Fight for Light

For the economic, environmental, social, and public health of New York

2019-present

The Fight for Light campaign itself gets its start from the Greenacre Foundation’s effort to protect Greenacre Park, a historic pocket park on East 51st Street that is filled dawn to dusk with neighbors and office workers enjoying a respite in one of the densest neighborhoods in New York. Situated just outside the Greater East Midtown Rezoning area, this intimate park is expected to be cast completely in shadow during peak summer days as a result of new development. This outcome received little attention during the course of the City’s planning process, despite the best efforts of the Municipal Art Society (MAS), New Yorkers for Parks (NY4P), and other peer organizations.

In early 2019, MAS and NY4P joined together to build a broader advocacy campaign called Fight for Light, which seeks stronger protections for the natural resources that are essential to an equitable city and the health and happiness of city dwellers.

Over the past year, the conversation has expanded to include perspectives from a variety of places, sectors, and areas of focus, including the architecture, engineering, environmental justice, legal, planning, preservation, public health, and real estate professions. MAS and NY4P surveyed New York’s existing regulatory landscape and identified legislative and design ideas from around the world that could advance protection of sunlight in the city’s public spaces. Those findings are summarized in the joint report by MAS and NY4P, Bright Ideas: New York City’s Fight for Light, released on October 28, 2019.

Moving forward, Fight for Light will develop and provide policy guidance on priorities to shape New York City’s public realm and protect access to sunlight. We expect to release additional recommendations next year that respond directly to New York’s unique planning context.

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report cover for the 2019 Bright Ideas report by the Municipal Art Society of New York
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Contact a staff member to learn more or join the campaign. swilliams@mas.org >

Members of the media looking to discuss this project further, contact us at mbaron@mas.org >

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Fight for Light Supporters
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joggers run through Hudson River Park in Autumn
2019

Fight for Light

At the 10th Annual Summit for New York City, MAS and New Yorkers for Parks launched a joint campaign entitled Fight for Light, which seeks stronger protections for the natural resources that are essential to an equitable city and the health and happiness of city dwellers. The Bright Ideas report is the first release from the campaign, which ‎ expects to announce additional recommendations in 2020 that respond directly to New York’s unique planning context.

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