From Streets Blog writer Noah Kazis, a post about the #1 zoning obstacle to the small urban buildings that make great urban neighborhoods -- parking requirements: "Yesterday, the [New York City] Department of City Planning asked experts from around the country how to make a more sustainable zoning code. Their response? Scrap parking minimums. "The recommendation came during a major conference held yesterday by DCP and Harvard University. Top urban thinkers from around the country gathered to discuss how the zoning code can make the city more globally competitive, socially equitable, architecturally significant and environmentally sustainable (for a good recap of the conference, check out the Architect’s Newspaper live blog).
"'[Washington has] removed our minimums for most buildings in the downtown and near transit,' said Harriet Tregoning, the director of D.C.’s Office of Planning. The city received significant pushback from the public and developers, Tregoning admitted, so they developed a compromise. 'You can build more than the maximums, but the first floor of that building has to be level and convertible so that if we’re right and you’re wrong, it can be something useful.'" Full post here.