November 2017
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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.

EDC has stated that the selection will be announced in early 2012, and will be based on the proposal that “will generate the greatest benefit to the City for the lowest commitment of City resources.”  The economic benefits of a new or expanded campus are undoubtedly significant but in the spirit of knowledge sharing and debate that these academic institutions represent, it’s essential that New York City has an open conversation about the benefits of the competing proposals and also carefully considers the impact of these proposals on the neighborhoods in which they will be located.  This project is a very rare opportunity for the city, and it is critical that we get it right.

Image: Stanford University’s Proposed Campus on Roosevelt Island, Ennead Architects