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Land Use

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In 2030, It'll Be Neil and Lisa's World; We'll Just Live In It

In the two days since Bloomberg unveiled his ambitious vision for the New York of 2030 — frolicking in the Hudson! emissions-free sidewalks! 40 acres and a bagel! — the populace has been galvanized by the initiative, called PlaNYC, judging by the feedback on the promotional website. Or, a least, you know, two New Yorkers have. Here's the feedback — all the feedback — to date:
Neil (Boerum Hill) Seems wasteful to use pure water from upstate reservoirs to spray down a sidewalk or clean a car. Homeowners can cheaply capture and tank run-off from their own property. Perhaps the city can eventually require this. Lisa, age 33 (Park Slope) It's embarrassing that we live in a city surrounded by water but have very little access to it. If waterfront development is going to take place, require those companies to provide working docks and public access to all. Neil, age 34 (Park Slope) One, two, and three family homes make up a huge portion of housing in NYC. These homeowners ought to be encouraged to get off the grid, perhaps installing natural gas powered electric generators that burn clean. New Yorkers should also adopt household mechanical systems in use in other dense cities located in South America, Japan and Europe such as instant hot water heaters and mini kitchen appliances. ...
Oh, you think you're fooling us saying Park Slope instead of Boerum Hill, Neil? (Try "Queens" next time.) But congratulations to you and Lisa! You're like the couple left standing at the end of Brave New World. Go on, remake society in your image. We await your Birkenstock-shod Utopia. PlaNYC Earlier: Bloomberg's Agenda Anything But Lame Duck

In Which Everyone Has Second Thoughts

• The jury is hopelessly deadlocked in the much-covered case of the Long Island samurai-sword murder. The defense's version — that the victim's wife, not the accused stepson, wielded the sword — has apparently raised enough reasonable doubt. [Newsday] • The city's phasing out five low-performing high schools, two in Manhattan and three in Brooklyn. Alumni, shed a tear for dear old Lafayette, Samuel Tilden, South Shore, Urban Peace Academy, and High School for the Physical City (um, huh?). [NYP] • In ever odder education news, City College has named a student center after Assata Shakur — an erstwhile Black Liberation Army militant and convicted cop killer currently residing in Cuba. Some people are less than thrilled. [NYDN] • Mayor Bloomberg is expected to make a "major speech" on sustainability today, which is a big deal in certain wonkish circles. Bloomie will be outlining the city's land-use and traffic goals through the year 2030, when we'll probably all be under water anyway. [Streetsblog] • And remember how Taco Bell said green onions were the source of E. coli and very publicly removed them from the menu? Yeah, well, it was the white onions, mislabeled at the lab. And wait, there's more — the strain of the bacteria found on those was not even the one that caused the local outbreak. Bon appetit. [NYT]

Dan Doctoroff Wanted Olympics, Gets Contaminated Land

There's a well-worn truism about investing in land: It's one thing they're not making more of. Well, Mike Bloomberg is set on overturning that adage. The Bloomberg administration is exploring ways to make more land — or, more precisely, to revamp New York City's current land use, with an eye on potentially freeing up a whopping 1,700 acres for the future generations. The seventeen-member panel, led by our old friend Dan Doctoroff, is especially interested in reclaiming polluted and toxic lands — so-called "brownfields" — through new technologies. Which lands and which technologies? We'll find out by mid-2007, when the panel's findings are made public. Somehow, however, we're sure they'll find plenty of development targets. Doctoroff is, of course, already famous for two massive rezoning projects — Manhattan's far West Side, tied to the failed 2012 Olympic bid, and the Williamsburg-Greenpoint waterfront. Which means he already has plenty of experience with toxic land. Bloomberg Administration Is Developing Land Use Plan to Accommodate Future Populations [NYT]