Urban Design

Featured Story

Architecture, Events, Features, Giveaways, Policy, Urban Design

Cities for Tomorrow is back for its fourth year, and 6sqft has teamed up with the New York Times to give one lucky reader a free pass (worth $995!) to the event taking place July 10th–11th in Midtown Manhattan. Join creative visionaries and leaders in the real estate, urban planning, and political fields such as Momofuku founder David Chang, former Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld, NextGen Climate founder Tom Steyer, and filmmaker Barry Jenkins as they discuss topics ranging from the new power of private money to the future of bricks-and-mortar retail, from cities’ impact on the national climate agenda to the realities of leading during a time of partisan politics, from the promises and pitfalls of smart technology to fresh approaches to entrepreneurship.

HOW TO ENTER: All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter here. If you’ve already signed up, simply leave a comment below telling us what topic off this year’s agenda interests you the most. The deadline to enter is 11:59PM, Thursday, June 29th, and we will email the winner on Friday, June 30th. Good luck!

Those interested in purchasing a ticket can register here and get 20 percent off the admission price.

Events, Gowanus, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design

Rendering courtesy of SCAPE Landscape Architecture

The Gowanus Canal Conservancy (GCC) has announced the launch of Gowanus Lowlands, a new comprehensive vision for the transformation of Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood and a ‘blueprint for NYC’s next great park.’ As 6sqft has previously reported, between developers eyeing the pricey parcel of southwest Brooklyn land as Paris on the Gowanus and the city’s ambitions to transform the long-embattled area into “Little Venice,” all eyes have been on the neighborhood and the once-toxic, steadily improving Superfund canal that anchors it. With an important rezoning on the horizon–the process kicked off last October with meetings to gauge community opinion–passions are running high. The conservancy has identified SCAPE landscape architecture studio to guide the Lowlands vision toward reality.

Find out more

Featured Story

Architecture, Events, Features, Policy, Urban Design

new york times cities for tomorrow conference

How do the greatest cities succeed? Find out on July 10–11 when The New York Times convenes the world’s foremost industry experts, policymakers, developers, creative visionaries, entrepreneurs and others at Cities for Tomorrow, the must-attend event for leaders who are shaping the urban environments of the future. 6sqft readers will receive a special 20% discount for the conference.

full details here

Green Design, Staten Island, Urban Design

Staten Island Resiliency Project, Governor Cuomo, Hurricane Sandy

Governor Cuomo announced a $151 million plan on Tuesday to build an elevated promenade to improve the resiliency of Staten Island’s east shores during natural disasters. The seawall will stretch from Fort Wadsworth to Oakwood Beach to protect residents from coastal flooding, while simultaneously creating new wetland habitats and recreational amenities. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation will hold a series of community-based design forums, allowing for Staten Island residents to offer direct input into the project’s final design, which will be complete in the winter of 2018, with construction expected to begin in 2019 and a completion date of 2022.

Find out more

Featured Story

adaptive reuse, Features, History, Top Stories, Urban Design

Constructed between the 18th and 20th centuries to resemble massive European fortresses and serve as headquarters, housing, and arms storage for state volunteer militia, most of America’s armories that stand today had shed their military affiliations by the later part of the 20th century. Though a number of them did not survive, many of New York City’s historic armories still stand. While some remain in a state of limbo–a recent setback in the redevelopment plans of Brooklyn’s controversial Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights raises a familiar battle cry–the ways in which they’ve adapted to the city’s rollercoaster of change are as diverse as the neighborhoods that surround them.

Find out how the city’s armories have fared

Landscape Architecture, Meatpacking District, Policy, Urban Design

6sqft reported in March on the latest developments in the on-again-off-again status of the $200 million Barry Diller-funded offshore park/performing arts center proposed for Pier 55 on the Hudson River; though construction began last November, opponents of the project, led by the City Club of New York, gained a victory in the form of a ruling by Judge Lorna G. Schofield that agreed with group’s claim that the Army Corps of Engineers had not conducted a sufficient environmental review on how the 2.4-acre park would affect fish and wildlife. The judge ordered that work stop at the site and called for a review of alternatives for building along Hudson River Park, a maritime sanctuary. Now, the New York Times reports that the Corps of Engineers, with the project’s sponsor, the Hudson River Park Trust, has filed an appeal of the decision.

And what about that Diller-Durst feud

Landscape Architecture, Queens, Urban Design

QueensWay, Trust for Public Land, Friends of the QueensWay, DLANDstudio, linear parks

For the past couple years, there have been no major updates on the QueensWay, the High Line-style elevated park and cultural greenway proposed for a 3.5-mile stretch of abandoned railway in central Queens. But today, the Trust for Public Land and Friends of the QueensWay said in a press release that they’ve finished the schematic design for the first half-mile, which could open as soon as 2020. Along with the announcement and details comes a new set of renderings from DLANDstudio Architecture + Landscape Architecture.

All the details and renderings ahead

Featured Story

Features, film, History, Urban Design

One of the most iconic battles to decide the fate of New York City was waged, in the 1950s and ’60s, by Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses. He, a Parks Commissioner turned power broker, was known for his aggressive urban renewal projects, tearing tenements down to build higher, denser housing. She, often dismissed as a housewife, emerged as his most vocal critic—not to mention a skilled organizer with the ability to stop some of Moses’ most ambitious plans.

A new documentary, Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, takes a close look at the groundbreaking work of Jane Jacobs and its importance in our urbanizing world today. Matt Tyrnauer, the director behind Valentino: The Last Emperor, compiled footage of both Jacobs and Moses alongside 1950s and ’60s New York, which is paired with voiceovers of Marissa Tomei and Vincent D’Onofrio as the battling duo. Experts in urban planning—everyone from Paul Goldberger to Robert A.M. Stern—also discuss Jacobs’ massive influence on housing policy and urban planning, as the film makes a convincing argument that Jacobs’ planning philosophies are needed now more than ever.

Read our review of the film

City Living, Transportation, Urban Design

east river greenway

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that the city would develop the gap in the Manhattan waterfront greenway that runs between 41st and 61st Streets along the East River. The city has pledged to spend $100 million on closing the largest unfinished space in the 32-mile loop, including a new esplanade, with an additional $5 million to be spent on filling smaller gaps in East Harlem and Inwood. “The Hudson River Greenway has vastly improved quality of life on the West Side, and we want families in every corner in the borough to have that same access to bike, walk and play along the water,” said the mayor in a statement. “This is the first of many big investments we’ll make as we bring the full Greenway to reality.”

Find out more

New Jersey, Staten Island, Transportation, Urban Design

Staten Island, Aerial Gondola, Staten Island Economic Development Corporation

While the city continues to develop ways to quicken commutes between Manhattan and the outer boroughs (like the soon-to-be-launched NYC Ferry), the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation (SIEDC) has taken matters into their own hands and created an idea for an aerial gondola. Similar to the East River Skyway proposal, which would transport passengers across the East River to ease the inconvenience of the impending L train shutdown, the gondola would take commuters in the sky from the borough to Bayonne, NJ where they’d connect to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and ultimately the PATH. As WYNC learned, starting this week and for seven days only, the gondola will be touring Staten Island on the back of a flatbed truck to boost support from officials to fund the project.

Find out more

Art, hudson yards, Urban Design

The Vessel, Hudson Yards, Related Companies, Thomas Heatherwick

First Piece of Vessel Installed 04.18.2017 – courtesy of Related-Oxford

The standard for public art spaces has officially reached new heights. Today, the installation has begun on Vessel, an innovative landmark designed by Heatherwick Studio at Hudson Yards. As 6sqft previously wrote, the project’s idea stems from Related Companies‘ chairman Stephen Ross, who chose Heatherwick to design the $200 million (up as of today from the original $150 million estimate) large-scale piece of art. After being fabricated and constructed in Monfalcone, Italy, the first ten pieces of the 150-foot-tall steel structure arrived in January at the Port of Newark via ship and then traveled across the Hudson River. And as of this morning, Ross was on site to mark the first of these massive components (they each weigh close to 100,000 pounds) being put into place by crane.

See photos from Vessel’s installation and watch a video of Stephen Ross’ remarks

City Living, Transportation, Union Square, Urban Design

14th Street, L train shutdown, L-ternatives

Advocacy group Transportation Alternatives has been trying to stay focused on grounded solutions–literally, as opposed to the tunnel and skyway ideas that are also being discussed–to mitigate the anticipated possible chaos when the dreaded 15-month L train shutdown hits. The organization is aiming for the ear of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the MTA which control street design and bus expansion, respectively. The group recently held an “L-ternative” contest seeking pedestrian-centered proposals for main transit corridors along the L line, such as 14th street, Gothamist reports. The winning proposal, called 14TH ST.OPS, imagines a (car) traffic-free 14th Street with a six-stop shuttle bus using dedicated lanes, plus protected bike lanes.

Check out the winning post-L-Train vision

Roosevelt Island, Transportation, Urban Design

Roosevelt Island, the mile-long neighborhood that lies in the East River between Manhattan and Queens, will be a stop on the NYC Ferry route that connects Astoria to Wall Street beginning in August. While this will ease access to other parts of the city for residents of the island, French architect Victor Ostojic has another idea. As Curbed reported, Ostojic published a conceptual proposal of a cantilevered glass-covered ferry terminal on the western side of the island. Located parallel to Manhattan’s East 63rd Street, the terminal would include ground-floor retail, a food court, office space and a luxury hotel on top.

See renderings of the transit hub

affordable housing, Architecture, Design, Urban Design

The first place winners of the New York Affordable Housing Challenge, an architectural competition run by Bee Breeders, have been announced. Kwong Von Glinow Design Office received first prize for their entry “The Table Top,” a modular system that aggregates and stacks to provide density and diversity in a city as varied as New York. Designed as a prototype for affordable housing in New York City, the flexible system could accommodate the city’s wide range of lot sizes and is adaptable to a variety of unit combinations for diverse types of residents. With an affordable housing crisis abetting an increasingly socially divided city with the majority of its residents spending over half of their annual income on rent, the project speaks to Mayor de Blasio’s emphasis on the dire need to create more affordable housing at both new and redeveloped existing sites.

Find out more about this flexible, scalable design for living

Architecture, Green Design, Urban Design

Metals in Construction magazine has just announced the winner and finalists in the magazine’s 2017 Design Challenge, “Meeting the Architecture 2030 Challenge: Reimagine Structure.” The competition invited architects, engineers, students and designers to submit their visions for combatting global warming in their design for a high-rise building. The winning design, “Orbit Tower,” was created by architects and engineers from ODA Architecture and Werner Sobek New York. The building–though purely conceptual for the purposes of the competition–would be located in midtown Manhattan at 1114 Sixth Avenue on the north side of Bryant Park in place of the Grace Building.

Find out more

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