A Campus Comparison
As part of its massive proposed Village expansion plan, NYU is seeking to build 2.5 million sq. ft. of space – the equivalent of the Empire State Building – on the blocks south of Washington Square. All of the university’s proposed development is prohibited under current laws and zoning, but would be made possible if approved by the City Planning Commission and the City Council. Part of NYU’s argument to city officials in favor of expansion in the neighborhood is that in order to be effective, NYU’s facilities must be concentrated within a ten or fifteen minute walk of Washington Square — an area they call the ‘core.’ However, a quick look at a variety of colleges and universities around the country shows that intense geographic concentration is not necessary for success.
GVSHP has put together a report showing how most schools across the country spread their facilities over a much greater distance than the ten or fifteen minute walking radius that NYU claims it needs. The report illustrates that whether they are large universities with comparable student enrollment, like the University of Michigan Ann-Arbor, mid-sized urban campuses like those of Harvard or Yale, or small liberal arts schools like Middlebury or Williams College, schools can foster both academic success and a strong community identity even if physically spread over a large area.
Although other locations in New York City, easily connected by mass transit to NYU’s facilities could accommodate much of NYU’s growth, the university still insists it must expand intensively in the ‘core’ of Greenwich Village. The city has even identified areas such as the Financial District, Downtown Brooklyn, Long Island City, and Hudson Yards as places where long-term, large scale growth is not only desirable but necessary. Community leaders in many of these areas have also said that they would welcome NYU.
We encourage you take a look at the report and visit www.gvshp.org/nyu where you can learn more, read our testimony from the April 25 City Planning Commission hearing, sign an online petition, and find contact information to write and call your local elected officials to tell them to Vote No on NYU 2031!