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November 15, 2017

Leading Urban Development Expert Discusses Building a Resilient City for all New Yorkers at “DDC Talks” Lecture Series

Crystal Santos

Long Island City, NY – Jonathan Rose, one of the country’s leading thinkers on environmental, social and economic solutions to urban development issues, addressed how DDC can design and build a Well-Tempered City in the November installment of the monthly lecture series ‘DDC Talks,’ which presents lecturers from around the country to speak to the City’s design and construction professionals. Rose’s talk centered on building a growing city that’s prepared to deal with climate change, increasing income inequality, and educational and health disparities.

“DDC designs for public buildings and infrastructure closely align with Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC goals, and his long-term vision for a sustainable, resilient and equitable City,” said DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio. “We challenge designers to analyze each project and determine whether it addresses local climate hazards such as erosion or flooding and whether it’s an effective and efficient way to improve the lives of the people of New York.”

Rose who is also an affordable housing developer through his firm Jonathan Rose Companies, believes government plays a crucial role in equalizing the land of opportunity at a time of increasing income disparity.

“We have a moral obligation to equalize opportunity, so that no matter what block or building one grows up in the city, that every child will have an equal chance to thrive,” Rose said.

Rose encouraged DDC’s design and construction professionals to think about the role public buildings and infrastructure play in creating more equality. He gave an example of his proposed affordable housing development in East Harlem, Sendero Verde, that in addition to mixed income housing built to Passive House standards, will include a school, a community space, community gardens, a gym and an on-site medical clinic. Rose says it’s critical to build with the community and the residents’ needs in mind.

“The role DDC can play is to think about how every building can have multiple purposes and how every building can be more beautiful, more integrative, more open, more receptive to their communities and more integrated with nature throughout the City,” Rose said.

Rose suggests DDC design public buildings that could be used during a storm emergency by incorporating charging stations for electronic devices and bathrooms with showers. He adds that climate change presents a real challenge for urban centers and coastal cities like New York but it also presents an opportunity for sustainable design that is more resilient and energy efficient. He also encouraged DDC to continue expanding its use of solar energy whenever possible.

Jonathan Rose addresses design and construction professionals at a lecture hall at LaGuardia Community College, immediately adjacent to DDC headquarters in Long Island City, Queens

DDC employs numerous strategies in its designs to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including green roofs, solar panels, geothermal climate control systems and high-efficiency lighting and machinery.

Several new public building projects DDC is managing are designed to have a Fossil Fuel Energy Use Intensity (FFEUI) of zero, including a new NYPD Bomb Squad facility in the Bronx and a new Taxi & Limousine Commission inspection facility in Queens. DDC also makes solar generating capacity part of many of its public building designs, including at the new home for the FDNY’s Rescue 2 in Brooklyn. Earlier this year, DDC installed solar charging stations outside its Queens headquarters to power its fleet of electric vehicles. All with the goal of decreasing the City’s carbon footprint whenever possible

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative, and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to city projects. For more information, please visit