Urban Design

Policy, Transportation, Urban Design

If parking was removed and private cars banned on West 45th Street; courtesy of PAU

In a city that currently has the most streets closed to cars in the country, with plans in store to add more designated busways and charge vehicles entering its busiest streets, is New York ready to be car-free? Architect Vishaan Chakrabarti and his firm Practice for Architecture and Urbanism think so. The New York Times took a look at PAU’s plan, “N.Y.C. (Not Your Car),” which calls for a ban of private motor vehicles in Manhattan and an expansion of sidewalks and pedestrian-only space.

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Brooklyn Heights, Urban Design

Photos © Jamie Warren, Brooklyn Bridge Park

After closing for good nearly two years ago, a new Squibb Bridge will open at Brooklyn Bridge Park on May 4 at 9am, as was first reported by Curbed. The 450-foot-long walkway over Furman Street connects the Squibb Park (which will also reopen) on the Brooklyn Bridge Promenade to Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park and has had quite a shaky history since first opening in 2013. Eric Landau, the president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, told Curbed, “The new bridge has the same overall aesthetic feeling of the previous bridge that people loved, with full functionality.”

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affordable housing, Major Developments, Sunnyside, Urban Design

All renderings by the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU)

According to the master plan for the 180-acre Sunnyside Yard development in Queens, the former storage and maintenance hub for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, New Jersey Transit, and Long Island Rail Road will include 12,000 affordable apartments, making it the largest affordable housing development to be built in NYC since the middle-income Co-op City in the Bronx was completed in 1973 (h/t Wall Street Journal). The plan by the New York City Economic Development Corp. (EDC) outlines a $14.4 billion deck over the train yard on which the complex would be built. Half the housing in the development would be rental apartments for low-income families earning less than 50 percent of the area median income, with the other half set aside for affordable homeownership programs through Mitchell-Lama. The Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) was identified to lead the planning process, and they have just released renderings and maps of the massive development.

See them all here

Lower East Side, Urban Design

The Lowline goes into ‘dormancy’ as funds dry up

By Alexandra Alexa, Wed, February 19, 2020

lowline, James Ramsey, Dan Barasch, underground park, Entrance to the Lowline, lowline renderings, raad architecture

Lowline Lab via 6sqft

Ambitious plans to transform the abandoned Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal on the Lower East Side into the world’s first underground park are no longer viable due to waning funds, Crain’s reports. The founders of the Lowline—Dan Barasch and James Ramsey—dreamed up the idea more than a decade ago and as of last year, the $83 million project was under construction with an expected opening date in 2021.

What happened?

hudson yards, Urban Design

high line, western yard, related companies, hudson yards wall, major developments

Rendering courtesy of Related Companies

“There has never been a wall along the High Line and there will never be a wall,” Hudson Yards emphasized on Twitter today in response to reports that a 700-foot wall will turn the next phase of development into a veritable gated community. Plans for the Western Yard always included paving over the remaining tracks with a deck that would slope down toward the High Line, but last week, it was reported that developer Related Companies was floating around an idea that would have the deck slope up instead to accommodate a parking garage underneath. It would also essentially wall off the new development’s green space and overshadow the High Line. However, Hudson Yards continued in its series of Tweets, “We have always shared the vision that the Western Yard should include a great public open space.”

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Architecture, Midtown, Urban Design

See the proposed revamp for Rockefeller Center

By Alexandra Alexa, Wed, January 15, 2020

Rockefeller Center, Tishman Speyer, Gabellini Sheppard Associates, Landmarks Preservation Commission

Renderings by Gabellini Sheppard Associates courtesy Tishman Speyer; via NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission

Tishman Speyer proposed a plan to revamp certain aspects of Rockefeller Center during a hearing at the Landmark Preservation Commission on Tuesday, as CityRealty reported. With Gabellini Sheppard Associates at the helm, the design proposal makes tweaks to the gardens and outdoor plaza spaces at the 22-acre site. The upgrades—which mostly seek to improve circulation—come as city officials have been discussing the permanent restriction of traffic around Rockefeller Center following the successful pedestrianization of the area during the recent holiday season.

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Upstate, Urban Design

Renderings courtesy of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office

This is what a renewed Erie Canal could look like in the years to come. Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed a $300 million proposal on Monday to revamp the 19th-century waterway that was started by Gov. DeWitt Clinton in 1817. The multi-phase plan originates in research conducted by the “Reimagine the Canals” task force assembled by Cuomo last May. The first phase will begin later this year and comprises two parts: a $100 million economic development fund to invest in communities along the canal and $65 million toward preventing ice jams and flooding in the Schenectady area. The remaining $135 million will be allocated based on recommendations made in the task force’s report.

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Bushwick, Landscape Architecture, Major Developments, New Developments, Urban Design, Williamsburg

All renderings © James Corner Field Operations and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, courtesy of Two Trees Management

Two new mixed-use towers with 1,000 units of housing and six acres of public space have been proposed for the North Brooklyn waterfront. Two Trees Management on Thursday unveiled plans to bring two Bjarke Ingels Group-designed buildings, one at 650 feet and the other at 600 feet, on River Street between North 1st and North 3rd Street in Williamsburg. The buildings, with Metropolitan Avenue running between them, will serve as an entrance to the new waterfront space, part of a master plan designed in collaboration with BIG and James Corner Field Operations. The park and public beach would close the gap between Grand Ferry Park and North Fifth Park, eventually providing continuous access to the East River between South Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

Check out the whole project

Hudson Square, Landscape Architecture, Transportation, Urban Design

Courtesy of Matthews Nielsen Landscape Architecture, P.C. with attribution to W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, LLC

In May, the city announced 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. And now, work has officially commenced on the first phase of the project, shortly after Disney revealed its forthcoming Hudson Square headquarters, which will bring 5,000 new employees to the area.

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Midtown East, Urban Design

Rendering courtesy of Stantec

The creation of the East Midtown Greenway (EMG), a 1.5-acre public space stretching from East 53rd to 61st Streets along the waterfront, got underway Friday. The project, to be completed by 2022, is part of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway initiative to wrap the entire perimeter of Manhattan with accessible public spaces and safe bicycle paths. The midtown space will close one of the largest remaining gaps in the $250 million city initiative, announced by Mayor de Blasio in 2018, to connect 32 miles of Manhattan waterfront esplanade.

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