November 2011
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Archive for November, 2011

In Support of Solar Energy

solar energy panels new york city

MAS testified in front of the City Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection yesterday regarding impediments to the installation of solar energy systems in New York City. MAS wants to encourage the use of renewable energy by helping to develop solutions for the appropriate installation of solar panels on the city’s older and historic buildings.

New York City aims to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 1% a year over the next ten years, or 30% by 2030. One way the city is looking to accomplish this goal is by considering forms of renewable energy, such as solar energy. Installers in the New York metropolitan area have stressed that higher installation costs due to permitting, inspection and other factors are prohibiting the wider use of solar technology in the city. Yesterday’s City Council hearing aimed to solicit information from industry professionals and concerned community groups on the ways the city can help make the process for installation less complicated, thereby increasing the use of solar energy throughout the city and growing the green job market.

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The University and the City

stanford new york city roosevelt island illustration

Over the last ten years, Columbia University has proposed an ambitious redevelopment plan for their new Manhattanville campus, and other universities, such as Fordham and NYU have also recently released proposals to enlarge their campuses.  Not satisfied with the existing expansion efforts of New York City based universities, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), this past summer, issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Applied Sciences NYC.  The RFP seeks a university or partnership to develop and operate a campus in New York City in exchange for access to city-owned land, as well $100 million in infrastructure upgrades.

In October, the city received seven responses from seventeen of world’s top schools, including: Amity University; Carnegie Mellon University/Steiner Studios; Columbia University; Cornell University/Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, New York University/University of Toronto/University of Warwick (UK)/The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay/City University of New York and Carnegie Mellon; New York Genome Center/Mount Sinai School of Medicine/Rockefeller University/SUNY Stony Brook; and Stanford University/City College of New York.

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Report Back from the 2011 Jane Jacobs Forum

jane jacobs forum 2011 new york

Last week’s fourth annual Jane Jacobs Forum focused on the impact of three books, published within three years of each other (1961-63), written by women: Jane Jacobs, Rachel Carson and Betty Friedan. These books—and the activism of their authors—changed the conversations of their time and spurred movements of global significance: urbanism, environmentalism, and feminism.

Attended by almost 300 people and held at the CUNY Graduate Center, this year’s Forum was moderated by Robin Pogrebin, a reporter on the Culture Desk of The New York Times and included panelists Roberta Gratz, Urvashi Vaid, Melissa Harris-Perry, and Sally Helgesen.

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Housing for All New Yorkers: The Brownsville Revitalization Initiative

brownstone building new york public housing

Building on a session on public housing at the MAS Summit for New York City, MAS is pleased to be partnering with Rosanne Haggerty and her colleagues at Community Solutions, to look at the challenges and opportunities in New York City’s long under-developed city assets of public housing, which occupy key land tracts across the five boroughs.

Community Solutions grew out of the spectacularly successful work of Common Ground, and now works to support the development of holistic, integrated approaches that include improving housing stock while ensuring coordinated service delivery and economic development that reflects the needs—and assets—of the local community.

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On Implementing the NYC Energy Conservation Code: November 16

new york city green building energy code

On November 16th, the Preservation League of New York State, along with MAS and The New York Landmarks Conservancy, will bring together experts in the NYC and NYS Energy Conservation Codes and Historic Preservation, to discuss the implementation of the NYC Energy Conservation Code. This program will provide lessons and guidance on the NYC Energy Code for those who work with historic buildings with the city.

In December 2009, Mayor Bloomberg signed four legislative components of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, which addresses energy usage in existing buildings, including historic buildings. One component of that plan is the establishment of a New York City Energy Code. While earlier energy codes exempted locally designated historic buildings, the new energy code applies to those buildings. One of the goals of the MAS Preservation and Climate Change campaign is to identify any potential conflicts between energy codes and preservation standards, and identify how they can be alleviated. Convening experts on this issue is a critical first step to undertaking further research. Read more on MAS Preservation and Climate Change campaign.