Sewell Chan asks in yesterday's New York Times Can New York Be Too Successful?. His article is a summary of Tuesday nights' Municipal Art Society panel discussion titled "The Oversuccessful City, part 1: Developer's Realities". He says that no-one on the panel argued that the city, or any city, can be too successful, but that this was unsurprising given that it was a "panel of developers."
Chan summarizes the main discussion points as affordable housing, out-of-scale development and the power of the city government to be forward-looking in its approach to provision of housing for current and future New Yorkers. Other issues included the decline of manufacturing in New York and the conversion of former industrial zones on the waterfront into high-rise luxury condominiums.
Many of the questions from the audience on the night also referred to affordable housing and if and how the city should mandate a certain percentage of all new housing construction to be affordable. The question of how to provide affordable housing for the city's middle classes was also raised, but was ignored by the panelists. The sense one was left with at the end of the Q&A session from the considerable ire of some of the audience was that the city was proving to be overly successful for those in real estate and construction, and very much less so for those making low and middle incomes.
Many of these points are debated further in the comments section below the article on the Timeswebsite, but if you attended the program and want to tell us what you thought of the discussion, feel free to comment below.
Difference of Opinion
For more on the panel, and a different interpretation of the feeling of the audience. Check out Norman Oder's take, at AtlanticYardsReport.com.
If you were unable to attend on Tuesday, or just need a reminder of what was said, you can listen to the full audio recording of the program here.