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A climate change ‘laboratory’ may come to Governors Island

Plus, plans to rezone Morningside Heights—and more intel in our New York Minute news roundup

An aerial view of an island surrounded by water in New York Harbor.
The 172-acre Governors Island off the coast of lower Manhattan.
Max Touhey

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A climate change “laboratory” may land on Governors Island

Governors Island has worn many hats over its lifetime: An outpost for the Dutch West India Company, a Civil War prison for Confederate soldiers, and more recently has become a recreational hub for public art, “glamping,” and festivals.

Now, New York City wants to transform up to 4.2 million square feet on the southern half of the island, which sits off the coast of lower Manhattan, into “a major center for climate adaptation research, commercialization, conversation and policymaking,” according to a request for proposals obtained by The New York Times. The “living laboratory” would serve as the “anchor” for development on the island, which the city aims to rezone a swath of for commercial and education uses.

It might seem antithetical to put a climate change center on an island surrounded by New York Harbor, but the Trust for Governors Island officials tell the Times that’s the point, and aim for the island to embody the very issues the center would confront.

Morningside Heights rezoning pushes on without the de Blasio admin

A proposal to rezone Manhattan’s Morningside Heights seemed dead in the water last month after the city said it wouldn’t result in much new affordable housing. But the Morningside Heights Community Coalition disagrees and is moving forward with plans to rezone the neighborhood—with the help of the City Council, The Real Deal reports.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has directed the Council’s land-use staff to assemble a rezoning proposal, and the neighborhood’s Council member, Mark Levine, has suggested circumventing The Department of City Planning to push forward with the effort, the real estate magazine reports.

And in other news…