June 3, 2015
by EmmaPattiz
Frank Ruchala Jr, AICP, Deputy Director, Zoning Division, NYC Department of City Planning, presenting the NYC Department of City Planning’s Zoning for Quality and Affordability proposal on 04.17.15. After initial input from AIANY and other groups, DCP continues to update the plan to better serve NYC and develop affordable housing.Credit: Center for Architecture
Eric Bunge, AIA, Principal, nARCHITECTS, speaking about the firm’s micro-unit modular development at a 04.27.15 program. Carmel Place began assembly on 05.20.15.Credit: Center for Architecture

On 05.14.15, the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) announced plans to embark on a comprehensive reform to the agency’s systems and staff. The updates, which will impact the lives of all New Yorkers, include public safety enhancements, streamlined processes, efficient oversight, and better customer service. A reformed DOB aligns with Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC sustainable development plans, and will assist in meeting the administration’s affordable housing goals.

Industry stakeholders, city and state authorities, and elected officials have long complained about the state of affairs at DOB and have awaited changes like those proposed by DOB Commissioner Rick Chandler last month. AIANY President Tomas Rossant, AIA, commented on the exciting news: “The American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY) is tremendously encouraged by these new initiatives designed to bring greater transparency and efficiency to DOB processes and ensure the public welfare. We look forward to continuing a dialogue with the agency about how to streamline the regulatory process so that our city can be renewed and restored with greater speed and economy. Together we can build the common good.”

You can read the entire plan here.

  • After receiving input from community groups and professional organizations, the NYC Department of City Planning (DCP) announced a few changes to the city’s Zoning for Quality and Affordability proposal before it begins the official public review process. Read more about it in DCP’s letter to Community Boards explaining the modifications here. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) announced that it will work with U.S. licensing boards and the architect community to replace the term “intern” as a way to describe those who are working to become architects but are not yet licensed. Read the press release here.
  • The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced NextGeneration NYCHA (NextGen), a plan to repair the financial crisis facing NYC’s public housing, and provide agency-wide improvements by altering the way NYCHA is funded and improving resident experiences.
  • Stacking of the first modules in the Carmel Place micro-unit development began on 05.20.15. Designed by nARCHITECTS, the project, formerly known as My Micro NY, won the city’s adAPT NYC Competition. Read the press release here.
  • On 05.27.15, the New York City Council voted to approve the proposal to rezone the Vanderbilt Corridor west of Grand Central Terminal, allowing for the construction of 1 Vanderbilt.
  • The AIANY 148th Annual Meeting will be held on 06.16.15. The event is an opportunity to announce AIA New York Chapter Awards, celebrate the progress and direction of the Chapter, and confirm our 2016 leadership. Members can RSVP here.
  • The Public Design Commission of the City of New York and the AIANY Public Architecture Committee are holding the first in a series of panels discussing the role of design in bringing equity to the public realm. “Design and Equity: Community Parks Initiative” will take place on 06.17.15 at the Center for Architecture. Stay tuned for information about the rest of the series.
  • Select sessions from FitCity 10 are now available on Vimeo! View them here.
  • At the AIA National Convention in Atlanta on 05.16.15, members voted in favor of Resolution 15-1 in support of Equity in Architecture. The resolution calls for AIA and architects to achieve equitable practice “to retain talent, advance the architecture profession, and communicate the value of design to society.”



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