On May 13, 2017, FRIENDS hosted a community workshop supported, in part, by the National Trust for Historic Preservation which covered the basics of zoning and preservation in New York City, with a focus on the Upper East Side, as well as our recommendations for zoning changes. Working with urban planning consultants George Janes and Ethel Sheffer, FRIENDS seeks to change the zoning loopholes which allow for developers to build taller and taller buildings. For videos of the workshop, including an overview of existing Upper East Side zoning districts and an examination of how supertowers get so tall, click below.



On October 7, 2015, FRIENDS released The Upper East Side-A Framework for the Future of Five Neighborhoods, a planning and zoning study that identifies specific development risks threatening community integrity in the neighborhoods of Lenox Hill, Yorkville, East Harlem, Carnegie Hill, and the Upper East Side in the wake of inappropriately scaled, poorly sited, and non-contextual high density development on the horizon as the Second Avenue Subway’s opening drew near.  Risks include the loss of existing small businesses and a diverse range of housing options, including a vast stock of stabilized and regulated housing (38 percent of all parcels in the Study Area include affordable units).The report, prepared with the assistance of BFJ Planning, addresses the impact of the irreversible transformation that will happen rapidly without a measured approach by the City for sustainable and contextual development and offers 12 recommendations for balanced growth. Click below for more information and to read our study in full.



Watch this short film which celebrates the diversity of the Upper East Side, while also introducing the challenges our neighborhood may face going forward.