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February 2017
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Archive for 'Public Policy'

National Leaders Discuss Waterfront Resilience Post Hurricane Sandy

Shaun DonovanMAS and the Center for Urban Real Estate (CURE.) at Columbia University teamed up to host, New York City Sink or Swim: Principles and Priorities for Waterfront Restoration in a Post-Sandy Era on December 13. The half-day conference was held in Lower Manhattan, and brought together the leading experts in costal resilience from both New York City and the Netherlands to discuss and debate how the New York metropolitan region can recover from Hurricane Sandy. Continue Reading>>

Post-Sandy, What Have We Learned?

Throughout New York City, Hurricane Sandy dramatically transformed the landscape and destroyed neighborhoods.  Its impact on the way that we think about our city has yet to be determined, but two projects that were proposed before the storm may serve as useful weathervanes. The first project is a proposal to develop approximately 700 units of housing along the Gowanus Canal, Continue Reading>>

The University in the Neighborhood: Debating NYU’s Expansion Plan

nyu new york university campus expansion 2031 planJoin MAS on Tuesday, March 27, for a panel discussion on NYU’s expansion plan.  New York University is the latest city institution to evoke controversy with its ambitious expansion plan which would more than double the amount of density on two Greenwich Village area superblocks. NYU, like Columbia and Fordham, is an important New York City institution; however, each institution’s success relies as much on its location within New York City as in its state-of-the-art facilities. Continue Reading>>

MAS Seeks Consultant for Green Preservation Manual

Green roof at Cook + Fox OfficesToday MAS released a request for proposals seeking a consultant to prepare a manual tentatively titled Greening New York City’s Landmarks: A Guide for Property Owners. MAS, with the assistance of the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), is producing the manual as an educational tool for property owners. Continue Reading>>

Vendor Rules In Effect Around Parks

Vendors at Central Park South in New York CityWe are all familiar with sidewalks crowded with  “artist” vendors–those offering everything from  water color paintings of the skyline, refrigerator magnets,  to Justin Bieber photos. A bit of relief is at hand.  In May, a Manhattan appellate court lifted a stay on enforcement of new park rules which provide for as many as 145 designated spots for vending of “expressive matter” at four of our most iconic parks– Union Square Park (18 and 40 on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday), Battery Park (9), High Line Park (5) and portions of Central Park (68).  The court found that the rules did not violate the vendors’ state constitutional rights. Continue Reading>>

MAS: Demystify Fair Share

Barge on Newtown Creek - Photo by Nadia Chaudhury The Municipal Art Society testified at a recent New York City Council Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses’ hearing on Fair Share. The Fair Share provision of the New York City Charter, added in 1989, was intended to include community participation in the siting of burdensome city facilities, such as sewage treatment plants and solid waste transfer stations, and to promote the equitable distribution of these facilities. Continue Reading>>

MAS April/May Newsletter/Calendar Now Available

Henry Hogg Biddle House - Photo by Emilio Guerra The MAS April/May newsletter and calendar is hitting mailboxes across the city right now. This issue features MAS Streets Month programs and tours, and our May 11 program on the future of New York City’s skyline. In addition to our Streets Month tours, there’s a daylong visit to Tottenville in Staten Island, as well as our annual tour of Jane Jacob’s West Village, in honor of Jacobs’ birthday—this year would have been her 95th! Continue Reading>>

From Timbuktu to Coney Island

Sankore Mosque TimbuktuThree prominent keynote speakers, Rochelle Roca Hachem, Emily Wadhams and David Bragdon, will address preservation and sustainability issues from international, national and city perspectives at MAS’ Conference on Preservation and Climate Change in New York City (October 15-17). Continue Reading>>

This Fall: Next for New York

It’s hard to believe that August is already upon us, and fall is right around the corner. We at MAS have had a busy summer preparing for a provocative, informative fall season, as we introduce our first annual Next for New York programs. Next for New York will explore the next wave in urban planning, preservation and climate change, and civic activism, as well as specific projects that will help shape the future of New York City. This year, Next for New York includes three major events: Preservation & Climate Change Conference, the MAS Summit for New York City and the Jane Jacobs Forum. These programs will engage New Yorkers in stimulating discussions about urban livability and the future of our city and cities around the world. “There’s no question that cities are pivotal as nations everywhere are dealing with growing populations, climate change and threats to sustainability,” said MAS President Vin Cipolla. “Through this very exciting annual series, MAS will examine a host of issues that New York is facing as a global city that also is a city of distinct neighborhoods.” Continue Reading>>

All-Star Design Lineup Discusses the Garment Center as New York’s Next Creative Community

fred dust simon collinsPhoto: Fred Dust and Simon Collins Join some of the most brilliant names in urban and fashion design for the follow-up to last week’s sold-out panel on the future of New York’s Garment District. This panel will discuss the cultural, economic and social contributions of creative communities. IDEO Partner Fred Dust, Parsons Dean and branding expert Simon Collins, and fashion entrepreneur Andrew Oshrin will offer their unique perspectives, as NYU sociology professor Harvey Molotch and Columbia University’s Sarah Williams discuss the characteristics of and factors that nurture the growth of these communities. Deborah Marton, executive director of the Design Trust for Public Space, will lead the discussion, drawing from the Trust’s recent Made in Midtown study of the Garment District. For more information and tickets click here or call 212 935 2075. Urban Creative Districts Tuesday, June 15, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Reception to follow. At the School of Visual Arts Theater, 333 West 23rd St. (between 8th & 9th avenues) MAP Moderator — Deborah Marton, executive director, Design Trust for Public Space Panel — Simon Collins, dean, School of Fashion, Parsons the New School for Design; Fred Dust, partner, IDEO; Andrew Oshrin, president & CEO, Milly LLC; Sarah Williams, director, Columbia University Spatial Information Design Lab; Harvey Molotch, professor of Sociology and Metropolitan Studies, New York University.

Made in Midtown: The Future of the Garment District

design trust made midtown logoNew York City’s Midtown Garment District presents a host of planning, economic development and preservation issues as the district has undergone significant change over the last four decades. To chart a course for the future, the Design Trust for Public Space, with its partner, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, has launched Made in Midtown, a project that will document how New York’s fashion industry works today and how it could be the catalyst for future improvements in the Garment District. The Design Trust’s findings, including specific research on international fashion centers provided by The Municipal Art Society, will show how New York’s fashion industry functions as an interconnected ecosystem that is integral to our city’s economy, identity, and sense of place. The Design Trust will launch the project website,, with a day-long event open to the public on June 3 at the Port Authority Pop-Up Space, at Eighth Avenue at 41st Street. Following the launch, the Design Trust and MAS have organized public programming throughout June to publicize the findings and to guide this issue into a public discussion. Continue Reading>>

Are New York’s Streets Out of (Design) Control?

newsracks street disarrayOn Wednesday, April 7, MAS’ April panel and tour series New York’s Changing Streetscapes continues with architect and author of Twenty Minutes in Manhattan Michael Sorkin engaging an expert panel in a lively discussion of the good, the bad, and the ugly of our city’s famous streetscapes. The panel, Are New York’s Streets Out of (Design) Control promises to be a fantastic opportunity to hear from people on all sides of the debate about the future of our city’s streets. Questions to be considered will include: Why are New York’s streets filled with the visual chaos of loud signs, tacky newsracks, graffiti–covered phones that don’t work and as many styles of street furniture as there are Business Improvement Districts?; Do other American cities do a better job?; Are we now heading in the right direction?; Do the NYC Street Design Manual, sleek bus shelters and award winning urbanSHED design signal a better future?; How do we learn from past mistakes and avoid turf battles?; And, what needs to happen next? Continue Reading>>