Land Use & Planning

Our office plays a key role in land use decisions throughout the borough of Manhattan.

We are committed to ensuring that development, improvement projects, and land use policies are responsive to community concerns while also providing the housing, jobs, and public benefits that our city needs.

The City Charter requires each Borough President to have a planning office to prepare for the growth, improvement, and development of the borough and to review and make recommendations on applications and proposals for the use and development of land. One of the central responsibilities of the Manhattan Borough President’s office is its charter-mandated role in the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). The office reviews applications after the Community Board holds a public hearing and vote on the matter and before reviews by both the City Planning Commission and the City Council. ULURP gives the Borough President the opportunity to review the land use and environmental impacts of projects while also evaluating community concerns.

The Land Use & Planning department also identifies emerging land use issues and conducts research and data and policy analysis to propose and advocate for solutions to these issues.

Recent Work

Cover of Housing Manhattanites

In January 2023, the MBPO released Housing Manhattanites, a report that identifies sites and neighborhoods where housing can be built. The report includes over 170 individual sites and 9 different neighborhoods that collectively could produce over 73,000 new units of housing.



Madison Square Garden

For decades, the future of Penn Station has been tangled up in the question of whether Madison Square Garden could be relocated. When MSG’s special permit was last extended in 2013, the hope was that a ten-year term would be sufficient to plan and complete the relocation of the arena. Today, a relocation plan is no closer to reality than it was a decade ago. But that doesn’t mean we can’t create a world class Penn Station.



ULURP Responsibilities

One of the key responsibilities of the Borough President’s office is participation in ULURP – the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.

ULURP is the city’s process for changes to zoning and other actions impacting land use. The Borough President reviews all applications and provides an official recommendation, weighing the impacts of the proposal and stakeholder’s input, and identifying improvements.

Applications are certified or referred by the Department of City Planning, and then can be reviewed by the relevant Community Boards, the Borough Board (made up of Manhattan’s City Council members and Community Board chairs), the Borough President, the City Planning Commission, and then finally the City Council.

View ULURP recommendations from the Manhattan Borough President here.

Topographic Services

The New York City Charter requires that each Borough President maintain a topographical bureau and retain a borough engineer. The primary responsibility of the Manhattan Topographical Bureau is to maintain the Borough Map and to furnish copies of the Map and related data to City agencies and the general public.

Specific tasks include:

  • Preparing changes to the Map for street improvements
  • Assigning address numbers to new buildings
  • Assigning new addresses to existing buildings
  • Verifying block, lot and address information for existing buildings
  • Maintaining a system of benchmarks and monuments that are required to survey grade and elevation conditions
  • Researching the history of Manhattan’s streets and sidewalks
  • Responding to engineering matters related to public improvement projects or construction matters.

The Borough President’s Map Room is open to the public by appointment only. To request an appointment, please email or call 212-669-8300. Appointments are available Monday and Wednesday during the hours of 10:00 a.m. through 1:00 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the hours of 10:00 a.m. through 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm through 4:00 pm.

For additional information, please contact Hector Rivera, Topographer at 212-669-4388 or