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The Durst Conference: Mind the Gap: Transit Lessons from New York and London

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Mind the Gap: Transit Lessons from New York and London

Please note: registrants are required to read a short research paper that will be discussed at the conference.  A link to this paper will be sent to registrants at least two weeks in advance.

A CURE. symposium on transportation and development in London and New York organized by Kate Ascher, Columbia University GSAPP, with support from the Durst Family Fund for Research, featuring:

Andrew Altman, Former CEO, London Legacy Corporation
Peter Anderson, Canary Wharf Group 
Kate Ascher, Columbia University GSAPP
Vishaan Chakrabarti, Columbia University GSAPP
Isabel Dedring, Deputy Mayor of London, Transport
John Dickie, London First
Nicky Gavron, London Assembly
Stephen Glaister, RAC Foundation
David King, Columbia University GSAPP
Jay Kriegel, Related Companies
Ian Lindsay, Crossrail Land & Property
Mitchell Moss, New York University
Steven Norris, Former Minister of Transport, London
Robert Paley, Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Seth Pinsky, Economic Development Corporation
Ben Rogers, Centre for London
Jeffrey Rosen, Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Sam Schwartz, Sam Schwartz Engineering
Tony Travers, London School of Economics
Carl Weisbrod, HR&A Advisors
Kathryn Wylde, Partnership for New York City
Robert Yaro, Regional Plan Association
Jeffrey Zupan, Regional Plan Association

Keynote address by Michael Horodniceanu, MTA Capital Construction

Historically, transport investment has typically followed market demand. This was certainly the pattern in New York, where rail and then subway connections followed the growth of the city northward and eastward from its origins in lower Manhattan. Yet this pattern of transit investment responding to demand is no longer the case universally. In many places, the historic relationship between transport investment and urban growth is being redefined–with investment in transportation leading  the development or redevelopment of forgotten backwaters of the city. In some places, new forms of urban transit are bringing residents back to once-declining city centers or to previously industrial areas along waterfronts; in others, transit extensions are stimulating growth in previously inaccessible neighborhoods.

Perhaps no major city in the world today has invested more heavily in transit-based development strategies than London.  Since the 1980’s, London and the UK have embraced numerous ambitious projects–ranging from the Jubilee Line Extension to the London Overground rehabilitation to the ambitious Crossrail undertaking–that have and are continuing to redefine the areas, and the property markets, in which they are set. Indeed the tie between the two is so strong that the uplift in value resulting from these transit investments is now a key ingredient in their funding.

New York, in contrast, has not seen similar systemic expansion over these same 30 years. Transit investments there have been focused on responding to decades of underinvestment by ensuring a state of good repair and on providing new capacity or relief on heavily oversubscribed transit lines. Even these efforts have not always succeeded: some capacity-building projects, such as the 2nd Avenue subway, remain uncompleted after decades of work; others, such as ARC, have been terminated abruptly. Just one development-related project, the #7 line extension into Hudson Yards, has reached fruition–and that only by resorting to wholly unconventional transit financing.

For two cities who are considered so similar in many ways, the difference in results are glaring. Why has one global city been able to move forward on so many location-based economic development initiatives while another has not? What has led to London’s success in using transit to regenerate huge swathes of the city? How have projects there been financed? What role have public and private actors played over time in their success? How does New York learn from London’s experience? What changes to existing governance or laws might encourage or allow future projects to succeed in New York?

Organized by the Center for Urban Real Estate (CURE.) in partnership with the Centre for London, LSE Cities, and the Regional Planning Association

Sponsored by the Durst Family Fund for Research





Have questions about The Durst Conference: Mind the Gap: Transit Lessons from New York and London? Contact the organizer


Teatro, Casa Italiana
1161 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, 10027

The Durst Conference: Mind the Gap: Transit Lessons from New York and London
New York, United States Events Conference

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