The President of Gotham Design & Community Development, Padriac Steinschneider is a supporting member of the Congress for the New Urbanism and is a founding member of the New York Chapter of the CNU. Since 2007, he has served as the Chief Operating Officer of CNU New York and has applied his efforts to lowering the threshold for participation within the organization, while encouraging cross-over relationships with other organizations that are committed to ending the long experiment with sprawl development, bringing more energy to complete communities already served by infrastructure, and revitalizing existing urban areas.
Following from this enthusiasm for good urbanism, Gotham encourages the renewed awareness of traditional neighborhood design principles for the planning and shaping of communities and has had the opportunity to implement these principles in several projects ranging in scale from creating completely new neighborhoods, to working to revitalize existing neighborhoods, to creating infill buildings that reinforce the surrounding neighborhood. These principles support the unique combination of people and place as being the inspiration for successful design decisions. This can be summarized by a statement made by Padriac Steinschneider at the 1996 Workshop on the Technique of Traditional Town Planning conducted at the Seaside Institute in Florida.
Gotham's success both in the adaption of existing and the creation of new buildings and communities relies on three strengths: vision, communication, and a willingness to be understated. The people at Gotham have the ability to perceive solutions through keen foresight. They can accurately visualize how the places that they help create will look and function. The people at Gotham have the ability to communicate these ideas and visions to their Clients, the approving agencies, and concerned neighbors. This enables Gotham to help communities improve their built environment and resolve the conflicts that come with the fears of change and growth.
"As architects, engineers, and planners, there is a tendency to obsess on 'quantitative' data or rely on preconceived dogma in our effort to determine whether or not some particular design 'works'. Alone, this risks false reads. I believe that we need to open ourselves to the very tangible qualities that are the result of our participation: how do our designs affect the people who live in them. Our real job is to help shape the environment that affects peoples’ lives. We need to remember that the value in our work comes from our ability to improve the quality of life for the people who will live in the places that we design. The fact that people depend on our judgement for the very quality of their lives is what distinguishes architecture from the other arts."
The people at Gotham achieve inspired solutions by not succumbing to a supercilious compulsion to be unusual or different. Too often, designers allow their efforts to be affected by a desire to create something unique, resulting in solutions that may demand attention, but are not enjoyable or satisfying. At Gotham, we want the buildings and places that we work on to simply be good and this usually means allowing the needs of the context and the client to take precedent over the interests of the "artist."