As a resident of Greenwich Village and a faculty member at NYU, I am pleased to express my strong support to the members of the New York City Planning Commission for NYU 2031: NYU in NYC. I have read the plan carefully, have listened attentively to the discussions it has spurred, and have concluded that the plan is both very well thought out and responsive both to NYU’s profound need for more space to fulfill its teaching, research, and service missions, and to the continued vibrancy, openness to innovation, and focus on the future that have historically characterized NYU’s Greenwich Village home.
In reading the plan, I was shocked to learn how little space NYU currently has available per student or faculty member compared with its peer universities. Implementation of the proposed plan is essential to NYU’s ability to expand space for learning and discovery and continue to thrive as one of our nation’s most respected and elite universities. At the same time, I am convinced that the plan offer opportunities to further enhance the Greenwich Village neighborhood that is such a strong part of NYU’s allure by returning land to the public in the form of increased numbers of parks and gardens.
The fact that the plan calls for much of the increase in space to come from outside the Washington Square core indicates that NYU is being realistic about the density that the core can handle and the concerns of the neighboring community. The concept of using space within and surrounding the Washington Square Village housing complex to make it a more publically accessible part of our community is an exciting one, exemplifying NYU’s thoughtful, responsible, and balanced approach to enhancing its facilities as well as our collective use of the Washington Square area.