Sustainability at the project level : the case of Willets Point, Queens

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Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2008. Includes bibliographical references (p. 53-56). Citywide sustainability planning creates a vision of how environmental concerns will shape urban development, but the way these plans are incorporated into individual development projects plays a large role in determining how that vision will be achieved in practice. I propose a system for evaluating the extent to which individual urban development projects contribute to urban environmental sustainability and use it to evaluate the proposed redevelopment of Willets Point, Queens, in New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made sustainability a major part of his agenda during his administration, and calls the Willets Point project a model of sustainable development. The plans for the redevelopment, however, fail to address several aspects of sustainable development as I define it, and address others only weakly. I argue that in order to achieve strong sustainability, cities must use major projects like Willets Point to rethink how they will develop, and should maximize such projects' contributions to sustainable development. by Siobhan Watson. M.C.P.

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