Archive for Publications

Urban Prospect: Parking Puzzles

When news surfaced in Riverdale last February that 100 surface parking spots were on the verge of being eliminated to make way for a new high-rise residential building, neighborhood drivers were infuriated. Local politicians and community leaders, sensing both opportunity and danger, responded by organizing a parking forum with representatives from city agencies on hand to answer questions and placate concerns. Throughout the heated discussion, many of the residents in attendance expressed frustration that more households than ever were choosing to own vehicles, but that new residential developments were not doing enough to accommodate them.

Click here (pdf) to read …

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Urban Prospect: Inclusionary Boroughs

When the City Council voted to enact a modified rezoning proposal for Williamsburg-Greenpoint on May 11, it effectively authorized a dramatic remaking of that section of Brooklyn. It also brought to a close an exhausting planning and political process that established new parameters for housing policy and land use practices in the city.

Click here to read CHPC’s analysis of the rezoning of 184 Brooklyn blocks.…

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Urban Prospect: The Big Picture

Although the five boroughs contain only 37 percent of the New York metropolitan area’s population, housing and land use policies usually are discussed in isolation from the broader regional trends that affect them. While a regional perspective has long been institutionalized in transportation planning, it remains almost totally absent from policy decisions on housing and land use. Many familiar problems, however, take on new aspects when viewed from a regional perspective.

In order to sharpen the focus of city policies, and perhaps to forge new ties among housing and planning professionals throughout the region, CHPC has recently joined forces with …

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Urban Prospect: What kind of growth do we want?

After many years in which the everyday concerns of life — crime, graffiti, squeegee men, crowded schools, and the like — dominated the attention of city government, New York is again looking toward its distant future. From the World Trade Center site to the Far West Side to the Brooklyn waterfront, government agencies are offering redevelopment plans that envision new centers of business and cultural activity. Ambitious infrastructure projects, like the extension of the #7 line, the Second Avenue subway, and East Side and Downtown commuter rail access are being actively pursued. Even new parks and open spaces, winding over …

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Urban Prospect: Tracking Movers

More than most places, New York is a city of housing haves and have-nots. For many of its residents, long-term tenure in rent-regulated apartments provides a secure and affordable lifestyle, while for those who purchased their homes in a less expensive era, subsequent price appreciation has been a major generator of personal wealth. For young people, newcomers to the city, and others entering the housing market, however, the situation is much different. They face a marketplace that has changed radically over the past decade, and are confronted with housing choices that are far less favorable.

Data on current market conditions …

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Urban Prospect: New York’s Underground Housing

New York City’s aggressive efforts to create affordable housing have rightfully won praise from housing experts nationwide. But less widely recognized is the extent to which informal dwellings, illegal and unregulated, have proliferated in response to the city’s surging housing demand. During the past fifteen years informal housing may have accounted for as much as half of the city’s net housing creation, approaching a scale comparable to the celebrated Mitchell-Lama program.

In many communities, illegal housing units have reached a critical mass, eroding neighborhood aesthetics, straining services, and turning parking into a frustrating ordeal. Many feel the situation is hopeless, …

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