In the Zone: The History of Zoning in New York City

image courtesy Flatbush Gardener
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Taught by Andrew Linderman

Andrew Linderman is a writer and storyteller based in Brooklyn, NY.  He teaches writing and storytelling at General Assembly and is a story coach with the community education program at The Moth, a Macarthur award-winning non-profit dedicated to the craft of storytelling. 

In addition to teaching, Andrew is the executive producer of Local Stories, a monthly storytelling series featuring many of New York’s best writers, performers and comedians.  He is also the founder of the Story Source, a blog aimed at helping artists, business people and entrepreneurs tell compelling stories.  For more information, visit


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If you've ever been woken up at 6 AM to the sound of a machine shop grinding glass (yeah), wondered why there's an arena in the middle of downtown Brooklyn (of course!), or cursed a newly constructed condo because it blocks your view (f**k yes!), wonder (or curse) no longer.  There's a simple explanation for these annoyances: zoning

In this class, I'll take you on a journey through the history of zoning in New York City. You'll learn how planners shaped the city with their early attempts to segment residential and commercial businesses and how the work of a few men changed the landscape of the city forever. We'll talk a little bit about the different zoning designations (think M1 vs. C3), then look at a few case studies of major rezoning efforts.  Finally, you'll get a peak into how the rezoning process works and how, with the right connections, you can build a condo that blocks everyone's view.   

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