MAS Summit for the City Live Blog: Day 2

Welcome back to Day 2 of the 2012 Municipal Art Society Summit for New York City.  Untapped Cities is proud to be a media sponsor. In addition to  live tweets,  Instagram feed  and an ongoing  Branch conversation  on the livability of your neighborhoods, we’ll be live blogging on this page. For a recap of yesterday’s speakers and panels, check out our Live Blog from Day 1.

4:15 MAS Short Talk: The Lowline, Dan Barasch & James Ramsey  The Lowline project aims to create an underground garden in the space of the abandoned trolley tunnels underneath Delancey Street. New York exists on top of an older city on top of an older city on top of an older city, and sometimes we overlook the fact that there are so many layers to see. The Williamsburg Trolley was built in 1908 and was abandoned in 1944 when automobiles made streetcars obsolete. The Lower East Side is one of the least green neighborhoods in New York City, but we can use technology to develop green space. By funneling light underground from above, it’s possible to grow plants. The Lowline has the potential to change the economic development of the Lower East Side from a place where people go to eat and drink to a more diverse neighborhood. Solar panels would filter light into the underground space, just like the prototype shows in the Lowline Exhibit at the Essex Street Market. Over 11,000 visitors showed up to the exhibition. The idea of the Lowline is transformative for a neighborhood and can also be transported to other cities.

4:01 MAS Short Talk: Why Lower Manhattan, and Why Now? Elizabeth Berger  Historically, creative professionals accepted long commutes from Connecticut or New Jersey, but right now young professionals prefer to live within a 30 minute commute of Lower Manhattan. More professionals today live in the East Village, Lower East Side and Chinatown than in Long Island, Westchester and the Metro area. The areas that show the most growth are all on the subway or Path lines, not commuter trains. Lower Manhattan is equipped to receive the huge growth in population with subway lines, bike lanes, etc. Many companies who want to attract the region’s best and brightest workers have already moved to Lower Manhattan.

2:15 Techno-Planning: Friend or Foe? Using Technology to Democratize Urban Planning  Information spreads through time and space. The data gathered by start-up companies like Bit.ly could not have been gathered five years ago. It’s the largest collection of human gossip in the world. In addition to the democratization of data, there’s the rise of the Maker Movement. People want to take creation back into their own hands. The central point of control isn’t in one place. These types of companies are changing the role of the city government, which is being streamlined. Federal government policy states that if there’s a better way to address city planning in the private sector, then let the private sector do it. Government should serve as an adjudicator. The government is trying to open itself up to the tech start-ups in the private sector in order to learn from what the leaders in the field are doing best. Policy issues need to catch up to what’s possible today. It’s important to disrupt the status-quo in order to promote progress. There are things we can learn from how open source technology is built for how to plan cities.

2:05 Untapped Cities Founder Michelle Young  The goal of Untapped Cities is to bridge the gap between the academic discussion surrounding urbanism, planning and preservation and the larger public. We’re working on citizen journalism, enabling us to provide an outlet for both expert and hobby writers where they can share news about their cities. We’re helping people hone their skills in writing, photographing and editing. If you want to get involved in Untapped Cities, just contact us.

1:42 Christine Quinn speaks with Robin Pogregin (New York Times) Addressing the tension between preservation and development. The Hudson Yards Project brought re-zoning problems to light. There has to be a balance between when to tear buildings down in order to build anew and when to preserve the existing structure. Development must continue side by side what’s already there. The government is concerned about affordable housing. We need to make sure there is permanent affordable housing and that its quality doesn’t degenerate. Exploring the possibility of affordable housing for artists.

12:05  Derek Ballantyne, CEO Toronto Community Housing Corporation  thoughts about Toronto: deep engagement, investment in community assets, diverse inclusive communities, long-term managemnt of these communities.

11:42  Daniel Doctoroff The cycle of a successful city: more people come, more money, invest in the city, quality of life. A list of mayoral qualifications for the next administration in order to ensure the future success of New York City. Suggestion of future projects: light rail in Queens, Sunnyside yards decking to create a transportation hub, potential Olympic stadium?

11:20 Sustainability: Lessons for Greening Historic Buildings  Showing how improvements can be made to structures like row houses to increase sustainability.

10:50 The Future of Preservation: How does it Enhance Livability  Panel discussing the differences across the historic observation field, and how they create places that enhance community.

10:40  Election 2012 and What’s at Stake: The Federal Government and the Future of the New York City  Cities aren’t the focus of the  federal government conversations.  Fiscal policy will determine the financial success  of cities. The policies and political entities need to look at cities as a cohesive asset. We need an agency that’s looking for access to opportunity. – Panelist Discussion

10:20 Dong Ping Wong, + Pool  The project is not only engaging the public with the river that has helped define New York, but the architecture functions beyond interactivity and adds clean water back into the river.

10:19  Livability and Resilience in the Global City  If we can figure out how to recover an estuary in Jamaica Bay, we can figure this out globally. This will help to make this population around this area stronger, smarter, and more resilient. -Edwin Torres

9:45  Janno Lieber, President World Trade Center Properties  The old world trade center reflected the modernist perspective. The new world trade center synthesizes varied views and offering a collaborative environment. It also is located where the creative white collar jobs are growing in New York City.

9:18  Norman Foster, Founder and Chairman, Foster + Partner  Discussing the needs of office space which have changed over time. It is recognized that there needs to be a variety of types of office space to account for the evolution of work spaces.

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