The Center for an Urban Future, with which I have been affiliated as an advisor and author for many years, has published as the most recent number in its “Off the CUF” series of commentaries my thoughts on the implications of Columbia University’s Manhattanville campus project.
While the legal issues swirling around Manhattanville are up in the air as of the publication date, I have tried to focus on the policy implications, and how it happened that we all took our eye off the ball: the potential of this expansion to enable cluster formation and private-sector employment. At the risk of irritating both sides in this contentious process, I am asking that City leaders explicitly re-open the question of private-sector research partners of the university and whether they will be recruited and made welcome either in the project itself or in immediately adjoining land scheduled for rezoning by City Council this spring.
On Manhattanville, it’s time to lead toward the outcomes NYC wants, and time to stop cowering behind fear that any new complexity will complicate a fraught political process. I expect this piece to be controversial. Comments welcome. Click the link in the first paragraph for the article, or see it embedded in a frame after the jump.