Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Expectations for New York´s cityscape

Hudson Yards project by Kohn Pedersen Fox assoc. Picture by KPF

¨More than a century ago, the author O. Henry said about New York City, “It’ll be a great place if they ever finish it.” The point, of course, is that the city will never be finished: It’s always been driven by the tireless impulse to tear down and build up. Rather than revel in its history like many cities, New York pushes for the new — though a reverence for the mammoth structures of its industrial glory has led to innovative plans for adaptive reuse. As the Bloomberg years wane and the recession grinds on, a number of high-profile projects remain unfinished. Construction spending (including infrastructure) has dropped in the city from a peak of $33 billion in 2008 to a projected $26 billion this year. New building permits are down considerably; the city issued 2,110 in the first half of 2008, compared to 764 in the first half of this year. “Huge question marks remain, especially for publicly funded projects,” warns Richard Anderson, president of the New York Building Congress. Still, grand ambitions persist. From affordable housing and open space — hallmarks of PlaNYC, one of the mayor’s legacies — to cultural facilities and commercial development, the transformation of the cityscape may slow, but it will never stop.¨

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