Urban planning is delicately intertwined with government. As much as architects and designers try to avoid the overwrought laws and codes and prescriptive government policies that guide the construction and development of the urban landscape, they are very much a shaping force in cities such as New York. Ask any architect working in a such as NYC and they will likely describe the bureaucratic hassles of working with outdated zoning regulations and restrictive building codes. In this NPR segment Leonard Lopate interviews New York Magazine’s architecture critic Justin Davidson to discusses the impact of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s planning policies on New York City’s urban development. Join us after the break for the link.
Justin Davidson begins by pointing out that the administration’s 2030 Plan has helped shape much of the city’s infrastructural and transportation development over the past five years. Transportation corridors have been infused with bike lanes, bike lanes and green medians to mediate areas with high traffic while also delivering options to populous areas. The plan is tailored to the projected population growth of 1 million more New Yorkers. The conversation meanders into the preservation of neighborhood character, considered zoning and planning initiatives that promote certain types of growth. The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and its association with the Atlantic Yards development, is a popular discussion topic in the past few years and comes up in this conversation. Davidson talks about the distinction between preserving buildings and preserving character and what that means for neighborhoods like Clinton Hill in Brooklyn or Greenwich Village in Manhattan where the architectural legacy is preserved but the population continues to change and grow. Listen for yourself… Audio via WNYC.org