Planning for Economic Development

Economic development, particularly as it relates to preserving the industrial sector, reinvigorating commercial retail corridors and decreasing unemployment, is a priority of Mayor de Blasio’s Administration and underpins many of the Department of City Planning’s (DCP) planning strategies and initiatives.

Economic opportunity plays a strong role in affecting population trends and housing demand, as households often migrate to locations with employment opportunity. Despite the recent financial crisis, New York City’s economy is thriving. Check New York City’s Economic Development website for a monthly economic snapshot.

Much of the growth has occurred outside the city’s historic Central Business Districts in Midtown and Lower Manhattan. City initiatives have spurred substantial job growth in places like Downtown Brooklyn, and Long Island City and Jamaica, Queens. DCP is studying a number of land use strategies to best align zoning with the needs of the City’s neighborhoods and businesses in a place-based manner. Through its neighborhood planning studies, the agency is identifying ways to increase job opportunities in emerging markets, including East New York in Brooklyn, and Jerome Avenue in the Bronx.

Job growth has also not been evenly distributed across sectors, revealing structural shifts that are diversifying the city’s economy. For one, the retail trade and leisure and hospitality sectors have seen large job gains since 1990. Representing over 15% of all private sector employment, the industrial and manufacturing sectors remain a cornerstone of New York City’s economy but needs a policy to help them take advantage of new technology and new demand.

DCP has a number of policy and research units to support the planning decisions of each division within DCP: Capital Planning, Housing, Economics and Infrastructure Planning (HEIP), Planning Coordination, Population, Strategic Planning, Transportation, Waterfront and Open Space, Zoning, and Regional Planning. DCP staff use large administrative data sets, surveys, and public outreach which make DCP a leader in assisting economic development across the city.

DCP also works closely with other agencies to help achieve the Mayor’s economic development goals. The Department of Small Business Services (SBS), Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) are only some of the agencies that DCP works with regularly in developing comprehensive plans for economic development within specific neighborhoods, and as part of broader policy initiatives. 

Below are some of DCP’s key strategies and initiatives to show what we’re doing to help plan for even more economic development in New York City.

Self-storage Text Amendment - In November 2015, Mayor de Blasio announced a 10-point Industrial Action Plan, which aims to strengthen NYC’s most active industrial areas, invest in industrial and manufacturing businesses, and advance workforce development opportunities for New Yorkers. In this context, self-storage facilities are seen as a low job-generating use that occupies sites, which could provide future siting opportunities for industrial, more job-intensive businesses. As a result, the NYC Department of City Planning proposes a zoning text amendment to require a CPC Special Permit for new self-storage facilities within NYC’s most active industrial areas.

PDF Document Recent Employment Patterns in New York City from a Historical and Geographic Point of View - Based on quantitative research done by the NYC Department of City Planning, this analytical report demonstrates a decades-long shift towards the services industry. In post-recession NYC, 500,000 private sector jobs have been added and the unemployment rate is on pace to be at a record 40-year low. And the growth is diverse, both in terms of the types of jobs and location of the jobs, in almost every neighborhood in all five boroughs. This data provides an important context for developing public policy and aligning land use planning with economic growth.

PDF Document Employment in New York City’s Manufacturing Districts - This report examines recent employment trends in NYC's industrial areas. Its quantitative insights will help the City implement its 10-point Industrial Action Plan announced by Mayor de Blasio in November 2015. Various data for 2000, 2008, 2010 and 2014 showed high growth in both industrial and other jobs in the manufacturing (M) districts outside Manhattan. Although net non-industrial-sector jobs grew more from 2000-2014, M Districts remain predominantly industrial, particularly in Industrial Business Zones.

PLACES: Neighborhood Planning Studies are comprehensive studies that examine and address key land use and zoning issues in a variety of neighborhoods, but also take a broader look at current and future community needs to identify a wide range of strategies and investments that accompany the land use and zoning changes and support neighborhood-specific growth and vitality.

DCP prepares federal- and city charter-mandated documents, such as the New York City Consolidated Plan, Consolidated Plan Annual Performance Report, and the Annual Report on Social Indicators.

The Greater East Midtown rezoning is designed to support the long-term growth of the area as a premier business district. This as-of-right framework would promote modern, sustainable office development, help preserve landmarked buildings, facilitate upgrades to the area's transit infrastructure, and provide a plan for more pedestrian-friendly streets and public spaces.

North Brooklyn Industrial Business Zone Vision Plan will use zoning and other tools to envision a better business environment for all, improve quality of life for workers and residents, improve transportation and infrastructure, and address environmental and resiliency challenges.

Vanderbilt Corridor, adopted with modifications on May 27, 2015. this text amendment facilitates commercial development along Madison and Vanderbilt avenues in Manhattan, improves pedestrian circulation within Grand Central Terminal and its vicinity, and allows greater opportunity for area landmarks to transfer unused development rights.

Resilient Industry initiative assesses vulnerability to flooding in industrial areas of New York City and proposes strategies that individual businesses and the City can pursue to make industrial areas and surrounding communities more resilient.

Resilient Retail considers the unique characteristics of commercial retail corridors located within New York City’s floodplain and the specific risks and opportunities each faces to manage flood risk and strengthen the vitality of retail corridors and neighborhoods.

The Inner Ring Parking Studies examined the relationship between the cost of providing parking, residents’ choices about vehicles, and zoning requirements, This helped then guide policy and inform future discussions about land use and parking in Upper Manhattan, the South Bronx, western Queens, and northern and central Brooklyn.

Open Industrial Uses Study, an outgrowth of prior initiatives, studies pollution prevention controls for industrial operations typically conducted in open yards. This Study is designed to support and grow the City’s working waterfront and industrial businesses, while making industrial areas greener, stronger, safer and more resilient to climate change.