The United Nations—a vital global institution that is critical to New York City—desperately needed to expand its campus. At the same time, the local community was suffering from an unfinished riverfront greenway. A compromise was struck that would allow the UN to expand onto parkland in exchange for the funds needed to finish the greenway. It seemed like a perfect solution, but a small group of vocal opponents put the project in jeopardy. A strategy was needed to overcome NIMBY opposition and move the project forward.
The BerlinRosen Approach
BerlinRosen created and developed a coalition of 49 citywide and local not-for-profit organizations in support of the plan. Leveraging the resources of each member group, we implemented a grassroots campaign to grow the coalition and motivate supporters to attend critical public events and reach out to key elected officials. Finally, we worked the media, winning editorial support in the New York Times and other major media outlets, creating the public support necessary for state and local leaders to approve the plan.
An agreement was reached that provides the framework for constructing a new building and funding desperately needed open space improvements. BerlinRosen is now working with the United Nations Development Corporation to advance construction of the building and unlock the park funding made possible by this historic agreement.