Opinion: Why Environmentalists Should Support NYC ‘City of Yes’ Zoning Reform

The housing-oriented component of Mayor Eric Adams’ City of Yes proposal could serve the double purpose of making housing more affordable and reducing GHG emissions and car dependency.

1 minute read

April 30, 2024, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


The New York League of Conservation Voters (NYCLV) is calling on conservation-minded New Yorkers to support the City of Yes for Housing Opportunity initiative, arguing that “This zoning proposal will make substantial progress towards addressing NYC’s current housing crisis, and though its name may not suggest it, COY for Housing Opportunity will also bring the city closer to achieving its ambitious climate goals.”

For NYLCV, the proposed zoning reforms serve the double purpose of increasing housing affordability and reducing vehicle miles driven (VMT) and GHG emissions. “And by ingraining walking and public transit use into daily life, TOD promotes cleaner, healthier lifestyles, benefiting New Yorkers and protecting the environment.” 

The initiative will help reduce carbon emissions by encouraging transit-oriented development and reducing parking requirements, according to NYLCV. “Other components of the plan, such as town center zoning (which would work alongside TOD to uplift mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly communities) and residential conversions of non-residential buildings (which would further densify urban cores) will also support the city by creating livelier communities less reliant on pollutive modes of transportation.”

Sunday, April 28, 2024 in New York League of Conservation Voters

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