James Stuckey, the former President of the New York City Public Design Commission, explains that a city’s economic infrastructure relies on numerous development types.
Q: What is Large Scale Development?
James Stuckey: Like the name suggests, it is any project that affects a great number of people over a large area.
Q: What large-scale development projects are notable in New York City?
James Stuckey: MetroTech, where the NYC Fire Dept. is headquartered, the South Street Seaport and its surrounding shops, and Times Square.
Q: How are Mixed-Use Developments helpful to a community?
James Stuckey: A Mixed Use Development is a benefit to residents, because they can have easy access to their homes, jobs, and shopping, since any or all of these can be zoned in the same building.
Q: Are there environmental benefits to a Mixed Use Development?
James Stuckey: By allowing a single building or a group of buildings to serve multiple purposes, it opens up the opportunity for less reliance on gas-powered vehicles, since living and working in the same area is a feasible option. It promotes mass transportation.
Q: What is an example of this type of development?
James Stuckey: Battery Park City.
Q.: What is Inner City Development?
James Stuckey: This type of project is completed in a metropolitan area; most people think of “inner city” as low income areas but that is not always the case.
Q.: Are Inner City Development projects unique to the United States?
James Stuckey: They are not. A great example of an inner city development would be a the Staples Center arena in Los Angeles or the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.
Q: What is a Transit Oriented Development?
James Stuckey: Planned communities that are centered on or adjacent to public transport access are considered Transit Oriented.
Q: Why is it important to have areas with access to public transportation when most people drive?
James Stuckey: In large cities, it is not uncommon for most people to live close enough to work to walk. Also, in densely populated areas, public transit is a much more efficient way to travel and it offers many environmental benefits.
Q: Why is it important to have so many development types in a city?
James Stuckey: So that there is a range of accessible jobs and housing. Not everyone has the same financial means to live in a certain area. Also, not all people have the skills or desire to work in an office all day. Having a town with many different development types helps the economy by providing for its resident’s varied needs. Also, cities often develop in myriad ways over their histories.
Q: Are developers only interested in urban development?
James Stuckey: No, absolutely not. Suburban areas impact the economy just as much as downtown developments.
Q: What kinds of projects have you seen built in suburban areas?
James Stuckey: Suburban office parks, residential areas and commercial property, like retail space. Also, areas outside of the metropolitan region are more open, which can allow for more land devoted to industrial developments or shopping space.
Q: Define Infrastructure development…
James Stuckey: Roads, bridges, tunnels; even energy technology.
Q: What kind of development are courts, hospitals, schools and libraries considered?
James Stuckey: These are government and non-profit projects.
Q: Do most developers focus on one type of project?
James Stuckey: Some can, but many chose to offer both public and private sector services.
James Stuckey is the CEO of Verdant Properties, LLC®. During his 30 year long career, James Stuckey has served both the public and private sectors and helped develop some of the most recognizable structures in the city. James Stuckey is a New York City native with personal interests ranging from green and sustainable development to photography and golf.