many of these subsidies are now expiring.

Co-op Housing – A type of development in which the residents own and manage their property, actively participating in the decision-making and work involved with the development.

Mixed-use – A term used to describe developments that have multiple land uses within them. This could be a mix of commercial and residential uses or a mix of residential types.

Developer – Developers are those organizations and individuals who wish to build or redevelop parcels of land in the city. They must propose their plans through ULURP.

NYCHA – New York City Housing Authority is a statemandated organization that manages and develops public housing for the city of New York.

Gentrification – The process by which poorer residents are displaced due to rising rental prices and other market forces. Housing Act of 1949 – A federal policy enacted by President Truman in 1949 that consisted of 3 parts: • Title I declared Urban Renewal, with which local governments could deem an area as blighted in order to raze the existing buildings to re-develop the land. • Title II allowed the Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, to federally insure new mortgages, contributing to rapid suburbanization • Title III extended Federal money to state mandated housing authorities in order to build a total of 800,000 new public housing units on land cleared by Title I. HPD – The Department of Housing Preservation and Development is a government agency that was created to develop affordable housing in the city as well as to protect the existing housing stock. HUD – The Department of Housing and Urban Development, an office that oversees housing and community development for the federal government. Income Levels – The categories, based on income relative to a community’s AMI, that are used to determine eligibility for government sponsored housing programs. Limited Equity Co-ops – Units in which the government helps lower income residents to buy their homes in exchange for their agreement to have limited equity accruement. Low-Income Housing Tax Credit – A tax incentive for private developers to create affordable housing for low-income residents. Market Rate Housing – Housing in which rental prices are set without any subsidy or assistance from government programs

Public Housing – Housing that is operated by a public authority and is financed with government funds. Rent Control – Government mandated controls on the price of rental housing that acts as a price ceiling. Rent Strikes – A tool used by residents who refused to pay rent until conditions are met by landlords and management companies. Section 8 – Section 8, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher Program is a federal program that helps to subsidize housing costs for low-income families and individuals. Senior Housing – Government mandated affordable housing that is restricted to senior citizens. SPURA – The Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, the largest parcel of city-owned land open for development south of Harlem, and the focus of many local controversies over its development and future. Subsidized Housing – Housing in which rental prices are kept low through governmental intervention, either through rent control or through direct subsidization. Suburbanization – The process in which Americans moved in greater numbers outside of cities into suburban communities, bringing with them a loss in urban resources and population. Super-blocks – Larger than typical city blocks that usually take the form of high-rise housing that is not mixed-use. ULURP – The Uniform Land Use Review Process is a mechanism for citizen approval and dialog regarding government approved changes in a given community. Urban Enterprise Zone – Special district created by the government in which private investors receive tax and other incentives to start and run businesses.

Community Sponsors of SPURA Matters SPURA Matters SPURA Matters is a collaboration between Place Matters, the Good Old Lower East Side and the Pratt Center for Community Development. SPURA Matters presents a series of events and projects to engage community residents with the SPURA space, to promote dialog and knowledge about the issue and to re-envision the site.

Place Matters Place Matters is a collaboration between City Lore and the Municipal Art Society that identifies and then advocates for the preservation of New York City’s culturally and historically significant places. 72 East First St., #1, New York, NY 10003 Telephone: (212) 529-1955 Email:

Ana Luisa Garcia Community Center A local nonprofit organization and community center that offers a variety of programming, from community development to children’s education.

Pratt Center for Community Development A part of the Pratt Institute, the PCCD provides planning services and resources to disadvantaged communities across New York City in an effort to make the city more just, equitable and sustainable.

Email: Center for Urban Pedagogy CUP is an organization dedicated to educating about space and how it changes, presenting exhibitions and programs that allow the public to investigate and reimagine space.

Saint Mary’s Church Since 1832, Saint Mary’s Church has been at the forefront of organizing n the Lower East Side. Furthermore, Saint Mary’s has heavily involved n SPURA, being the developer of the Saint Mary’s Guild Houses.

232 Third Street #B402B, Brooklyn, NY 11215 Telephone: (718) 596-7721 Email:

440 Grand St., New York, NY 10003 Telephone: (212) 677-0516

CHARAS—Tu Casa Long-time community organization interested in community & cultural development.

Grand Street Settlement Part of the United Neighborhood Houses, the Grand Street Settlement offers a variety of programs aimed at community development and resident empowerment.

City Lore City Lore preserves and promotes New York City’s cultural heritage through a diverse array of arts and educational programming.

80 Pitt St., New York, NY 10002 Telephone: (212) 674-1740 Email:

72 East 1st St., NY, NY 10003 Telephone: (212) 529-1955 Email:

Hester Street Collaborative The HSC is a nonprofit organization that helps local residents across NYC better design and change their environments so that spaces serve them more thoroughly.

Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence A New York City wide organization that organizes low income Asian Americans and empowers them to express self determination. 191 E. 3rd St., #1A, New York, NY 10009 Telephone: (212) 473-6485 Cooper Square Committee A local organization committed to the development and preservation of environmentally conscious, low income housing in the East Village / Lower East Side of Manhattan 61 East 4th St., New York, NY 10003 Telephone: (212) 228-8210 Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association The Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association is a not-for-profit affordable housing corporation that manages and develops housing for low and moderate income individuals and families on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Telephone: 212-477-5340 East Village Community Coalition A local community organization dedicated to the preservation of the “cultural character” of the East Village. 143 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009 Telephone: (212) 979-2344 Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) A neighborhood and housing preservation community organization that was founded in 1977, GOLES has a long history of involvement in SPURA, as well as other struggles for affordable housing and lowincome housing rights. 171 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009 Phone (212) 533-2541

113 Hester St., New York, New York 10002 Telephone: (212) 431-6780 Indochina Sino-American Community Center A nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing social services for the elderly. It also takes a strong stance in advocating for its elderly clients. 170 Forsyth St., 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10002 Telephone: (212) 226-0317 Email: Jews for Racial and Economic Justice JFREJ is a Jewish organization that uses a variety of tactics to fight for social justice, and serves as a partner and ally for other organizations that fight for social justice across New York City. 135 West 29th St., Suite 600, New York, NY 10001 Telephone: (212) 647-8966 Email: Lower East Side People’s Mutual Housing Association A nonprofit organization that seeks to provide long term stable housing by renovating, managing and developing affordable housing for people of low and moderate incomes. 209 East Third St., New York, NY 10009 Telephone: (212) 473-5940 Lower East Side Tenement Museum The Museum promotes tolerance and dialog through preservation of the Lower East Side’s history as the home of many immigrant and migrant experiences. 108 Orchard St., New York, New York 10002 Telephone: (212) 982-8420 Email:

Two Bridges Neighborhood Council A civic organization and a nonprofit developer that seeks to redevelop the Two Bridges Urban Renewal Area, as well as serve as forum for the resolution of community conflicts. 275 Cherry St., New York City, NY 10002 Telephone: (212) 566-2729 Email: University Settlement The first Settlement House, as mentioned in the Activist History, which now offers its constituents a wide array of social services, including housing assistance and senior services. University Settlement 184 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002 Telephone: (212) 674-9120 Email: Urban Justice Center community development project The UJC uses a combination of legal advocacy and community organizing to serve New York City’s vulnerable populations. 123 William St., 16th Floor, New York, NY, 10038 Telephone: (646) 602-5600

Visualizing SPURA  

The City Studio, taught annually by Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani / Buscada in the Urban Studies department at the New School, considers this con...