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Tell the City Council–NYU’s Plans Are Too Big!

A reminder that tomorrow will likely be the most important day in our continuing fight against NYU’s massive proposed Village expansion plan. Beginning at 9:30 A.M. tomorrow, the City Council will hold its one and only public hearing on the expansion plan before they vote on it.  We ask you to join us at 8:30 A.M. on the steps of City Hall where neighborhood residents, NYU faculty, staff, and grad workers will hold a rally to call on the City Council to vote ‘No’ (arrive at 8:15 am to get through security). Visit here to find out what else you can do tomorrow to help fight the plan and make your voice heard.

As you may know, as part of its proposed expansion plan – dubbed NYU 2031 – the university is seeking to construct huge, out-of-scale buildings, overturn long-standing neighborhood zoning protections, gut open-space preservation requirements, lift urban renewal deed restrictions, and introduce commercial zoning in a residential area.  The university claims that it needs to shoehorn all of this expansion and development into the university’s ‘core’ area just south of Washington Square Park in order for it to be effective.

GVSHP decided to take a closer look at NYU’s claimed need for geographically concentrated growth in a study we produced called “Too Big to Fit.” We found that other urban universities around the country have had to confront the same tension between their need or desire to expand and the limitations of the urban environment in which they are located — but these others have successfully dealt with it in a completely opposite way than NYU proposes in its expansion plan.

Brown University's recent growth in Providence, RI, has been spread to different locations in the city and encouraged adaptive re-use of buildings.

Our study looks at several colleges, including Brown University in Providence, RI;  Emerson College in Boston, MA; Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA; Suffolk University in Boston, MA; and Harvard University in Cambridge and Allston, MA.  Partnering with local elected leaders, the business community and residents, each of these institutions are building satellite campuses or new campuses in areas of their cities that were identified as targets for redevelopment. The satellite sites were chosen because they could absorb the new growth and would be maximally beneficial to the city and leave room for continued growth of the university. This is in stark contrast to the approach NYU is advocating of continuing to chip away at and overwhelm an existing, vital and historic residential neighborhood.

We encourage you to read this report and the others we have produced. To learn more about GVSHP’s advocacy against the NYU 2031 Plan, visit gvshp.org/nyu, where you can sign an online petition and find contact information to write and call your local elected officials to tell them to Vote ‘No’ on NYU 2031 — and we hope that we’ll see you tomorrow at City Hall at 8:30 A.M.!

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