Why urban planning, engagement, and politics matter?

Gov. Cuomo’s $1.4 Billion Plan Targets Brooklyn in Fight Against Poor Health and Poverty

Too often as technocrats, organizers, and elected officials, we easily miss the strategic points of collaboration. My work with Next Shift's Collaborative focuses on identifying and leverage these points to enable transformative change. Last summer, Community Care Brooklyn (CCB), hired us to assemble a team of 28 young adults to engage in a Participatory Action Research (PAR) project to understand the community’s priorities for health creation, guided by a core question: “How do we mobilize the Brownsville and East New York communities to address the social, physical and environmental inequalities that affect health?Through a survey of 525 residents, the team explored the physical, mental, social, environmental and financial dimensions of health and developed a number of recommendations to lay the foundation for collective action.

The final report, titled, Healthy Brooklyn, Community Centered Study: Proposed Health and Wellness Interventions in Brownsville and East New York set the policy framework for Governor Cuomo's recent announcement. The recent announcement by Gover Cuomo is a result of CCB through our research coming to understand the impacts of social determinants of health and how to most effectively capture local community knowledge stakeholders and champions from the community, community-based and intuitional health providers, labor unions, the NYC Mayor's Office to the state capital chambers in Albany. "For too long investment in underserved communities has lacked the strategy necessary to end systemic social and economic disparity, but in Central Brooklyn those failed approaches stop today,” Governor Cuomo said. “We are going to employ a new holistic plan that will bring health and wellness to one of the most disadvantaged parts of the state."


We look forward to continuing our work with CCB as they look to implement near-term projects and as we launch a similar study with Interfaith Medical Center and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, key providers in Central Brooklyn and CCB.

Stay tuned for more updates this summer!