How Can Historic Preservation Be More Inclusive? Learning From New York City’s Historic Districts
Historic preservation policies uphold the cultural heritage of a city while also impacting the social and economic landscape of the neighborhoods preserved. This chapter describes findings from analyses that compare New York City neighborhoods which received historic designations with comparable ones that did not. To broaden the agenda of the preservation community, the authors describe effects seen in work done by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission ever since it was created in 1965. They advocate for a closer look at the impact historic preservation has on equity, diversity, and inclusion.
The Latest Reform Proposal for the 421-a Program
This report analyzes the potential impact of the most recent reform proposal for the 421-a program on housing development in New York City, which is currently under consideration by the New York State Legislature. In evaluating the proposal, the report finds that the proposed 421-a program’s increase in tax exemption exceeds the additional affordable housing benefit by $2.6 to $5.7 million for a 300-unit building. The report also finds that the higher tax break for developers may support a 10-18% rise in hard construction costs without affecting long-term financial returns.
Fifty Years of Historic Preservation in New York City
This white paper offers a detailed overview of the process of designation and the spread of historic districts and landmarks throughout New York City. In addition, it provides additional analyses comparing the land uses, building types, commercial uses, and population in historic districts with those attributes of nearby neighborhoods and lots. A summary of the white paper's findings is available in the accompanying policy brief of the same name.
Policy Brief: Fifty Years of Historic Preservation in New York City
This policy brief compares the development characteristics, housing stock, demographic characteristics, and commercial characteristics between historic districts and areas that are not regulated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). It finds that New York City’s historic districts have similar population and built density to non-LPC regulated areas, but also contains a higher proportion of market-rate housing. Residents of the city’s historic districts are also higher-income, more highly educated, and more likely to be white.
Preserving History or Hindering Growth? The Heterogeneous Effects of Historic Districts on Local Housing Markets in New York City
Historic district designation has long been a topic of considerable debate. This report, conducted in collaboration with the National Bureau of Economic Research, provides new evidence to inform one aspect of this discussion—the effect that historic district designation has on housing. The report considers how designation of historic districts in New York City affects property values both within district boundaries and in the buffer areas just outside district boundaries, and explores how these effects vary across neighborhoods. Read the full report, the research brief, or view the press release.
Buying Sky: The Market for Transferable Development Rights in New York City
This policy brief analyzes development right transfers in New York City between 2003 and 2011, looking at the prices paid, number of rights transferred, location of the sending and receiving parcels, and legal mechanisms used, in order to shed light on an important but hard-to-track market. The report, “Buying Sky: The Market for Transferable Development Rights in New York City,” examines 243 arms-length transactions for which complete data is available, and finds wide variation in the price paid per square foot of development rights, even for sales within the same neighborhoods, programs, and time periods. See the press release or read the full report.
Transferable Development Rights Programs: ‘Post’ Zoning?
Transferable Development Rights (TDR) programs allow property owners to sell unused development capacity at their property and transfer it to another site, where it is typically used to increase the permitted size of a development. In recent years, New York City has enacted programs that use TDRs in increasingly sophisticated ways. These uses share three common attributes: an increased focus on directing the location and density at sites that receive development rights; the use of TDRs as an integral component of more comprehensive rezoning initiatives; and the creation of regulatory incentives that strengthen the market for TDRs. In this essay, we conclude that TDRs in New York can no longer be understood just as a creative mechanism to soften the effect of rigid zoning restrictions, but should also be recognized as a tool land use decision makers increasingly use in place of, or in tandem with, upzonings, bonuses, and other devices for increasing density.
Land Use Controls: Cases and Materials (Third Edition)
A thematic framework that reveals the connections among the multiple discrete topics under land law, with attention to the factual and political context of the cases and the aftermath of decisions
Regulatory Barriers to Housing Development in the United States
Nothing provides as much material for comparative legal study as the great variety of rule-making that characterizes land law. Land law is perhaps the only legal area in which the leveling march of globalized uniformity has had to yield to the progressive development of local customary law.