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May 26, 2006

Extreme density: Atlantic Yards plan would dwarf Battery Park City, other projects

Another must-read post from Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder pokes around NYC and crunches some numbers to try to understand how Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards proposal "stacks up" against our city's other highrise residential developments.

It turns out that the Atlantic Yards proposal would bring more apartments per acre than any other major development he could find. [Using "number of apartments" is a way to approximate the important issue of population density.]

How big should the Atlantic Yards project be (or, for that matter, any project over the railyards)? If you compare AY to other major developments around the city, it would include more than twice as many apartments per acre than at Stuyvesant Town and Battery Park City, and thus a much more dense population--one that would surpass the turn-of-the-century Lower East Side.

PROJECT NAME   # OF APTS.   ACRES   APTS./ACRE
PC Village/Stuy Town 11,250 80 140.6
Battery Park City now 9000 92 97.8
Battery Park City later 14,000 92 152.2
Starrett at Spring Creek   5881 153 38.4
Co-op City 15,372 300 51.2
Lefrak City 5000 40 125
Atlantic Yards, 5/06 6860 20 343

NoLandGrab: Look who just caught on! (Hey we're bloggers not urban planners.)

Project critics have been comparing Atlantic Yards to the superblock development projects of the past, as a way to conveniently grasp the size of the proposal and understand the effects of street closings.

However, Ratner's proposal is a MAJOR break from the traditional superblock paradigm, which used highrise towers to maximize open space in an attempt to improve quality of life.

Ratner appears to be using highrise towers to maximize profit. With a very low open-space ratio, this project's density is off the charts in comparison to other residential housing projects and may be the first "extreme-density high-rise project."

Are there ANY urban planning principles guiding the fundamental Atlantic Yards design, except to say that "extreme density" is necessary to insure profitability?

Posted by lumi at May 26, 2006 11:01 AM