City Finally Considering Elimination of Parking Requirements

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Streetsblog reported last week that the Department of City Planning is re-analyzing its minimum parking requirements in certain neighborhoods with good transit access, such as Downtown Brooklyn, Harlem and western Queens.  Currently, the Zoning Resolution requires that parking be provided for almost all new developments throughout all areas of NYC, with the exception of Manhattan below 110th Street and in a limited area in Queens. Continue reading

Just a Suggestion: Task Force Puts Forth 111 Recommendations on How City Regulations Can Promote Sustainability


Earlier this week, the Green Codes Task Force – a group convened in July 2008 by Mayor Bloomberg and Council Speaker Quinn to review the regulations affecting buildings and provide suggestions on amending these regulations to promote sustainability – released their report.

The report covers a wide array of topics, ranging from health and toxicity to energy and water to urban ecology.

The recommendations suggest changes to the general approach to new construction and existing buildings.  Additionally, specific changes to the building code and zoning regulation are suggested.

Some tangible changes that the Task Force recommends are: Continue reading

Will Energy Usage Data Lead to Different Behavior and Alter Investment?

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As expected, the City Council passed the four pieces of legislation that together comprise the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan.  The four bills – lighting, benchmarking, NYC energy conservation code, and energy audits and retro-commission – together aim to lower the energy and water usage of existing buildings in New York City.

We have previously discussed the details of the bills, but a concept behind two of the bills could benefit from further exploration.

The benchmarking bill and submetering component of the lighting bill each aim to produce something that previously had not been readily available – data.  Information about the energy and water usage of a building and its tenants will now be accessible. Continue reading

Brownfield Programs – Coming to NYC!

Have a site but are concerned about potential environmental cleanup? Thinking of purchasing some property for redevelopment but are worried about liability issues relating to contamination? Interested in grants to fund your Phase I and Phase II analyses?

If so, the City of New York has you in mind.
Continue reading