Urban Design

Hudson Square, Landscape Architecture, Transportation, Urban Design

Conceptual rendering by AKRF and W Architecture and Landscape Architecture

The city announced on Thursday that plans to make Hudson Street between Canal and West Houston Streets in Hudson Square into a grand boulevard with wider sidewalks, parking-protected bike lanes and small outdoor “living rooms” with seating surrounded by greenery are moving forward with design and construction teams on board. Prima Paving Corporation, Sam Schwartz Engineering, and Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects have been chosen as design-build consultants for the project according to the city’s Economic Development Corporation and Department of Transportation, as well as the Hudson Square BID. The design-build concept means that contracting both the design and construction components to the firms, which will act as a team, can streamline the process.

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Policy, Transportation, Urban Design

Corey Johnson, NYC subway, City Council Speaker

Via City Council Speaker Corey Johnson

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s comprehensive “complete streets” bill arrives just three months after he proposed a five-year plan to make New Yorkers who take mass transit, walk and bike a priority over motor vehicle drivers. Johnson plans to introduce legislation next week that would require city officials to build 150 miles of dedicated bus lanes and 250 miles of protected bike lanes within a five year period, Streetsblog reports. Johnson said, “I want to completely revolutionize how we share our street space, and that’s what this bill does. This is a roadmap to breaking the car culture in a thoughtful, comprehensive way.”

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Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, Washington Heights

haven avenue plaza, columbia, washington heights,

Rendering Credit: FXCollaborative and Quennell Rothschild & Partners​.

On May 28, work is scheduled to begin on Haven Plaza, a pedestrian plaza that will transform Haven Avenue between 169th Street and Fort Washington Avenue into an actual haven for faculty, staff, patients, students and the public at large. Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC), in partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation, is creating 60,000 square feet of open green space complete with planters, benches, café tables, and chairs.

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History, infographic, maps, Urban Design

Via The New York City Evolution Animation from Myles Zhang 

When it comes to the development of New York City over many, many years, we tend not to see the forest for the trees, so to speak. Here Grows New York, an animated map created by urban development buff Myles Zhang, gives us a seriously forest-eye view of how the city changes from the time the first native American tribes populated the five boroughs in 1609 to the noisy tangle of highways of 2019. Complete with cool facts and a soundtrack, the map visually animates the development of this city’s infrastructure and street grid using geo-referenced road network data, historic maps, and geological surveys, highlighting the kind of organic growth spurts that drive development over time, providing an “abstract representation of urbanism.”

Watch the city grow before your eyes

Brooklyn Heights, Urban Design

ONE15 Marina, Brooklyn

Rendering courtesy of ONE°15

New Yorkers will soon have more opportunities to reconnect with the waterfront as the city’s first new marina in 50 years is set to start operating at full capacity this spring in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Managed by Singapore-based conglomerate SUTL, the ONE°15 marina will accommodate over 100 boats ranging from 30 to 200 feet in length. In the works since 2015, the eight-acre facility between Piers 4 and 5 cost $28 million and involved the collaboration of multiple city, state, and federal agencies to complete the complex infrastructure work required.

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Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Lower East Side, Urban Design

Pier 35, East River Waterfront Esplanade, Lower East Side, Shop architects

After years of anticipation, Pier 35 on the East River waterfront is officially open (h/t Curbed). The project, designed by SHoP with Ken Smith Workshop, consists of a new eco-park and an “urban beach” anchoring the northern flank of the East River waterfront esplanade and providing much-needed public space on the waterfront. The park also functions as a habitat restoration feature: “Mussel Beach” was created to replicate the characteristics of the original East River shoreline.

See more of pier 35, this way

Featured Story

Features, hudson yards, ideas from abroad, Urban Design

Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, Kohn Pedersen Fox

Photo via Wiki Commons

Now that Hudson Yards has finally moved from construction site to New York City’s newest neighborhood, it may appear to be a made-in-New York City development. In actual fact, Hudson Yards took its blueprint from a similar neighborhood in Tokyo known as Roppongi Hills, which broke ground in the 1990s and officially opened in 2003. While there are a few notable differences—you won’t find any rice paddies on the roofs of Hudson Yards’ new buildings, for one—the similarities are striking. But in many respects, this is no surprise—New York- and London-based architectural firm, KPF, played a hand in the design of both developments.

Comparing Roppongi Hills and Hudson Yards

Brooklyn, Transportation, Urban Design

Bjarke Ingels reveals new proposal for a park-covered BQE

By Alexandra Alexa, Thu, April 4, 2019

Bjarke Ingels Group, BQE

Rendering courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group

The latest proposal to fix the crumbling BQE comes from Bjarke Ingels Group, who unveiled their plan to a crowd of 1,000 at a town hall meeting hosted by the Brooklyn Heights Association and advocacy group A Better Way last night. Dubbed the BQP—with the P standing for Park—the firm wants to build a new, six-lane highway that would be topped by a public park, saving the promenade and expanding Brooklyn Bridge Park by more than 10 acres. The proposal comes on the heels of Mayor de Blasio hitting the brakes on a $3 billion DOT plan and instead convening a “panel of experts” to determine the best path forward.

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Policy, Transportation, Urban Design

BQE, DOT, Brooklyn heights promenade, Regional Plan association, bqe redesign

Image: Wikimedia cc.

A report released today by civic think tank Regional Plan Organization highlights options for the impending Brooklyn-Queens Expressway reconstruction that would appear to upend conventional highway reconstruction policy. The new report suggests that the DOT could actually reduce the number of lanes needed when redesigning the expressway’s 1.5-mile “Triple Cantilever” under the historic Brooklyn Heights Promenade, in addition to looking at congestion pricing, HOV restrictions and two-way tolling for the Verrazano Bridge. The demand management policies outlined contain both immediate benefits–like eliminating the need to block access to the historic Brooklyn Heights Promenade–and long-term rewards like reducing pollution.

Fewer highways, less traffic?

Bed Stuy, Urban Design

restoration plaza

Image courtesy of Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.

Restoration Plaza, the commercial complex on Fulton Street in Bed-Stuy that has served as a neighborhood hub since it opened in 1972, is getting a major revamp, with British starchitect David Adjaye at the helm for its design. Curbed reports that the nonprofit Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, which owns and operates the plaza, has announced the creation of a five-year plan for re-imagining the site, including improved services for the surrounding neighborhood and the addition of 400,000 square feet of office space to the complex that currently houses the Billie Holiday Theatre, office space, restaurants, grocery stores and the Brooklyn Business Center.

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