Start thinking of the ideal places to live in the city and there's a good chance that the Upper West Side will come to mind pretty quickly. It's generally thought of as one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Manhattan, thanks to its quality of life, schools, scenic beauty and recreation.
But none of this means that serving the people and businesses of the area is easy - as the members of Community Board 7 know. CB7 covers the Upper West Side from 59th Street to 110th Street from Central Park West to the Hudson River. According to the 2000 Census, it's the third-most populous community board in Manhattan, with around 210,000 people living in its 2.1 square miles.
Serving the Upper West Side
CB7's job, like any other community board, is to serve its community, its residents and its businesses. With so many people to serve, CB7 finds itself tackling countless issues and facing the conundrum of balancing change and development with concerns of over-development. In the case of CB7, this issue is of particular interest considering the history and architecture of the area - and preserving the character of the area is of utmost importance to the community.
According to CB7 chairperson Hope Cohen, despite its large population, the area that CB7 represents is a close-knit community. A community board has to face issues, large and small. The proposed closing of the 72nd Street ramp off the West Side Highway to accommodate new development is something that could affect all residents and has brought Upper West Siders out in droves to board meetings following the announcement of the intended closing. On a smaller scale, changes to an old church are resonating more closely with residents in the church's immediate area. Regardless of the size or scope of the issues, CB7 is dedicated to making the Upper West Side neighborhood a better place to live.