The Downzoning Uprising... In NYC

The neighborhood preservation movement has arrived in New York City, and residents are pushing back against ever-increasing density.
October 11, 2005, 6am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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As the City is forecasted to increase its population from 8.1 million to 8.4 million by 2010, 'rezonings' are occuring more frequently throughout the City.

"There is already a shortage of housing that moderate and middle-income people can afford. So the push for downzoning pits the rights of neighborhoods against the city's broader need to equitably accommodate its growth.

...In what some housing experts are calling "the downzoning uprising," communities throughout the city want to see an end to an influx of apartments, additional people, and what they consider McMansions - and to preserve neighborhoods of limestone town houses, 1950's ranch houses, even humble wood-frame houses wrapped in aluminum siding.

...The downzoning issue also underscores the ambivalence of many New Yorkers toward density. New Yorkers celebrate the city's vitality, changeability and allure, and many recognize density as somehow crucial to New York's energy and life. Yet they balk at the prospect of too much density and change close to home -- their homes."

Thanks to Irvin Dawid

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Published on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 in The New York Times
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