Action Steps to Improve Your City

As we begin 2017, HAKS would like to share Curbed New York’s suggestions on initiatives we can launch to improve our cities.  We have culled a small number from the list; you can access them all at 101 Small Ways You Can Improve Your City. Continue Reading…

Philadelphia Remembers: The June 5th Memorial Park

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Courtesy of Scott Aker, AIA

The City of Philadelphia is turning a tragedy into an opportunity for the community to commemorate those lost and remember the paramount importance of job safety.

On June 5th, 2013, the demolition of a vacant building at 2138 Market Street in Philadelphia collapsed a party wall, destroying a Salvation Army Thrift Store and resulting in six fatalities and many injuries. To ensure that this tragedy would not be forgotten, the City of Philadelphia decided to provide a contemplative respite for visitors while preserving the memory of those lost and projecting its commitment to public safety. Continue Reading…

A Salt Shed as a Civic Monument

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With the full heat of the long summer just kicking in, this past February’s Winter Storm Jonas, which dumped a record 27.5 inches of snow in Central Park, can seem like a distant memory. Notwithstanding that December 2015 was the warmest on record, New York City will continue to be slammed by storms like Jonas and the blizzards of 2006 and 1996, as well as snowstorms that might be more mundane but nevertheless paralyzing to city streets in their own right. That is why residents of Lower Manhattan can look upon the New York City Department of Sanitation’s (DSNY) new Spring Street Salt Shed as a comfort and reassurance as the next inevitable winter looms on the distant horizon—and, given its unique, striking design, as an object of civic pride. Continue Reading…

OneNYC: The Plan for a Strong and Just City

DSC07801 REVLast month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released OneNYC: The Plan for a Strong and Just City, the successor to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s PlaNYC. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability oversaw its development and shares responsibility with the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency for ensuring its implementation. OneNYC addresses challenges such as a population of 9 million by 2040, changing climate conditions and aging infrastructure through principles of growth, sustainability, resiliency and equity. The plan builds on the four core challenges addressed in past PlaNYC reports with the addition of growing inequality, the importance of the region and New York City “voices”—a reference to the necessary input of a broad range of residents. The plan also acknowledges the growing gap between “technology haves and have-nots.” Continue Reading…

Post Sandy–Rebuilding and Resiliency

“With the immediate emergency repairs finished following Superstorm Sandy and temporary fixes in place, city and state agencies in New York and New Jersey are now focused on planning, funding and building long-term resiliency projects,” observes a supplement (August 25/September 1, 2014) to ENR New York  “The Rebuilding Continues.” The issue reports on how infrastructure and facilities are being rethought by city and state entities and will be rebuilt to withstand the force of a storm such as Sandy, and that state and local programs are “ramping up.” Continue Reading…

Hurricane Sandy Build it Back Program

Build it Back1 (6)New York City led one of the fastest disaster recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, helping more than 20,000 families return to their homes through the Rapid Repairs program, a critical first step in assisting residents recover from the storm.  HAKS was on the front lines, mobilizing and dispatching inspectors and monitors as part of this 24/7 field operation.  The City has now shifted its focus to the long-term rebuilding effort with Build it Back, a federally funded program to assist affected homeowners, landlords and cooperative and condominium owners. Continue Reading…