Natural light is at the top of the list when New Yorkers think about a building’s livability. Recently at the Municipal Art Society Summit for New York City, Localize.city, an AI powered website that provides insights about every address in New York City, unveiled a shade analysis for every building in the five boroughs. The site’s creators say the analysis gives NYC home hunters a way to really determine just how much light any given address gets.
Through a $75,000 Urban Forestry Grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Prospect Park Alliance recently surveyed about 12,000 of the park’s 30,000 trees. The survey provides a nuanced picture of the park’s ever-changing ecosystem and important insights into the economic, environmental and health benefits of “Brooklyn’s backyard.” You can view an interactive map of Prospect Park’s trees and their benefit to the community here; you can also examine the results on the Prospect Park TreeKeeper Interactive Map.
Early designs for Central Park. Image courtesy of the National Park Service, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site.
When thinking of influential creators of New York City’s most memorable places, it’s hard not to imagine Frederick Law Olmsted near the top of the list. Considered to be the founder of landscape architecture–he was also a writer and conservationist–Olmsted was committed to the restorative effects of natural spaces in the city. Perhaps best known for the wild beauty of Central and Prospect Parks, his vast influence includes scores of projects such as the Biltmore estate, the U.S. Capitol grounds and the Chicago World’s Fair. In preparation for the bicentennial of Olmsted’s 1822 birth, the Library of Congress has made 24,000 documents providing details of Olmsted’s life available online, Smithsonian reports. The collection includes journals, personal correspondence, project proposals and other documents that offer an intimate picture of Olmsted’s private life and work. The collection is linked to an interactive map at Olmsted Online showing all Olmsted projects in the United States (and there are many). You can search the map according to project name, location, job number and project type.
As a beta project created by the NYC Department of City Planning, Metro Region Explorer enables you to explore population, housing, and employment trends within the Tri-State New York City Metropolitan Region. The map was developed as part of an ongoing commitment to providing better public access and as a way to better understand information about planning issues that affect the city as well as the region, as many planning challenges are interconnected with the realities of the larger area surrounding the city’s core.
Image: Michael Vadon via Flickr
In 1962, nine of the world’s tallest buildings were south of 59th Street in Manhattan–and things hadn’t changed much by 1981 when five of the tallest towers were concentrated on the same tiny island, which, with Chicago’s three, gave the U.S. nine of the world’s top 10 tallest skyscrapers. If you added Toronto’s entry that made 10. Today, the only U.S. entry the top ten is lower Manhattan’s One World Trade Center. This same tiny island though, is still number two in the world when it comes to concentration of tall towers.
You might be frantically putting the finishing touches on the Thanksgiving feast, stockpiling the “homemade” cookies you’ll bring for dessert, or making sure you’ve got the local pizza joint on speed dial, but Google News Lab knows what you’re up to, of course. Based on data from Google Maps and an analysis of the number of times people request directions to a location, you can find out how fellow New Yorkers (or Angelinos, or Baltimoreans) are planning to spend the precious hours of holiday weekend time.
New development visualized through 2020, via CityRealty
According to CityRealty’s 2017 Manhattan New Development Report, things are really going to heat up over the next few years. While new development sales dropped to $8.3 billion in 2017 from $9.4 billion in 2016 (attributed to a softening in the luxury market), there are a number of new big-time buildings that will commence closings and have the potential to drive total sales up to a whopping $11.9 billion by 2020. One key player is Extell Development’s One Manhattan Square on the Lower East Side. With 815 apartments, it will be the largest condo by unit count ever constructed in the city. And up on Billionaires’ Row, Extell’s Central Park Tower will have the city’s biggest sell-out ever at $4 billion, while Vornado’s 220 Central Park South is looking to set the record for highest price per square foot ever in NYC.
6sqft has reported previously on the increasing alarm caused by New York City’s future skyline and its growing army of skyscrapers-to-be, with community groups expressing deep concern about the shadows cast across the city’s parks by the tall towers. The Municipal Art Society (MAS) has been leading the pack when it comes to thorough analysis of the issue, which they see as having its roots not only in the sheer height of the new buildings but in a lack of regulation of how and where they rise in the larger context of the city. This “accidental skyline” effect reflects the fact that New York City currently has no restrictions on the shadows a tower may cast–the city doesn’t limit height, it only regulates FAR (floor area ratio). At this week’s MAS Summit for New York City, the organization released its third Accidental Skyline report, calling for immediate reform in light of an unprecedented boom in as-of-right–and seemingly out-of-scale–development. MAS president Elizabeth Goldstein said, “New York doesn’t have to settle for an ‘accidental skyline.’”
Photo via Wikimedia
While in July Mayor Bill de Blasio touted his Housing New York initiative for creating the most affordable housing units since 1989, housing advocates are questioning how many of these units actually match the need of the most rent-burdened New Yorkers. According to a new analysis by the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD), city residents with the lowest income continue to be the most under-served by the affordable units created and/or preserved under de Blasio’s plan in every borough except Staten Island. New infographics from ANHD break down the share of each borough’s rent burdened population at each income level in comparison to the percentage of units created by de Blasio’s plan that serves them.
When looking for that perfect city abode, apartment hunters often create a list of must-have amenities that also fit within a budget. Now, thanks to Priceonomics and Renthop, you can determine which apartment features have the greatest impact on the overall rent. While the number of bedrooms and bathrooms drive up rent prices the most, the research found that having a doorman, an elevator, available parking and/or laundry-in-building most likely would increase the total rent. In a closer look at NYC, the data shows having a doorman creates the biggest increase of rent in the city, adding about $260 each month.