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May 29, 2014
by EmmaPattiz
Keith Wen, technical advisor to the Office of the Commissioner at the NYC Department of Buildings spoke to a full house about recent changes made to the NYC Construction Codes.

As the City introduces new policies and initiatives, AIANY wants to ensure that the public is properly informed and prepared. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) and the NYC City Council implemented a series of revisions to building codes and local laws to reflect the need for resilient building techniques in New York City. The package of new legislation would collectively be known as the 2014 NYC Construction Codes. On 05.21.14, Keith Wen, RA, technical advisor to the DOB Office of the Commissioner, presented the new information to a packed crowd at the Center for Architecture. If you missed this important session, you can view it online here.

In other resiliency-related updates, on 05.22.14, the NYC Economic Development Corporation and the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency released the Southern Manhattan Coastal Protection Study: Evaluating the Feasibility of a Multi-Purpose Levee. The study focused on the feasibility of building a multi-purpose levee that would span the eastern edge of southern Manhattan, one of the most vulnerable neighborhoods in the city. The study revealed that a multi-purpose levee would be feasible in this area, but would require a number of additional analyses over the coming years before construction is possible.

Multi-purpose levees integrate passive levee infrastructure with residential, commercial, and open space, and combine reliable flood protection with sustainable urban development. Such levees have been successfully built in a number of international cities that also suffer from flooding and have high population densities, concentrated economic activity, and critical infrastructure systems.

This feasibility study was conducted over a six-month period by a team of engineering, design, legal, and economic development experts led by global engineering firm ARCADIS U.S. Inc. The final study is available here.

On 05.14.14, the NYC Department of City Planning (DCP) and the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) released updates to the zoning information website ZoLa. Developed in response to feedback from users, the updated site provides an inventory of current uses on city land. Users can find information on property ownership, zoning, land uses in the surrounding area, historic districts, landmarks, and administrative boundaries. Users can also use the website to identify citywide initiatives and determine where they are applicable. The updated ZoLa will ultimately increase efficiency by reducing reliance on paper maps and addendums. Try it for yourself here!

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