Gotham Gazette

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City Planning

City Planning

  • city vernon

    City-owned building at Vernon Blvd & 44th Dr (photo: Memo Salazar)


    2019 may go down in history as the year public disenchantment with New York City’s land use policies reached a boiling point.

    In June, protestors disrupted a meeting about a neighborhood study for a potential rezoning on Southern Boulevard in the Bronx, claiming that city agencies did not really want their opinions. In August, a judge heard arguments in a lawsuit challenging the 2018 Inwood rezoning, with groups in that Upper Manhattan neighborhood charging that the environmental impact study

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  • hallets point dev

    (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New Yorkers heading to the polls this fall have the opportunity to vote on amendments to New York City’s Charter – our city’s foundational governing document – that include changes to how we vote, police accountability, and budgeting. But one big topic will be missing: truly addressing our city’s broken land use system.

    This didn’t have to be the case. When the City Council, then-Public Advocate Letitia James, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer came together to create this Charter Revision Commission

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  • marisa lago city breakfast2

    City Planning Director Marisa Lago (photo: May Vutrapongvatana)


    In a Friday morning speech about how New York City’s limited space is used, Marisa Lago, director of the Department of City Planning, discussed some of the department’s approaches to the housing, employment, and equity challenges facing the city.

    The city has a population of 8.4 million and is “the only older U.S. city that has surpassed its 1970s-era population peak,” said Lago, who was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to direct the Department of City Planning and chair the City

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  • brad lander local100 wbai 600

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    July 31, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Planning for the City's Future

    cm brad landerCity Council Member Brad Lander joined the show to discuss his efforts to institute better long-term city planning, to desegregate city schools, and to punish reckless drivers. He also weighed in on the presidential race and the candidacy of Mayor

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  • city planning manhattan brooklyn waterfront

    (photo: NYC Planning)


    This past week, amidst flooded streets, blackouts, overheated jails, and subway failures, New Yorkers saw the consequences that result from a failure to engage in strategic long-term planning for the future of our city. In the final decisions of the 2019 Charter Revision Commission, we also missed a big chance to do something about it.

    The dangers of failing to invest strategically in the infrastructure that sustains our city will grow in coming decades, as temperatures

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  • maybill public adv

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Fulfilling a promise he made in his successful campaign for public advocate, Jumaane Williams introduced legislation on Wednesday that would require the city to conduct an assessment of expected racial and ethnic impact brought on by proposed neighborhood rezonings, in order to ensure that the city is complying with the federal Fair Housing Act, and combat segregation and displacement.

    The Fair housing Act, passed in 1968, is meant to protect against discrimination in the sale, purchase,

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  • anhd thriving communities rally

    (photo: @ANHDNYC)


    The City Hall chambers of the New York City Council were packed with over 100 people on Thursday evening for a hearing of the 2019 Charter Revision Commission. New Yorkers who attended, including some elected officials, were largely focused on always-contentious land use issues and processes that the commission is considering as part of its larger effort to rethink aspects of city governance.

    The Manhattan hearing was the fourth of the five boroughs, to be followed by Staten Island on Tuesday night, where

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  • hearing city hall cm rafael salamanca jr

    Council Member Salamanca, center (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    A Tuesday City Council hearing about how city planning is done revealed major flaws in the process and showed significant divides between the mayoral administration and the Council over a set of bills aimed at changing relevant processes. Specifically, the legislation addresses how the outcomes of neighborhood rezonings -- where land use rules are adjusted in certain geographic areas to meet new development goals -- are projected and

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  • more resilient future

    (photo: City Planning Department)


    As the threat of climate change grows more prevalent by the day, cities must take the lead in reducing our carbon footprint and becoming more resilient. This year, New York City has taken a big, green step forward, with actions by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council that will decrease our emissions.

    When it comes to withstanding the storms and flooding that climate change will bring more frequently, though, it’s vital that existing zoning rules don’t stand in the way of protective measures for the buildings that make

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  • mayorsofficesi

    (Photo: Spencer T Tucker/Mayor's office)


    The 2019 New York City Charter Revision Commission is deliberating whether to propose to voters in November that a requirement for a comprehensive city plan be added to the charter.

    Should New York City have a comprehensive, well-considered plan?
    Yes.

    A comprehensive, well considered, plan should be good for everyone. It would involve all of us in the creation and maintenance of a shared vision for our city and its neighborhoods. It would provide predictability for communities,

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  • city council cmcarlos

    Council Member Menchaca and constituents (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    In the past week, the New York Post and New York Daily News published editorials criticizing New York City Council Member Carlos Menchaca’s ...

  • 2conte

    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    March 27, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Should the City Develop a Comprehensive Plan? with Elena Conte, Pratt Center Director of Policy

  • press conference

    (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    The sixth 2019 Charter Revision Commission “expert” hearing ended in more confusion than it began with on the decidedly complex topics of land use and city planning.

    Over the course of more than three hours on Thursday evening, experts struggled to articulate a clear definition of comprehensive planning, leaving the commissioners feeling like they had little to work off moving

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  • citycouncil r bay

    Speaker Johnson (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson unveiled an ambitious proposal for municipal control of the city’s mass transit system on Tuesday at his first State of the City speech at LaGuardia Community College in Queens.

    “I am not here to be typical,” Johnson, who is considering a run for mayor in 2021, promised early on as he delivered a speech focused on nothing but transit, including a forceful push for replacing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the state entity that controls the

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  • metro region explorer3

    (photo via NYC Planning)


    New York City and its neighbors have a problem. Unlike Los Angeles, Chicago, and the other major U.S. metropolitan areas that fit neatly within the standard city, county, and state political boundaries, our metropolitan area of over 22 million people does not. We’re spread out over four states and 26 counties, five of which are called “boroughs” and were integrated together to create our city over 100 years ago.

    All these complex boundaries and jurisdictions have resulted in a metropolitan area that has been “divided and

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  • lago cbc

    Marisa Lago (photo: Citizens Budget Commission)


    Urban planning wonks and other interested parties gathered Tuesday morning for a Citizens Budget Commission trustee breakfast featuring Marisa Lago, the director of the city’s Department of City Planning (DCP) and the chair of the City Planning Commission.

    At the event, Lago granted attendees a preview of DCP’s forthcoming “Geography of Jobs” report, due for release later this summer.

    “Geography of Jobs” is a product of the Department of City Planning’s first foray into regionalism, led by DCP’s relatively ...

  • nyc metro region map via dcp

    The NYC Metro Area (image via DCP presentation)


    New York City has seen rapid post-recession population and job growth, while housing development has not kept pace, and while areas in the metropolitan area surrounding the city have also seen growth, it has been at a slower pace than the city’s. Still, there are 1 million commuters into the city who account for 28 percent of the city labor force, and as job opportunities in the five boroughs continue to grow, housing options in the areas just outside the city are troublingly stagnant.

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  • De Blasio city planning

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York City is the only major city in the country that has never had a comprehensive development plan, according to Tom Angotti, professor of urban policy at Hunter College.

    Facing major, city-wide challenges now and into the coming decades, the city’s approach to development and planning is byzantine, narrow, and somewhat haphazard. The vast, diverse city of 8.5 million residents and millions more visitors every day is often looked at by neighborhood, legislative district,

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