NYCHA Debuts Design Guidelines for Improving Public Housing

On 01.12.17, representatives from the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) debuted the authority’s new Design Guidelines for the Rehabilitation of NYCHA Residential Buildings to a packed room of architects, policy makers, urban designers, and concerned NYC residents. As part of  NYCHA’s 10-year strategic plan entitled NextGeneration NYCHA, which aims to dramatically improve residents’ quality of life through updated health, environmental, and social policies, the publication details new guidelines and procedures to improve the interiors and exteriors of the 2,550 buildings within NYCHA’s domain. Continue reading “NYCHA Debuts Design Guidelines for Improving Public Housing”

Bring Them as Eagles

Mayor Bill de Blasio came to the Great Hall of Cooper Union’s landmark Foundation Building on Thursday, 04.10.14, to deliver a speech that catalogued some of the specific initiatives of his first 100 days in office, and which anticipated the path that his administration will pursue. Particular areas of focus of his speech were education, affordable housing, pedestrian safety, and equal opportunity. The broader theme was a description of the attributes of a progressive city. New York, the mayor asserted, has been a model for other cities across the nation and can be so again. What follows are excerpts transcribed in place that may be of particular interest to architects and others in the design community. In the superb setting of the Great Hall, with its history and volumetric quality, it was hard not to be impressed, as well, by the speechwriting skill and oratory of our new mayor. Quoting Abraham Lincoln, Robert Kennedy, and James Russell Lowell (“fate loves the fearless”), Mayor de Blasio’s central theme – “the Progressive City” – in many ways resonated with Lowell’s new world Voyage to Vinland, from which the famous line was taken:

Strong from self-helping;
Eyes for the present
Bring them as eagles’,
Blind to the Past.
They shall make over
Creed, law, and custom…
Fate loves the fearless;
Fools, when their roof-tree
Falls think it doomsday;
Firm stands the sky.
Over the ruin
See I the promise.

(from Voyage to Vinland; started 1851, completed 1869)

Mayor de Blasio’s remarks:

“I would like to thank all of the friends who are with us today as we mark this special occasion. We have a lot to celebrate, a lot to be thankful for. I want to thank everyone here at Cooper Union, this extraordinary treasure. This stage is renowned for over a century and a half as a place where people come together to think and to dream. An extraordinary education is offered here. Curious minds have come here over the generations, people seeking truth. It is the perfect setting to discuss all that our city is capable of. Abraham Lincoln said right here on this stage, ‘Let us have faith that right makes might.’ Continue reading “Bring Them as Eagles”

A Sustainable and Resilient Plan for de Blasio’s Next 100 Days + Iowa Passes Good Samaritan Bill

On Thursday, 04.10.14, the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) held a demonstration on the steps of City Hall calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio, on his 100th day in office, to focus on sustainability and resiliency efforts in his next 100 days. The press conference announced three suggested steps that, if implemented, will better prepare New York City for future climate change and weather-related events. NYLCV President Marcia Bystryn gave the opening remarks and outlined the three milestones that emphasize long-term planning in a post-Sandy New York City:

  • The de Blasio Administration has set 05.01.14 as the deadline to announce its plan to add and preserve 200,000 affordable housing units. These units should be built sustainably and resiliently. They should also include access to transit and parks.
  • The official start of the next hurricane season is 06.01.14. The mayor should initiate a comprehensive plan to ensure that New York is prepared for the next storm and the changing climate.
  • The deadline for a finalized city budget is 06.30.14. Sustainability and resiliency planning must be included in the capital plan, in addition to vital infrastructure repairs. Continue reading “A Sustainable and Resilient Plan for de Blasio’s Next 100 Days + Iowa Passes Good Samaritan Bill”

At ABNY, per aspera

Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke of New York State’s economic resilience at the 3.14.14 lunch of the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) held at Cipriani 42nd Street. After a brief introduction by ABNY President William Rudin, the Governor stated that when he took office, “The economy of New York State was in disarray. And we were paying the price: People and businesses were leaving the state.” He noted that “spending out-paced income in New York State for 50 years. You can’t spend more than you make.” Criticizing spending vs. revenue generation by former Governors Nelson Rockefeller and George Pataki, he held back from a critique of the economic policies of former Governor Mario Cuomo, saying, “I’m still close with his wife.” Continue reading “At ABNY, per aspera”