In this issue:
· AIANY Policy Update: Manhattanville
· AIA Urges Members to Get Political
· Recap: 2007 Procrastinators’ Days

AIANY Policy Update: Manhattanville

On December 12, AIANY testified in support of rezoning Manhattanville before the City Council — one of the last hurdles in a controversial Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process expected to result in a new campus for Columbia University between 125th and 130th Streets in West Harlem. The Policy Board discussed the plans for the new Columbia campus in October, when AIANY testified in general support of rezoning the area from manufacturing to residential, commercial, and academic uses before the City Planning Commission in a packed West Harlem auditorium.

The testimony was updated this month to address the approval of both Columbia and Community Board 9’s land use plans for the area, which AIANY feels “calls for streetscape and buildings in character with the surrounding neighborhoods, changes in use that will animate the area at all times of day and night, and well-designed public streets and spaces.” The Policy Board was also optimistic that, “with the revised land use plans calling for mixed-use and public spaces along all the boundaries of the site, including Broadway and 125th Street… the new campus will be both welcomed by and welcoming for its neighbors.” AIANY will continue to discuss the design of the site’s public spaces with the design team Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Renzo Piano Building Workshop.

AIA Urges Members to Get Political
The latest initiative from the AIA is helping raise the profile of architecture in the 2008 election. The organization’s first-ever nonpartisan program, DesignVote08, aims to help members get involved in presidential and senatorial campaigns, supporting the AIA’s goal of promoting citizen architects and civic engagement, according to a statement released by the AIA.

DesignVote08 intends to empower AIA members and components to: place the AIA’s public policies and issues before political candidates; organize and cosponsor candidate forums in their home states; raise the AIA’s visibility at conventions in the summer of 2008; track where candidates stand on key AIA issues; and volunteer for campaigns. The website will provide voter registration information and links to candidates’ websites, as well as offering up-to-the-minute information and tips on getting active in the campaigns.

Contact the AIA Government Advocacy Team to sign up for updates and get more information.

Recap: 2007 Procrastinators’ Days

Event: AIANY 2007 Procrastinators’ Days
Location: Center for Architecture, 12.06-07.07
Organizers: AIANY; Center for Architecture
Vendors: Trespa North America; Essroc Italcementi Group; Azek Building Products Inc.; Pella Window and Doors; Icynen Inc.; Lucifer Lighting Company; Unico, Inc.; Venco Sales, Inc.; Assa Abloy Door Security Solutions; Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc.; Marvin Windows and Doors; International Masonry Institute; Owens Corning; Brick Industry Association; Ove Arup & Partners; NYC Brickwork Design Center; Hohmann and Barnard Exterior Wall; Integrated CADD Services; ThermaTru Doors; Jeldwen Doors; Black Millwork Co., Inc.; 3Form; ARUP

With more than 180 attendees and 27 providers, the AIANY annual Procrastinators’ Days offered classes filled with ways to protect the environment and uphold the quality of sustainability. Discussions covered a range of green strategies, such as improving thermal performance in buildings, understanding indoor air quality solutions, clarifying the LEED Green Building Rating System, and installing and using sustainable products.

Procrastinators’ Days provides architects a last minute opportunity to get continuing education credits required for AIA membership and continued state licensure. In NY, the State Licensing Board requires 36 continuing education credits in a three-year period, of which at least 24 credits must come from programs conforming to health, safety, and welfare (HSW) guidelines established by the AIA and the state. AIA members are also required to have 18 continuing education units per year, of which eight must qualify as HSW. Procrastinators’ Days offered 28 classes with up to 14 HSW credits before the year-end deadline.