July 2012
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Archive for July, 2012

Looking Beyond NYU’s Expansion

Last week, the City Council voted 44 to 1 in favor of NYU’s expansion plan—with a 20% reduction in density, shorter buildings, reduced underground space, and a commitment to create an oversight organization to oversee and design public spaces.  This was the last step in a contentious public review process, with a multitude of public hearings, public programs and hundreds of voices heard.

Over the past year MAS has advocated for a balanced position that expressed support for NYU’s contributions to the city and its need to evolve and grow, while raising strong concerns about the impact of this expansion in its neighborhood.

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Tribute in Light and the September 11 Memorial & Museum


MAS is working with the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation to transition Tribute in Light to the Memorial. The Foundation has been in discussions with MAS since last year’s 10th anniversary.

MAS has produced Tribute in Light for the last 10 years. It was independently conceived by several artists and designers including John Bennett, Gustavo Bonevardi, Richard Nash Gould, Julian Laverdiere and Paul Myoda with lighting consultant Paul Marantz, who were all brought together under the auspices of MAS and Creative Time. MAS has raised millions over this period to bring the annual illumination to the public to honor the victims of 9/11.

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City Council Holds Hearing on NYU Expansion

MAS joined hundreds of advocates and local residents including actor Matthew Broderick last Friday at City Hall to testify about New York University’s plan to expand their Greenwich Village campus by adding almost 2 million square feet  to their two residential superblocks.

An early morning rally on City Hall’s steps against NYU’s expansion organized by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation featuring Assembly member Deborah Glick started the day.  Shortly after 9 a.m., hundreds filed into the august Council Chambers to have their concerns heard by the Council’s Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises during a hearing that would last the entire day.

Council Member Margaret Chin, whose district includes the project site, stated her concerns about the project’s scale, while understanding NYU’s need to grow. For almost three hours, NYU President John Sexton and University officials were peppered with Council questions often focused on clarification regarding the specifics of the additional space needs and the amount and use of the project’s public open space.

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MAS President Vin Cipolla to Participate in International Urban Parks Conference

MAS President Vin Cipolla will be participating in the City Parks Alliance‘s conference, Greater & Greener: Re-Imagining Parks for 21st Century Cities, which is being held in New York City from July 14-17.  The international urban parks conference increases awareness of the positive impact that parks and green spaces have on our urban communities and explores how urban parks will be designed, developed, programmed, funded and sustained to meet future demands.

Vin will moderate a panel on alternative funding models for parks with Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, eco-entrepreneur Majora Carter and Kofi Bonner, regional vice president of Lennar Urban. Vin is also guiding a walking tour of Washington, Union, Madison, Bryant and Times Squares on July 15.

The Greater & Greener four-day conference is a forum for park innovation, offering forward-looking topics and speakers, interactive workshops and tours, a volunteer service project and an audience of urban park planning, and design professionals, advocates and supporters from around the world.