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Shaping the City
 

Shaping the City

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  • NYC is the world city of opportunities. Our strength is our capacity to attract talent and investment. Our land use policies, which is what City Planning is in charge of, are a critical to ensure that NYC can compete on the global scene and offer a high quality of life for its residents.
  • Sustainable GrowthFive Borough Economic Development StrategyNeighborhood Character PreservationComplete NeighborhoodsGreen InitiativesWaterfront
  • One of our divisions is Population – City Planning produces demographic analysis for the entire city. New York City, unlike many older American cities in the northeast of the US, has been growing after a steep decline in the 70s and the 80s.In 2002, when Mayor Bloomberg took office, our Population division had just done a very important analysis with a projection of 9.1 million residents by 2030. That was an additional million residents from where we were in 2002. Since 2002, we have gained about 400,000 residents. This sharp demographic increase has been the basis for our planning strategy for the last 8 years.We are a city built out to its edges and we cannot sprawl, which is our greatest opportunity. The question at the center of City Planning’s work is to determine how and most importantly where the city should grow while keeping the diversity of our neighborhoods.
  • Underlying all our efforts is a focus on sustainability. We can measure sustainability with the triple bottom line of environment, economy, and equity. Reconciling these goals and making them work together, not against each other, will be a key measure of our success.  PlaNYC is our city’s blueprint, not only for reducing our carbon footprint, but also for achieving cleaner air and water, and promoting a better, healthier quality of life in our neighborhoods.
  • We are lucky because NYC is by nature a low-energy consumption environment: we are filled with dense, mixed-use neighborhoods centered around an extensive transit network. Because of our density and the number of available options for work, shopping, and services close to home, New Yorkers more than any other Americans choose every day to get around by means other than cars. As a result, we already use 2/3 less carbon per capita than average U.S. residents. Because Nyers live closer together and close to transit, they have access to jobs, shopping and entertainment much closer to their home than most Americans. So we focus on what we call transit-oriented development. Our goal, laid out in PlaNYC, is that 95% of all new development be located within a 10 min walk of a subway stop. Today, we have already achieved 87%.
  • In 108 adopted rezonings that extend over 9400 blocks or one-fifth of the city, we already have reshaped our land use map for generations to come. Since 2002, we have spearheaded the largest planning effort in the City since 1961. We have rezoned roughly one-fifth of the city, literally reshaping our map to make the most of our infrastructure by providing opportunities for growth at transit nodes and limiting growth in auto-dependent areas.
  • Our goal is to grow but not change what makes NYC so unique. A significant part of City Planning’s agenda has been to preserve neighborhoods with distinctive character, keeping intact the elements that attracted families to live there in the first place, thereby providing predictability to both residents and the development community. Where possible, if there is good transportation nearby, we couple these so called “downzonings” with upzonings along transit corridors. We are committed to cultivating the diversity, vitality, and unique features that give a sense of place to the city’s many neighborhoods and we work closely with communities to build consensus towards an implementable vision that build on their strengths. Underlying all of our efforts has been a focus on the human and neighborhood scale of the city. We are judged through Nyers’s everyday experience of the city and responding to their needs is at the center of our approach. And how each street feels is ultimately how we judge the success of a project.
  • When I became Commissioner, Mayor Bloomberg made clear his commitment to creating economic opportunities in all five boroughs and this agenda became the basis upon which we started our intensive effort to create mixed-use central and regional business districts throughout the city. We proactively looked at areas where the city can grow and foster economic opportunity -- not just in Midtown or Lower Manhattan, but wherever there is potential in the City, like in Jamaica, Queens near JFK airport or in Downtown Brooklyn. We transform long neglected areas in to thriving centers of economic activity. By creating long-range, comprehensive plans, we make sure that development is as-of-right. These districts were located at or near transportation hubs and would provide new jobs and tax revenue for the city and its residents. The heart of his approach is to recognize the potential of new ways of doing business, using innovative approaches to unlock the potential of new places, and making strategic investments today for the long term health and stability of the city.I am quickly going to present some of our most complex and important projects.
  • A very important project for the long-term financial sustainability of the city is Hudson Yards.
  • When the Mayor took office, there was only one base floor plan site in midtown Manhattan. If you wanted to build an office building for your corporation, there was no site. In NYC, a very large portion of our tax base come from office buildings, so having a place for midtown to expand was absolutely crucial. Zoning had killed the west side. This is midtown – you can see, density is great. That’s why people love midtown – it’s got that energy and vitality.But the west side was zoned for manufacturing. Zoning did not allow large office or residential buildings and had completely frozen the area in time. We comprehensively looked at these 59 blocks and created a large and complex rezoning and urban design master plan for the area.
  • So what we did is create a comprehensive plan for a transit-oriented, walkable, bikable, live and work community with open space and great urban design. The Hudson Yards plan, which is part of a Special District, was adopted in 2005 and will provide for 24 million square feet of office space and over 12,500 units of mixed income housing, as well as a new street network and landscaped boulevard. The rezoning leveraged funding for $2 billion of new infrastructure, including an extension of the Number 7 Subway line, which is already underway. Using zoning to leverage private investment and create public goods with this investment is our recipe.One of the main reasons this area has seen little growth and development in the past 40 years is its lack of transportation. Though, there are buses, the main transit vehicle, the subway, extends only to Eighth Avenue. Most of the area is beyond a 10 minute walk from the nearest subway. Historically, New York City has seen development follow transportation improvements. The extension is now under construction and buildings are getting off the ground. The extension of the number 7 line will open in 2013, securing Midtown for the long-term.
  • This is a rendering of the full built of the project. As you can see, the west side and the east side of Midtown now begin to mesh into one strong and dense neighborhood.
  • Another key project in terms of strenghtening NYC is the West Chelsea/High Line plan. You all know the High Line but what I want to focus on is how it came about and how zoning was used to save the HL and generate development around it.
  • The High Line was an abandoned elevated railroad track that used to take meat down to the meat markets in the Meatpacking District in West Chelsea. It runs for 22 blocks – from the Gansevoort Meat Market, winds through West Chelsea and the gallery district, then ends up at 30th street and the Hudson Yards on 34th Street.
  • The High Line was an abandoned elevated railroad track that used to take meat down to the meat markets in the Meatpacking District in West Chelsea. It runs for 22 blocks – from the Gansevoort Meat Market, winds through West Chelsea and the gallery district, then ends up at 30th street and the Hudson Yards on 34th Street.
  • However, it was viewed as a blighting influence and was slated for imminent demolition. But clearly it was unique and many advocates, led by the indomitable Friends of the High Line, saw that the HL would add great value to the area and could become an organizing principle for a new neighborhood. Our plan made the HL the defining feature of a new neighborhood, a catalyst for private investment and a priority and legacy of the Bloomberg administration.
  • To convince the owners of the parcels located under the HL that it should be preserved, we used an old zoning tool to transfer the development rights around the HL and limited the height allowances unless you purchased the air rights. This mechanism created value for both the owners of the parcels located under the HL but also for the surrounding blocks. Through a combination of extraordinary advocacy, zoning innovation and Mayoral vision and commitment, the High Line/West Chelsea plan has succeeded in creating one of the most unusual and exhilarating parks in the world, as well as preserving the city’s premier art gallery district and creating an economically integrated neighborhood.
  • Through a combination of extraordinary advocacy, zoning innovation and Mayoral vision and commitment, the High Line/West Chelsea plan has succeeded in creating one of the most unusual and exhilarating parks in the world, as well as preserving the city’s premier art gallery district and creating an economically integrated neighborhood.
  • The first segment of the park opened in June 2009. The design team carefully balanced the old and the new, recapturing the wild dynamic landscape and ‘otherworldliness’ that was there originally. It has been a wild success: 2M people have visited it so far.
  • The second phase will open this year, right before the summer. And the City Council adopted last year an application allowing the city to purchase the last third.
  • The HL has become the defining feature of a new neighborhood and a catalyst for private investment. It has triggered over 34 new development projects and quite amazingly, the most distinguished architects in the world are clamoring to build here, establishing West Chelsea as one of the neighborhoods with the most exiting architecture in the city.
  • I want to talk about our planning principles and how we develop projects. In everything we do, we want to promote choice. Nyers should have the choice of where to live, where to shop, how to go places. Choice is the ultimate criteria for measuring quality of life.Therefore, each time we look at a project, we try to create what we call ‘complete neighborhoods’ that have a wide range of housing choice, retail, all sorts of jobs and open space access.
  • In neighborhoods where change in zoning will create growth, we ensure that portion of the new units will be affordable with the IH Program. The IH program is an incentive based program that give developers a 30% floor area bonus, within a set height cap, for developments that provide 20% affordable housing, either for rental or now home ownership.This fosters socio-economic integration in these neighborhoods experiencing growth.
  • Access to fresh food is one of the most important quality of life issues in the city.We have created a program to facilitate access to basic goods with the FRESH program. Working with the Department of Health on the epidemics of diabetes and obesity around the city, we have identified what we call ‘food deserts’, which are neighborhoods where access to fresh produces is very limited and where we found high rates of diabetes and obesity. The FRESH program gives provide financial and zoning incentives for the creation of supermarkets with fresh produce. All neighborhoods must be able to provide great services for their residents in order for the city to remain attractive and liveable to all. Choice is one of the keys to sustainability.
  • Open space is key to create great places. In each of our growth projects, the city has invested funds for the creation of new open spaces. Their size dramatically vary: in Staten Island, we are transforming a land fill into the largest park of the city, reconnecting the residents of SI with this part of the island.
  • In Manhattan, we have revised our design guidelines for what we call POPS, which are small spaces scattered in very dense areas and which provide an opportunity for workers and residents alike to sit down and relax. These spaces are often extremely small but when they are really well designed, they can make a big difference.
  • Transportation and mobility is a huge part of the cost of living in NYC. Increasing cheap mobility and improving alternatives to the automobile must be part of our strategy. We have made great efforts to increase bike ridership by improving the bikers’ safety as well as securing the bike themselves. We now have a network of dedicated bike lanes around the five Borough. One of the major impediments to biking in the city was the high rate of stolen bikes. In 2008, we passed a text amendment to require medium and large new developments to provide a secure bike parking area, really giving Nyers an incentive to bike.
  • And I am proud to say that last year, the City Council adopted our proposal on car share. This is an industry that has developed a lot in the last few years and that presents many benefits: it allows Nyers to have the use of a car from time to time when it’s really necessary without forcing them to own one. Our study found that having access to car share as an option in the city decreased the probability of people owning a car. Because the zoning resolution was written in 1961, car share is not mentionned. We integrated car share in zoning to facilitate the development of this industry.
  • To make all of these projects possible, we have to build consensus with local communities, property owners, the development industry, elected officials. Being able to simply and effectively communicate zoning is extremely important in order to get these projects adopted. To achieve this goal, we have created this illustrated book which explains just what people can expect and helps them better advocate for their neighborhoods. This has created a way for everyone to understand the complexities of zoning, and we now regularly see community advocates bringing dog-eared copies to community meetings. The Zoning Handbook has been a tremendously important tool in facilitating community engagement.
  • When I became the Chair of the Commission, zoning in NYC hadn’t been examined since 1961. In those days, a very broad brush was used in zoning, designating large swaths of the city with a single zoning category, regardless of the built character of the communities involved. We have changed the way the planning process functions. It’s now a collaborative approach, incorporating community desires into a citywide policy. Now, neighborhoods are rezoned on a block-by-block basis.This way of doing zoning has brought us to the streets, walking them over and over again to become intimate with neighborhoods, understand people’s perspective and be more effective at building consensus.
  • We work very collaboratively – we are a very small agency, 280 only for the entire city. This allow us to be more responsive to community needs and more effective in coming up with an implementable vision for each one of the city’s neighborhoods.
  • I want to finish this presentation by talking about one of our most important initiatives: Vision 2020, our new Comprehensive Waterfront Plan.And that is our new plan for shaping our 520 miles of waterfront. In New York City, our water and waterways are our most precious resource. Since 1992, the city has opened up over 50 miles of public access and 2,000 acres of waterfront open space.
  • We are a city of 5 boroughs, and 4 of them are islands. We are indeed a city of water, and understand that water has always and will continue to shape our land, rather than the reverse. We are now planning for our water with the same intensity and passion that we have traditionally planned for our land.
  • We are calling our water our Sixth Borough, which is our largest open space and our most important opportunity for recreation, transportation, economic development and for increasing our climate resilience.
  • Nyers are now taking ownership of the water, using it for recreation and demanding that access to it be increased so that it becomes part of our daily lives.
  • The Sixth Borough is NYC’s newest territory and the plan will explore opportunities and offer solutions for a more active relationship between Nyers and the water.
  • As part of this plan, we will alsopursue strategies to improve the sustainability of the city’s waterfront, including increased resilience to climate change and projected sea-level rise to secure NYC for the next generations.

Shaping the City Shaping the City Presentation Transcript

  • SHAPING THE CITY:
    A Strategic BlueprintFor New York’s Future
    Amanda M. Burden, Commissioner
  • NYC AS THE WORLD CITY OF OPPORTUNITIES
    Flushing, Queens
    Parade, Manhattan
  • AGENDA
    • Sustainable Growth
    • Five Borough Economic Development Strategy
    • Neighborhood Character Preservation
    • Complete Neighborhoods
    • Green Initiatives
    • Waterfront
  • SUSTAINABLE GROWTH
    POPULATION GROWTH
    US and NYC population growth, 1900-2000
    % increase from previous decennial Census
    9.1 Million
    Projected population
    by 2030
  • SUSTAINABLE GROWTH
    PLANYC
  • SUSTAINABLE GROWTH
    NYC AS A MODEL FOR SMART DEVELOPMENT
  • SUSTAINABLE GROWTH
    A NEIGHBORHOOD APPROACH
    TRANSIT- ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT
    108
    Number of rezonings since 2002.
    9,400
    Number of blocks rezoned.
    1/5
    Total area of the city rezoned.
  • SUSTAINABLE GROWTH
    NEIGHBORHOOD CHARACTER PRESERVATION
  • FIVE BOROUGH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
    CREATING NEW
    ECONOMIC CENTERS
    IN NYC’S
    FIVE BOROUGHS
  • FIVE BOROUGH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
    HUDSON YARDS
    HUDSON YARDS
  • FIVE BOROUGH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
    HUDSON YARDS
  • FIVE BOROUGH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
    PROGRESS IN HUDSON YARDS
    7
    Number 7 Subway Extension
  • FIVE BOROUGH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
    PROGRESS IN HUDSON YARDS
  • FIVE BOROUGH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
    WEST CHELSEA
    WEST CHELSEA
  • FIVE BOROUGH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
    WEST CHELSEA
  • FIVE BOROUGH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
    WEST CHELSEA
  • FIVE BOROUGH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
    WEST CHELSEA
  • x
    100‘
    HIGH LINE
    TRANSFER CORRIDOR
    100'
    FIVE BOROUGH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
    WEST CHELSEA
    GRANTING SITE
    RECEIVING
    SITE
    RECEIVING
    SITE
    High Line
    Tenth Ave
    Eleventh Ave
    11th Ave.
    10th Ave.
    HIGH LINE TRANSFER CORRIDOR
  • FIVE BOROUGH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
    WEST CHELSEA
  • FIVE BOROUGH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
    WEST CHELSEA
  • FIVE BOROUGH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
    PROGRESS IN WEST CHELSEA
  • FIVE BOROUGH ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
    PROGRESS IN WEST CHELSEA
  • COMPLETE NEIGHBORHOODS
    PROMOTING CHOICE
    HOUSING JOBS RETAIL OPEN SPACE
  • COMPLETE NEIGHBORHOODS
    INCLUSIONARY HOUSING PROGRAM
    1,909
    Number of affordable units
    created/ preserved since 2005.
  • Supermarket Need Index
    Measurement of Need
    Supermarket Need Index
    Less
    Moderate
    High
    Less
    Moderate
    High
    COMPLETE NEIGHBORHOODS
    NEIGHBORHOOD GROCERY STORES
    3
    Number of grocery stores created as part of the Food Retail Expansion to Support Health since 2009.
  • COMPLETE NEIGHBORHOODS
    PUBLIC OPEN SPACE
    Fresh Kills Park, Staten Island
  • COMPLETE NEIGHBORHOODS
    PUBLIC OPEN SPACE
    Privately Owned Public Plazas
  • COMPLETE NEIGHBORHOODS
    IMPROVE ALTERNATIVES TO THE AUTOMOBILE
    Dedicated bike lanes
    Bike parking
  • COMPLETE NEIGHBORHOODS
    IMPROVE ALTERNATIVES TO THE AUTOMOBILE
    Car Share
    Parking regulations.
  • CONSENSUS BUILDING
    A PARTICIPATORY PROCESS
    Flushing, Queens
  • CONSENSUS BUILDING
    A PARTICIPATORY PROCESS
    Flushing, Queens
  • CONSENSUS BUILDING
    A PARTICIPATORY PROCESS
    Flushing, Queens
  • WATER FRONT AND OPEN SPACE
    NYC WATERFRONT: VISION 2020
  • WATERFRONT AND OPEN SPACE
    NYC WATERFRONT: VISION 2020
  • WATERFRONT AND OPEN SPACE
    NYC WATERFRONT: THE SIXTH BOROUGH
  • WATERFRONT AND OPEN SPACE
    NYC WATERFRONT: THE SIXTH BOROUGH
    Waterfront parks and esplanades
  • WATERFRONT AND OPEN SPACE
    NYC WATERFRONT: THE SIXTH BOROUGH
  • WATERFRONT AND OPEN SPACE
    NYC WATERFRONT: THE SIXTH BOROUGH
  • WWW.NYC.GOV/PLANNING