by: Adam Roberts
After many months of advocacy, the passage of Int. 2317 in the New York City Council is in sight. The bill would ban the use of fossil fuels to power most new and retrofitted buildings, essentially requiring that buildings run on electric power. The measure would help mitigate climate change, reduce pollution, and limit the risks of gas fires and explosions in the city. For these and other reasons, architects have long been supporters of government action to limit fossil fuel use in buildings.
AIANY has been very public about its strong support for the bill. Over the past few months, he chapter has met with numerous council members and held a rally in conjunction with New York Passive House. Our 2021 President, Ken Lewis, AIA, also authored a Daily News op-ed in support of the bill. These efforts have been conjunction with a host of other groups supporting the bill including New York Communities for Change and WE ACT for Environmental Justice.
As a result of this advocacy, nearly half of the City Council has signed on as sponsors of the bill. Next week, on Wednesday, November 17 at 12:00 pm, a virtual hearing will be held on the bill, which is a critical step in its passage. We strongly encourage our members to testify in support, as the expert advice of architects will be critical in passing the bill. If you are interested in testifying, please notify Adam Roberts, AIANY Director of Policy, at email@example.com.
- Earlier this week, the City Council held its long awaited hearing on the SoHo/NoHo Neighborhood Plan, which would rezone the neighborhoods to allow for thousands of more new housing units to be built. AIANY is a strong supporter of the rezoning, having hosted the NYC Department of City Planning to promote it. Our chapter president also issued an op-ed in the Daily News explaining the importance of the effort. AIANY was one of many pro-affordable housing groups to testify in support at the hearing, with others including the Regional Plan Association (RPA) and Open New York.
- NYSERDA has launched its New York State Climate Impacts Assessment: Understanding and Preparing for Our Changing Climate. This expands upon ClimAID, the state’s first climate change assessment, which was released in 2011. If you are interested in updates on the assessment, you can sign up here.