Big Plans Lack Vision and Ambition in New York

In this piece from The New York Times criticizes plans for a railyard redevelopment in Manhattan as overblown and lacking architectural ambition.

"Given current economic realities, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's selection on Wednesday of a team led by Tishman Speyer to develop the West Side railyards seems like a wishful fantasy. Yet even if the project takes decades to realize, it is a damning indictment of large-scale development in New York."

"Like the ground zero and Atlantic Yards fiascos, its overblown scale and reliance on tired urban planning formulas should force a serious reappraisal of the public-private partnerships that shape development in the city today. And in many ways the West Side railyards is the most disturbing of the three. Because of its size and location - 12.4 million square feet on 26 acres in Midtown - it will have the most impact on the city's identity. Yet unlike the other two developments, it lacks even the pretense of architectural ambition."

"On the contrary, as a money-making venture conceived by a cash-starved transit authority, it signals a level of cynicism that should prod us to demand a moratorium on all such development until our public officials return to their senses."

Full Story: Profit and Public Good Clash in Grand Plans

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
DVD Cover of The Story of Sprawl

The Story of Sprawl

See how America changed shape in this collection of historic films that visually document how sprawl evolved.
$29.99 for 2-DVD SET
poster

A Short History of America

From comic book artist Robert Crumb, poster shows how the built environment has changed throughout the decades.
$14.95