The Observer queried various planners, advocates and economic development professionals on what City Hall could do in the next four years. The responses reveal no dearth of ideas-from cheap to expensive-should the Bloomberg administration opt to freshen its agenda.
What follows is a rather random list, without any specific order, value judgment or weight on feasibility.
Filling Vacant Land
One first stop could be a study that the administration itself commissioned in its second term that outlined a long list of large undeveloped sites that could be the launching pads for future growth. The 2006 study, by planner Alex Garvin, suggested ideas like decking a platform over the Sunnyside rail yards or the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Cobble Hill, and developing along the Bronx and Harlem River waterfronts.
Similarly, financial crisis or not, some urge the widespread private development of the often-underused vacant land in the city's Housing Authority projects.
"With existing zoning, you could build on some of those vast empty spaces," said Hope Cohen, associate director at the Regional Plan Association's Center for Urban Innovation.
Building in courtyards of housing projects? Decking over the Sunnyside Railyards? These sound like really bad ideas and I'd go so far as to say they are absurd.
When will enough be enough?