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ables city planners and other responsible officials to predict population changes and growth in preparing long-range plans for schools, streets and highways, hospitals and other community facilities of major importance. 

Hand in hand with developing density controls is the matter of providing adequate open space in a very congested city. One of the most precious commodities in New York is open space - a bit of green offering the benefits of sunlight and air to our dwellings, or usable areas which provide recreational space and the sense of openness and privacy that makes living enjoyable. Open space is not wasted space. It is of significant importance, not only for health and esthetic reasons, but as a factor in maintaining the long-term economic value of an area as a desirable neighborhood suitable for continued residential use. To protect the City's residential investment and to prevent excessive coverage of land, suitable controls are required. 


To achieve the desirable goals of residential development, it was necessary to develop a series of interrelated controls which regulate the total effect of residential development. These controls govern open space, ratio of rooms to lot area, floor area and minimum lot size. Combined they effectively protect communities against excessive density or coverage. Further, they have a built-in bonus system which encourages builders to provide more open space than the minimum required. In this regard, a flexible scale of permitted densities, open space and floor area ratios was devised for Residence Districts in which apartment houses are allowed. The net effect of these regulations, which represent a streamlined version of the earlier density and open space controls proposed by Voorhees Walker Smith and Smith, is to encourage the builder to provide more open space and somewhat taller, slimmer buildings in apartment house districts. In exchange for the additional open space, the bonus system permits the builder to add more floor area, more rooms or both. Another set of controls regulating minimum lot areas and lot widths covers the intensity of development in districts in which one-family and two-family houses are located. 

The Residential Districts are divided into ten groups, R1 to R10. The R1 and R2 districts allow only single-family detached homes; R3 and R4 are also low density districts and have fixed open space, floor area and density controls; R5 and R9 are medium to high density districts with sliding scale controls, and R10 is a special, very confined, high-rise apartment house district in Manhattan where greater densities are permitted than would otherwise be desired. In general, the residential districts follow a pattern in which housing located close to the central business districts and close to sources of rapid transit is permitted higher densities than that in outlying districts. 

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