While New York City often tops ratings lists as the best city in the world, there's one list it has struggled to dominate. When it comes to tech innovation, NYC falls second to Silicon Valley, where startups and entrepreneurs have thrived for decades. But, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, "We don’t like to be second to anybody.” In typical New York fashion, the city plans to break ground on a tech-centered extension of Cornell University -- CornellNYC Tech -- which will be part graduate school, part startup incubator.
As of late, New York City has seen an explosion of tech startups -- nearly 500 since 2007 -- giving hubs like Silicon Valley, Boston and Austin, Texas, a run for their money. In an effort to feed the growing tech scene, the city plans to create a space where students will not only be trained in technology, but also in entrepreneurship. The 10-acre campus, which will be built on Roosevelt Island on the East River-side of Manhattan, will house a network of classrooms, labs, conference spaces and living quarters to foster an innovation-friendly environment.
With up to a $400 million land and infrastructure grant from the city, Cornell and its partner, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, will break ground on the $2 billion project in 2014. Check out the slideshow below for cool facts about the campus and its effects on the community.
<br>While some Roosevelt Island residents are worried about the campus' effect on their community, Cornell ensures the construction and permanent location of the campus will bring growth and prosperity to New York, including:</br> <br><strong>-</strong>30,000 permanent jobs in New York City from spinoffs, licenses and corporate growth</br> <br><strong>-</strong>Up to 20,000 construction jobs</br> <br><strong>-</strong>Up to 8,000 permanent jobs from campus operations</br> <br><strong>-</strong>Expected $1 billion in tax revenue generated over several decades</br>
After a heated competition, Cornell crowned architecture firm <a href="http://www.som.com/content.cfm/www_home" target="_hplink">Skidmore, Owings & Merrill</a> the designers of the groundbreaking campus. The firm, which is also responsible for One World Trade Center, has proposed a campus layout oriented by the sun in order to maximize solar energy solutions.
The Tech Ecosystem
<br>The graduate school's curriculum will be geared toward the technological sectors of the city's economy, with initial programs focused on Connective Media, Healthier Life and Built Environment. At full-build, the university estimates that the campus will house approximately 2,500 full-time students and over 280 full-time faculty. The school's outreach program will include:</br> <br><strong>-</strong>Citywide programming and teacher training for K-12 students</br> <br><strong>-</strong>Specific programming intended to target over 500 underprivileged New York City schoolchildren</br> <br><strong>-</strong>Partnerships with Roosevelt Island schools</br> <br><strong>-</strong>A publicly accessible campus, with public programming and extensive public space</br>
<br>The groundbreaking campus' 150,000 square-foot-main academic building will be a "net-zero" energy building, using no power from the grid. The rest of the campus will be built according to a minimum of LEED Silver certifications.</br> The campus will include the city's largest solar panel arrangement, four acres of geothermal wells and 500,000 square feet of open green space.
<br>The City of New York will grant $100 million to Cornell for infrastructure improvements to available transportation. Currently, Roosevelt Island residents use a one road connection to the mainland, the subway and a sky tram.</br> In order to maintain the island's little car traffic, ferry service and additional subway access has been suggested. Others ideas, like a musing by <em>The Atlantic</em>, include a pedestrian bike bridge that spans the river.
The Space... For Now
On May 21, Google CEO Larry Page announced that Google will lend a minimum of 22,000 square feet of space in its NYC headquarters -- rent free -- to the new school for five years and six months, or until the Roosevelt Island campus opens. CornellNYC Tech will begin accepting students at the temporary Google campus this fall.