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November 9, 2011

Rachaele Raynoff / Jovana Rizzo (City Planning) – (212) 720-3471

Department of City Planning Releases Historic Documents in Conjunction with
Zoning the City Conference

November 9, 2011 – The Department of City Planning is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Zoning Resolution and, in conjunction the pivotal Zoning The City conference, has released a collection of historic documents, including the landmark 1916 and 1961 Zoning Resolutions. The documents are now available online at Since adoption of the country’s first Zoning Resolution in 1916, New York City has played a seminal role in the history and development of planning and zoning. This rich history is captured through decades of planning reports, land use maps and historic photographs documenting a changing urban landscape. Many of these documents serve as a critical resource for the Department, for the City and for the planning profession. In addition to the Resolutions, also available are minutes from the 1960 public hearings held by the City Planning Commission, the Commission report outlining the need for new zoning regulations, and the 1961 Zoning Handbook published as a guide to the new Resolution. This archive also includes critical reports commissioned from consultancies throughout the 1950s in preparation for the 1961 overhaul.

City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden said, “At City Planning, we are constantly modernizing the Zoning Resolution to meet current needs, and thinking of new and unique ways to use zoning to address social equity, economic, physical and environmental issues. The 50th anniversary of the 1961 Zoning Resolution gives us a chance to look back at where we came from, and I am delighted to make these historic documents available in a public archive for planning practitioners and all New York City residents. It is important to reflect on our history and, with our upcoming Zoning The City conference, brainstorm about the next challenges facing New York City and debate how zoning can be used to address them.”

Zoning is the language of the physical city, and City Planning is committed to making zoning and other important land use information readily accessible to the public. This year, City Planning launched ZoLa, a unique interactive map that is a one-stop-shop for zoning and land use information, and released the new edition of the Zoning Handbook, which has empowered communities by helping them understand zoning and making them better advocates for their neighborhood.

Releasing these historical documents to the public is the first step in City Planning’s project to catalogue the significant archive of planning documents published by the Department. Keep checking DCP’s website as more historic documents are digitized and posted online and available to the public.

The Zoning The City conference, sponsored by the NYC Department of City Planning, Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Baruch College’s Newman Real Estate Institute, will be held on November 15th at the McGraw-Hill Conference Center. Mayor Michael Bloomberg will open the conference and set the stage for the participants, including Bloomberg LP Chief Dan Doctoroff, architects Thom Mayne and Robert A.M. Stern, The New Yorker’s Paul Goldberger, NYU Professor and Deputy Vice Chancellor Hilary Ballon, and Alex Garvin, Professor of Urban Planning and Management at Yale University, among many others. Register at

Department of City Planning
The Department of City Planning (DCP) promotes strategic growth, transit-oriented development, and sustainable communities in the City, in part by initiating comprehensive, consensus-based planning and zoning changes for individual neighborhoods and business districts, as well as establishing policies and zoning regulations applicable citywide. It supports the City Planning Commission and each year reviews more than 500 land use applications for actions such as zoning changes and disposition of City property. The Department assists both government agencies and the public by providing policy analysis and technical assistance relating to housing, transportation, community facilities, demography, waterfront and public space.

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