Policy group urges retooling of Columbia plan

January 21, 2010 11:59AM

In the wake of the December state Supreme Court judgment denying Columbia University the right to use eminent domain in its $6.3 billion expansion project, the Center for an Urban Future is urging policymakers to take a more aggressive look at how the proposed project could aid the financial landscape of the community. The public research group released a policy brief today criticizing city, state, and school officials for their handling of the Columbia University Manhattanville expansion plan. The report argues that the Columbia proposal did not adequately address the relative economic benefits that the expansion would bring to the Manhattanville community. According to the policy institute, the school should look to other urban academic centers, such as Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburg, when proposing its future expansion. “Many new-campus plans nationally make it possible for businesses that are research partners of the university to operate cheek-by-jowl with new academic space,” a statement from the institute said. “The university’s own investments could prompt private companies based on advanced science and engineering technologies to set up shop nearby.” TRD