Restoring the ‘Stanton Building’ to the Community will Benefit the Environment [OP-ED]

Posted on: October 5th, 2017 at 5:03 am by

The following op-ed was penned by Wendy Brawer. Her nonprofit, Green Map System, is a member of the community coalition at Sara D. Roosevelt Park.

It’s time to return to the Stanton Building to the Lower East Side community, a move that together addresses climate change and community well-being.

Located at the northern end of Sara D. Roosevelt Park, this former community center building is perfectly situated for all-ages engagement. Instead, it’s been used as a storehouse for all of Manhattan Parks for decades, necessitating a continual stream of trucks through the city, spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere before rumbling in and parking within the narrow park space. Coming and going all day long.

This past September, the New York Times reported that “City vehicles logged 102 million miles on the road in the last fiscal year (which ended in June), 25-percent more miles than in 2014.” There’s an uptick in accidents, too, plus an estimated 800,000 more gallons of gas used. If Mayor de Blasio is serious about emissions reduction, removing the storage component from Stanton Building is a no-brainer.

In an era where the most vulnerable have already been hardest hit by climate change, deportation threats and unemployment, the current vision of a community “green culture center” for the Stanton Building will support all of us in the movement toward social resiliency by building green jobs, ecological and climate stabilization skills, and include homeless peoples’ needs and emergency preparedness. Hurricanes Irma, Maria and Harvey are stark reminders of the need to address climate adaption from the bottom up.

As Sandy’s fifth anniversary approaches, all are invited join us on Wednesday, October 25 at The New School for an engaging evening furthering the vision of the Stanton Building as a socially resilient community center (RSVP here).

Let’s help the Parks Department meet its mission, which highlights “resilient and sustainable parks, public spaces, and recreational amenities,” by removing the storage and adjacent cargo container and returning the Stanton Building to the community, a much needed step in the right direction.

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