NECTAR Series on Transportation and Communications Networks Research
Edited by Kenneth Button and Aura Reggiani
Chapter 9: Matching Words and Deeds? How Transit-Oriented are the Bloomberg-Era Rezonings in New York City?
9. Matching words and deeds? How transit-oriented are the Bloombergera rezonings in New York City? Simon McDonnell, Josiah Madar and Vicki Been 9.1 INTRODUCTION New York City’s long-term strategic plan, PlaNYC 2030, envisions a city of over nine million residents by 2030, an increase of about one million over 2000 (City of New York, 2007). Until the 2007 recession hit, the City was well on the way to achieving this with a net increase of 355,000 residents between 2000 and 2008 (US Census Bureau, 2009). To accommodate new residents while simultaneously encouraging economic development opportunities, improving residents’ quality of life and improving the City’s environmental performance, the City has launched an ambitious transportation, land use and planning agenda, much of which is articulated by PlaNYC 2030. A centerpiece of this agenda is focusing development in neighborhoods well served by public transit to reduce dependency on the automobile (Holtzclaw et al., 2002). This, in turn, can reduce automobile-related externalities, such as congestion and air pollution, and help mitigate their negative health, economic and quality of life impacts (Sterner, 2003). Achieving this pattern of development requires not only the availability of transit, but also land use regulations that encourage, or at least permit, relatively dense development near transit stations. Between 2002 and 2009, New York City’s government proposed and enacted 100 significant changes to its zoning code, covering more than 20 per cent of the City’s land area. This unprecedented period of rezoning activity, all under the mayoral administration of Mayor...