intersection 02.22.17

Urban Planning
Every Person in New York

Yes, the Greater East Midtown Zoning Proposal may fluff up "the pedestrian realm" but this plan is all about increasing the amount of (Class-A) office space in the area.

In Western Queens, 180 acres + $19 billion could, using a rail yard "overbuild" (like Hudson Yards), address some of the city's housing and transportation needs. More from ArchPaper and The Feasibility Study is here. Critics say it would be too costly for extensive affordable housing.

The New York Wheel is the bling of the new St. George Waterfront construction but look for Woodbury Common-siphoning Empire Outlets to be the bigger draw with 100 store outlets, plus a hotel. Staten Island for the win.

Let's say that the green space for Hudson Yards will really be 'the smartest park in town.' And, yes, it will be nice to have Neiman Marcus on the island. The Shed, an expandable/contractable performance and events center, is intriguing. But the whole enterprise of Hudson Yards is so vast, it's like a new city is moving into the city. Will we get along? Will it be a good neighbor? Does NYC absorb it or get changed by it? Only time will tell.

NY Mag's Justin Davidson has a good overview of Astor Place's next act.

New York's Vast Flop is the headline of the NY Books article by Martin Filler on the Ground Zero rebuild. Mr. Filler gives high marks to Michael Arad's reflecting pools, but not much else.

Alexandros Washburn was the the chief urban designer for NYC under Mayor Bloomberg. He is also the author of The Nature of Urban Design: A New York Perspective on Resilience, a book that contemplates cities facing, among other things, the consequences of global warming. It's a subject that hits close to home for the urban planner, a resident of Red Hook. The Brooklyn Paper reports that Mr. Washburn now opens his office on Wednesday afternoons (2-4) to give free navigational help with the city's complex zoning rules.

Plaza 33 won the AIANY award for Urban Design in 2016; the 2017 awards take place on March 6… The title of this Wired article—The Secret to a Happy, Healthy City? Places for People to Protest—isn't exactly supported by the article itself. It's more that flexible public spaces are a key component of happy urban life… Worth reading: Zoned Out! Race, Displacement, and City Planning in New York City.

Jason Polan started Every Person in New York in March of 2008. He plans on working on the project until it is finished. Look for more at Jason's site and his book Every Person in New York.


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