Liberal New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio wants to ban one of the most iconic things in his city: glass and steel skyscrapers.
If that sounds too absurd to be true, well, perhaps it shouldn’t be true. But the mayor sounded pretty clear in a speech he gave on Earth Day.
According to PIX 11, De Blasio presented the NYC Green New Deal during a press conference and said, “We are going to introduce legislation to ban the glass and steel skyscrapers that have contributed so much to global warming.”
“They have no place in our city or on our earth anymore.”
De Blasio claims that popular use of glass and steel to construct the “monuments to wealth,” as he calls them, are killing the planet because they’re energy inefficient. He also wants to require existing buildings to undergo massive renovations to make them more energy efficient by 2030, otherwise they’ll face huge fines, the New York Post reported.
According to the Post, critics say his renovation requirements would affect 55,000 large buildings, which would have to be upgraded in just over a decade — a seemingly impossible and extremely costly task.
“The caps that they are expected to meet are unrealistic,” said Real Estate Board of New York general counsel Carl Hum.
But is De Blasio really banning new skyscrapers from having glass facades? He explained himself a little better during an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Wearing the same garish green tie he donned for the NYC Green New Deal announcement, the mayor told host Joe Scarborough, “We’re going to ban the classic glass and steel skyscrapers, which are incredibly inefficient. If someone wants to build one of those things, they can take a whole lot of steps to make it energy efficient, but we’re not going to allow what we used to see in the past.”
He also told Scarborough that all aspects of the New York City government will have to rely on renewable sources of energy “in the next five years.” He called his plan an adaption of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ Green New Deal.
But Iowa State University architecture professor Thomas Leslie said De Blasio’s mandate is based on ignorance.
“It’s too simple to say, ‘Oh well, glass skyscrapers are energy inefficient,'” he said. “A smart glass building is more energy efficient than a not-smart building that’s done in another material.”
While first announcing the plan to a crowd, De Blasio pointed to a glass skyscraper behind himself as an example of what would no longer be allowed to be constructed in the Big Apple.
But developer spokeswoman Joanna Rose pointed out that the building, 10 Hudson Yards, is “one of New York’s most energy-efficient Class A office towers.”
“We have to look at advances in glass technology rather than a sort of blanket statement that we are going to prohibit glass buildings,” the American Institute of Architects’ Benjamin Prosky added.
Not only has New York been driving away its residents with its high taxes and nanny-state laws, it appears driven to chase away businesses and architects as well.
Many political pundits believe De Blasio is gearing up to join the crowded field of Democratic presidential candidate. If so, it appears he’s angling to be the champion of the progressive wing.