February 2024 Luncheon – Dan Garodnick – Director of New York City Department of City Planning

At the February luncheon of the Young Men’s & Women’s Real Estate Association, attendees were treated to a dynamic discussion featuring Dan Garodnick, Chairman of City Planning, interviewed by Reggie Thomas of REBNY. Garodnick’s approach to urban planning stood out, as he emphasized a thorough consideration of short and long-term impacts, rather than focusing solely on immediate gains. His dedication to the city’s future stemmed from a deep-rooted affection for New York, as he highlighted his upbringing and lifelong connection to his home, New York City.

Garodnick elaborated on the city’s ambitious agenda, particularly focusing on the intersection between climate and zoning, a critical but often overlooked aspect. He discussed proposals aimed at addressing economic opportunity through strategic zoning amendments, with a goal to remove barriers and outdated regulations that have previously hindered development. These efforts align with the city’s goal of fostering a business-friendly environment while addressing pressing societal needs.

The conversation shifted towards addressing the housing crisis, with Garodnick highlighting the shockingly low vacancy residential vacancy rate (1.41% citywide) and the pressing need for increased housing supply. Proposals such as universal affordability preferences and zoning changes in both medium/high and low-density areas were discussed in detail. These proposals aim to incentivize affordable housing development while ensuring a more diverse range of housing types across neighborhoods.

Recognizing the challenges ahead, Garodnick acknowledged the necessity of collaboration and advocacy. He stressed the importance of engaging with community boards, council members, and stakeholders to garner support for proposed initiatives. Garodnick emphasized the need for strong partnerships to navigate the complexities of urban planning and to ensure the proposals’ success in the city council.

As the luncheon concluded, attendees were left inspired by Garodnick’s comprehensive vision for the city’s future. His innovative approach to urban planning, coupled with a deep understanding of the city’s needs and challenges, promises to shape a more vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable New York for generations to come.