In 2015, AIANY advanced our policy initiatives. With the expertise and leadership of AIANY members, we fostered strong partnerships with government agencies and peer institutions to advocate for causes that affect all New Yorkers. A few highlights from the past year include:
- Establishing an AIANY 80×50 task force to aid the city in reaching its carbon-emission reduction goals. The group has started to develop the tools and resources that architects will need to design more efficient buildings.
- Contracting with the NYC Department for the Aging to complete an aging-in-place guide for building owners, providing steps to allow seniors to remain in their homes.
- Testifying before city agencies on issues related to building resiliently, sustainably, equitably, and safety throughout NYC.
- Supporting the NYC Department of City Planning’s Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) proposal that will help facilitate the construction of affordable and senior-oriented housing, and offer architects more flexibility to create better buildings.
- Advocating for reform of the Landmarks process that would provide clear timelines while ensuring that every proposed property or historic district is evaluated by its merits rather than time constraints.
- Speaking with City Council Members from neighborhoods throughout NYC to determine how AIANY can assist in achieving their goals while affirming the need to prioritize design.
This year, we will continue to speak out in favor of ZQA and further our sustainability agenda. In addition, we will focus on ways to help improve the NYC Department of Buildings, promote adaptive reuse projects as an approach to accommodating new industries, and recognize the innovative leaders in this industry – in both the public and private sectors – that will help move us forward.
- On 12.29.15, with NYC hotels filled to capacity, the de Blasio Administration announced that 16 hotels joined the NYC Carbon Challenge, another major expansion of the partnership between city and private and institutional sector leaders who have committed to reduce buildings’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% or more in the next 10 years. The hotel sector now joins multifamily buildings, universities, hospitals, and commercial offices in this goal.
- Over the next three years, the city plans to phase out cluster homeless shelters, which involve placing families in regular rental apartments in privately-owned buildings, taking those apartments out of the low-rent housing stock. The city will develop a new shelter model that includes affordable permanent housing, flexible shelter space, and community space in the same building.
- In 2015, Citi Bike riders took 10 million trips, breaking 2014’s record of almost 9 million trips. Ridership increased 24% in 2015.