Saturday, March 14, 2009

Harsh reality setting in

From Next American City via DDDB:

Ron Shiffman, a professor at the Pratt Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment and a former commissioner at the New York City Planning Commission [says], “There are empty lots where luxury condos were planned,” he says. “Now we see that this idea that we would always have an unending supply of the wealthy is wrong, and we see that we need to diversify the way we are building our cities.” His suggestion for the empty lots? Tree nurseries. Money may be running dry, but ideas surely aren’t. An expensive glass window is no crystal ball, but look through it into a vacant room and you may be able to read the future: Cities can’t depend on trophy towers, or what happens inside of them, for sustainable economic development.

Photo from AM-NY.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ron Shiffman, a professor at the Pratt Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment and a former commissioner at the New York City Planning Commission ...

WELL THAT SAYS IT ALL.

Snake Plissskin said...

Harsh reality has not set in.

Building frenzy (and city planning activities) in Queens continues unabated.

This is while cutbacks to communities runs deep.

Anonymous said...

Tree nurseries? In polluted urban areas? Pretty difficult. Many species are acutely sensitive to pollution. That is why the Parks Department limits the number of species it plants.

Perhaps they can grow Ginkos, Pin Oaks and other very hardy species to use in parks and ballfields. I'm not sure whether they are pulling our legs.

Perhaps a better idea for some of these empty lots is as victory gardens. Burpee's offers a "money garden" for $10.00 that will produce several hundred dollars worth of food in a small space.

Lino said...

"..unending supply of the wealthy is wrong.."

This really is something of a misconception. While many of those buying/subletting those condos would be considered wealthy in my other city (Bangkok) here they are often pressed balls-to-the-wall to make it every month.

I personally know people in my apt bldg here in Manhattan who had zero reserves and when they lost their job also lost their apartment within two-three months.

You might say that its stupid to live someplace that requires two+ weeks of your monthly income just for rent/mortgage (I agree)..but that is reality for many of those "tower people".

Just last weekend a woman in her 50s, a corporate lawyer lost her apt after losing her job late last year. I saw some of her possessions out in the service alcove, including a an HP color laser printer w/jammed paper that turned out to be a copy of her resume. I kept the printer.

My building now has 11% vacancy. No one can remember it being this high.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Astoria or Long Island City.

Time to replace an 'inefficent' use of land with Tower People and Immigrant Barracks.

Anonymous said...

“Now we see that this idea that we would always have an unending supply of the wealthy is wrong, and we see that we need to diversify the way we are building our cities.”
-----------------------------------
These geniuses are finally waking up to that reality, when that has been the recurring sentiment on Queens Crap since Crappy started this thing of ours!

Missing Foundation said...

“Now we see that this idea that we would always have an unending supply of the wealthy is wrong,
--------

Except that for the waterfront landgrab by developers most of Queens is being set up to be immigrant barracks for the wealthy service industry of Manhattan.

As the rich get wealthier, and the poor increasingly stressed we will see the building demand for this 'market' (as it is) in Queens rampped up.

Anonymous said...

Tree nurseries? In polluted urban areas? Pretty difficult. Many species are acutely sensitive to pollution.

()()()()()

Guys, they are not being serious. Anything to keep it paying taxes and out of the hands of the vest pocket park nuts that will fight development once things take off.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering about that. But I have seen so many absurdities the last few years, i.e., the Internet boom with 23 year olds being given millions to lose, people with no income given enormous mortgages, rampant overdevelopment suited to the needs of 1% of the population, that I can't tell satire from insanity anymore.

As Emily Dickenson had it, "Much madness is divinest sense to the discerning eye, much sense the starkest madness, in this as all majority prevail. Assent--your sane, demure and straightaway your dangerous and handled with a chain."

Miles Mullin said...

DAMN!

and they call US Archies!

Anonymous said...

A Coney Island metaphor...
the Cyclone roller coaster:

You may have bought a ticket to the ol' gal but what goes up must come down and eventually you come to the end of that joy exciting ride!

Bye...bye all of you wannabee
millionaires from Kansas!

I'll bet a lot of those "Tower" people in LIC must be planning their exodus back to the boonies from whence they came.

Sorry....but NYC has just ran out of money along with high end employment opportunities!

Anonymous said...

AFFORDABLE HOUSING!!!