Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Land use

Land use

  • At Hearing, Garodnick Lays Out Adams Administration Planning Values, Talks Budget and Policy

    City Planning Chief Dan Garodnick (photo: Joanna Graham/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In a presentation to the New York City Council Wednesday, newly-appointed Department of City Planning Commissioner Dan Garodnick discussed the Adams administration's proposed budget and values for how land should be used to shape the city's future.

    The Department of City Planning, which helps craft proposed changes to land use rules, including zoning regulations and applications, is working towards some of the pillars of inclusive economic growth and crisis adaptability contained in Mayor Eric Adams’ economic recovery

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  • The Way We Plan is Broken; The Next City Government Has the Power to Fix It

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    Development rendering (image: NYC mayor's office)


    Over the past several years, our cityscape has continued to transform before our eyes. Gentrification and displacement have pushed deeper into working class communities, while shiny new towers throughout the five boroughs remain out of reach. At the forefront of this reality is the way our government makes planning and land use decisions. They shape what our city looks like. And equally as important — they shape what communities are served.

    The fact is, the way we plan is broken,

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  • City Council Speaker Unveils Comprehensive Planning Legislation

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    New York City development (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on Wednesday unveiled legislation that would overhaul New York City’s long-term planning processes, eliminating duplicative procedures, streamlining agency coordination, and establishing a more proactive, holistic approach to land use and budgeting that prioritizes racial and economic justice. 

    For decades, the city’s zoning, land use, and development have been subject to disparate sets of mandates and guidelines, some overlapping and redundant, in

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  • New York City Should Take Its Census Commitment to Communities of Color Into the Land Use Process

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    Mayor de Blasio doing Census work (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    When our communities are undercounted in the Census—as seems sure to happen in light of the recent Supreme Court decision—it costs us seats in Congress and money for local schools, health services, food assistance, highway construction, and many other services. When our communities are not counted in land use decisions, it costs people their housing, their small businesses, their social networks, and their culture.

    With so much on the line, the City of New York developed a $40

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  • Our Chance to Get Queens, and the City, Working Again

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    The authors write about opportunity for Queens (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The last several months have taken a tremendous toll on our local economy. Over 20 percent of New York City residents were unemployed in June, a level not seen since the Great Depression. Thanks to our frontline heroes and the leadership of our elected officials, we’ve flattened the curve and New York is winning its battle against COVID-19. Now it’s time to get New Yorkers back to work.

    Through a community-centered process, with buy-in from local community

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  • Now More Than Ever, New York City Needs Leaders to Welcome Jobs

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    Council Member Menchaca & Speaker Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    All of us who care about New York City – and if you are a regular reader of Gotham Gazette that surely includes you – are worried about its future. COVID-19 has shuttered our economy and seriously impaired the lives and livelihoods of millions of our residents. It is clear that things will never go back to the way they were and that we must turn this disaster into an opportunity to bring back a different, better, fairer city. 

    But fear of change and the demonizing of ‘development’ risk

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  • Missing from the 2019 Ballot, We Can't Wait to Take on Better City Planning

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    (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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  • Charter Revision Commission Hears Expert Testimony on Land Use and Planning

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    (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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  • The Loft Law Bill: Inequity on Stilts

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    We are individuals and organizations who collectively have been representing, serving, assisting, or employing thousands of low-income families of color and minority- and women-owned businesses residing in Greenpoint, Bushwick, and Williamsburg well before these places were hashtags and hotspots; some of us also are loft tenants. As such, we oppose the bill being proposed in the state Legislature to amend New York’s Loft Law.

    We have met with proponents of the bill and recognize the good faith, and human need, that motivates them to push for a measure addressing loft tenants’

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  • In Amazon Debate, Atlantic Yards Lessons Beyond Those Aired at First City Council Hearing

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    An Atlantic Yards groundbreaking (photo: Spencer T Tucker)


    More public participation might help. So might ULURP. But rigorous skepticism is more important.

    It was fascinating, having watched in 2004 and 2005 two New York City Council subcommittee hearings on the announced Brooklyn Atlantic Yards project, to see the Council's Committee on Ecomomic Development, with the Speaker prominent, on December 12 take a distinctly

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  • Mayoral Charter Revision Commission Hears Expert Testimony on Community Boards and Land Use

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    A community board meeting (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The mayor’s Charter Revision Commission met on Tuesday at the Pratt Institute for the third of its four expert advisory issue forums, this time discussing potential changes to community boards and the city’s land use process. The first meeting, held last Tuesday, ...

  • On Land Use, Johnson Promises 'Deference' to Members But 'No Veto'

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    Speaker Johnson, center, & CM Rodriguez, right (photo: William Alatriste)


    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said Thursday that the elected Council members of the body he leads will get “deference” but “no veto” on land use matters.

    Even before he was officially elected the new speaker of the Council, Johnson had already begun to define how he would approach the job. In clear breaks from his predecessor, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Johnson promised greater independence from the mayor, expanded oversight over city agencies, and a

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  • ‘Done Deal Democrats’ Push Misguided Land Grab

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    photo: Friends of Roosevelt Park


    New York City is ruled by political elite, based in the Democratic Party. Elected officials regularly run unopposed or win re-election by margins that approach those of one-party regimes. They nominate and appoint community board members. They endorse each other’s re-election. They co-sponsor bills, attend party fundraisers, and work together to restrict the citizenry’s right to be heard and influence policy. Nowhere is this anti-democratic approach clearer than in the case of the American Museum of Natural History’s planned

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  • Bill Would Require City Planner at Each Community Board

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    CM Kallos at a committee hearing (photo: William Alatriste)


    New York City Council Member Ben Kallos, a Manhattan Democrat, will introduce a bill Tuesday to provide a professional urban planner to each of the 59 community boards in the city.

    The bill, Kallos said, is a move to empower communities in the city's land use process. Speaking exclusively to Gotham Gazette, Kallos said, "The City has two main powers. The first is over budget and the community boards have a say in that. They make their budget

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