How To Make The Best Of Development?

The development of Sheepshead Bay from 1928 to 2008, as shown in aerial maps from NYCityMap

If the urbanization of Sheepshead Bay is unavoidable, how do we make the best of it?

On my post yesterday about the planned three-story mixed-use building at 2409 Avenue Z (near the corner of Bedford Avenue), commenters Cabbie and Lisanne shared brief exchanges about the loss of the neighborhood’s “small town feel,” but also expressed that the zoning makes it unavoidable.

Lisanne wrote:

Apparently we live in an urban area now. A lot of the current residents here couldn’t care less about the aesthetics of the neighborhood.

In running this site, I end up in long conversations with people from all walks of life who live, work or play in Sheepshead Bay. And it seems to be a consensus – whether you’re for or against development, it’s here to stay.

Now, we at Sheepshead Bites can spill a lot of digital ink reminiscing about what the neighborhood once was, or decry change and bash every new construction out there as an out-of-character brick-lined middle finger to Sheepshead Bay culture. But that would be counter-productive.

We have to face it – bigger buildings and multi-family residences are the new character of large swaths of Sheepshead Bay. Parking, congestion, traffic – yes, we are urbanizing. But this is still our neighborhood, and though we can’t go back we can guide it forward in a way that develops a new charm, and an appealing character.

Urbanization is a general term. It means a physical growth in population, buildings and economic base. But within that definition, what aspects can we carve to make our neighborhood ours, and how do we go about doing it?

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