December 14, 2021
by Adam Roberts
Photo of street in Noho neighborhood of Manhattan.
Photo: Vincent Desjardins via Flickr.

With 2022 approaching, New York is preparing for a major transition in its political leadership. The mayor, comptroller, four borough presidents, and most of the City Council will be new starting next year. With only a few weeks left in office, incumbent elected officials have passed many of their longtime policy priorities. Fortunately, many of these align with AIANY’s priorities.

Last week, a deal was reached in the City Council to advance the SoHo/NoHo Rezoning. Housing groups, including AIANY, strongly support the rezoning as a means of building more affordable housing. While pressure arose from some groups to prioritize commercial space over residential, the City Council deal largely favors the latter. This is a momentous decision for the city, representing the first rezoning of a wealthy, centrally located neighborhood to accommodate new housing.

Another major AIANY priority, Int. 2317, a City Council bill to limit new fossil fuel hookups in buildings, moved forward last week as well. Cities across the country have been pursuing similar policies in order to mitigate climate change, improve air quality, and reduce gas leaks and explosions. While AIANY and its allies sought a stronger bill that would go into effect earlier and more clearly include retrofitted buildings, this bill represents a major step forward in the electrification of New York City’s buildings.

The approval of the SoHo/NoHo Rezoning and impending approval of Int. 2317 represent significant policy wins for NYC’s architects. We anticipate that these will form the basis for advocacy in 2022, as incoming elected officials determine how the city can further advance these policies.

 

Policy Points

  • Ahead of 2022, the City Council is in the process of selecting its next speaker. The speaker determines which legislation and other policies are considered by the Council, making it a powerful post. This is an internal election, meaning that voters do not have a direct say over who will win the post.
  • AIANY is proudly supporting Put Waste to Work, an advocacy campaign led by the Center for Zero Waste Design and WXY. The campaign will advocate for more innovative and thoughtful design solutions to waste issues.
  • The Mayor’s Office of Contract Services is developing a guidebook for agency procurement teams to strengthen their vendor communications. They are asking city vendors to complete this short confidential survey to help them better understand challenges in the procurement process and identify areas for improvement.

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