Brooklyn protestors use “light graffiti” to urge Bill de Blasio to fund long-promised park

(Courtesy Gothamist)

(Courtesy Gothamist)

As AN recently reported, a fire that destroyed a warehouse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn has rekindled questions about a long-promised waterfront park. Back in 2005, Michael Bloomberg rezoned much of Williamsburg and Greenpoint leading to a surge in glassy towers. With those towers was supposed to come Bushwick Inlet Park, a 28-acre green space along the East River. But in the decade since, only parts of the park have been completed.

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How New York City plans to make affordable housing taller and more architecturally interesting

(Flickr / Anthony Quintano)

(Flickr / Anthony Quintano)

Last year, at an event inside David Adjaye’s Sugar Hill affordable housing development in Manhattan, AN asked New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio how architecture and design factored into his overall housing plan. The mayor—who doesn’t elevate public design the way Michael Bloomberg did—said he wants to see new affordable housing buildings that are both “beautiful” and “contextually appropriate.” But, he added, design is about more than aesthetics, it is a tool to be wielded to create dynamic, mixed-use properties. “I think the design question really is about, to me, the functionality—meaning, what we can achieve in a site,” said the mayor.

Continue reading after the jump.

De Blasio administration unveils East New York rezoning to promote affordable housing

Development, East, News, Urbanism
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
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A portion of East New York to be rezoned. (Courtesy Bing)

A portion of East New York to be rezoned. (Courtesy Bing)

The de Blasio Administration has unveiled new details for one of the most significant pieces of its ambitious affordable housing plan: the rezoning of Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood.

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In second State of the City address, Mayor de Blasio focuses on New York City housing

Development, East, Media
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
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Mayor de Blasio delivering his second State of the City address. (NYC MAYOR'S OFFICE)

Mayor de Blasio delivering his second State of the City address. (NYC MAYOR’S OFFICE)

Last year, in his first State of the City address, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would use every tool at his disposal to address economic inequality. He twice repeated a campaign refrain that New York had become a “Tale of Two Cities” where the wealthy do extraordinarily well and everyone else struggles to get by. To change that, the new mayor laid out a host of legislative priorities including an ambitious affordable housing plan that would build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade. One year later, we have an update.

COntinue reading after the jump.

In first year of Vision Zero, NYPD steps up traffic enforcement

An NYPD officer telling a cab driver about New York City's new speed limit. (Courtesy NYC DOT)

An NYPD officer telling a cab driver about New York City’s new speed limit. (Courtesy NYC DOT)

Given the current state of relations between the NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio (spoiler: terrible, horrible, no good, very bad), the mayor has been quick to thank the police force for its strong support of Vision Zero—the mayor’s plan to entirely eliminate traffic fatalities in New York City. The effort is obviously an ambitious one, but a year after it went into effect, de Blasio is able to tout some big successes.

Continue reading after the jump.

New York City to remove 96 sites from landmark consideration

The Pepsi-Cola sign in Long Island City would be "de-calendared by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

This Pepsi-Cola sign in Queens would be “de-calendared” by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. (Flickr / Whiskeygonebad).

In an effort to supposedly streamline New York City’s landmarking process, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) will drop 96 buildings and sites from consideration for historic preservation. These sites span all five boroughs and include Union Square, Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, and the Pepsi-Cola sign in Long Island City (above).

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New York City to get 10,000 free public Wi-Fi portals

A link in the Flatiron District. (Courtesy CityBridge)

A link in the Flatiron District. (Courtesy CityBridge)

New York City is a city like no other. It’s lousy with things to see: architectural icons, world-famous parks, A-list celebrities, pigeons, food carts, and pigeons eating off of food carts. With so many sites, it’s a real bummer that so many New Yorkers walk around the city staring directly into the hollow glow of their phones. This isn’t going to change anytime soon, especially with the de Blasio administration announcing that, starting next year, the city’s dated payphone system will become “the world’s fastest municipal Wi-Fi network.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Tonight> AIANY presents A Changing Landscape: Public Space and the New Administration

Architecture, East
Monday, November 3, 2014
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(Courtesy AECOM)

(Courtesy AECOM)

What is New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s position on design and public space? Does he care about design or think it is simply a prerogative of the city’s middle class populations? It is one the conundrums of the current administration that it wants to create 200,000 units of affordable housing but does not seem to care about the architecture of the buildings or or how they might affect their surrounding neighborhoods. There is much that is laudable in the mayor’s push for new affordable housing, but will all this new construction be a step back from the progressive attitude of the Bloomberg administration concerning the physical and spatial aspects of the city?

These issues—and others of great concern to the city’s design community—will be the topic of discussion tonight at the AIANY’s Center for Architecture on LaGuardia Place in a panel discussion called “A Changing Landscape: Public Space and the New Administration.”

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Mayor de Blasio signs legislation to lower New York City’s default speed limit

Mayor de Blasio signing 25mph legislation. (NYC Mayor's Office)

Mayor de Blasio signing 25mph legislation. (NYC Mayor’s Office)

Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed legislation to lower New York City’s default speed limit from 30 miles per hour to 25. The measure was recently passed by the City Council and is one of the central policy pieces of Vision Zero—the mayor’s plan to eliminate traffic fatalities in the city.

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Faith Rose tapped as Executive Director of New York City’s Public Design Commission

Faith Rose, the new Executive Director of the Public Design Commission. (Courtesy

Faith Rose, the new Executive Director of the Public Design Commission. (Courtesy o’neill rose architects)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed Faith Rose, a former senior design liaison at the Department of Design and Construction (DDC), to lead the city’s Public Design Commission. According to the mayor’s office, in her new role, Rose “will be charged with building on the Public Design Commission’s history of prioritizing the quality and excellence of the public realm, enhancing and streamlining the Commission’s review process, and fostering accessibility, diversity and inclusion in the City’s public buildings and spaces.”

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Wait, what? New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has never been on the High Line

The High Line. (Flickr / HorsePunchKid)

The High Line. (Flickr / HorsePunchKid)

When the final phase of the High Line opened in September, Mayor de Blasio was not there to celebrate—neither was his Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, reported the New York Times. The mayor was off to Pittsburgh that day and Silver apparently had a scheduling conflict so deputies for both men were sent instead. But if the mayor would have made it to the opening, it would have been his first time on the High Line. Ever.

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Mayor de Blasio announces $28 million plan to install solar panels on New York City schools

East, Sustainability, Technology
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
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Mayor de Blasio looking at solar panels in the Bronx. (Twitter/billdeblasio)

Mayor de Blasio looking at solar panels in the Bronx. (Twitter/billdeblasio)

Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled his plan to reduce New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent over 2005 levels by 2050. Needless to say, that’s a pretty ambitious target, but this mayor seems to like ambitious targets—his plan to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade comes to mind. But back to his latest plan, the climate plan.

Continue reading after the jump.

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