Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso Releases “The Comprehensive Plan for Brooklyn”
BROOKLYN, NY – Yesterday Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso released “The Comprehensive Plan for Brooklyn,” a vision to address the borough’s dual crises of housing and public health through land use, policy, and budgetary recommendations. The Plan for equitable growth is based on a comprehensive analysis of boroughwide data and information and contains over 100 maps visualizing inequities in everything from housing production to life expectancy. The Plan is not a rezoning proposal but will be used by the Borough President effective immediately to guide land use recommendations and decision-making. The Comprehensive Plan for Brooklyn is the first borough-specific large-scale planning effort ever in NYC and a model for planning citywide.
“Levels of homelessness not seen since the Great Depression, stormwaters flooding our streets and buildings, poor health outcomes in low-income communities – that is what a city that fails to plan looks like,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “In cities around the world, comprehensive planning is the norm, and for good reason – comprehensive planning balances local and citywide needs so that all residents have equitable access to the resources that lead to healthy communities. But for too long, New York City has relied on piecemeal, ad hoc rezonings that fail to meet the needs of residents, lack vision and principles, and lead to an inequitable distribution of resources. My Comprehensive Plan for Brooklyn maps disparities across Brooklyn and puts forward a roadmap to solve these inequities. It’s time to finally start planning in New York City – and Brooklyn is leading the way.”
The Comprehensive Plan for Brooklyn focuses on two deeply intertwined issues: housing and health. Ultimately, public health is about access – to healthy and affordable housing, accessible and affordable health care, a range of transportation options, quality education and employment opportunities, and safe and resilient communities. Conversely, lack of access to these necessities can lead to poor health outcomes. All of this is linked to budgetary, policy, and land use choices.
The over-200-page Plan begins with a thorough analysis of existing conditions in the borough, revealing intense inequities. For example, life expectancy in Community District (CD) 16 (Brownsville), a predominantly Black neighborhood, is 76 years, while CD 6 (Park Slope, Carroll Gardens), a predominantly white neighborhood, has a life expectancy of 82.9 years. Based on the data and information analyzed, as well as input from residents across the borough, Borough President Reynoso’s Comprehensive Plan for Brooklyn presents recommendations to solve for these disparities and encourage healthy and housed neighborhoods. The Plan then outlines four frameworks that apply these land use, policy, and budgetary recommendations spatially across the borough.
This plan is not a substitute for a citywide comprehensive plan or ongoing local planning efforts. It is not a rezoning proposal, and it is not something the Borough President can implement on his own. However, it is intended to inform the Borough President’s land use decisions and recommendations, and to provide shared data and information to all Brooklyn stakeholders. It is a living document, intended to be updated and responsive to new needs in Brooklyn’s many communities.
The Plan’s creation began shortly after Borough President Reynoso took office in January 2022. The Office of the Brooklyn Borough President led the process; the Regional Plan Association (RPA) and New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) provided support with data collection and analysis; and Hester Street provided support with public outreach and engagement. An Advisory Committee of over 25 organizations from throughout the borough provided feedback and guidance along the way. The team engaged the public multiple times, including two in-person public workshops held at Borough Hall, public presentations to Brooklyn’s community boards, and a public online survey covering the draft recommendations.
Moses Gates, Vice President for Housing and Neighborhood Planning, Regional Plan Association (RPA): “The Comprehensive Plan for Brooklyn demonstrates how planning can be responsive and proactive in meeting the needs of communities across a wide range of issue areas. Addressing high housing costs, improving health outcomes, adapting to climate change, enhancing transportation networks, and ensuring equitable economic development can only be done through a comprehensive and integrated approach. The Brooklyn plan provides an ambitious vision of achieving this through a framework that aligns citywide, borough, and local needs and we have been proud to partner with Borough President Reynoso for this project.”
Blondel Pinnock, President and CEO of Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation: “The Comprehensive Plan for Brooklyn is a historic accomplishment that will guide the future of our great borough for years to come. We applaud Borough President Reynoso for his leadership in unveiling an urgently needed vision for harnessing Brooklyn’s economic growth more equitably to the benefit of all of its residents. The Plan includes measures to address our housing crisis that support Restoration’s mission to reduce the racial wealth gap. We look forward to offering our continued support to inform and advance this critical effort.”
Zahirah McNatt, Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Brooklyn Neighborhood Health, Center for Health Equity and Community Wellness, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: “The Comprehensive Plan for Brooklyn, led by the Borough President’s office, is an honest look at the current state and a beautiful commitment to equity across the borough. We can do more around health, housing, food, zoning and many other domains. This plan creates a platform for centering justice and achieving a Brooklyn-for-all. Grateful to have been part of the initial process and looking forward to how all parties engage in execution.”