Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Stringer on Columbia's Responsibility

In yesterday's Spectator there is a report on the state of the borough speech that was given by BP Stringer. In the speech Stringer, in commenting on the expansion plans of Columbia university, warned that "...'projects of this magnitude have swept away entire neighborhoods, something that must never again be imposed on any Manhattan community, especially not this one.'"

This is a strong and welcome statement but, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. The lack of specificity here, while understandable because of the nature of the address, was applauded by the representatives of the university who attended the event. Creating a real consensus, however, may mean asking the university to do some things that it is not apparently ready or willing to do today.

Still, Stringer's promise to "be a driving force to bring people together and forge a consensus for this project" is indeed a positive development and we will be looking to see if the BP is willing to step up and forge the kind of consensus that preserves local businesses and adds to the stock of affordable housing for a neighborhood that, if nothing is done, will be pushed aside for the new glittering campus.