Daniel Zarrilli, recently appointed to the FEMA National Advisory Council, at the Center for Architecture.

Counsel for City Council

The de Blasio Administration has proved that it embraces New York City’s current development surge, but the pressure is on to address high-priority issues such as resiliency, aging infrastructure, and universal design. City Council members are eager to hear from experts, such as AIANY members, about initiatives related to the built environment. In meetings over the past few weeks, three council members requested input on a few of their upcoming projects.

Council Member Mark Treyger, chair of the Committee on Recovery and Resiliency, explained the primary concerns facing his vulnerable district. District 47 has the most public housing in Brooklyn and is still struggling to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. Treyger wants to prepare for the next storm and build for resiliency. In an effort to effectively communicate with the public and bring awareness to important topics that directly affect the everyday lives of all New Yorkers, he plans to hold a city-sponsored forum on post-disaster approaches to development, and draft a bill that would create a report card of aging infrastructure in need of renovations. Both proposals would benefit from AIANY involvement.

Council Member Margaret Chin is the chair of the Committee on Aging. The committee recently introduced a bill that would create a Senior Housing Task Force to produce legislation and programs for seniors in NYC, on which AIANY Design for Aging Committee members hope to serve. Her district’s senior population also continues to boom, so she is actively reaching out to community organizations and advocates to form partnerships that address best practices in housing, transportation, and social services for seniors to age in place.

Council Member David Greenfield, chair of the City Council Land Use Committee, suggested that AIANY should continue its work to educate his fellow council members and the public about the overwhelming relevance of architecture because too few truly understand this. Greenfield has objectives to increase harmony between pedestrians, bicycle riders, and motorists on the roads, and he foresees AIANY being a valuable resource for this long-term improvement project.

This is just a sampling of the exciting endeavors being crafted in the City Council chambers, but the overarching message is clear.

Pulse Points

  • The 2014 NYC Construction Codes go into effect on 10.01.14. Register now for an upcoming training session on changes to the 2014 NYC Building Code Chapter 33. View recent presentations on other changes here.
  • New York State Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams started a petition for the abolition of separate entrances (a.k.a. “poor doors”) to mixed-income apartment buildings. The online petition is posted here.
  • How do we improve transportation in New York City? The MTA Reinvention Commission wants to hear from you! The newly-formed advisory group has made a call for public input. Use the online comments form here.
  • On 08.05.14, Governor Cuomo signed bill A.7916/S.4610 into law. The law requires builders of one- and two-family residential dwellings with less than three stories to provide buyers with information about the installation and maintenance of automatic fire sprinkler systems. The State Fire Prevention and Building Codes Council, however, is currently drafting a rule to make sprinklers mandatory in new one- and two- family houses. If adopted, the new law would be repealed and the State Fire Prevention and Building Codes Council regulation would take its place.
  • The city received 14 design proposals for the final two housing developments next to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The site has been the focus of a debate about whether or not affordable units should be included. View the design proposals here.
  • On 08.07.14, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Senator Chuck Schumer announced that Daniel Zarrilli, director of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, has been appointed to the FEMA National Advisory Council. Read the press release here.

Emma Pattiz is the AIANY Policy Coordinator. For more information on AIANY policy initiatives and programs, please contact her at epattiz@aiany.org.