MAS’ new ‘Accidental Skyline’ report offers 10-point plan to keep supertalls in check
6sqft has reported previously on the increasing alarm caused by New York City’s future skyline and its growing army of skyscrapers-to-be, with community groups expressing deep concern about the shadows cast across the city’s parks by the tall towers. The Municipal Art Society (MAS) has been leading the pack when it comes to thorough analysis of the issue, which they see as having its roots not only in the sheer height of the new buildings but in a lack of regulation of how and where they rise in the larger context of the city. This “accidental skyline” effect reflects the fact that New York City currently has no restrictions on the shadows a tower may cast–the city doesn’t limit height, it only regulates FAR (floor area ratio). At this week’s MAS Summit for New York City, the organization released its third Accidental Skyline report, calling for immediate reform in light of an unprecedented boom in as-of-right–and seemingly out-of-scale–development. MAS president Elizabeth Goldstein said, “New York doesn’t have to settle for an ‘accidental skyline.’”
New Yorkers should have more say in ‘accidental skyline’ of NYC supertalls: report
There are more than two dozen supertall towers either completed or in the works in New York City right now, with more to come in the next few years—and that’s not taking into account all of the tall buildings that don’t quite meet the 984-foot threshold.
And since 2013, the Municipal Art Society has been tracking the rise of those towers (including the skyscrapers of Billionaires’ Row and the Financial District) as part of its “Accidental Skyline” series, which looks at the impact, environmental and otherwise, that new skyscrapers have on the built environment.
MAS just released its 2017 report, and in addition to addressing its issues with recently-announced skyscrapers—including 200 Amsterdam Avenue, due to become the Upper West Side’s tallest building—it also outlines a 10-point plan [PDF!] for addressing what it calls the “unprecedented boom in as-of-right, out-of-scale development that flaunt the intention of our zoning code.”