Seeking Visions for the Future of Design and Planning in NYC

Looking back on the remarkable transformation of urban life in New York during Mayor Bloomberg's administration, William Menking wonders what the next mayor will do to support design and planning in the city.
March 21, 2012, 8am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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While all of the credit for the "transformation in how citizens move about, experience, and live in the city" cannot be given to the mayor, Menking does acknowledge that "Mayor Bloomberg's administration made a conscious effort to bring architectural and urban design thinking into city government more than at any time since Robert Moses and John Lindsay in the late 1960s."

With Mayor Bloomberg's tenure scheduled to end next year, Menking is beginning to get anxious about where design and planning will find themselves under the next administration. "We have heard almost nothing from Quinn and the two or three other likely candidates about their potential policies."

A model for Menking's desire to hear more from the candidates might be found in the just concluded Mayoral Candidate Forum, hosted over five consecutive Friday evenings by the AIA Los Angeles. The public forums, moderated by Los Angeles City Planning Commission President, Bill Roschen, and Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic, Christopher Hawthorne, were an incredible opportunity to engage the five candidates, one at a time, on a range of topics important to the design and planning community.

Although some candidates displayed more mastery of the politics and language of design and development than others (you can see video of each event here), the forum surely proved the importance of such issues to Angelenos, and began what will hopefully remain on ongoing discussion with whomever succeeds Mayor Villaraigosa.

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Published on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 in The Architect's Newspaper
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