Theses Master's

Predicting the Point: New York City’s de Blasio Era Neighborhood Rezonings, Points of Agreement, and How Neighborhoods Navigated these Complex Negotiations

Meixell, Brady

In this thesis, I consider how city commitments made in neighborhood rezoning processes were structured and factors that may predict whether promised community benefits were delivered in a timely fashion. My analysis looks at the initial seven Department of City Planning-led neighborhood rezonings during the de Blasio administration in New York City -- East New York, Greater East Midtown, Downtown Far Rockaway, East Harlem, Jerome Avenue, Inwood, and Bay Street. I use quantitative analysis of the point of agreement documents, qualitative interviews with relevant stakeholders, and in-depth case studies of four of these rezonings.

Using this mixed-methods approach, I aim to break down the political process that gives birth to the POA agreements, provide context behind how POA commitments are structured, and analyze what factors are most likely to lead to the successful fulfilment of a city commitment in the aftermath of a rezoning. Taking the rezoning itself as a given, the aim of this work is to inform future planners how a community facing rezoning can best respond to maximize its potential benefits.

This thesis finds that commitments were most successful when they: were under the purview of the deputy mayor for housing and economic development; were made via capital commitments for projects or new programs; did not require changes to city policy (or its programmatic approach or operations); had a strong and engaged local Councilmember; and when community groups focused pressure and negotiations on requests that were considered more administratively/legally achievable.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Devlin, Ryan
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
July 27, 2022