This is CIVITAS

We are a union of citizens dedicated to improving neighborhood quality of life in the Upper East Side and East Harlem since 1981.

CIVITAS promotes urban planning, zoning and land use policies that are sensible and sensitive to residential life in our neighborhoods.

CIVITAS supports environmentally sound development, vibrant retail activity at street level, uncluttered sidewalks and access to good public transit.

CIVITAS opposes overbearing towers that are non-contextual and cut off light and air from surrounding buildings and the sidewalk below.

CIVITAS commissions urban planning studies, speaks out at public hearings, issues reports and keeps its members informed on current issues impacting urban life, including traffic congestion, historic preservation, zoning variances, water quality and public access to parks and the waterfront.

Mission Statement

In 1981, when CIVITAS was founded, August Heckscher, its first chair, hearkened back to the Roman Republic to find a name that would express the spirit of the new community organization. The name chosen, “CIVITAS,” referred to that quality of a citizen that made him deeply involved in the life and fate of his city. Such has been the guiding spirit for CIVITAS ever since.

The mission of CIVITAS is to foster, mobilize and coordinate civic concern in the community of Manhattan’s Upper East Side and East Harlem. To that end, CIVITAS seeks to promote, preserve and protect residential neighborhoods that are lively and livable.