Five Decades of Planning on Roosevelt Island

Monday, May 8, 2017 | 1:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
CM | 3
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You'll learn about:

  • Historic precedents and origins for master planning in the City of New York. 

  • Master planning in a community with limited access and strict environmental parameters.

  • The interplay between a predominantly residential enclave and the introduction of new institutional uses.

  • Understand the opportunities and challenges that arise when planning at a localized scale, within multiple jurisdictions. 

Roosevelt Island is a narrow, two-mile-long island in the East River between Manhattan and Queens. Development on the Island has been a result of deliberate public intervention. Purchased by New York City in 1828, the Island has been home to various institutions, including a penitentiary, lunatic asylum, and hospital, and later was subject to planning efforts that resulted in the 1969 Johnson, Burgee Master Plan, which sought to create an auto-free, self-contained new community that was economically and racially balanced. More recent interventions include Cornell Tech, an innovative, sustainable campus incorporating state of the art academic space, an executive education center/hotel, housing for faculty, students, and staff, and open space.


The mobile workshop will be hosted by Allison Ruddock of AKRF, Inc., the firm engaged in the environmental review of Island residential developments and the Cornell Tech campus. The workshop will focus on the major phases of Roosevelt Island’s development and will examine how planning objectives are expressed in the built form. Participants will visit residential communities built as a result of the 1969 master plan and the Cornell Tech site. Participants will hear from Judy Berdy (Roosevelt Island Historic Society), Susan Rosenthal (Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation), and Colin Koop (SOM, designers of the Cornell Tech campus). 


Allison Ruddock , AICP , VHB , New York , NY
Amy Crader , AICP , Brooklyn , NY