Quote of the Day: Ron Shiffman on Urban Planning

Ron Shiffman/ photo by Chris Hanby/CC BY 2.0

Constance Rosenblum of the New York Times interviews Brooklyn urban planner who was " a Park Sloper long before the Slope was chic". Shiffman co-founded the Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development in 1964 and is still at it. From the Interview:

Q In terms of being a green building, what’s better — a tower or low-rise?

A It’s not an issue. You can have low-rise buildings that are environmentally sound — look at Sunnyside Gardens in Queens, with its interior courtyards. But although density is important, the solution isn’t just to create more density. Parts of New York are too dense. There has to be optimal density, and that depends on a proper infrastructure.

Q What’s your answer to New Yorkers who don’t believe that climate change is a problem?

A I’d reframe the argument. I’d ask them: Do you want to pay less for energy? Do you want to live in a building with more light and fresher air? Do you want a cleaner city, one with less soot? Do you want to have to depend on a car to get around, especially as you get older, the way you do in places like New Rochelle? Set aside the issue of climate change. Think about what will make your living conditions better.

More in the New York Times

Tags: New York City | Urban Life | Urban Planning

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