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Construction & Design

Speakers seek common ground

Carlo Scissura introduced speakers including l-r: Sabrina Kanner, Deputy Mayor Vicki Been, HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll and Buildings Commissioner Melanie La Rocca .

The New York Building Congress hosted New York City public officials at a Construction Industry Breakfast that featured a keynote address by Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, Vicki Been, at the New York Hilton Midtown.

Deputy Mayor Been was joined by Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Louise Carroll and Department of Buildings Commissioner Melanie La Rocca on a panel moderated by the Executive Vice President of Design and Construction at Brookfield Properties and Treasurer of the Building Congress Board of Directors, Sabrina Kanner.

The panel delved into the intersection of affordability and development and what it means for the future of New York City.

Deputy Mayor Been’s keynote address emphasized City Hall’s firm commitment to development and economic growth across the city, but criticized the polarized discussion surrounding economic development.

“We need to change the conversation about how to move the city forward,” said Been. “Let’s work together so that development and growth is accompanied by appropriate jobs, opportunities, public spaces, and parks — all the things that make neighborhoods special to its community.”

New York Building Congress president & CEO Carlo A. Scissura praised the work of city officials and commended their efforts to improve affordability in New York City.

“Deputy Mayor Been leads efforts to tackle the affordability crisis in New York City through building a new generation of affordable housing and fighting to ensure that New Yorkers across the five boroughs have great paying jobs,” said Scissura. “The work done by these government agencies keeps the city running.” The panel, moderated by Brookfield Properties’ Kenner, explored anti-development sentiment, the need for deeper housing affordability, and ways to innovate in the construction industry. “We are looking at creative ways to achieve affordability using all different tools, such as innovative programs and different ways of financing,” said Carroll.

“To find more effective ways of building, we are looking at modular construction – we need to partner with this industry to find faster and more cost-efficient ways to build.”“We need construction and building to become better and smarter, through tying in analytics to target areas that need more intervention,” said La Rocca.

“We need to work smarter, not harder, to make building safe, fast, and for the benefit of everyone.”

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