Redeveloping Open Space to Revive Housing Projects

Public housing projects have been a thorn in the paw of New York City for years. The city is trying to figure out what to do with the perennially problem-plagued housing projects. Some groups say redevelopment is the answer.

"[W]ith nearly 180,000 apartments spread over five boroughs, NYCHA is New York's largest landlord. And in a city where housing for low- and moderate-income people is so desperately needed, public housing provides a vital service. Even if the buildings are getting old. Even if the elevators don't always work. Even if the vast superblocks typical of most housing projects are banal in design, barren of amenity and often empty and intimidating at night.

This year, an international team of graduate students from the University of Michigan Master of Urban Design Program spent a semester exploring the redevelopment potential of public housing projects on the Lower East Side, one of the greatest concentrations of such projects in the country."

The students suggest redeveloping the projects' open space, which accounts for more than 80% of their land area.



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