Newly elected New York Mayor Bill de Blassio has chosen Alicia Glen, head of urban investment for Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group (UIG) as the deputy mayor for housing and economic development.

De Blassio said of Glen: "As I got to know Alicia it was clear to me she is someone who shares my core values of the need to fight inequalities with all we do. I know we need to continue to develop and grow our city and we will work with our partners in the non-profit, public and private sector to do that. But that means not just focusing on the large scale projects that have been so central over the past decade, but focusing on a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization."

For more than a decade, Glen has networked to get government and private sector corporations to collaborate on more than $5 billion in real estate projects for residential, mixed-use and commercial sites.

Glen said about her new position in de Blassio's government: "We can do so much more to lift people up by investing in our neighborhoods — especially in the outer boroughs. We can raise the floor on workers' wages, develop and preserve more affordable housing and give families a shot to make it here."

Under former NY mayor Rudy Guilliani, Glen was appointed as the assistant commissioner for housing finance at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development .

UGI invests money into municipal infrastructure under the guise of revitalizing "underserved neighborhoods".
In 2012, Michael Bloomberg, then NY mayor, championed micro-apartments; "studio and one-bedroom apartments" will be no bigger than 275 to 300 sq ft.

These tiny living spaces are smaller than currently allowed by building regulations, according to a statement by Bloomberg's office; however the zoning regulations will be waived in over to construct the first of many compact pack 'em and stack 'em housing model in the city-owned area of Kips Bay.

Bloomberg announced this "New Housing Marketplace Plan" with directives toward financing 165,000 units that are more affordable than anything on the current market. By 2014, these units are expected to be competing to get New Yorkers out of their large apartments and single-family houses and into a tiny space to maximize functionality in a clear move toward creating Agenda 21 megacities out of existing spaces.

David Bragdon, director of the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability asserts that: "New Yorkers can be better served by adapting the city's apartment models to allow more efficient and sustainable homes. Today's announcement is fulfillment of the pledge in PlaNYC, the Mayor's long-term sustainability strategy, to update the City's regulations to better accommodate the population and demographics of the future."

The initiative includes transformation of hundreds of acres of land into "new parkland" and micro-sized units that are built adjacent to public transit systems.

These plans will force New Yorkers out of their cars and into highly-dense areas where living space is severely limited in an effort to "reduce greenhouse gas emissions 13% below 2005 levels."

A request made by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development states that the program called adAPT NYC is specifically aimed at the building of smaller homes in accommodation for the growing population in NY.

As one, two and three bedroom; as well as single-family homes sky-rocket in price in NY, these small apartments are being promoted. Seventy-five of the micro-sized units will include kitchens and bathrooms; however interior design will depend on affordability and innovative layouts that maximize space.

City planners of the future hope to have this concept spread across the nation; where young "urbanites" flock to smaller living spaces that are equal to dormitory-style living. Lowering prices will attract those on fixed incomes. Officials in Manhattan, who estimate that 46.3% of households consist of a single person, are marketing these micro-units for those who spend more time socializing outside the home.

With the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Partnership for Sustainable Communities (PSC) this trifecta would allocate federal funding for local governments that wanted to make their cities more "walkable" and "cleaner" by coercing residents to get out of their cars.

In 2011, the Obama administration gave the PSC $527 million without approval by Congress; with HUD getting $100 million to create regional sustainability plans to "integrate transportation, housing and land use."

Effectively, the PSC was tasked with:

  • Federalizing public transportation as a eco-friendly way to "reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil, improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote public health."
  • Create expansion of cities by adjusting housing markets to drive residents into densely populated areas while maintain existing city structures to accommodate increased growth in communities.
  • Partner federal policies and local governments with directed funding toward regionalization with a focus on smart growth, renewable energy, urbanization and destabilization of suburban and rural areas.

The 2013 budget proposed by the Obama administration was directed toward the middle class and urban development to make sure that regionalization and national economic growth were synonymous through funding HUD with $400 million through the Choice Neighborhoods program (CHP).

CHP seeks to love families into urbanized areas to mix different economic classes together; direct future generations with indoctrination focused on children as a way to integrate ideals into the society; use private corporate funding to rebuild neighborhoods through safety assessments, education and directed choices set up for families to make that inevitably suit the federal government's move toward smart growth.

A part of the scheme is to take families that are displaced by foreclosure and place them in ready-made densely population urban centers. With no other choice, families that have been made homeless by foreclosure would gladly take the opportunity – perhaps out of desperation.

The Living Cities project is funded through private donors and financial institutions "to improve the lives of low-income people and the cities where they live."
This organization is headed by:

  • Audrey Choi, Head of Morgan Stanley's Environment, Social Finance, and Community Reinvestment Group
  • Martin S. Cox, Group Executive of JPMorgan Chase and is the Head of Community Development Banking (CDB)
  • Dr. Pablo Farias, former Ford Foundation's representative for Mexico and Central America
  • Jo Ann Jenkins, president of AARP
  • Andrew Plepler, Global Corporate Social Responsibility and Consumer Policy Executive, Bank of America and former senior vice president of Housing and Community Initiatives at the Fannie Mae Foundation
  • Pamela P. Flaherty, President & CEO, Citi Foundation; Director, Corporate Citizenship, CitiGroup
  • Nicholas Turner, Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation

While working with families victimized by subprime lending and the foreclosures debacle, Living Cities has 10 projects that acquire properties to keep their intrinsic value up and discourage the breakdown of ability for future investments by potential stakeholders.

With respect to affordable living for displaced families, the advent of the micro apartment is quickly becoming a viable option for those who have no other choice.

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