The Design Trust demonstrated why creative neighborhoods matter to New York City. At a time when City officials were considering rezoning the Garment District and removing all protections for fashion manufacturing, we showed that the Garment District is a thriving research and development hub, and an integral part of NYC’s economy and identity as a global fashion capital. Our study successfully shifted debates about the District to focus on its competitive advantages: its central location, transportation access, unique architecture, and light industrial cluster.
Shortly after release of the study, the City withdrew its controversial rezoning proposal for the Garment District, which would have moved all fashion production into a single building in the District. The news was reported in the June 14, 2010, issue of Crain’s New York: “Word of the city’s move [to shelve a rezoning proposal] follows a study released this month by the Design Trust for Public Space. Instead of describing the garment center as a relic of a bygone industrial age, the new report bills it as a thriving and hugely productive research-and-development hub for high-end fashion.”