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December 4, 2007

Lessons from the West Side yards: it's the master plan, not the starchitect

Atlantic Yards Report

AYR contrasts last night's public presentation of five competing plans for the MTA's West Side yards in Manhattan with the lack of public process in the approval of Atlantic Yards.

Norman Oder notes that:

  • There is a big interest in large-scale projects like the West Side yards development (with over one thousand in attendance last night).
  • The plan, and not the architect, is what matters.
  • Frank Gehry never had to publicly present his concepts for the Atlantic Yards.
  • A large development needs multiple styles and multiple architects.
  • None of the plans presented suggest enclosing open space with tall buildings.
  • The proposals would result in a denser development than Atlantic Yards, but not as residentially dense.
  • The Manhattan plans would be built only on MTA property.
  • There is a public process, but it's unclear what, if any, parts of these proposals might be used ultimately.
  • The West Side yards proposals will have to go through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).

and, finally:

Atlantic Yards was proposed (well, publicly announced) four years ago, minus one week. A single-source project like it, on such valuable publicly-owned land, could never be proposed today. We know better.

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Posted by steve at December 4, 2007 6:47 AM