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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)


Hunter's Point South waterfront (Thomas Balsley Associates / Weiss/Manfredi | Photo credit: Bill Tatham) Hunter's Point South waterfront (Thomas Balsley Associates / Weiss/Manfredi | Photo credit: Bill Tatham)
Within days of taking office, President Biden implemented a series of sweeping changes to shore up the nation’s response to climate change. This is good news for the nation, but in New York City, the fight against climate change never stopped.

While officials on the federal level were pulling out of the Paris Agreement and rolling back a host of other policies designed to fight climate change, New York City officials have spent the past four years rolling out important climate change initiatives. Together, these initiatives, which include investment and divestment strategies, hope to achieve an ambitious goal—an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.

Divesting in Fossil Fuels

Beyond changing how it designs capital projects and manages transportation, the City of New York has also begun to take important steps toward divesting in fossil fuels. Fossil fuels include crude oil, coal, and natural gas. Based on their historically high values, many retirement funds include investments in fossil fuels. But as the fight against climate change expands, there is now growing pressure on investors, including from union leaders, to divest.
In early 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, along with trustees from the City’s pension funds, responded to this pressure by announcing a plan to start divesting in fossil fuel companies. Three retirement plans are impacted by the policy change: the New York Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS), New York City Board of Education Retirement System (BERS), and New York City Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS).

As Comptroller Stringer said at the time of the historic announcement, “Climate change is the most pressing challenge of our time, and we need to meet our climate emergency with every tool at our disposal to protect our children and our children’s children.” While the City of New York still has a long way to go to reach its 2050 goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80%, its recent policy changes on design, transportation, and investment certainly suggest it is heading in the right direction.

Investing in Resiliency Design

In 2018, the City of New York released detailed Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines. The guidelines, which apply to all capital projects, were developed to help planners, engineers, and architects design projects respond to climate change projections. Specifically, the guidelines offer guidance on how to interpret climate change data (e.g., on rising sea levels and temperatures) and design capital projects that respond to known risks of climate change (e.g., ensuring buildings aren’t placed in flood zones) and or reduce known causes of climate change (e.g., adding green roofs to lower energy use and decrease greenhouse gas emissions).
Thomas Balsley Associates / Weiss/Manfredi

Investing in Green Transportation

Fossil fuels, including the gasoline and diesel used to power most vehicles, are a major culprit of climate change. Both result in increased greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluorocarbons. New York City continues to aggressively tackle transportation-related pollution on many levels.

Electric Buses

Over the next decade, the City will invest $1.1 billion to both modify depots for electric bus operations and purchase 500 new electric buses for the city’s fleet. If all goes as planned, by 2029, all buses purchased by the City will be all-electric with the goal of eventually having an all-electric fleet.

Congestion Pricing

Like it or not, congestion pricing is coming to New York City. Although the initiative has been temporarily delayed, barring any major surprises, it will likely go into place in late 2021 to early 2022. Once it does, anyone driving below 60th Street in Manhattan will pay a steep toll. In addition to helping reduce emissions in New York City, the plan has another upshot—the tolls are expected to generate $15 billion dollars, which will be diverted to the MTA’s $51.5 billion capital plan to modernize the city’s beleaguered public transit system.

Open Streets for Pedestrians

Pre-pandemic, the city started to introduce car-free streets on special occasions. In Summer 2020, as city dwellers started to overcrowd parks, the Open Streets initiative was expanded. Again, there is hope that post-pandemic, the city will maintain and expand Open Streets, handing more space back to pedestrians.

Bikes and Bike Paths

Between 2013 and 2018, the Department of Transportation expanded its on-street bike network by more than 330 miles. As of 2018, there were 82 protected bike lane miles in New York City. With more bike lanes being added every year and easier access to bikes thanks to the expansion of the Citi Bike program, roughly a quarter of the city’s adults now ride a bike, at least occasionally. As of 2019, nearly 800,000 New Yorkers were riding bikes on a regular basis. Since the pandemic, however, bike sales and cycling have surged as New Yorkers have turned away from the MTA. There is hope that post-pandemic, many of the people who started riding in 2020 will continue to do so, resulting in a permanent impact on the city’s fight against climate change.

Dream Homes along NYC's most Bike-Friendly Routes

Eastern Parkway

Credit: Photo by Daniel Avila / NYC Parks
Though Grand Army Plaza where the boulevard begins is a sprawling mess, Eastern Parkway is a pleasant, tree-lined ride into the heart of Brooklyn.
From the Listing: Prospect Heights 1 bedroom coop. Situated directly on Eastern Parkway, this beautifully renovated compact 1 bedroom apartment has stunning views and an unbeatable location. The apartment is located in a barrel-front limestone building, which is directly across the street from the Brooklyn Museum, Prospect Park, and the Botanic Gardens. Trendy restaurants on Franklin, Washington, and Vanderbilt are a short walk away, as are the 2/3/4/5 trains. The next owner of this thoughtfully designed co-op will be immersed in the culture and nightlife that Brooklyn offers. See floor plan and full details here.

Prospect Park West
A hard-fought protected bike lane in a bucolic setting. Bike courtesy is a must. The Open Streets initiative has made the stretch even better.
From the Listing: Introducing Residence 4D, a 1,993-square foot, three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home with Northwest exposures. Upon entry, high ceilings and original details have been preserved to sensitively capture the spirit of 1920s architecture and pre-war minimalism. The entry gallery features a large walk-in closet and a custom Frank Stella-inspired pattern using the hand-laid reclaimed heart pinewood flooring from The Hudson Company that is featured throughout the home. See floor plan and full details here.

Brooklyn Bridge Park - Columbia Waterfront District
The stretch from the Columbia Waterfront District through Brooklyn Bridge Park is among the most enjoyable and scenic anywhere. Tricky getting there, however.
From the Listing: Hello Hamptons, please meet Brooklyn! The waterfront home IN the city that you have been waiting for is finally available at Pierhouse. At just over 2000 SF, this magnificent loft-like duplex feels like a beach house and offers two large private outdoor sanctuaries, 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a chef's kitchen, stunning spa-like bathrooms, and views of the East River, lower Manhattan, and Brooklyn Bridge Park. See floor plan and full details here.

Allen Street
The protected bike lanes here are shifted to the center median malls. Easy ride in an area steeped in immigrant history.
From the Listing: Rarely do beautiful views, private outdoor space, and an abundance of light all combine with the real luxury of space in one of Downtown Manhattan's most vibrant neighborhoods! Re-designed by architect Stefano Pasqualetti, this stylish duplex offers beautiful southwestern light and a spacious living and entertaining area with private balconies. See floor plan and full details here.

Second Avenue-East Village
Crowded and chaotic with a high-rate of aggressive bikers and delivery-persons, this protected lane is a treat because it rides through a very interesting stretch of the East Village. It turns into a sh*tshow around East Houston Street.
From the Listing: Introducing 45 East 7th Street, a truly extraordinary, landmarked new development building by one of NYC's leading architects and featuring an exclusive collection of 21 luxurious residences located at the center of Astor Place, the Village and Bowery as well as Soho and Noho. Inspired by historical elements and punctuated by sophisticated concepts, Morris Adjmi has crafted a boutique building with a striking appearance through ground-breaking contemporary design, elegance, and charm. See floor plan and full details here.

Riverside Park

Both the upper level promenade covering the Amtrak tracks and the esplanade are bike-friendly. A bumpy section north of 80th Street was recently smoothed out, and a newly-designated upland bike path was installed to keep pedestrians out of the harms way of speeding bikers. Riverside Drive itself is neither the safest nor easiest to the bike though there are bike lane markings.
From the Listing: A rare offering on Riverside Drive is this sun-filled, grand-scale corner 8-room home boasting a breathtaking panorama of the Hudson River and Riverside Park, as well as the open city. This expansive, high-floor apartment at 160 Riverside Drive, one of the area'ss top, full-service co-ops, features three exposures and showcases one of the most desirable vantage points in the city. The iconic Soldiers and Sailors Monument is in full view, and panoramic views reach the George Washington Bridge. See floor plan and full details here.

Central Park West
The newly-protected lane is straightforward and relatively flat, unlike the park loop inside. Bikers who don't obey traffic rules pose a risk to crossing pedestrians since vehicular traffic only interrupts the path at the transverse roads. Perhaps this should be a two-way bike path.
From the Listing: OPEN VIEWS on Central Park West! Located in the St. Urban, one of the city's grand Beaux-Arts apartment buildings, this sprawling 10-room home offers a graceful layout with 5 bedrooms and 57-feet fronting Central Park and the Reservoir. This Triple Mint apartment underwent a yearlong full gut renovation in 2012. The owner meticulously expanded the original 12 room floorplan to make the current grand entertaining apartment that it is today. See floor plan and full details here.

Columbus Avenue
A protected and respected bike lane making riding downtown a relative breeze. Things go downhill both figuretive and literally when the avenue turns in Ninth Avenue at 59th Street.
From the Listing: High-floor and rarely available two-bedroom, two-bathroom boutique condominium home with private elevator landing and stunning museum and park views and light. The open and loft-like layout is perfect for entertaining with enormous picture windows in every room all overlooking lush treetops and unobstructed views of the Beresford, The Hayden Planetarium, and The American Museum of Natural History. See floor plan and full details here.

A stretch that should have been pedestrianized years ago, its light vehicular traffic, and well-timed traffic lights make this a convenient ride between Times Square and Union Square. May the grace of God be with you before and afterward.
From the Listing: When Architect Danny Forster of the Reality TV show Build It Bigger renovated this turn of the century Flatiron loft, he perfectly distilled the essence of creative loft living. A flexible living space, allowing for both a measure of privacy when desired, from an otherwise expansive open plan. Foster's design effectively retains the essence of this Queen Anne building, by homage to its 19th-century details; from its 1884 iron radiators, 100+-year-old shudder boxes, and original columns, while creating the consummate modern-day floorplan. See floor plan and full details here.

12th and 13th Streets
12th and 13th streets serve as convenient east-west connectors since there are no safe uptown bike routes between First and Sixth avenues north of 14th Street. These lanes were quite controversial as they eliminated a large number of parking spaces.
From the Listing: Rare corner offering at The Greenwich Condominium. Apartment 9B at 65 West 13th Street is a sprawling, mint condition, 2 bedroom (convertible 3), with a separate home office, 2.5 bathroom loft in one Greenwich Village's most coveted pre-war, full-service condominium buildings. See floor plan and full details here.

Fifth Avenue
Best way to get from Madison Square to Washington Square Park. Best of luck before and afterward.
From the Listing: Penthouse Extraordinaire! New York State of Mind. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own the views of this pristine Penthouse with two private terraces at legendary One Fifth Avenue. Upon arrival, sweeping southern views greet you through oversized panoramic windows, while stepping onto the terraces, stunning city views take your breath away: to the south from majestic Washington Square Park expanding beyond the Freedom Tower, to the north showcasing the Empire State Building and boasting impressive views as far as the eye can see! See floor plan and full details here.

Waverly Street-Christopher Street
A ride through Waverly Place, Gay Street, and Christopher to the Hudson River waterfront will take you through the most charming stretches in the city. While not a protected bike lane and some chaotic intersections, the general pleasantness of the area is a treat.
From the Listing: Situated in the heart of the West Village and a block away from Washington Square Park; this 23'; wide, 3000 sqft Duplex spans the 2nd and 3rd floors of an 1842 Greek Revival townhouse. 121 Waverly Place 2/3 offers 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. As you step in you are greeted with an open 48' great room with beamed ceilings, a custom steel-framed floating staircase, and a windowed kitchen on looking a tree-filled courtyard. See floor plan and full details here.

Hudson River Park

The city's most famous bike path runs down Manhattan's west side connecting to paths that will take you to Inwood and down around to the East Side. The two-way protected and now-bollarded path has become increasingly crowded. Rider will endure several busy pedestrian crossings and a fair share of obnoxious/aggressive bikers. Chill out, people...
From the Listing: This beautifully renovated, 3 bed, 2 bath, WV home boasts 2200SF of grand living, sweeping Hudson River views, high ceilings, WBFP, a dual-zone HVAC system, and a new, oversized LG washer/dryer. The stunning custom kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances and waterfall quartz countertop on L shape island opens into the expansive, light-filled great room where the 6 oversized double-paned windows make it easy to enjoy incredible sunsets. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Jaw-dropping panoramic views, a one-of-a-kind triplex layout, extensive terraces and a private rooftop outdoor swimming pool make this the most unique and desirable penthouse apartment downtown. The penthouse oasis at 471 Washington Street in Tribeca is a sprawling showplace home offering over 7,137 square feet of ultra-luxurious living space, and 7 fabulous terraces totaling 4,393+ square feet of outdoor bliss. See floor plan and full details here.

Battery Park - Governor's Island

The new path is Battery Park is a dream. Unfortunately, it's quite short and there always happens to be the confused tourist aimlessly wandering on the path. The Battery Maritime Terminal building is a short ride from the park where you can catch a ferry to Governor's Island, a recreational paradise in warmer months.
From the Listing: This expansive home measures approximately 1,500SF and features 2 bedrooms, a separate home office or nursery, and 2 full bathrooms. 3G features an extraordinary level of craftsmanship that brings together purpose & function and is further complimented by a high standard of finishes. You will enjoy expansive floor-to-ceiling windows, dramatic 12' ceilings, and tree-top western views from every room, connecting the park to your home, this home makes a lasting impression. See floor plan and full details here.

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Contributing Writer Cait Etherington Cait Etherington has over twenty years of experience working as a journalist and communications consultant. Her articles and reviews have been published in newspapers and magazines across the United States and internationally. An experienced financial writer, Cait is committed to exposing the human side of stories about contemporary business, banking and workplace relations. She also enjoys writing about trends, lifestyles and real estate in New York City where she lives with her family in a cozy apartment on the twentieth floor of a Manhattan high rise.