From the Wall Street Journal:
In the coming decades, New York could confront a problem many cities would love to have: too many people and nowhere to put them.
The city is expected to add one million more residents by 2040, but there likely won't be room for hundreds of thousands of them unless a small city of new housing is built, according to a report by a Columbia University think tank.
The most logical location for all this new housing: the city's waterfront neighborhoods, including Long Island City and Willets Point in Queens, Red Hook in Brooklyn and the Financial District, according to the report by the Center for Urban Real Estate at Columbia University.
Whether residents want more apartments in their neighborhoods remains to be seen. In places such as Williamsburg where Bloomberg administration rezonings brought new residents, the result has been subway cars so packed that commuters wait for several trains to pass, lengthy kindergarten wait lists and promised parks that have yet to be delivered. The city has also yet to master the art of making tightly packed blocks of new glass towers feel like neighborhoods, rather than sterile enclaves.
Finding places for new people in the city isn't as simple as putting development in less-dense neighborhoods. More than a quarter of the city's housing is in single-family structures, meaning there's still plenty of room to go up to accommodate more people.
But in many of those areas prices aren't high enough to justify the cost of building new 40-story towers. It's unclear, for example, whether there's enough demand for the 10,000 to 15,000 units the report said could be accommodated along Queens Boulevard, a 12-lane thoroughfare through the heart of the borough.
That much of the development would be along the waterfront raises serious questions after superstorm Sandy, when residents in Lower Manhattan, Long Island City and Red Hook were out of their homes for weeks or months.