Identity Crisis: City or Suburb?

Saturday, May 6, 2017 | 10:45 a.m. - noon
CM | 1.25
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You'll learn about:

  • The opportunities and challenges that arise when planning for downtown revitalization in two inner-ring cities within one region

  • The variety of tools employed by municipalities to make their communities attractive to developers and future residents

  • The approaches to TOD planning, community involvement, public-private partnerships, and applicability to a wide swath of generalist planners

City or Suburb?  A question once easily answered for communities within the New York City metropolitan region, is now more complicated as inner-ring cities have become economic engines in their own right, as a result of proactive planning initiatives that capitalize on location, transit accessibility, and branding of unique community assets.

White Plains (population 60,000) is a major regional employment and shopping destination. The city’s population triples on workdays and now has an equal share of transit users reverse-commuting from New York City as completing the traditional inbound trip. To accommodate this growing trend and market for transit-oriented development, the city completed a community driven vision plan for a new mixed use downtown transit district. The plan contains incentive and form-based zoning regulations as well as various public-private partnership strategies.

New Rochelle (population 78,000) recently adopted a Downtown Overlay Zone following an intensive year-long research, planning and community outreach process paving the way for 10 million square feet of new mixed use development. The new zoning provides developers and property owners a clear and transparent roadmap for investment; it also sets design standards, community benefit requirements and a Mitigation Fund intended to create an attractive and sustainable downtown while ensuring that development covers any public costs associated with growth. 



Thomas Roach , City of White Plains , White Plains , NY (see bio)
Christopher Gomez , AICP , City of White Plains, NY , White Plains , NY (see bio)
Noam Bramson , Mayor, City of New Rochelle , New Rochelle , NY (see bio)
William Wheeler , Metro Transportation Agency , New York , NY