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BY SAM SPOKONY | ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED NOV. 26, 2013 | A new interactive, online map is helping Downtown residents provide input on post-Hurricane Sandy community reconstruction.
The New York Rising program, an outgrowth of Governor Cuomo’s Office of Storm Recovery, now features interactive maps for six communities involved in the statewide effort, one of which focuses on the Manhattan area south of 14th St.
Visitors to the site can identify and label key neighborhood locations, including residential buildings, commercial centers, infrastructure systems and city parks. Residents are also able to highlight areas they believe contain particularly vulnerable populations, and they can provide additional input by writing comments on each location.
“As a member of New York Rising’s Lower Manhattan Planning Committee, I’ve been actively trying to ensure that the consultants hired by the state have, and use, the most accurate information about our neighborhood,” said Kerri Culhane, associate director of the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, whose presence is already being felt on the interactive map. “This process is intended to be community-driven, and I encourage anyone with computer access to review the map and add comments.”
Residents who want to get involved in that process can also attend New York Rising’s next meeting for Lower Manhattan on Thurs., Dec. 12 at 8:30 a.m. at the Community Board 3 office, 59 E. Fourth St.
The Lower Manhattan Planning Committee, which often meets in the evening, hopes to produce a final plan by March 2014, which will help decide how state funding — up to $25 million — should be used to rebuild parts of the neighborhood that were affected by Hurricane Sandy, and to build resilience against future storms.
The committee, co-chaired by Catherine McVay-Hughes, the chairperson of Community Board 1, and Dan Ackerman, the chief of staff for the Downtown Alliance, is also likely to make recommendations for Lower Manhattan that will cost more than the $25 million set aside for Downtown.