On October 28, Fellows joined us for drinks and discussion on the history of zoning in New York City.

Across the country, cities are grappling with their historic zoning policies to provide more housing and economic opportunity for new residents. As a powerful planning tool, zoning influences both the physical and social character of neighborhoods. It has shaped city skylines and directed growth, but it has also separated communities by race and income through exclusionary practices.

In New York City, the Zoning Resolutions of 1916 and 1961 still guide private development through limits on use and parameters for the height and bulk of buildings. Yet certain neighborhoods still face challenges with housing affordability, poor public health, and declining infrastructure. After 100 years and considerable amendments later, does the current zoning resolution meet the most significant challenges facing our city today?

David Karnovsky, V. Mitch McEwen, Jack Robbins, and Ben Carlos Thypin discussed the history and future of zoning in New York City.


Event Photos


About Shape Shift

Ground Rules is the launch event for our Shape Shift series, a year-long inquiry into the current state of planning in New York City. As we approach the mayoral election cycle, the Forum will revisit historic planning shifts, survey international cities, and debate alternative approaches on ways the next mayor should shape the built environment to build a more equitable city.

To learn more, please contact Daniel McPhee, Executive Director, 646-928-0553, daniel@urbandesignforum.org.


Image Credit ↓

Samuel Gottscho / Wikimedia Commons