A new exhibition now on view at the Center for Architecture explains how money moves across New York’s public building sector. It’s a complex system that, if you’re not directly involved in it, can seem unnecessarily confusing and slow. Mapping Community: Public Investment in NYC demystifies how things like libraries, schools, and parks pop up, as well as the players behind them. Curated by Faith Rose, former executive director of the NYC Public Design Commission, and David Burney, professor of urban placemaking management at the Pratt Institute, the showcase walks viewers step-by-step through the process of capital planning. It’s spread out over two floors and utilizes a very clear and graphic layout so that the information is distilled to the audience in a digestible yet still visually distinctive manner. “No one entity is responsible for the entire process, and even people deeply involved in one part aren’t always aware what the other pieces entail,” said Rose in a statement. “I don’t believe there has ever been an exhibition that tracks the mechanisms of capital planning from start to finish.” There probably hasn’t. That’s likely because New York City boasts one of the largest local government systems in the United States and its beast-of-a-procurement-process is less than transparent. But things are changing and this big-picture view of the “ecosystem of agencies” involved reveals the work it takes to make tangible improvements to the city. This knowledge, for better or for worse, arguably gives a viewer (or in this case, a local resident), the agency to insert themselves into the planning process and help shape their own neighborhood. To communicate the complexity of the subject, the curators pieced together an in-depth look into one public project per borough, separated by typology, and detailed the planning process at the community level. One of those case studies centers on Essex Crossing, the massive, mixed-use development on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. A contentious construction project from the start, it was once an empty six-acre lot but now houses everything from luxury condos by SHoP Architects, to an affordable housing complex by Beyer Blinder Belle, a senior living community by Dattner Architects, and the newly-opened Essex Market. This part of the exhibition tells the story of how Manhattan Community Board 3 and other local organizations fought over a series of negotiations with the NYC Economic Development Corporation, as well as the site’s developer, to get a new K-8 school in the program. Here, it explains why the Department of Education has currently decided not to move forward with building a new school. It also reveals how local needs in other areas can affect capital projects. Whether it was the right thing to do or not, garnering this information allows locals and exhibition audiences to better understand how the 1.9-million-square-foot Essex Crossing has come to be, what its future may look like, and how they can have a say in that. According to Hayes Slade, 2019 AIANY President and principal of Slade Architecture, that’s the key to improving the city. “New Yorkers should feel empowered to be part of community-building,” she said, “and that is only possible if they are knowledgeable of the process.” Mapping Community will be on view through August 31.
Posts tagged with "NYC Economic Development Corporation":
We might be in the thick of winter, but planning is already underway for the third annual NYCxDESIGN coming up in the Spring. On Thursday morning, organizers—NYC & Company and the NYC Economic Development Corporation—invited members of the design community, fittingly, to the newly opened and revamped Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum to kick off the week-long, citywide design festivities taking place May 8–19. The program offers a platform to more than 40,000 designers and 3,900 design firms practicing in the city to showcase their work. Over the course of 12 days, a variety of exhibitions, installations, panel discussions, and open studios will be held in venues throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Six returning events anchor the program, including: BKLYN DESIGNS (May 8–10), WantedDesign Brooklyn (May 1–19), Collective Design (May 13–17), Frieze Art Fair (May 14–17), WantedDesign Manhattan (May 15–18), and ICFF (May 16–19). The opening night of BKLYN Designs will be the official launch of NYCxDESIGN. If last year's impressive turnout of 2,000-plus listings at 181 venues is telling, then May 2015 will be a busy one for those in the design sector.
Attention developers! It's almost time to prepare your visions for one of the largest redevelopment projects in Manhattan, the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA), now that all the approvals are in. While an official Request for Proposals (RFP) won't be issued until early next year, the NYC Economic Development Corporation is getting a jump start on soliciting interest with a new informational brochure issued today including a panoramic new rendering of the SPURA site, marked in orange. The project calls for up to 1.65 million square feet of mixed-use space built from the ground up on a site covering eight city blocks in the Lower East Side that Robert Moses leveled in the 20th century. The project also calls for a reconstructed Essex Street Market and a new 15,000 square foot park. The notice comes with a warning that the RFP process "will have an aggressive timeline," between January and May 2013. Watch for the official RFP to be released at the NYCEDC website, and get ready to rev those rendering engines, architects!
The New York City Economic Development Corporation has announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the lease and operation of a cultural facility adjacent the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island. Building 11, one of several buildings that housed the Coast Guard’s lighthouse operations from 1836 to 1966, was recently renovated by the city as part of a campaign to revitalize Staten Island’s North Shore waterfront. The RFP calls for a tenant who will provide “cultural programming in the form of a museum, exhibition, gallery, performance space, or community facility” in hope of attracting some of the 2 million tourists who ride the ferry each year to visit the Island’s cultural attractions (rather than jumping onto the next ferry back to Manhattan). An initial lease of one and a half years will be offered to the winning proposal with renewal options for up to four years. The EDC will offer temporary programming during the RFP process. Council Member Debi Rose wrote in a statement, “This formerly underutilized gem will now serve as a draw to bring people off the ferry and also provide an opportunity for all of our cultural groups to showcase their work.” In 2005, the NYCEDC sought to develop retail and housing in the area surrounding the Coast Guard buildings, citing the National Lighthouse Museum as a future tenant of Buildings 10 and 11. Plans for the Museum stalled due to fundraising issues. The mixed-use development, Lighthouse Point, was approved by the city early this year and will include 45,000 square feet of retail space and 172 residences. The National Lighthouse Museum plans to submit a proposal for Building 11.