The former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, announced a new philanthropic project on Monday aimed at investing and empowering the country’s cities. The $200 million program, called the American Cities Initiative, will help mayors push for policies that deal with climate change, gun violence, public health and immigration. As the New York Times reported, a major component of Bloomberg’s project will be a “Mayors Challenge,” which will award six-and seven-figure grants to mayors who draft interesting policy proposals.
Waterfront Alliance’s ‘Harbor Scorecard’ says if your NYC neighborhood is at risk for severe flooding, Fri, June 2, 2017
This week marked the beginning of hurricane season and experts predict storms will be worse than usual, especially following President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord on Thursday. To better inform New Yorkers about the risks of rising sea level and storm surges, the Waterfront Alliance, a nonprofit that works to protect waterfronts, released a Harbor Scorecard, as reported by the Brooklyn Eagle. The interactive scorecard lets users view each neighborhood by its waterfront safety and coastal resiliency. The group found that more than 400,000 New Yorkers face a 50 percent risk of a major flood by 2060.
The Shed via Wikipedia
Michael R. Bloomberg has added a $75 million contribution to what the New York Times calls “New York’s first new cultural institution in recent memory,” the arts center known as The Shed, part of the new Hudson Yards development on Manhattan’s far west side. The former mayor’s gift brings the total raised for the project to $421 million of its $500 million capital campaign. The new arts center has gotten much of its funding from a small group of billionaires that includes Related Companies’ Stephen M. Ross and media mogul Barry Diller. Set for completion in 2019, the eight-level structure, designed by Diller Scofidio & Renfro in partnership with the Rockwell Group, will host performances, concerts, visual art, music and other events.
New York clocks in more steps on average than any other state in the country, and that number is most definitely skewed by New York City where more residents hit the pavement than the gas pedal. But in a town that’s seemingly dominated by pedestrians, car culture maintains the right of way. According to Vision Zero, NYC’s program to reduce traffic-related fatalities, being struck by a vehicle is the leading cause of injury-related death for children under 14, and the second leading cause for seniors.
Providing more public space for pedestrians has become an increasing concern for the city over the last decade, and as such, a multitude of plans have been put forward to create sanctuaries from traffic or to reconfigure streets to keep people safe. But beyond preventing traffic accidents, by planting more trees, expanding sidewalks and bike paths, and installing seating, these urban renewal projects have also been key in promoting walking, biking, health and ultimately a more desirable and habitable New York City.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to make a proposal on Wednesday that will launch an initiative to transform Downtown Brooklyn into a community that will rival some of its brownstone counterparts. The area has undoubtedly grown significantly over the last decade with new restaurants and cultural institutions that have attracted an influx of residents. However locals feel that the area still feels a bit disconnected. De Blasio’s plan aims to create a greater sense of community in the neighborhood.
What is it they say about one man’s trash being another man’s treasure? Well, after failed attempts to stop construction of the Upper East Side‘s inevitable new garbage dump, community groups have chosen the next best route: give the dump a makeover. That’s so Upper East Side, isn’t it? The idea, according to the NY Daily News, is to transform the garbage-transfer station into a community park. The plan, a collaboration with Sam Schwartz Engineering, would relocate a quarter-mile long garbage truck ramp to the side of the Asphalt Green complex. The ramp would be covered by a green High Line-esque walkway.
The city has officially approved a $3 million streetscaping plan as part of the overall plan to create a cultural district on the border of downtown Brooklyn and Fort Greene, according to Crain’s New York. The plan, which will transform public spaces along several streets including Fulton Street, Ashland Place, Lafayette Avenue, will include ripping up the existing sidewalks and replacing them with dark stone slabs embedded with a sprinkling of lights. There will also be new seating and landscaping along a number of blocks north of Atlantic Avenue where patrons of popular institutions like the Brooklyn Academy of Music and BRIC arts and media gather. The idea is to turn that area into a cultural epicenter in Brooklyn, much like Lincoln Center in Manhattan, but comprised of several independent entities.
It looks like the Chrysler Building is about to get a new neighbor. According to the New York Times, SL Green has reportedly proposed the development of a 1,200-foot, 65-story tower that would occupy the block between 42nd and 43rd Streets, and Vanderbilt and Madison Avenues. This proposal will have to undergo a review process as part of a new de Blasio administration plan to rezone an area of Vanderbilt Avenue for larger buildings.
De Blasio’s proposal is a 2.0 version of a failed bid by Michael Bloomberg that would rezone an area around Grand Central Terminal. Bloomberg’s proposal – which would affect a 73-block area around the terminal – concerned officials and preservationists, who were concerned that the plan would add to the congestion in the area. Fulfilling one of his campaign promises, de Blasio has devised a plan to mitigate those issues as well as keep the city competitive for decades to come, by creating more office space in the prime business location.