NEW DIRECTIONS FOR THE NEXT MAYOR

Next New York Fellows Dinner: July 30, 2013

Participants:  
Daniel Doctoroff
John Zuccotti

Moderator: 
Julia Vitullo-Martin

 

JULIA VITULLO-MARTIN:  At first glance, it might look as if the years in which John served as Deputy Mayor and Dan served as Deputy Mayor hold very little in common, but there's one way in which they're quite similar, and that is that in 1975 when Mayor Beame announced that John Zuccotti would become First Deputy Mayor and in 2001 when Mayor Bloomberg announced that Dan Doctoroff would become First Deputy Mayor, New York City was on the edge, as it so often is. In 1975 it really did stand on the edge of the precipice with the fiscal crisis, and in 2001, Mayor Bloomberg was elected right after the attacks of 9/11 and many, many New Yorkers left.

New York did what it has done often in the past; it somehow set itself on the right course and emerged triumphantly, in part because it has such good leaders. Now today, this evening, we're going to talk about the ideas in this book, and I was going to divide the conversation into two parts. First the capital plan, particularly transportation and housing, and then secondly city operations.

I'm going to gallop through just a few of the first points, mentioning them and asking Dan and John which they think, if any, are doable and which should be implemented. So, for example, there's Bob Yaro's Triboro Overground, which recognizes the newly founded importance of the economy of the boroughs, and which builds on the many under-used rail lines already in the boroughs to provide passenger service to underserved areas.

There's Alex Garvin's light rail for the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront, which he proposes could be built using tax increment financing from the new housing, both on the waterfront and within walking distance. There's Jay Cross's extension of the 7 Line to Secaucus. Later in the book, Claire Weisz suggests extending the 7 to Pittsburgh, maximizing what Jay calls the "popular culture corridor". There's Ben Fried's Bus Rapid Transit network, which is something that the city of Chicago is already doing on the West Side. Chicago does have a way of spotting these good ideas and implementing them. And there's Sam Schwartz's leveling of tolls to a single price. Now there are also very important ideas about the airports, but I thought I'd handle that separately. So John, which of these do you think might be doable and worth implementing?

JOHN ZUCCOTTI:  To answer that question, I have to step back a little bit because it’s hard to evaluate them unless one has a context in which to put the answer. So I ask myself, what is it that we would tell the new mayor about what he should concentrate on for the future of the city of New York? We know that New York City is the financial capital of the world as we stand here today, but that it has four major challengers: Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, and London. And in that context , what is it that allows us to compete with the environments that are being provided in those cities to generate jobs and to generate economic growth?

My personal life experience is that I have been pitching the city of New York for at least forty-five years as a public official and as a private developer, lawyer, etc. As a result of that experience, I came away with the following knowledge: many companies would leave New York if they had the chance, considering the cost of doing business here. But my experience is that the reasons they stay here are first and foremost the availability of the labor supply; that they can get the people they need to carry on their business. The second one that may not strike you as completely evident is the ability to get to work--transportation. So if I put that in context, I would say I evaluated the proposals in these books against four different criteria. First, do they enhance and improve the transportation system? We can talk about that at some length, what that means. Second, does it provide housing, particularly housing that young people can afford to pay for? They're the part of the labor supply that keeps the companies and the economic activity here. The third is education and the ability to get a reasonable education if they live here with a family. And the fourth would be, is the quality of the environment in the city of New York such that they can raise their families in a way that is attractive, wholesome, etc? This is the amenity framework used to measure the quality of life.

 So against those standards I tried to apply some analysis to the proposals that are presented here. Now, most of what I say in the course of the evening is going to be very pessimistic, because on the whole my measure is that it’s very, very difficult to get things done in New York City. Dan was one of those people, a champion of the city, who in fact got something done. Don Elliott, who's sitting there, who was my colleague at the City Planning Commission, in fact I worked for him, he got something done, and its always interesting because Donald carried out Mayor Lindsay's directive and actually made urban design a way of life and planning in the city of New York.

So, it isn't as bad as I'm going to make it out to be, because things actually do get done. We have transformed a city from when it was one tenth of the nation's manufacturing capacity in 1965/57. There is the famous book called One Tenth of the Nation about how the New York metropolitan area generated manufacturing. We have transitioned the city and we now lead service capital--if not in the world, certainly in the western world. And we did that with significant achievements—Battery Park City, a great achievement. The expansion of a whole host of housing initiatives under the Koch administration. There are different mayors who have different focuses, but in my view, the mayors who made the city what it is today are mayor LaGuardia, who, just to mention one thing, planned and built all of the airports in New York City—he was a pilot and that gave him a particular perspective, along with other things; Mayor Lindsay, who understood the need for the quality to improve the quality of life, and often times, as in the case of Dan's experience, failure doesn't mean the end of the idea. For instance, today under the Bloomberg administration, we closed Times Square, we made it a public space where people can sit and talk and enjoy life, and we've chosen to impede the traffic to in fact make that an attractive sort of place.

In 1973 Mayor Lindsay tried to close Madison Avenue and make that a public place. He failed; it was turned down… But nevertheless as the years went by, that learning was absorbed so that Times Square today could in fact be what it is. I give credit to Mayor Koch also for his leadership in the Times Square redevelopment. And of course the Bloomberg Administration has a host of victories.

The other thing is that a great deal was done with the participation of the community at large. And that generates not only political support but also money. We have in fact the triumph of the High Line, the Hudson River Park, that began with the LaGuardia administration and that continues aggressively today.

So when I tell you how difficult it is, as we go through the proposals, and how hard it will be to get some of these things done because of a whole ocean of political considerations, because of bureaucratic considerations, don't despair. Because we have had significant achievements, and we have changed our city so that we are a modern city, so that we are a competing city, and a city that indeed will continue to grow and grow without losing the essence of a happy urban life. That's how I will start.

DAN DOCTOROFF:  But you didn't answer the question, which is the one that you would vote for?

JOHN ZUCCOTTI:  I'll let you answer that.

DAN DOCTOROFF: Alright well I'll give less context but a little bit of context to how I think about things. I believe in something that I call “the virtuous cycle of the successful city. Remember the line in the movie Wall Street "greed is good?" Well I believe that, for a city, growth is good. Growth in terms of the number of people who live here, the number of people who work here, and the number of people who visit here. And the reason I believe that is because the marginal revenue from the additional person is greater than the marginal cost, and you can then take that incremental revenue and hopefully wisely reinvest it in quality of life and, as John mentioned, schools, safety, housing, cars, interesting things to do, the environment, which in turn will draw more people to the city, keeping that virtuous cycle whirring. That's what its all about; we all want this city to be a compassionate city, we pride ourselves on that, but at the end of the day if you don't make the money you can't create the kind of city with the kind of values that you want.

So to me the first priority is always to figure out how you are going to generate the revenues to keep that virtuous cycle whirring. So what I look at is the investment that actually produces the greatest impact, and that can be measured economically firstly, secondly in terms of achieving some of these values with the least possible cost. What triggers that private market reaction that keeps that circle, that cycle whirring? On that basis, the one that I would pick as first - and by the way I think there were a lot of great ideas in here, I would tell you that if I had had this before it almost makes me want to go back into government, but forget it.

I actually think the single best idea, and this is one that Alex and I actually worked on, that’s in the book is the light rail that would go from say Astoria in Queens along Vernon Boulevard and then in Brooklyn all the way down to Red Hook, which would knit together these emerging communities, which are more affordable than say Manhattan with the 7 Line, with the L-Line. I think it would trigger all sorts of incremental growth along the Brooklyn Queens waterfront where the greatest potential for growth actually is.

So that would be the one that I would vote for, but there's a million others. I think Sam Schwartz's idea about having equal tolls on all of the bridges is an amazing idea, similar to the congestion pricing idea, but actually better than what we propose as part of PlaNYC that ultimately got defeated in the legislature, because it helps to pay for a lot of these other infrastructure investments. And I will also say, John will be pessimistic, but I'm an optimist. I think that if you have great leadership, if you organize government effectively, that vision and things that excite people can actually get done. You can just look around the city in the last twelve years and see that 40 percent of the city has been re-zoned. We've created thousands of acres of new parkland, we've found new ways to pay for it, we have the largest affordable housing program in an American city in history, a sustainability plan, we're creating a technology campus on Roosevelt Island, I could go on and on and on, but it does take leadership and it does take vision.

JULIA VITULLO-MARTIN:  Thank you. Let me ask about the airports, because there are quite a few interesting ideas in here about the airports. The Global Gateway Alliance put up a study I think today looking at the ten busiest cities in American and ranking LaGuardia dead last and Newark second to last for amenities.

DAN DOCTOROFF:  That's the Port Authority for you.

JULIA VITULLO-MARTIN:  That's the Port Authority. But here's the thing: terrible as the regular experience often is at our airports, getting to and from the airports can even be worse. So the book has some interesting ideas on that, for example Alex's one seat to LaGuardia.

DAN DOCTOROFF:  It's a great idea. It would only require actually acquiring one piece of property and going along the existing rail lines that are already owned by either Amtrak or most likely by the MTA. I think its a spectacular idea; I don't think it would cost that much in the scheme of things. I mean, for anyone who's ever been to London, that 15-minute ride from Heathrow into Paddington Station totally changes your experience in London. I think we could do something similar here, but it really has to be led by the governor who controls the vast majority of the route.

JOHN ZUCCOTTI:  I agree completely, and just stepping back I will continue to perform by not answering the question. So if you said to me, what are the transportation priorities, I would say first and foremost the maintenance and enhancement of the existing system. The second would be selective capital projects that are articulated in this report. For me, the most important capital projects would be those that enhance transportation, as he said, in Queens and the Bronx and Brooklyn. It's my view that that's where the housing can be built— in areas that are still zoned manufacturing and that have no future as manufacturing or logistics centers and can in fact be sites for additional housing, as has been so brilliantly done by David Walentas in Dumbo.

The problem is that the mayor can't do too much with these things because they require the political leadership of the governor to get done. And, in fact, the city has less leverage today in the transportation area, mass transit area, than they did years ago, because years ago the city's capital budget actually made a contribution to the MTA's capital budget. But that is not the case, and significantly the Bloomberg Administration's outstanding performance, that’s the only way to describe it, on the 7 Line, is prompted by the fact the city is prepared to pay for the 7. The leverage in mass transit comes essentially from money that the city would contribute, and it requires the leadership of the governor. Indeed for some of the proposals, which I think make very good sense, such as the regionalization of the railroad network around the city as is proposed here, not only must you have the support of the governor, but you must also have the support of the governors of the two adjoining states and probably of the White House as well.

When LaGuardia went to Washington to get the money for the IMD from Roosevelt, he knew that the only way the city, given its condition at that time, could get the money to build the IMD would be with federal money. I suspect that some of the things that we're talking about today would require some allocation of federal support. So the train to the plane is an obvious thing that we must have. It’s almost embarrassing to go to any of the cities that I mentioned and see what in fact has happened there. Not only is there a train to the plane in London now, but construction of the next phase is going to begin shortly linking Canary Wharf all the way to Heathrow. You can get a train not only from the current location, but also all the way from the Canary Wharf Location way over in East London.

We need to find ways to provide that level of infrastructure in the city of New York if we're going to compete.

JULIA VITULLO-MARTIN:  The former investment banker?

DAN DOCTOROFF:  Well I think there are ways of coming up with money, but then, like John said, we came up with a very creative mechanism for the number 7 Line. We didn't want to get in a fight with the MTA or Shelly Silver who wanted the 2nd Avenue subway or anyone else that had their pet projects when we knew the highest transportation priority for us in terms of promoting development in the city was the 7 Line over to the West side. We didn't want to get in those fights, so we said, you know what, we're going to pay for it ourselves. Unfortunately we didn't have the money. So we had to be more creative. We had to find another source of revenue to pay for it, and so what we did was we conjured it up out of thin air by basically selling bonds against the promise of future development on the West side, because we were convinced that if we built it they would come.

And that's what we did. We floated 2 billion dollars+ of bonds on the promise that it would get repaid out of development, and you know what, we did have a big financial crisis in the middle, but its actually all happening right now. But that’s the kind of creativity that the next mayor is going to have to have if you're going to be able to do something and avoid the inevitable conflicts with the other governmental entities that slow everything down dramatically.

JULIA VITULLO-MARTIN:  What about Tax Increment Financing?

DAN DOCTOROFF:  Well that's basically what we did to finance the number 7 line.

JULIA VITULLO-MARTIN:  For light rail?

DAN DOCTOROFF:  I don’t think you need it for light rail to be honest, its not that big a deal— I think light rail is 20 million dollars a mile or something like that. Compared to a subway, it’s cheap. I think you could do it, and I do believe that’s one of the areas of the city where you would see incremental, but that might be one that’s just easier to finance out of the capital budget. The city controls all of the streets maybe with the exception of a bridge, so you don't need anyone else, you could just go ahead and actually do it. That's why I love the idea of that light rail, because its within the city's control, its practical, and I really do believe it would build on a lot of the progress in western Queens and in Brooklyn and really start an enormous private market reaction.

JOHN ZUCCOTTI:  There are substantial resources that are available for the kinds of projects we talked about. I call this "the institutionalization of misplaced resources". We are building a 2nd Ave subway currently at the cost of several billion dollars. 2nd Ave was conceived in the Rockefeller Administration…

It was intended to begin in the Bronx, cross through Manhattan, link up with the 63rd street tunnel, run out to Queens on something that was called the Super Express, and run down Water St. In fact, the zoning ordinance provided that you had to build the buildings on Water St with the ability to connect with the station that was to be built there, and then run across to Brooklyn.

None of that happened, indeed it will never happen. Notice that no one these days even considered the kinds of things that I just described, which was a significant proposal. So why are we building this little strip of the Second Avenue Subway? The people and the real estate values on the Upper East Side; are they unhappy, are they moving away? Is this an area that requires additional infrastructure in order to generate taxes? Of course not. It is the institutional perspective of the bureaucracy of the MTA that says, "there must be a Second Avenue Subway!" Even though it’s a subway that doesn't have any value added.

Another example: why is the Port Authority building a station for 40,000 (maybe at best 50,000 passengers) at the cost of 4.5 billion dollars? Indeed the train to the plane could easily be built with some portion of that 4.5 billion dollars. Can anyone explain to me what decision-making process in terms of the allocation of resources results in these two projects, when a great number of things, like the train to the plane, like the line in Brooklyn, could be built with the very same money? It defies logic, but the only way to understand it is there's insufficient political leadership to challenge the bureaucracies in both agencies to give up on this kind of silliness, which is the only way to describe it, and use the money for the kinds of projects that are identified in this book.

DAN DOCTOROFF:  I totally agree with you with respect to the Second Avenue Subway, which I think is basically a silly little spur that doesn't generate anything other than some, and this should not be totally discounted but just should be mostly discounted, some convenience for people who are perfectly happy to live where they live. With respect to the Port Authority, I think more people will go through it. I don't think we need to spend that much money, but I don't think we should discount the aspirational nature of New York and the fact that it is actually important to create things that are viewed as magnets, whether because they're architecturally spectacular, which I actually do believe the transit hub is going to be, or they set new standards in some way. I would not spend that much money on it personally, and I agree with John that there are institutional and legislative and other messes that we get into, particularly as we move beyond the city into other jurisdictions.

Doing great things, having great architecture, I do think sends important signals to people around the world about how unique New York is. The notion of only doing things, things can only be done in New York, making statements about how we're on the edge and will remain on the edge, as the most interesting, most exciting, most dynamic place in the world has very hard to quantify but I think very definite benefits.

Its kind of what we've tried to do in Hudson Yards on the West Side with the High Line as well; its about doing things that other cities can't. Right now I'm the chairman of a new project, which we haven't talked a lot about publicly, on the rail yards at Hudson Yards called Culture Shed. We think this building, which is extraordinary—which is being done 501c3 with a spectacular design by Liz Diller and David Rockwell, which we think is truly disruptive in the world of culture—is the kind of thing that we need to be constantly doing, which is again doing things that say "only in New York." This enables us to constantly remain sort of on the cutting edge of cities around the world. So, in general I agree with John, but I do think there is a role for things that don't necessarily make economic sense in a very strict investment and return perspective, that have a much broader impact.

JOHN ZUCCOTTI:  So I'll say this to Dan, to use a current buzzword: if we must have an iconic architectural triumph, it need not cost 4.5 billion dollars.

DAN DOCTOROFF:  I agree with that.

JOHN ZUCCOTTI:  Surely you can find somebody to do it for 2.5 billion dollars.

JULIA VITULLO-MARTIN:  But what about Dan's point about the aspirational nature of New York, John, I mean an example from your administration was Battery Park City. Nothing was getting built in New York and Battery Park City, in all its magnificence, was begun.

JOHN ZUCCOTTI:  Battery Park City for me is the greatest urban project in the world in the twentieth century. It had a very difficult history.

Donald knows very well what the history was, but it was saved by, in my view, 4 people. First, Hugh Carey took an interest in Battery Park City. The tension that existed between Lindsay and Rockefeller was no longer on the scene, and he provided the political leadership. The second was Richard Kohn, who in fact was going to take the plan and redo it. He hired brilliant planners--my good friend Alex Cooper-- who did in fact a great plan because he understood that, instead of some kind of futuristic nonsense, he should replicate the New York City street pattern, which is the secret to the area's success. The fourth person was Paul Reichmann, who I believe was the greatest developer of the twentieth century, maybe rivaled by Zeckendorf Sr., but certainly up there among the top developers in the world, who in fact took the gamble because he put the money on the line to build out the financial stock. But the residential is also enormously successful, and indeed as you said there was a time when it just stood there as a sand box and no one developed any interest in it. So it took leadership, it took a developer who was daring, and it took a public developer and a great planner, and those four ingredients came together and have made the project, in my view, an enormous success.

JULIA VITULLO-MARTIN:  Let's use Battery Park City as a segue to the book's housing proposals. I'll just mention a few. MaryAnne Gilmartin suggests that the city embrace modular construction; Atlantic Yards is putting up the largest residential modular building ever. And there's another modular project in Washington Heights for affordable housing, so it’s starting in New York. Robert Quinlan suggests that often talented newcomers who come to New York desperately need housing, and that micro-apartments be built in areas pretty far out, re-zoning current manufacturing areas for residential to allow for apartments. He says the apartments should be very small and very stripped down because the youngsters will be outside animating the streets rather than sleeping at home. And good things will come from that. He also wants to resurrect the J-51 Tax exemption program, which rehabilitated much of the West Side. Mark Ginsberg also urges more micro-apartments and put forward rather an interesting zoning proposal. He suggests that whenever a community wants to downzone itself, city officials say to it, fine, but you have to give us something up-zoned to settle the downzoning. And then Kathleen Dunn argues that the city should streamline its tax exemption and abatement programs into one. So do any of those appeal?

DAN DOCTOROFF:  I think in some senses all of them have some appeal. In some cases they're already happening. We clearly have to bring the costs of housing down. The cost of construction is too high; the cost of land in the city is too high partly because, historically, we have restricted the availability of housing too much. We need to focus housing much more near transit centers from an environmental perspective as well, and so what you want is to lower the costs, you want greater predictability, which goes to some of the questions of incentives. You want to create mechanisms that again give developers the incentives to build in ways that they otherwise might not be able to.

We really pioneered in New York the concept of inclusionary zoning, and that basically gave developers the right to build higher in exchange for more affordability with additional subsidized housing. Along the High Line we rezoned the area in West Chelsea and gave the landowners the ability to transfer air rights from their property under and around the High Line to the boulevards, while at the same time preserving the mid-block areas with the galleries and the uniqueness of the street life so that there wouldn’t just be a series of high-rises. There are a lot of plans already underway for these micro-units, which I think is absolutely a fabulous idea. The Citizens Housing Preservation Commission has really been leading that effort under former Housing Commissioner Jerilyn Perine, who I think pushed it very far. There's a great exhibit of it at the Museum of the City of New York.  

We want more housing at lower costs because at the end of the day, if we smartly manage our infrastructure, going back to this virtuous cycle, having more people is a really good thing, and that’s a function partly of cost and having housing in the right places. So I think a lot of these are actually quite good.

JOHN ZUCCOTTI:  Well I agree with Dan, basically what's suggested here are a variety of techniques, all of which would have to be employed to generate housing. I would just make a couple of comments, though. I think it’s going to be very difficult to build affordable housing in Manhattan because the cost of land for housing development is skyrocketing. I've seen values for land to build housing on that runs as high as 450 dollars a square foot of FAR. In my lifetime, 450 dollars was paid for the land, now we're talking about FAR. So I think the future of affordable housing in the city is in Queens and Brooklyn and in the Bronx. And I think the tools that Dan talked about and that are here, what MaryAnne has suggested and what others have suggested, can be used to provide affordable housing.

I do not think we can house poor people without some form of federal subsidy. All of the achievements in the Koch Administration and the Bloomberg Administration in converting housing were done after the federal government abandoned this responsibility to provide subsidy for people who cannot afford to live in privately developed housing. That group of people is not something that can be subsidized within the confines of the budget of the city of New York. But there are people who I would describe as lower-middle class or upper-working class people who can be housed affordably given the techniques that are described here.

For me, one of the nicest, successful and attractive projects of affordable housing is the Columbia Street Project in Brooklyn, which is a very beautiful, low-rise infill project that not only had a dimension of housing but that also in fact solidified the neighborhood and changed the neighborhood so that today it is a very attractive place and much more expensive to live in than it was when that infill project was built.

It can be done with measured goals and imaginative uses of the various tools for subsidy that the city of New York has.

DAN DOCTOROFF:  I actually think we can do it in Manhattan. When we rezoned West Chelsea, when we rezoned Hudson Yards, the Brooklyn waterfront, we had a requirement that 25-35% of the units that were going to be built were going to be affordable. You just have to be creative in coming up with mechanisms that make it possible for the developers to fundamentally cross-subsidize things. I think we were basically able to do that. You're seeing that actually happen today. Over the last 11 years since the creation of the new market place housing plan there will have been 165,000 units of affordable housing either created or preserved. That houses 500,000 people, or about 6 percent of the city's population. Some of it was in inexpensive areas in Manhattan; a lot of it was in what I call "on the cusp" neighborhoods where we actually targeted the housing where there really hadn't been a functioning private market. Part of it was rental; part of it was ownership that ultimately pushed the neighborhood over the edge so that the private market could work. You just have to think about these things in advance, and you have to have a plan and a vision for where you want these neighborhoods to go, and then you have to employ all these different tools that are available, some of which we've created, some of which we stole from other places, some of which haven't been invented yet.

JULIA VITULLO-MARTIN:  So let me finish up with a couple of ideas from the book on city operations. There's Ron Shiffman's proposal to restore the capital budget to City Planning, a function that it had before. Ron notes that Planning is one of the few city entities that a charter charges with engaging with the public, so that's one. Another is Steve Spinola's suggestion to reform the Landmark's Commission, which he argues is used as a tool to thwart development, by moving it under City Planning, which has interesting implications. The third is Vicki Been's to use transferring of development rights much more aggressively for landmarks, so reactions?

DAN DOCTOROFF:  The first one was what?

JULIA VITULLO-MARTIN:  Ron Shiffman's idea.

DAN DOCTOROFF:  That's a dumb idea. City Planning doesn't have a monopoly on wisdom. What I found out in government is that it is the collective efforts of the different agencies working together that ultimately, supported and informed by a public process, for the most part works pretty well and produces the best plans. And it's all these agencies working together, going through a process that is really necessary for the city. So I don't think that one is a particularly good idea.

More extensive transfer of air rights--we've used that pretty aggressively, and they’re going to try to do it now in Midtown East. We've done it at the High Line and in other places. I'm more skeptical about that; I think it's messy, I don't think it's logical in a way, but I think within narrow areas with very specific purposes it can be done. In terms of landmarks, I mean with all due respect Steve, who I have enormous respect for, he represents the real estate interest. I actually think the landmarks process works pretty well. Having been on the other side of a lot of battles with Steve about the need to build up and forget about landmarking, the meatpacking district would be a bunch of high-rises today. Instead it’s one of those iconic places in New York that has a character that's very different than every other part of New York. I think landmarking can be accused of being too aggressive, but very rarely. I think overall they've found the right balance between preservation and the need of the city to grow. I actually think that we've managed that balance quite well.

JOHN ZUCCOTTI:  I disagree with Dan. I think it was a tragedy when they took the capital budget out of the City Planning Commission, aside from being stupid, and put it in the budget bureau, because the whole point was if you have real planning of the public effort then the next logical step was to turn it into a capital plan so that you could in fact build the things that you were planning for. So I would even go further and say as follows: capital budgets should be put in city planning. The Chairman of the Planning Commission should be elevated to a Deputy Mayor, an executive director who would run the Department of City Planning. So the Deputy Mayor would be the Chairman of the Planning Commission and the Deputy Mayor for development so that he would have all the tools necessary to carry out the next queue of the city's strategies for development and growth. That's got about as much chance as the sun not rising tomorrow morning of ever getting done, but the fact of the matter is that, in essence, it is what Mayor Bloomberg did, and that's why Dan was so successful, because he had the ability to manipulate and move the bureaucracies. He had that kind of power, even though it didn't form the organizational structure that I just described, for which he deserves a great deal of compliment.

The second one is I do not believe the Landmarks Commission should be a part of the City Planning Commission. In fact there's a tension between landmarking and growth that has to be recognized, and the landmark community has to have its own advocacy entity. I don't think the uses that exist would still exist. I think, as Dan says, there has been change of the Landmarks Commission and there are adequate modes. I think the worst thing is when a developer buys a piece of land and then subsequently finds out its going to be landmarked. There has to be some way of giving notice before hand, etc, but all those things have been to some degree addressed over the course of the last 10 years, 20 years. So my reaction would be, keep landmarks independent, have rational notices provided, address the questions of whether buildings like this should be landmarked--in fact in my view it should be--and as far as the Deputy Mayor, as far as City Planning's concerned, strengthening the powers of whoever's in charge of linking planning with execution.

DAN DOCTOROFF:  I would landmark the Harvard Club but not the Yale Club.

Before I go, I want to pose just one idea that was not in this book that, because its mine, I think is better than all of the rest. Here's my idea that I want people to think about: when I went to the London Olympics in 2012, I had to go, I had an epiphany. And the epiphany, having looked at the Olympic Park, the convention center in London, which has spurred all sorts of development around it, which is in East London, and looking at a number of other transportation things, I think it is time to move Javits out of Manhattan. We should move it to Sunnyside Yards in Queens, which is literally one subway stop from my office, for example, at 59th and Lexington. Build it on these incredible rail yards there on a platform. You know you see what's going on in Long Island City today; we can't afford to have most conventions in New York because people don't want to pay the price of hotel rooms in Manhattan, yet its still very accessible to Manhattan. I think then it would also open up all that land on the West Side, and you'd actually be able to use the value of that land that Javits sits on to pay for it, making the neighborhood on the West Side actually much better. I'm joking about being better than all these in here, but I think it’s a really interesting idea that we really need to being thinking about.

JOHN ZUCCOTTI:  I must say, if you live long enough, good ideas do tend to come around. Because I remember when we tried to move it to Sunnyside Yards, but of course that's the right place for it to go and it should have happened that way from the beginning, but for a variety of reasons it didn't. Today the case is even stronger given the continued diminishing availability of land in Manhattan. And the fact that it is so proximate to New York; I don't see what it shouldn't be doable. You could in fact build a convention center there…

You could build hotels right there and generate infrastructure for the convention center - that would be extremely effective and good for the city's growth. Maybe if we tried it this time it might work.

JULIA VITULLO-MARTIN:  I think we're going to have to schedule a round two.