30 Issues: Density and Sustainable Development

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Apartment and office buildings overlooking the High Line. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

It's Housing and Urban Development Week on the Brian Lehrer Show's election series "30 issues in 30 Days." See the full 30 Issues schedule and archive here.

Charles Bagli, New York Times reporter and author of Other People's Money: Inside the Housing Crisis and the Demise of the Greatest Real Estate Deal Ever Made, discusses how the next mayor would approach development and building infrastructure to account for more density.


Charles Bagli

Comments [8]

jgarbuz from Queens

With 10 billion people soon on earth, the only way to save the earth is for them to live vertically. It's not so new.People lived in pueblos and even caves in mountains. WE just have to see that they are made livable, with police, fire departments, hospitals, shopping malls, swimming pools, etc. inside the buildings. Sunlight will be piped in. Huge HDTVs along the walls will provide whatever views we want to see or be surrounded by. And holograms too.

Oct. 23 2013 01:23 PM
Kim from Greenpoint

What about open space for all of NYC? The views from Greenpoint are a
magical wonder for all - for New Yorkers as well as for international visitors.
Where will natural and manmade inspiration come from if we develop
every square inch of land? How livable is a city with no open space?
Our waterfront should be treated like a national park. New Yorkers
need and deserve to breathe and to restore. Central Park is not enough.
Would Paris put 50 story high rises on the Seine? The glass
monstrosities on the waterfront are in Zone A…a flood zone on city
maps since Hurricane Sandy. Why is it now possible to build towers on a flood zone?
Greenpoint’s community board never approved the rezoning. The
citizens participated for 20 years in a vision for the
Greenpoint-Williamsburg waterfront and submitted a 197A Plan. Bloomberg’s rezoning in 2005
disregarded the citizens' wishes completely.
This development binge is all about lining the pockets of a few and leaving out the other 99%.

Oct. 23 2013 01:09 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

"Up" is the only way to go. Look at Singapore and what they're doing. They even have vertical farms now. It's all 3D now. Mile-high skyscraper cities will be like entire towns and villages. There will be police stations and hospitals and shopping centers all within those skyscraper cities. Maybe rich people will have second homes in suburbs or rural areas, but by the end of this century, 90% of the people on this planet will be living in super-skyscrapers, going down to earth only for special reasons or to take trips to the countryside.
And this will release millions of miles of land back to nature and for farming.

Oct. 23 2013 01:01 PM
bkpeg from brooklyn, ny

Becoming a more and more depressive place: -no air, no sun, eventually won't even be attractive for short term visits--maybe good for shopping only--what a legacy for one of the Great Cities of the World. If more ofc space is so needed, why were so many ofc bldgs converted or demolished for more high-rise slabs of non-descript expensive apts, and for whom? Not satified with turning Manhattan back into granite, the last few decades of mayors and their friends turned their destruction enthusiasm on Brooklyn- and our once quaint neighborhoods-- I used to complain that the Philistines were turning this into Brasilia north... no such luck: Brasilia included planning.

Oct. 23 2013 12:03 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

If we can't upend the zoning in certain areas, can we challenge the development planned for them via the CBs or DOB?

No infrastructure (transport, schools, parks/open space) has been included in any of these mega-swaths of Bloombergian development (Hudson Yards, East Side). For everyone who thinks Bloomberg's steamrolling was "genius," just remember that electeds in Albany were big, ground floor investors on many of these projects. It was a giveaway of epic proportions.

Oct. 23 2013 11:48 AM

This is probably the most important issue in all of nyc. Any other problem would be less of a problem is we were not more and more crammed into this city.

It just makes this town a crappy place to live. Eventually, the rich people will wise up to that, and be gone.

Oct. 23 2013 11:41 AM

High rises on all lots in Manhattan does not sound like a pleasant or livable city.

Sun only by reflection???

Oct. 23 2013 11:28 AM
Chuck from manhattan

Could Mr. Bagli comment on the Mayor's NYCHA infill plan and the Grand Central rezoning? It there a realistic upside to either?

Oct. 23 2013 10:03 AM

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