The current mild winter, without the habitual annoyance of your feet tracking snow all over the apartment, could excuse some hard-nosed New Yorkers for not giving two hoots about global warming.
However today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced that 29 recommendations aimed at making the city’s buildings more sustainable have been drafted into law. Eight more recommendations are currently being codified.
Design Within Reach?
One of the cornerstones of the Bloomberg administration’s PlaNYC 2030 was ensuring every New Yorker lived within 10 minutes of a park. That is tricky, real estate being the valuable commodity that it is, so building new parks is not always easy—we had to construct one on a derelict railway, for godsakes!
So the administration came up with the clever idea of opening up city schoolyards to the community after school. Today in Jackson Heights, Mayor Bloomberg and the Parks Department celebrated the 200th playground opening.
Last month, Mayor Bloomberg stood in a shiny white conference room inside Department of Buildings headquarters on lower Broadway, two blocks from City Hall. He was surrounded by some of his top deputies and a giant flatscreen monitor mounted on the wall. Welcome to the Hub, a new high-tech system that allows the city’s architects and engineers for the first time to interface with plan examiners at the 17 different departments with oversight of their projects simultaneously.
“We all heard horror stories about delays in the approval process that cost time and money,” Mayor Bloomberg told reporters.
Standing at the podium beside the buildings commissioner and landmarks chair, closer to the mayor than the reps for the Real Estate Board and developer the Related Companies, was a striking woman in a black tweed dress and gray cardigan.
Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, along with her members at the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects, where she is currently serving as president, have told the city more of these horror stories than anyone else, and it was through their advocacy, their lobbying, that encouraged the mayor and the Department of Buildings to create the Hub.
Another interesting component of Bloomberg’s update to PlaNYC: the mayor has said that he wants to reduce reliance on landfills by converting solid waste into energy.
Some are referring to this as “burning garbage,” which may be overstating the issue a bit. The new PlaNYC plan mentions that the city Read More
Despite high rhetoric on green buildings, New York lags other cities like Chicago and Portland. Read More
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recent announcement that he would seek a third term as mayor brings back the issue of term limits and its connection to good government and long-term planning. I am against term limits anywhere, including the American presidency. The 22nd amendment was an anti-democratic, anti-government mistake, just as the term Read More