"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Location: Queens, NY

Website: www.farroc.com

FAR ROC [For a Resilient Rockaway] is a two-phase design competition that will explore innovative strategies for the planning, design and construction of a resilient and sustainable development at Arverne East, an 80+ acre site on the Rockaway Peninsula.

In recent years, the relationship between the built and the natural environment has been dramatically affected by climate change, severe storm events, and rising sea levels. The extensive damage to low-lying waterfront zones caused by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 reinforced the need for resilient infrastructure and redevelopment strategies for existing coastal communities throughout the greater New York area.

Costly damage to buildings, roads, and utility systems by the storm raises the controversial question of whether areas of particular geographic vulnerability should be rebuilt, maintained and defended, or simply abandoned.

With these and other questions in mind, and given the scarcity of land and the significant need for housing and economic development in outlying areas of New York City, the FAR ROC design competition has been organized to solicit creative ideas for resilient development strategies that can be implemented not only in the Rockaways but also throughout New York City and in vulnerable communities everywhere.

Following a first-phase open call for design proposals, up to four finalists will be selected by an independent jury and provided a stipend of $30,000 to further refine their design strategies.

The winner of the competition will be announced in advance of the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy on October 24th, 2013, and will receive an additional cash prize of $30,000.

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