Putting the Atlantic Yards online

I met Veronica Whaley last Sunday on Pacific Street, between 6th Avenue and Flatbush, as she was loading bags into the trunk of her car from a shopping trip to Atlantic Center. A resident of another, far-off neighborhood of Brooklyn, Whaley expressed her hope that the Atlantic Yards development would bring good jobs and housing to the area, but confessed to having some “mixed feelings.”

When I told her that, according to the current plan to “demap” certain streets in the footprint, the section of Pacific Street where she had parked her car would be center court of the Nets arena by October 2009, Ms. Whaley’s jaw dropped: “No, really?”

Most Brooklynites have an opinion about AY, but from my unscientific experience it seems that the further you move from the “footprint” of the Atlantic Yards, the less people know about how big the project will be and how much it will change that 7 block section of Brooklyn (leaving aside any spill-over effects it may have on other neighborhoods). Several blogs have covered the Atlantic Yards project very well, and even given some graphical perspective on how big the buildings will be.

Atlantic Yards Footprint MapHowever, I think that there could be much more done to give a fuller picture online of how the project will change the footprint area. The tools available online can really give a sense of how the space will change, that straight print, radio or even video alone cannot provide. An interactive treatment of Atlantic Yards should include:

  • Video, interviews with current residents, non-residents, construction workers, future residents.
  • Photographic slideshows – before (current buildings, blighted and not) and after, panoramics
  • Interactive maps of the footprint
    • Current population and real estate data compared to Ratner’s proposals
    • Current traffic patterns compared to Ratner’s proposals
    • Follow-ups on each with actual data, before and after
  • Timelines: Of proposal process and how the plan has changed AND of the projected construction timeline
  • Links to the outside, to “get involved”

What not to do:

  • No Audio
  • No need for RAW footage or photo outtakes
  • This would be a deep story, no need for a thin version
  • No polls or surveys
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2 Responses to “Putting the Atlantic Yards online”

  1. cunygsj Says:

    good package. i like listing what doesn’t work, too.

  2. annaliese Says:

    I think the before and afters are especially important. I’ve spent a lot of time in that neighborhood and I don’t think people understand the full scale of the completed project as currently proposed. A package like this definitely demands some creative use of photoshop to show how “Miss Brooklyn” will loom over Fifth Avenue, castining its enormouns shadow over most of Prospect Heights.

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