Lightstone: Smart planning or ignorant planning?

Ratcliffe and Krawczyk both focus on past and present planning problems along with changes in the 21st century from those before it. They believe that knowing and learning from our mistakes is crucial to future planning. The Lightstone Project is waterfront development, which has come under scrutiny because of Super Storm Sandy. Knowing the implications of building so close to the water with water levels rising every year, The Lightstone Group is continuing its development.

Should the Lightstone Group really be building so close to the waterfront, or are they setting themselves up for failure as Ratcliffe and Krawczyk would probably say?

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4 Responses to Lightstone: Smart planning or ignorant planning?

  1. Derek Ku says:

    Lightstone Group should be analyzing the consequences of their development. They should take a look at Bishop and Hines’s approach to strategic development: “Framing, Scanning, Forecasting, Visioning, Planning & Acting (Ratcliffe.6). It is one of the most “popular and persuasive” methods of planning. The Lightstone Group should understand that these projects aren’t solely for milking their investments and stimulating the downtown Manhattan economy. They should reconsider the risks involved with infrastructure that isn’t adaptable to natural disasters. What a smart planner would include in the plan are methods to harness the water power that might result from the stormwater. New York’s weakness is its poor stormwater management due to impermeable surfaces that cause runoff precipitation to flood the streets and not flow into the tunnel system below that lead to the rivers. If the Lightstone Group pursues this route for their development, they will have be irresponsible to the biosphere and technosphere around them.

  2. Amanda Huang says:

    I believe that as long as the Lightstone group does proper planning and analyzation that it is feasible and not “setting themselves up for failure”. As mentioned in the article, people love the waterfront for various reasons, whether aesthetic or spiritual. Lightstone architects are taking precautionary measures and it is up to buyers whether or not they want to purchase the properties. If Lightstone’s project were to go through, it could set a precedent for erecting properties that adapt to the changing climate, rather than just mitigating, which is much of what we’ve seen. However, Lightstone does need to be weary of the extent to the precautions they make. Sea levels are consistently rising which poses a huge problem that Lightstone that address. In addition to adapting now and forecasting the future, there must also be room to mitigate in a worst case scenario.

    So while I’m not opposed to Lightstone’s waterfront property, I agree they have to be very careful in their planning and precautions.

  3. Michelle says:

    Lightstone Group has gathered sophisticated data modeling and anticipated risk, so I would disagree slightly with Ratcliffe and Krawczyk’s possible notions that it would be a senseless project. I believe the main issue is the political viewpoint that if Lightstone Group was to build on the waterfront, at one point there may need to be a government intervention if anything like Hurricane Sandy were to happen again. In the seminar introduction lecture at John Jay, we learned about how Governor’s Island survived Sandy despite being surrounded by water. Although this decision is susceptible to global risks, the traditional idea outweighs the possible economic downturn. Social changes and carbon emission levels are inevitable and the reliability of this decision may still be in question, but as long as the planning involves keeping the heart of the building (equipment) elevated and as Derek mentioned, looking into harnessing water power, I believe it can succeed.

  4. Hye Min Lee says:

    It would be too quick and pessimistic for anyone to believe that the Lightstone Group is setting themselves up for failure. It is a new idea and a new development they are trying to implement near the waterfront but I believe with adequate planning and designing it will be okay when another storm hits the East Coast. As everyone mentioned above, the Lightstone Group must be meticulous and impeccable in developing its residential areas because we are talking about 1,000 people’s lives and property at risk if the design fails to adapt to the climate changes. Michelle brings up a very interesting point that though surrounded by water, Governor’s Island survived Sandy. This goes to prove that what’s really important is not the amount of water surrounding the space but the infrastructure of the building that will determine how much damage is allowed by extreme weather events. Looking at the bigger picture, this project hopefully will bring about improvements and solutions to the city’s stormwater runoff problems in the long run.

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