With the city facing long-term fiscal uncertainties, one of the best opportunities New York has to save money even as it spends is by reforming the city’s deeply flawed process for designing and building capital projects. Today, building a new branch library can easily take more than seven years to complete and cost more than $1,500 per square foot to construct. A new report from the Center for an Urban Future shows that reforming this process could save the city $800 million over five years, which is nearly enough money to clear the entire backlog of state-of-good-repair needs across the city’s three library systems, pay for 150 full-time parks maintenance workers for the next decade, or fund more than 1,300 miles of protected bike lanes.
In this op-ed for the New York Daily News, CUF Executive Director Jonathan Bowles and New Yorkers for Parks Executive Director Adam Ganser urge the next mayor to commit to capital reforms that will fix the inefficiencies in the capital process, ensure the greatest possible investment in vital social infrastructure, and help the city stretch dollars further during a period of fiscal uncertainty.
You can read the op-ed here.
This op-ed builds on the Center's ongoing research on the city's aging infrastructure and capital construction process, including the recent report Stretching New York City's Capital Dollars, reports Caution Ahead: Five Years Later, A New Leaf: Revitalizing New York City’s Aging Parks Infrastructure, Slow Build, and event "Reforming NYC's Capital Construction Process for Libraries, Parks, Museums, and Other Public Buildings."