Jane’s Walk Weekend is Back—and Bigger than Ever

Jane's Walk NYCOn May 1, 2 & 3, MAS Hosts 200+ Free Walking Tours Across NYC, An Annual Tribute to Urban Activist Jane Jacobs

On May 1-3, thousands of New Yorkers will walk the city’s streets in honor of urban activist—and Robert Moses’ nemesis—Jane Jacobs. Jane’s Walk NYC, hosted by the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS), is an annual weekend-long celebration featuring 200+ free “walking conversations” throughout the five boroughs, led by urban enthusiasts and local experts who care deeply about their neighborhoods.

“Jane’s Walk NYC has exploded in size from just 23 tours in 2011, to more than 200 coming up this May 1-3,” said Margaret Newman, Executive Director MAS. “This year’s incredible line-up of free ‘walking conversations’ takes New Yorkers on a tour through some of the biggest battles facing the five boroughs and the secret histories that helped make this the greatest city on earth. Where will you walk this year?” Continue Reading>>

An Earth Day Message on Resilience from MAS

By: Mary Rowe

Since Superstorm Sandy struck the Northeast coast on October 29, 2012, city, state and federal agencies, organizations, and individuals around the region have mobilized to aid impacted communities in their recovery efforts, and consider new ways to make New York and the surrounding region more resilient. What better moment to reflect on our collective progress than Earth Day, when the world pauses to check in on the planetary ecosystem in which we live?

The resilience of urban systems—including their natural, physical, social, and economic infrastructure—is strongly linked to the livability of neighborhoods and the city as a whole. Resilience is not just about emergency preparedness, it is a lens through which communities grow, adapt, and address persistent challenges and capitalize on opportunities. Public agencies and institutions play a critical role in developing and implementing large scale solutions, but an effective urban resilience strategy requires the mobilization of the social, intellectual, and cultural capital of the residents that live and work in vulnerable communities and can improvise hyper-local approaches. Continue Reading>>

MAS Supports City & Suburban First Avenue Estates

Contact: Meaghan Baron | (212) 935-3960 ex. 1229

Re: Stahl Organization sues city over landmark rentals

“MAS has been proud to defend the City & Suburban First Avenue Estate complex as a historic treasure across more than two decades. We were dismayed to hear that this important site—a vibrant part of our city’s cultural and historical legacy—is once again under siege. We strongly urge the State Supreme Court to resist this most recent encroachment against 429 East 64th Street and 430 East 65th Street. The hardship provisions of the Landmarks Law should not be treated like a loophole, and the Stahl Organization has failed to present convincing evidence that this radical step is in any way justified.”

-MAS President Vin Cipolla and MAS Executive Director Margaret Newman

New Council Bill Reflects MAS Concerns about Park Shadows

On March 31, Councilmember Mark Levine introduced legislation that would begin to address one of the key priorities identified by MAS in the landmark 2013 report, The Accidental Skyline. Councilmember’s Levine’s bill would establish a task force which would meet twice per year and issue recommendations on ways that proposed developments can mitigate the impact of their shadows.

MAS Executive Director Margaret Newman said, “In the year and a half since MAS launched the Accidental Skyline project, we have heard New Yorkers in all five boroughs clamoring for accountability when as-of-right private developments impact public amenities like parks. Access to air and light is a right of all New Yorkers and we have been delighted to work with Councilmember Levine this year on the need for comprehensive shadows legislation. We applaud the introduction of LS-3471, an important first step that proves New York doesn’t have to settle for an Accidental Skyline.”

Dana Rubenstein at Capital New York examined the details of the bill and its announcement, pointing back to Ms. Newman’s previous comments about shadow ordinances in San Francisco and other cities last year.

MAS will continue to stay involved with the progress of Councilmember Levine’s proposed legislation.

Honorees Announced: 2015 MASterworks Awards

2015 MASterworks AwardsAnnual Awards by the Municipal Art Society Recognize Excellence in Architecture and Urban Design

The Municipal Art Society of New York announced the winners of the 2015 MASterworks Awards, a competition hosted annually by MAS to recognize projects completed in the preceding year that make a significant contribution to New York’s built environment. The awards will be presented on the evening of April 16 at the Museum at Eldridge Street.

“From a transit hub that bends sunlight, to a sidewalk that fortifies tree roots, the 2015 MASterworks honorees embody the innovation and creativity that drive New York’s best architects and designers,” said Margaret Newman, FAIA, Executive Director of MAS. “We look forward to celebrating all of this year’s winners at a ceremony next month, and thank them for enhancing New York one project at a time.”

The 2015 honorees placed in six categories:
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