New Perspectives on Refining CEQR: A Look Back at Citywide Development

As part of a collaborative effort to examine ways to refine City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR), the Municipal Art Society and Regional Plan Association will present new research into the citywide development of soft sites, including an interactive mapping tool and a companion report under the SITE x SITE (Site by Site) initiative. Soft sites are developable sites used in CEQR evaluations to estimate future growth and assess the environmental impacts of major land use decisions such as neighborhood rezonings and large-scale developments. SITE x SITE shares insights into improving CEQR by providing more dependable information that informs city planners and decision makers who serve our communities.

If you missed this event, you can watch a recording of it on the MAS YouTube Channel.

Monday, March 27
6:00 PM — 8:00 PM

Center for Architecture
Tafel Hall
536 LaGuardia Place
New York, NY 10012

Member: Free
Non-member: $10

  • New Perspectives on Refining CEQR: A Look Back at Citywide Development.
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  • Moderator: Rawnak Zaman, Project Manager, Planning & Analytics, MAS. Opening Remarks: Elizabeth Goldstein, President, MAS.
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  • Panelists: Thomas Devaney, Senior Director of Land Use & Planning, MAS; Marcel Negret, Senior Planner, RPA; and Sara Eichner, Designer and cartographer.
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About the Speakers

Elizabeth Goldstein, President, MAS (Opening Remarks)

Elizabeth Goldstein joined MAS as its President in February 2017. Elizabeth has an extensive background in parks and historic preservation advocacy and management. Throughout her career, Elizabeth has worked to insure transparent public engagement in civic decisions of consequence to public space and the heritage of key places across the United States. Prior to returning to her NYC roots, Elizabeth was most recently the President of the California State Parks Foundation from 2004 to 2016. Prior to that she was the General Manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department (1999 to 2004), and the Western Director of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (1994-1999). Her work in parks includes the New York City Regional Director of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (1989-1994), the Director of Planning for the New York City Park Department (1986-1989) and the Chief of Staff of the Manhattan Borough Office of NYC Parks. Elizabeth graduated from Beloit College. Elizabeth is a past co-chair of the City Parks Alliance and board member of numerous non-profit boards.

Rawnak (Ranna) Zaman, Project Manager, Planning & Analytics, MAS (Moderator)

Ranna is a member of the SITE x SITE project team. Prior to MAS in 2021, Ranna was an operations analyst at the American Museum of Natural History where she tracked attendance trends, helped to assess operational needs, and compiled data for reporting across the Museum. Ranna holds a B.A. in Economics and Environmental Studies from NYU and completed her M.S. in Urban Planning from Columbia University GSAPP.

About the Panelists

Thomas Devaney, AICP, LEED-AP, Senior Director of Land Use & Planning, MAS

Tom has served as Senior Director of Land Use and Planning at MAS since 2016. He is a certified planner and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited professional with 22 years of public and private sector city planning experience in New York. Tom heads MAS’ planning operations, initiatives, and research projects, and led two major groundbreaking studies on New York City’s Environmental Quality Review (CEQR). 2018’s Tale of Two Rezonings: Taking a Harder Look at CEQR examined development under the rezonings of Long Island City and Downtown Brooklyn. 2023’s Site x Site: A Look Back at Soft Site Development in New York City is an unprecedented analysis of citywide development that demonstrates the limitations of CEQR criteria in reliably estimating future development. Prior to his tenure at MAS, Tom led Langan Engineering’s environmental planning and wetland permitting practices, managing a wide range of projects including Franklin, D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island and the NYPD Training Academy in Queens.

Marcel Negret, Senior Planner, Regional Planning Association

Marcel is a Senior Planner at RPA. He provides technical expertise and research capabilities to the organization. He combines systemic thinking with design, spatial analysis, and data visualization to support the organization’s planning and advocacy efforts at both the regional and neighborhood level. His work includes a broad range of projects and campaigns at the intersections of land use, infrastructure, and health.

Sara Eichner, Designer and Cartographer

Sara works at the intersection of data analysis and user-centered design, with a focus on geospatial data. Her work utilizes visualization strategies that prioritize clarity without obscuring or undermining complexities behind the data. She has collaborated with a variety of organizations around New York City, contributing geospatial analysis and research to projects while designing platforms, tools and systems through which to communicate that work. For the last five years, Sara has partnered with the Pratt Spatial Analysis and Visualization Initiative (SAVI) on many projects and is currently at work with FloodNet creating a tool to engage the public with flood data; with the the NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program on a NY State DEC River Access grant creating a public resource for access to the waters of the Hudson Estuary, and managing the production of a data-driven art exhibition for NYC’s Open Data Week called Data Through Design.

Sara has a masters in fine arts in painting from Syracuse University and a certificate in GIS from Pratt institute. She has taught introductory GIS and design for the last four years at Pratt’s School of Continuing and professional Studies and at Pratt’s School of Information.