The City Planning Commission held a marathon 11-hour hearing on the NYC Department of City Planning’s ZQA and MIH proposals.

At the City Planning Commission Hearing

On 12.16.15, the City Planning Commission held a marathon 11-hour hearing on the NYC Department of City Planning’s Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) proposals. AIANY President Tomas Rossant, AIA, was the first architect to testify at the hearing.

AIANY supports ZQA because it will help facilitate the construction of well-designed affordable housing that is more responsive to local contexts. ZQA eliminates restrictions, offering architects more flexibility to create better buildings, thereby improving the city’s built environment and streetscapes for all New Yorkers. Read the entire testimony here.

In addition, AIANY coordinated a cohort of other architects to speak on behalf of their practices. The allowable height increase and change to parking requirements provide architects with opportunities to design buildings that better serve communities. With ZQA, new buildings can accommodate quality residential units and spaces for economic activity.

The next public hearing before City Council is scheduled for February. If you are interested in being involved in this effort, please email

Pulse Points

  • Representatives from AIANY met with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, and a group of other design organizations on 12.14.15 to discuss the future of Orchard Beach. The Parks Department has proposed a master plan to make the beach more accessible and upgrade its amenities, including a landmarked Aymar Embury building. Diaz is seeking advocates to support this plan and assist in its implementation.
  • In addition to progressing with its plan to retrofit all public buildings by 2025, the city continues to make it easier for private building owners to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the 80×50 target. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and NYU launched a new tool to track energy and water use in large buildings.
  • The NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) released an RFP for the development of a 7,000-square-foot parcel of land at 126th Street and 3rd Avenue, part of the E125 Development, a mixed-use redevelopment that will bring housing, commercial space, and open space to East Harlem. NYCEDC, HPD, and the developers of the remaining land parcels have also agreed to create an additional 200 units of affordable housing, bringing the total number of affordable units to 800.
  • On 12.14.15, Mayor de Blasio delivered remarks at the AARP Age-Friendly NYC Livability Solutions Forum.
  • AIANY submitted testimony at the 12.14.15 City Council hearing on OneNYC. The oversight hearing focused on the resiliency and sustainability portions of the plan.