The Oneida Flats Neighborhood Oneida, New York
Topic Areas: Community Engagement, Neighborhood Re-visioning
Project Scale: Neighborhood
Accomplished by: Maren King, Project Director; Jocelyn Gavitt, Project Associate; Sarah Krisch, Graduate Assistant
One year after a major flood event on June 28th, 2013, The Oneida Flats Community Engagement Project was initiated to focus on this neighborhood that had been inundated for over a week and significantly impacted. The initial purpose of the project was to understand the uncertainty associated with the damaged properties, to help facilitate better communication between the agencies interested in the community, and to begin a re-visioning process for the neighborhood. The process involved collecting and synthesizing data concerning the neighborhood and associated flooding events as a foundation for planning for the future.
Community engagement in this participatory process was vital in creating a shared understanding of the past and present neighborhood conditions to help define goals for the neighborhood. Shortly after the community engagement process began, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offered a voluntary buyout to all property owners as a strategy to keep people safe from the risks of living in a flood zone. This decision shifted the community engagement process, creating more questions for the community and required a refocusing of the vision.
The major steps and milestones in the project process included:
By late January 2015, 60% of the properties in the neighborhood had filled out the necessary documentation to be on the list for the FEMA buyout. The buyout process is foreseen to significantly influence the long-term future land use in the Flats Neighborhood. Case studies were researched to help the city and community members better understand how to navigate the process.
Based on the community members' responses and ideas during workshops, discussion with the city staff and elected officials, assessment of the local geology and flooding history, analysis of the current buyout situation and case study research these elements of the vision were formed:
Four major goals were created which are supported by recommendations for city actions and neighborhood actions.
- Create open lines of communication to ensure that the city, residents, businesses and partners have access to the same information.
- Organize a planning process to generate the long term vision for the future of the Flats, with goals, scenarios and phased but flexible implementation plan.
- Ensure a livable and pleasant neighborhood for people who continue to live there.
- Manage the FEMA buyout process for optimal efficiency, cleanliness and thoroughness.
- North Side Riverfront District Planning Guide.
Urban Design and Neighborhood Planning
- Binghamton Northside Vision
- Binghamton Northside Revitalization
- Central New York ServicesResidence Yard Design
- Danforth Middle School Garden Design
- First English Lutheran Church
- Freedom Garden
- Habitat of Humanity
- Kennedy Square
- Lexington Park
- Oneida Flats Neighborhood
- Onondaga Creekwalk
- Solvay Vision Plan
- Watertown Black River Vision