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TOD: Transit-Owned Development

Summary: New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is constantly running trains, but it is also constantly running a deficit. Unlike profitable transportation companies, such as the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR), the MTA has few valuable real estate assets which could be adequately transformed into transit-oriented and transit-owned joint development hubs. Similar to other […]

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(RE)New York City

Riel, 2014 . (Re)New Your City, New York City: Transporting Transformation Hubs America’s public transportation agencies cannot be profitable in the 21st century due to a political economy that isolates these agencies from municipal zoning and land use policies, and from forming value capture mechanisms – from tax increment financing to joint development and the […]

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Extensions & Expansions

As local lore has it, when a relative asked Charles Tufts what he would do with his land, and more specifically with “that bleak hill over in Medford,” Tufts replied, “I will put a light on it.” The Universalist Church founded Tufts University in the 1840s with a gift of 20 acres of land from Boston […]

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Progressive Public-Private Partnership Profits

. New York City does not lack visionaries or visionary plans with hindsight, foresight, and insight, but these visionaries lack power. Instead, “borderline criminals” continue to dim our future. America has spent trillions rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan, but when it comes to maintaining the infrastructure of a region with a $1.4 trillion GDP, money can’t seem to […]

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(Terminal)ogy

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is North America’s largest transportation network, and it moves approximately 2.4 billion New Yorkers a year on its subways, buses, railroads, bridges and tunnels. The MTA provides service for one-third of the transit riders in America, employs over 67,000 workers, covers an area of approximately 5,000 square miles, and moves 8.7 […]

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Ten Arcane Facts About New York City

1,     Beavers on New York City Seal:   New York City seal has two beavers between the arms of a windmill denoting that the city was founded by Dutch fur traders. The date on the city seal had been 1664 when Dutch surrendered the city to British. In 1974 the City Council decided to change the […]

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Art and Healing

I recently spent a week at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota to be with my brother who was having a surgery. I was restless and had plenty of time at hand to walk the many corridors connecting the hospitals’ wings. Luckily, the Mayo Clinic has an amazing collection of artwork, thoughtfully curated and displayed […]

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Over Population and Overconsumption in Pictures

Recently the Guardian published a series of pictures depicting the effects of overpopulation and the abuse we heaped on the planet.  Pictures are also accompanied with a short description of the place and the issue it highlights.    

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On the Map by Simon Garfield (Book Review)

(This book was first reviewed here by Jeffrey Barke in April 15, 2013.  This is a second review). To satisfy our curiosity and wanderlust humans need two things, new modes of transportation and maps. Our proclivity to chart and map the world around us can be traced back to Babylonians, who divided a circle into 360 degrees, which […]

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Value Capture and Joint Development

What does real estate have to do with public transportation? Actually, quite a lot. From Michigan Central Station in Detroit to the Hudson Terminal, Helmsley Building, and Hotel Pennsylvania in NYC, American railroads of the 20th century maintained a profit partly due to the transportation hub real estate assets they developed, owned, leased, and/or maintained vis-a-vis value […]

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