Reshaping New York

Land Use


This week the New York Times published on its website the online interactive feature “Reshaping New York”, which provides a brief interactive tour depicting how New York City’s physical landscape has changed in the last 12 years.  This interesting piece highlights the vast physical changes that have occurred throughout the city during Bloomberg’s tenure as Mayor using graphics and photographs.

First, the interactive feature highlights the significant boom in residential housing that took place, and notes that “New York has added 40,000 new buildings since Bloomberg took office, and the census counted an additional 170,000 housing units in 2010, up from 10 years earlier, more than any other city.”

Second, the feature notes that one third of the city was rezoned under the Mayor’s tenure, and such rezoning is credited for creating opportunities for high-density growth along subway corridors while preserving low-density neighborhoods.

Third, the feature goes on to highlight the shift in focus from the automobile to the bicycle.    Numerous bike lanes, extracted from the city’s roadways, were added, as well as curbs and medians to separate bicycles from automobiles.  The shift to the bicycle went even further this year when the Citi-bike bike-sharing system was added.

Fourth, the feature focuses on the gentrification of neighborhoods, like Harlem, that had been home to minorities and those with lower incomes. While the inclusion of affordable units was encouraged under the Mayor’s tenure, the poor were pushed out as housing prices rose.

Fifth, the feature looks at the administration’s focus on the revitalization and redevelopment of the city’s waterfront.

To see the interactive feature, please click here.


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