Framework Calls for Thoughtful Growth in Health Corridor, Downtown Brooklyn, Governors Island, and NYU’s Existing Properties
After a three-year dialogue with its neighbors, NYU is now presenting its strategy — NYU 2031: NYU in NYC — to ensure that its facilities keep pace with the academic aims that have propelled the University to the ranks of the nation’s top research universities.
NYU 2031: NYU in NYC is a framework for how and where NYU should develop space for its academic mission. The strategy envisions the addition of as much as 6 million sq. ft. of space over more than two decades, with half spread over three remote locations -- along Manhattan’s Eastside health corridor, in Downtown Brooklyn, and on Governors Island – and half in or near its core.
The process employed to create this vision -- guided by input from the Community Task Force on NYU Development established by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer -- was a significant departure from the University’s previous approach to development, setting a new standard for community dialogue, transparency and practicality. Consistent with the emphasis on intensive community involvement, NYU will host another of its numerous “Open Houses” about the strategy on April 14 from 5:30 – 8:00 PM on the 10th floor of the Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Sq. So.
NYU President John Sexton said, “Academic excellence is the driver of all we do. This is a pivotal moment for NYU, both as an academic institution and as an integral player in New York’s evolving landscape. We are committed – through a productive discourse -- to a sensitive and sustainable approach to preserve the special character of our core campus, while maintaining the strength and vibrancy of our intellectual community into the future.”
Between 1990 and 2005, NYU increased its student body 24.5 percent, but did not develop a comparable amount of space. NYU now has 160 sq. ft. of academic space per student; by comparison, Columbia has 326, Harvard has 673, and Yale has 866. Over the next 20+ years, NYU 2031 calls for a significantly slower rate of student growth; it proposes expanding NYU’s per student’s square footage to 240 by adding as much as 3.5 million sq. ft. of academic space, 1.5 million sq. ft. of student housing, 500,000 sq. ft. of faculty housing, and 500,000 sq. ft. of student services space.
However, the strategy recognizes for the first time that all of NYU’s space needs cannot be accommodated in its neighborhood; fully half of the proposed space will be outside Greenwich Village, distributed among the remote sites where NYU already has a significant presence -- near the NYU Medical Center and NYU-Poly -- or where it can anchor a new academic center and create a significant presence on Governors Island.
Accordingly, the strategy takes account of the fact that there will have to be sharper decisions about which uses will and will not be within NYU’s core area and neighborhood.
Growth in and around NYU’s core will rely on adaptive reuse, below-ground structures, and building orientation and massing to maximize open space while improving access to sunlight and air. In addition, NYU will focus on its existing properties, will not seek any additional square footage above that already allowed by zoning, and will not make use of eminent domain. The strategy also calls for green roofs, solar access, storm water retention, heat recovery, sustainable landscaping systems, and aims for LEED Silver or comparable ratings in all new construction as well as other benchmarks, such as carbon neutrality and zero waste.
The strategy was shaped through an inclusive process of open houses, meetings, and interactions with community groups. Participation in the Stringer Task Force -- which, was formed in early 2007 and composed of local elected officials, community board leaders, and an array of community and civic groups – marked an unprecedented effort to provide a mechanism for dialogue between the University and the community and foster productive discourse about NYU’s needs and the Greenwich Village neighborhood’s concerns.
The involvement of the Task Force has already yielded concrete results, including an agreement on improved design principles for neighborhood development, the decision to develop half the space outside Greenwich Village, and NYU’s commitment to address neighborhood needs in Greenwich Village by providing space within a new building on the superblocks for a 600-seat elementary school to be built and run by the City.
The presentation of the strategy also is a lead-up to the beginning of the official public approvals process – the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP), through which the community will have additional input into proposals for growth on NYU’s own property between Houston and W. 3rd Streets and between Mercer St. and LaGuardia Place.
About NYU 2031: NYU in NYC
NYU 2031: NYU in NYC, is a strategic framework for growth, aiming to be a thoughtful, comprehensive, city-wide vision for thinking about how to keep the University moving forward academically while respecting the communities and the city in which we make our home. For more information about NYU 2031 please log onto www.nyu.edu/nyu2031/nyuinnyc .
About New York University
New York University is located in the heart of Greenwich Village. Founded in 1831, it is one of America’s foremost research universities and a member of the selective Association of American Universities. It is one of the largest private universities, it is a leader in attracting international students and scholars in the U.S, and it sends more students to study abroad than any other U.S. college or university. Through its 14 schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, business, dentistry, education, nursing, the cinematic and performing arts, music and studio arts, public administration, social work, and continuing and professional studies, among other areas.