Planning for the Far West Side/Hudson Yards

The New York Metro Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) represents more than 1,000 practicing planners, designers, engineers and others involved in planning for the region’s communities. The Chapter addresses planning issues affecting the physical, social, and economic environment of the metropolitan region, encompassing New York City, Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk Counties) and the Hudson Valley (Rockland, Westchester, Putnam, Orange, Duchess, Ulster and Sullivan Counties). We are part of a national organization of over 35,000 members, which is dedicated to the encouragement of planning that will meet the needs of people and society more effectively.

As planners, we seek to utilize our technical skills in the service of comprehensive planning, sound economic development, the prudent use of scarce public dollars, and the responsible use and preservation of environmental, cultural and historic resources. We promote responsible, sustainable and fair development to meet the changing needs of people and institutions, as well as planning processes that serve to illuminate and balance competing needs, interests and priorities. In promoting these values, NY Metro APA is particularly dedicated to public education, maximizing dissemination of planning-related information, and promoting opportunities for broad participation in planning decisions. To carry out this mission we conduct a wide range of advocacy and educational activities. We also collaborate with other civic and professional organizations to advocate the highest standards of planning throughout the region.

As individuals, our members work for government agencies, nonprofit organizations and the private sector (indeed, some of us have worked on aspects of the Hudson Yards proposal). Because we represent a broad and diverse spectrum of planning professionals with a wide range of perspectives and interests, we have not attempted to review comprehensively all aspects of the plan, or to present a fixed or unanimous position on every planning issue raised by the highly complex proposals for the Hudson Yards. However, with continuing participation by our members and our organization during the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process, we hope that we will illuminate and contribute to the discussion, and to the improvement of the plan for this last undeveloped part of Manhattan.

In the following sections, Metro APA offers its perspectives on a range of issues and questions raised by the proposed program. These include the review process itself, discrete elements of the program, broader zoning and urban design issues, access to the Hudson River waterfront, economic development considerations, transportation components, the proposed implementation schedule, and others.

Read the entire policy paper here.