Loving Architecture, Hating Growth

As cities grow, and buildings get taller, innovative architectural styles begin to pop up. New York City, with its wide array of skyscrapers spanning multiple design eras, is certainly no exception. But some residents, who otherwise love these qualities about New York, want to prohibit developers from continuing to push the city aesthetically forward, and are lobbying for rezoning of areas to cap the height of new construction. For example, in April, Sutton Place residents pushed a proposal, and gained the support of the community board, to limit heights at 260 feet. The Municipal Art Society, which has long been a proud opponent of the “accidental skyline” near Central Park that attracts visitors from worldwide, supports these limits as well. The irony is that these groups who embrace the unique qualities, architectural distinctions and downright quirkiness of New York now want uniformity and growth regulations. This, of course, will impact future New Yorkers who won’t get to see what the city could become, rather than those currently enjoying the beauty of the Big Apple.

Charles Blain
Charles Blain is the executive director of Restore Justice USA, a Houston-based criminal justice reform project. He also regularly writes on issues regarding the economic management of major cities.