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October 15, 2015
by EmmaPattiz

For the last eight months, AIANY has reviewed the NYC Department of City Planning’s Zoning for Quality and Affordability proposal, and convened lively discussions about its merits. We strongly agree that a modest increase in building height limits, along with a number of other changes to create a more flexible envelope, will facilitate additional sites for development while improving the quality of buildings in every neighborhood.

After receiving broad input from various AIANY members with specialized knowledge, relevant program committees, board members, and other industry experts, we agree that the changes will produce more retail spaces in commercial districts, better residential spaces with adequate ceiling heights, increased security and privacy for residents, affordable housing in districts that receive inclusionary housing bonuses, aging in place opportunities, visual variety and features common in traditional apartment buildings, and transportation and infrastructure development. The proposed zoning text amendments can improve the city’s built environment and streetscape for all New Yorkers.

AIANY is preparing for upcoming hearings and compiling “before and after” images that depict the changes. It is vitally important that architects understand the upcoming zoning changes and their implications on designing buildings in NYC. For those interested in advocating for ZQA before peer organizations or community boards on behalf of AIANY, please email epattiz@aiany.org to coordinate with the Chapter’s efforts.

Pulse Points

  • The de Blasio Administration’s multiagency task force announced just a series of recommendations for a number of issues in and around the Times Square area. Recommendations focus on ways to improve traffic, pedestrian plazas, and the solicitation of tips by performers.
  • The NYC Department of Parks and Recreation’s Community Parks Initiative (CPI) will expand to a total of 67 parks. The administration doubled the funding for the program, which improves underfunded parks in densely-populated, low-income neighborhoods.
  • On 10.05.15, Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the City Council Committee on Transportation, presented the report Next Stop: Making Transportation Safe and More Efficient. The plan includes a set of progressive policies aimed at supporting and augmenting Vision Zero.
  • The AIANY Design for Aging Committee held Aging in Place in NYC: A Community-Based Prototype for 60 Amsterdam Avenue. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and NYC Council Member Helen Rosenthal provided opening remarks.
  • 10.14.15 is the People’s Climate Movement National Day of Action. Events throughout the country will call attention to the global climate crisis and the need for action. The day was initiated by the People’s Climate Movement.

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