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December 20, 2007

The AY omission in the Jane Jacobs exhibit, some contentions, and the lesson of skepticism

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder concludes his two-part, two-day examination of the Municipal Art Society's Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York exhibit by taking issue with the absence of Atlantic Yards from the physical exhibit (it does pop up rather frequently in the companion book, Block by Block), and offering his own Jacobsian critique of the controversial project:

Beyond that, I’d observe that it’s a stretch to consider Atlantic Yards a downtown anyone would want to visit. It’s basically an arena (plus Urban Room) attached to a modern-day (and improved) Stuyvesant Town, with retail at its base. Sure, some people might visit the Urban Room and the open space when there’s programming, but a tiny spot of lawn would not a borough magnet make.

Rather, Atlantic Yards is part of a fabric of mostly luxury housing developing in Downtown Brooklyn and beyond; it would not create that downtown core. (There would be significantly more affordable housing than in other nearby developments, but the pace and provision is hardly guaranteed, most isn't geared to the poor, and it came in a private deal for increased density.)

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Posted by lumi at December 20, 2007 11:33 AM