The Mission of the Manhattan Institute is
to develop and disseminate new ideas that
foster greater economic choice and
individual responsibility.

Center for Rethinking Development.

Ideas that shape the city's planning, housing, and development

Julia Vitullo-Martin
Julia Vitullo-Martin is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and Director of the Center for Rethinking Development. Her work focuses on development issues such as planning and zoning, housing, rent regulation, environmental reviews, building and fire codes, and landmark preservation.

Hope Cohen
Deputy Director
Hope Cohen is Deputy Director of the Center for Rethinking Development. With over a decade of experience in New York City government at the Department of Parks and Recreation and MTA New York City Transit, she brings invaluable experience navigating the complex city bureaucracy and an acute ability to solve complex problems by building consensus among multiple stake-holders.

Media Inquiries:
Bridget Sweeney
Press Officer

The Center for Rethinking Development (CRD) fosters a new understanding of the importance of development to New York City's well-being. Focusing on such areas as zoning and planning, environmental review, building codes, historic preservation, and public housing, CRD conducts research, hosts forums, and offers concrete, feasible proposals for reform.

The city has adopted many of CRD's specific recommendations for zoning changes. CRD's work on bottlenecks to building continues to frame policy discussions in the development world—public, private, and not-for-profit.

New Yorkers have become far more development-friendly in the past few years, but are rightly troubled about New York's decaying infrastructure—roads, subways, bridges, tunnels—so necessary to support an expanding city. The costs of housing—rehabilitation as well as new construction—worry everyone concerned about keeping and attracting jobs and business. CRD explains and makes a case for the importance of reconnecting environmental reviews to infrastructural planning and implementation, targeting incentives to neighborhoods that are still weak rather than those that are strong, and tempering historic preservation with economic reason. Addressing these common-sense concerns is key to the city's future.

For more information please contact Hope Cohen (, (212) 599-7000, fax (212) 599-3494.


Raise the Roof, Lower the Costs: Construction Costs and Housing Affordability in New York City
by Rosemary Scanlon

Albany and City Hall: Here's What You Can Do to Slow Down Construction Costs
by Hope Cohen, July 2008

Hope Cohen of the Center for Rethinking Development interviews economist Rosemary Scanlon [Part I] [Part II]
The report was released on July 9 at a panel featuring Rosemary Scanlon, architect Mark Ginsberg, financier and developer Michael Lappin and construction attorney Barry LePatner. Please click here to listen to the panel.
A discussion of "Raise the Roof, Lower the Costs" on WNYC news.
Testimony re: Changes to City Capital Contracting Rules Testimony of Hope Cohen to City Council Contracts Committee, 09-19-08
Cutting the High Cost of Housing Rosemary Scanlon and Hope Cohen, Gotham Gazette, 09-16-08
Bulldozing Through New York Rosemary Scanlon and Hope Cohen, The New York Sun, 08-07-08

Building A Better Model For Consrtuction Wages, City Limits, 01-12-09
New School Year Brings New Seats for 11,000 Students, New York Sun, 08-28-08
What to Do About Those Rising Construction Costs, The New York Observer, 07-30-08
Report Urges Nonunion Labor Use Peter Kiefer, The New York Sun, 07-10-08
Construction Costs Put Crimp on Affordable Housing Crain's New York Business, 07-09-08


On Thursday, November 1, 2007, the Manhattan Institute's Center for Rethinking Development hosted Mayor Michael Bloomberg as the keynote speaker of a conference entitled "Thinking Big for New York City." Julia Vitullo-Martin moderated the panel of Amanda Burden, Chair of the City Planning Commission, Kenneth Jackson, Columbia University Professor of History, and Felix Rohatyn, Senior Advisor to Lehman Brothers.

Click here to watch video of the Mayor's address, or to read his prepared remarks. Click here for event audio [PART I] [PART II].


Hope Cohen Participates in Discussion of Bloomberg's State of the City speech, 01-21-08

Thinking Big for New York City, October-November 2007
Hope Cohen discusses the future of Coney Island, a theme from the October-November CRD newsletter.
A Tale of Two Cities, New York Post, 11-04-07
Astroland Saved!, New York Magazine, 11-01-07
West Side Residents vs. Bloomberg over Rezoning Plan, New York Daily News, 11-05-07
The Revolutionary, Newsweek, 11-03-07
New York defiant as boomtime melts away, Financial Times, 11-03-07
How Is Bloomberg Like Pope John XXIII?, The New York Times City Room Blog, 11-01-07
Coming to a Neighborhood Near You, Gotham Gazette Wonkster Blog, 11-01-07
At Manhattan Institute, Bloomberg Praises Big Ideas, Denounces Autocratic Urban Planning, New York Observer Politicker Blog, 11-01-07

Click here for a comparable event on upstate issues, 'Can Upstate Cities Save Themselves?'


Give our regards to Broadway: Bloomberg's on the right track with radical plan; now, go further by Hope Cohen, New York Daily News Online, 05-26-09
No Parking, Ever by Hope Cohen, The New York Times, 08-18-08
Tolls, Fees, and Fares by Hope Cohen, April 2008
Clearing New York City Streets by Hope Cohen, Gotham Gazette, 04-14-08
The Critics of Mayor's Toll Plan Get Silly by Hope Cohen, New York Post, 03-31-08
A Simpler Alternative to Congestion Pricing by Hope Cohen, Gotham Gazette, 01-07-08
Public Transit Should be Cheaper Option by Hope Cohen, NY Metro, 08-06-07
Fill Potholes in Congestion Pricing Plan by Hope Cohen, New York Daily News, 07-26-07
A Solution to Crawling City Traffic? Not So Fast by Julia Vitullo-Martin, The New York Times, 05-20-07
Improve Transit Before Congestion Pricing by Hope Cohen, Gotham Gazette, 05-07-07
Don't Wait for the Congestion Pricing Pilot: Fix Transit Now!
by Hope Cohen, April 2007
Buses, Trains, and Automobiles by Hope Cohen, December 2006


Hope Cohen discusses congestion pricing
elaborating on a theme she discusses in the August CRD newsletter

On Congestion Pricing, to New York City Council, March 24, 2008
On Congestion Pricing, to Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission, January 16, 2008
Supporting Intro. 199 to New York City Council Transportation Committee, January 25, 2007

Road Pricing Worked in London. Can It Work in New York? What New Yorkers Think, December 2006
Battling Traffic: What New Yorkers Think About Road Pricing
Transportation expert Bruce Schaller shows that New Yorkers would embrace congestion pricing as part of a comprehensive solution to traffic problems.


Finding Ways to Ease the Gridlock Blues, New York Times, 12-24-06
We Will Clog You, By Bruce Schaller and Hope Cohen, NY Times, 12-17-06
Congestion Pricing And The Future Of NYC: Addressing The Objections, By Bruce Schaller, Gotham Gazette, December 2006

New York City Voters Oppose 'Congestion Pricing', Bloomberg News, 01-18-07
In Traffic's Jam, Who’s Driving May Be Surprising, New York Times, 01-12-07
Kick Out the Jams, Village Voice, 01-02-07
Some wishes for the new year, The Villager, Editorial, 12-27-06
The Road Not Taken, New York Sun, 12-22-06
Opposites team up against gridlock, AM New York, 12-12-06
Are Tolls the Fix in NYC?, Times Record Herald, Editorial, 12-08-06
Transit Officials Sour on Idea of Increasing Express Bus Service, New York Sun, 12-08-06
Fees To Ease Midtown Traffic Jams May Get a New Look From City Hall, New York Sun, 12-04-06
Bigger Push for Charging Drivers Who Use the Busiest Streets, New York Times 11-27-06
Groups Study Congestion Pricing for City, New York Sun 11-20-06


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