Mastering the Metropolis: New York and Zoning, 1916-2016
Exhibition, Museum of the City of New York, New York, USA.
The character of New York’s varied neighbourhoods is governed by a novel set of zoning rules first envisioned in 1916.
Designed to tame the unruly process of free-market real estate development, zoning has continued to shape the city we know today in countless, often unseen ways. This landmark law gave birth to the iconic ‘setback’ skyscraper and the modern skyline, as well as special neighbourhoods, public amenities, and residential areas of all sorts. On the centenary of America’s first comprehensive zoning resolution, the exhibition examines the effects of the evolving law, reflecting on a century of ideas about what constitutes an ‘ideal’ city.