Posts tagged with "Amanda Burden":

Placeholder Alt Text

Eavesdrop> Staten Island to Get a Subway (Simulator)

The planned giant Ferris wheel in Staten Island—one of kookier of the Bloomberg-era megaprojects—is apparently still happening. Eavesdrop always thought the step-Borough deserved more than a tourist trap wheel and a giant outlet mall, but hey, apparently Amanda Burden thought differently. According to the Associated Press, New York Wheel CEO Rich Marin said the project will include a thrill ride that will “simulate a ride in a subway car.” Here’s a better idea: buy a MetroCard.
Placeholder Alt Text

Making Room: New York Micro-Apartments on Display Beginning January 23

Think you could live in just 325 square feet? While Manhattan is already famous for its cramped quarters, micro-apartments are poised to take space efficiency to the next level with Murphy beds lurking behind sofas and roll-away walls concealing closets. You'll have a chance to test drive one of the tiny abodes at a new exhibition, Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers, organized by the Museum of the City of New York and the Citizens Housing & Planning Council. Opening on January 23, the exhibition will include a full-scale, furnished mock-up of a micro-apartment, highlighting the changing ways city-dwellers live, especially as more and more choose to live alone. The sample unit will feature highly adaptable furniture by companies such as Resource Furniture that makes a micro-apartment lifestyle possible. Making Room will also unveil the top designs for Mayor Michael Bloomberg's adAPT micro-apartment design competition, showcasing proposals from various architects and developers for what will eventually be New York's first entirely micro-apartment building on East 27th Street. Organizers are also hosting an exclusive opening party the day before the exhibition opening, Tuesday, January 22, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Museum of the City of New York, where you might see Honorary Exhibition Chair and New York City Planning Chair Amanda Burden, who has been vocally delighted with the concept.  Making Room runs through September 2013.
Placeholder Alt Text

Chelsea Market Expansion Approved at City Planning

In a unanimous vote today, the New York City Planning Commission approved Jamsestown Properties' plans for expansion at Chelsea Market with few modifications. The building was rezoned to be included in the Special West Chelsea District, thereby allowing developers to increase density after a significant contribution is made to the High Line. Much to the quite literal relief of High Line visitors, this likely means bathrooms will finally find their way to the southern section of the park. The latest designs by Studios Architecture set the massing of the Tenth Avenue addition back away from the park, which Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden expressed concern about during a review session. Jamestown Properties has also agreed provide funds and space for park amenities, like bathrooms, as well funds for affordable housing in Community Board 4 district. "While affordable housing bonuses are not normally associated with commercial buildings, there are special features of the West Chelsea district regulations which make this possible,"said Burden. "I believe this will be a great addition to the West Chelsea neighborhood," she continued. "The additional office space will serve what has become a destination for creative and technology industries, and this new development will provide critical amenities to the High Line." Nevertheless, community activists remain concerned about traffic and congestion from the park and resulting building boom. This was no secret to those attending CB4 meetings, but the controversy roared into the open with Jeremiah Moses' oped piece in Sunday's New York Times under the head, "Disney on the Hudson," which claimed "the park is destroying neighborhoods as it grows." The sound-off got a swift response from the many, including Friends of the High Line founders Joshua David and Mark Hammond who found Moses' claims "an unfortunate simplification of our past and current reality." The current reality for parks is a public/private financing model, thus David and Hammond's support for the Jamestown project and the resulting park amenities it provides. "This is clearly a deal between the Friends, City Planning, and Jamestown," said Save Chelsea's David Holowka. He noted that the majority of the massing will gravitate toward the park rather than the Ninth Avenue. Regardless of where the bulk will land, some will never be appeased with further expansion. "The amenities are cold comfort," said Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. "The development will increase traffic and congestion to an area that’s already busting at the seams." Berman added that the West Chelsea Special District already allows for substantial growth for many years to come. The measure will now go before City Council and speaker Christine Quinn, whose district includes the Chelsea Market. The expansion is considered by some to be a litmus test of where the mayoral candidate's loyalties lie, with the NIMBYs or the development community.
Placeholder Alt Text

Chelsea Market Faces Uphill Battle at City Planning

Seems the bad news is about to get worse for Jamestown Properties. The developer's plans to add 330,000 square feet to New York's Chelsea Market met with resistance from the Community Board 4 and Borough President Scott Stringer, both of whom gave conditional nays to the proposal designed by Studios Architecture. Now with City Planning's public hearing set for this Wednesday, Commissioner Amanda Burden has clearly indicated that she is not pleased with the an addition proposed to hover over the High Line along Tenth Avenue. "I remain concerned about the massing and how it effects the High Line experience," Burden said a pre-hearing review session today. The two additions to the market include 90,000 square feet addition on Ninth Avenue and a 240,000 square foot addition along Tenth Avenue. As much of the building's mid-block remains excluded from Jamestown's plan, it seems likely that area will come in to play. "They do have a whole block," the commissioner said. Though not exactly in line with BP Stringer's suggestion to move all of the massing to Ninth Avenue, it does mean that High Line view planes fundamental to the Special West Chelsea District remain a concern for the commissioners.  Jamestown has already indicated that it is willing to decrease the height of the Ninth Avenue addition from 150 feet high to 130 feet. The addition along Tenth Avenue dropped from 230 feet to 184 feet. Exposed steel trusses at Tenth were redesigned to be clad in a "contextual" terracotta and a wide cantilevered gap has been cosmetically anchored back to the original building with corner posts, despite the fact that the engineering for the cantilever remain in place. Now with the suggestion of moving the building back toward the middle of the block, we'll see what other design tricks the architects at Studios can pull off as the restraints tighten.
Placeholder Alt Text

With Few Changes City Planning Passes NYU Expansion

In a 12 to 1 vote this morning, City Planning approved NYU’s Core expansion plans for two superblocks in Greenwich Village designed by Grimshaw with Toshiko Mori and Michael Van Valkenburg. In slow and deliberative pace, City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden read from a prepared text that included several aesthetic and few programmatic changes to the proposed plan. The new plan will reduced the size of the overall project from 2.47 million square feet to 2.1 million. All four proposed buildings were approved with tweaks here and there. Both of the so-called “Boomerang Buildings” will be reduced in height that will not exceed the slabs of the Washington Square Village buildings that frame them. The “Zipper Building” will not be allowed to include a hotel component as part of its programming. The proposal for a temporary gym was also nixed. Of the changes to the nearly four acres of public space the most significant is that the university will not be permitted to build beneath the green strips on the northern superblock, thus saving the mature trees that are on the site. The proposed light wells that allow natural light to flow to the massive subterranean structure will be reduced on the Mercer Street Boomerang Building so as to create more open space at grade. The creation of the an Open Space Oversight Organization will be set up to insure public oversight, and allow for future modifications, “especially as the space is not to be built until 15 years from now,” said the Commissioner. As the lone commissioner to vote against the proposal Michelle de la Uz praised the university’s “laudable efforts,” but noted that it was done to address the impression that “their growth thus far has been haphazard and insensitive.” She also voiced concern, shared by many in the community, that the programming for the northern superblock is still too vague. She added that a lack of affordable housing and a public school were also troubling. In the end Uz concluded the project’s size has not dramatically changed, as indeed it hasn’t. For their part NYU seemed pleased with the outcome, with NYU’s vice president of government affairs Alicia Hurley finding most of the changes as “not an impediment” to the university’s overall goals. The one building that seemed to get lost in the shuffle was the  building replacing the Morton Williams super market on the southern superblock. That building is supposed to house the public school which sparked Commissioner Uz’s concern. Hurley said that ongoing talks with the Department of Ed are going well. “They are interested,” she said. After the hearing, Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, employed the shoehorning-the-Empire-State-Building-into-the-Village phrase he’s used throughout the process to describe the plan. He did not seem particularly surprised by the outcome, saying that every major development application that went before this commission was approved. Still, he held out hope that the next stop for the application at City Council will put a halt to the project. “Hopefully City Council will show some independence from the mayor,” he said.
Placeholder Alt Text

Architectural League Honors Amanda Burden’s Commitment to Quality Design

Amanda Burden, Chair of the New York City Planning Commission and Director of the Department of City Planning, is the recipient of the Architectural League of New York’s highest honor, the President’s Medal. The League’s President and Board of Directors grant the award to individuals in recognition of an exceptional body of work in architecture, urbanism, or design. The medal was presented to Burden last night at an awards ceremony. According to the League, Amanda Burden has “raised the bar for quality design in public and private development, demonstrating that good design is essential to the long-term health and sustainability of cities.” Under Burden’s leadership, the City Planning Commission has worked to promote transit-oriented economic development through rezoning more than a third of the city, with the creation of urban master plans for major neighborhoods like Jamaica, Downtown Brooklyn, Hudson Yards, Coney Island, and 125th Street. Burden has been instrumental in the development of some of New York City’s most important public spaces, including the High Line, the revitalization of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the East River Waterfront Esplanade, IKEA Erie Basin Park, and the National 9/11 Memorial. Through these efforts, Burden has been a champion of design, proving its role in fostering economic and social development of communities.
Placeholder Alt Text

Sadik-Khan Serves Up Some Mumford

Last night was a night of tough decisions. ArchNewsNow threw its tenth anniversary party at the Center for Architecture and DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan gave the Mumford Lecture at City College—on opposite ends of town at the same time. Impossible to do both, our Publisher Diana Darling partied down with ArchNewsNow and we headed for the Mumford Lecture, sending hearty congratulations to ArchNews editor Kristen Richards. Despite missing the party, the trip Uptown was well worth it... The event got off to a slightly late start. City College's urban design director, Professor Michael Sorkin couldn’t resist announcing that the transportation commissioner was stuck in traffic. Like so many Sadik-Khan events, high-ranking officials, like City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden, sat alongside bike-helmet-in-hand supporters. “She has reimagined our streets as places rather than appliances,” Sorkin said by way of introduction. At the podium Sadik-Khan was her usual irreverent and direct self, giving more of a presentation than a hard-core academic lecture. She tossed off casual tidbits of advice to students (practicing judo with your boss is a good way to release inter-office tension—she practiced with a former boss, not her current one). At another point when an audience member asked about the city’s plans for public restrooms she deadpanned, “Starbucks.” But on the subject of safety she was dead serious. She said that until the current administration, “Our streets were looked at through a 1950s ethos” of a car-centric culture. “We’re one of the premier walking cities but it's often dangerous to walk," she said. The commissioner quoted Mumford who called car accidents a “ritual sacrifice in worship of speed.”  Though fatalities in the city are at their lowest level in 40 years, she still sees a need for more “retrofits" of the streetscape. To that end the DOT is developing wayfinding signage for pedestrians that will be launched next year. The commissioner concluded by pegging sustainability to safety: “We can't get people on bikes unless they feel safe.”    
Placeholder Alt Text

Zoning and you

Green markets, bike lanes, the design of street life—New York City zoning aims to impact your quality of life. "In the Bloomberg administration, as wielded by the New York City Planning Commission and its director, Amanda Burden, zoning has assumed a more activist role than ever before," writes AN Executive Editor Julie Iovine about the ambitions of zoning 50 years after the New York Zoning Resolution was passed. Read the full article, "Zoning Grows Up," in The Wall Street Journal.  
Placeholder Alt Text

New York’s Green Zone Goes For Code

City Planning hasn’t missed a beat since celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Zoning Amendment with a conference in November that brought together zoning czars from academia, business, and government to discuss challenges ahead for planning in New York City. On Monday, Amanda Burden of the City Planning Commission (CPC) announced a new Zone Green initiative making it easier —at least zoning-wise—for sustainable upgrades of residential and commercial buildings across the city. Zone Green focuses on retrofitting existing buildings to high performance standards. To that end and as part of the mayor’s efforts to green NYC’s one million buildings (and lower the $15 billion per year it takes to power and heat them), the new zoning text allows for the addition of external insulation within property lines while exempting insulation from floor area requirements; permits solar panels on roofs to exceed maximum building height limits; allows window shades and screens, whether vertical or horizontal, to project from building facades. The new code is more flexible about rooftop bulkhead regulations in order to encourage and allow cogeneration facilities, skylights, storm water management tanks, as well as—with CPC certification—greenhouses as long as they are not residential in any way. Small wind turbines would be allowable on buildings taller than 100 feet and those under 100 feet that are near the waterfront (except in low-density residential neighborhoods). The new proposal continues the department’s innovative approach that has wielded zoning to applications well beyond building mass and height in order, among other things, to encourage fresh food sources in neighborhoods with heavy concentrations of obesity; mandate access to stairs as an alternative to elevators and escalators also for healthier urban living; and even acknowledge that some New Yorkers just want to be alone by including single seats in parks and on the waterfront. Green Zone will be backed by new amendments to the City’s energy code; it has been submitted to public review by all community boards, borough boards and presidents for 60 days as of Dec 12 through approximately med-February when all comments will be reviewed by CPC and the City Council.
Placeholder Alt Text

Live Blogging> Zoning the City Conference

[ The AN editorial team is on hand for  Zoning the City conference, now in progress at the McGraw-Hill Conference Center in Manhattan. We'll be live blogging and tweeting @archpaper with hashtag #zoningthecity throughout the day, so check back and follow us on twitter for updates! ] 6:00 p.m. In a wrap-up conversation moderated by Kayden, a panel brought together Thom Mayne, A.M. Stern, and Mary Ann Tighe to investigate a few non-planning factors, though of course it rounded back to planning within moments. The exchange was peppered with A.M. Stern wit, Mayne theory, and Tighe pragmatism. Remarking on the more than 4 billion square feet of undeveloped FAR in New York City, Stern remarked, “That’s a lot of development--even for Related!” Tighe said that zoning remained necessary, at the very least, for developers’ peace of mind. “I think we need some boundaries,” she said. “Things that will allow capital an amount of comfort that it’ll need to move foreword.” Tighe, who heads up New York’s real estate board, provide an audience full of zoning wonks and architects an investors voice, “What we keep forgetting after the vision is that the money has to come, the as-of-right things are needed.” Stern replied no spoon full of sugar was needed to let this medicine go down. “Architects complain, they always complain,” he said “But they do their best work with difficult clients, financial constraints.” Mayne broke through the realm of brick and mortar. “New York is inseparable from its intellectual capital, that’s it’s certainty and predictability.” 4:45 p.m. Matthew Carmona of University College London played to a re-caffeinated crowd, using humor to diffuse  a very complex approval process for zoning London’s 32 different boroughs. With each borough weighing in with their own distinct processes and opinions, plus the mayor putting his two pence in, and even the secretary of state having a say, its amazing London plans as well as it does. The process looks more nightmarish than a West Village community board debating a university expansion. One intriguing aspect was the specificity of the Views Management Framework, which include river views, linear views, townscape views, and panoramas. But it was left to Loeb Fellow Peter Park, paraphrasing Goldberger, to best describe London’s beautiful mess. “Some of the greatest places in the world were built before zoning,” he said. “There’s an element of serendipity.” 3:20 The afternoon “Zoning the Equitable City” session was a study in contrasts. Former Newark director of planning and development Toni Griffin was matched with San Francisco planner John Rahaim. Griffin swept through a presentation on downtown Newark that pegged plans on public institution locales. With many of the smaller businesses struggling, the neighborhood anchors are the Newark Museum and Rutgers University. By contrast, the boon and bane of Rahaim’s tenure is a mandate regulating small businesses, akin to rent regulation in New York, assuring diversity of the streetscape and helping mom-and-pops stay in business. Still, Rahaim warned of the market manipulation aspects of the mandate and suggested only adopting it with “eyes wide open.” One member of the audience agreed, asking if SF officials could regulate whether a candy store could sell M&Ms.  Rahaim responded that as there are more dogs than children in San Francisco, weeding out a few pet stores might not be a bad thing. Griffin, for one didn’t mind the notion, particularly in Newark where there’s no glut of fresh food stores. “How many more McDonald's and chicken restaurants do I have to pass?” she asked. 1:45 p.m. Columbia’s Vishaan Chakrabarti kicked off his pro-density talk by telling the audience that in New York, “We’re building more sprawl then we are tall, despite our best efforts.” Chakrabarti then suggested using wasted landfill dredge from New York City rivers to build even more sprawl, albeit tall sprawl. Chakrabarti presented a Columbia student project that proposed using dredged material from the river, a huge quantity of which is now being shipped off to Texas, and placing it in the harbor to protect the city from storm surges and to create a Lower Lower Manhattan—dubbed LoLo. “What could be better than Manhattan,” asked Chakrabarti, “more Manhattan.” 12:00 p.m. Bloomberg LP's Daniel Doctoroff gave a pumped up presentation that took a decidedly Bloomberg administration stance, and not unconvincingly. "Around the world cities are relentlessly copying New York," he said, before issuing a warning. "In order to stay competitive, we must stay on edge, whether it’s Brooklyn Bridge Park or the Highline." Doctoroff essentially concurred with a statement made this morning by Alex Garvin, "We had better come to terms with the fact that we’re not going to have a manufacturing base anymore." But Doctoroff pointed to the future of manufacturing found at Brooklyn’s Navy Yard and Army Terminal: green technology, film and television, and biotech. "But you just got to be realistic of what you can and cannot do in New York City,” he said. “You can’t hold on to romantic notions.” One speaker who held no romantic illusions was Community Solution’s Rosanne Haggerty, who bluntly reminded the crowd that planning must address the needs of the poor. “We’re making bad decisions,” she said. Haggerty urged the power-packed crowd “to close the income gap by getting more players onto the field” and reminded them that the rumbling of the London Riots and Occupy Wall Street prove: “Change doesn’t come from the elites, it rises.” 10:00 a.m. NYC City Planning's Zoning the City conference opened to a packed house this morning. With the mayor tied up with an Occupy Wall Street press conference on the eviction of protestors from Zuccotti Park, Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden made the opening remarks, followed by Jerold Kayden who delved into taboo topics, such as Zoning for Beauty. "Zoning is not longer about old school physical concerns," Kayden told the audience. "Better design is commonly obtained by review."  Kayden, an acknowledged expert on Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS) like Zuccotti Park, didn't mention the elephant in the room. Instead, he kept to the prepared script: "To plan is human; to implement is divine." With the mayor a presumed no-show, preparing for a court hearing for evicting OWS, deputy mayor Bob Steel took the podium to recap the administration's zoning accomplishments, from the two completed sections of the High Line to last week's kick start of Hudson Yards. Steel also mentioned re-embracing the city's "Sixth Borough," its vast waterfront. The deputy mayor wrapped up by introducing a new initiative "Zone Green."  More on that later...  
Placeholder Alt Text

Event> Zoning the City

Attention Zoning Wonks! In honor of the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Zoning Resolution, City Planning is hosting the Zoning the City Conference on November 15.  Mayor Bloomberg will open the conference, while planning commissioner Amanda Burden will moderate with Harvard planning guru Jerold Kayden (a recent AN commentator). AN plans to blog live from the event and City Planning will be tweeting away @ZoningTheCity. The event, co-sponsored with Harvard and Baruch’s Newman Institute, has already been dubbed “the Woodstock of Planning” by one at least one registrant. Yesterday, Planning got the ball rolling by placing the original 1961 zoning resolution online, along with a dozen other related manuals and public testimony as part of the DCP History Project. The city’s—as well as the nation’s—first zoning manual from 1916 hints at just how far the process has come, from broad brushstrokes to highly specific overlays and special purpose districts. A few of the documents have anecdotal tidbits, such as a 1916 business district that lists some of the businesses as fat rendering, rag storage, smelting, and horseshoeing. A 1950 study commissioned by Planning begins with a cover letter salutation that would never fly today: “Gentlemen, …” Most of the documents are a pretty dry read, but the public testimony is downright riveting. The 1960 transcripts provide much-needed colloquial voices to balance out the graphs and charts. It’s no surprise that some of the zoning trailblazers down in the Village weighed in. Robert Jacobs, whose wife Jane would soon release a book related to the subject, lobbied the commission to consider rezoning “a fairly mixed up area” in the Far West Village to allow residential construction to replace decaying industrial buildings. If he could see it now!  Zoning the City speakers and panelist: Rohit T. Aggarwala, Hilary Ballon, Rick Bell, Matthew Carmona, Vishaan Chakrabarti, Daniel L. Doctoroff, Paul Goldberger, Toni L. Griffin, Rosanne Haggerty, Errol Louis, Thom Mayne, Jack S. Nyman, Peter J. Park, John Rahaim, Jonathan F. P. Rose, Kairos Shen, Robert K. Steel, Robert A. M. Stern, Mary Ann Tighe, Harriet Tregoning, Carol Willis.
Placeholder Alt Text

AN Video> Esplanade Walk-Through with Amanda Burden

On Thursday, the East River Waterfront Esplanade officially opened to the public. Last week, while the paint on the new bike lanes was still drying, City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden took AN on a walk through of the first section.  The commissioner barely contained her excitement while showing off design details by landscape architect Ken Smith and SHoP Architects. Follow the commissioner as she takes us through the dog run and points out clever details like the "Get-Downs,"  the riverside bar stools,  and "seat walls."