Accomodating millions in high-density urban zones: OPINION

City can only absorb 700,000 new residents under current zoning, says REBNY's Spinola

TRD New York /
May 29, 2014 06:30 PM

Building high-density urban zones is the best strategy to assure New York City will be able to house the 1 million people expected to migrate to the five boroughs by 2040, says Steven Spinola, REBNY president.

Writing for Real Estate Weekly, Spinola cited a study from Columbia University’s Center for Urban Real Estate that found the city can only absorb 700,000 new residents under current zoning. He warned that if the city fails to develop zoning capacity and market mechanisms for these new New Yorkers, the current housing crisis will only get worse.

The Columbia report pointed out that mega-projects like the Hudson Yards and Atlantic Yards will only make an incremental difference. The study identified parts of western Brooklyn, Queens and the South Bronx as areas that could host similar projects. Spinola singled out the East River shore for development, though he also pointed to the report’s warning that riverside projects must take into account climate change, natural disasters and other related factors.

“Newly created high density, mixed income zones along the East River corridor would blaze new trails in terms of urbanization and economic productivity,” Spinola wrote. [Real Estate Weekly]Tom DiChristopher

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