Gowanus Improvement District Formation Effort

Why we need a Gowanus Improvement District

Gowanus will see big investments in public space over the next few years. This includes both waterfront esplanades developed on private properties, and new public parks like the one planned for Gowanus Green. Together, these can be a cohesive and vibrant network of parks centered on the Gowanus Canal. While additional open space in the Gowanus neighborhood is critical, we also know that steady, consistent maintenance and programming is not a given in New York City. The Parks Department budget perennially faces shortfalls and cuts, most recently seeing a 14% cut last fiscal year during COVID. 

In order to ensure future maintenance of the public realm, guarantee that all members of the Gowanus community can enjoy emerging parks and public spaces, and reinforce a vibrant live-work neighborhood, GCC is organizing the formation of a Gowanus Improvement District, to ensure longtime funding and coordination for maintenance of the public realm in Gowanus.

An Improvement District that is formed through the Business Improvement District (BID) model can provide reliable, consistent funding for maintenance, programming and capital improvements for the public realm. The PID will be a new non-profit organization that collects a tax assessment and provides services.

 As part of this process, a Steering Committee composed of a comprehensive array of stakeholders and leadership from the Gowanus neighborhood, has been formed. To date, the Steering Committee has developed a “Needs Assessment Survey” that has been distributed to more than 12,500 residents and businesses in order to assess existing quality of life concerns and what services might be needed in the future. Results from this survey will inform next steps in the formation process. To learn more or to get involved, please visit the Gowanus Improvement District Formation Effort website! 

How to get involved