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Neighborhoods to City Planners: No Mas!

The Times takes a ride on the city planning roller coaster today - upzonings! downzonings! all around the town - to explore that ever-elusive quest to "preserve neighborhood character." Experts as well as residents are torn: While the city has always thrived on a steady influx and turnover of people and structures - i.e., density - there's also an "an odd antidensity zeitgeist in New York," as the Manhattan Institute's Julia Vitullo-Martin puts it, which is driving a push for rezonings: 42 since '02. Among the areas that get a shoutout are: Bayside in Queens, Park Slope and Bensonhurst in Brooklyn, Riverdale in the Bronx, even the West Village. And a whole chunk of Staten Island, too. (Alphabet City could be next.) After the obligatory caveat - it is an election year and we give the people what they want - there's this:

The problem, as [the director of City Planning] and others see it, is that the city's zoning resolution had its last major revision in 1961 - at a time when some imagined the city's population to be heading toward 16 million. Many areas ended up zoned for more development than actually occurred.

Kinda makes that 8.4 million people by 2010 figure seem downright refreshing.

· In a Still-Growing City, Some Neighborhoods Say Slow Down [NYT]
· Alphaville in the Rezone: Downsize This! [Curbed]