Urban Design

Green Design, Staten Island, Urban Design

Staten Island Resiliency Project, Governor Cuomo, Hurricane Sandy

Rendering of original sea wall plan via Governor Cuomo’s office

Mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, United States Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, and United States Congressman Max Rose announced today that funding has been secured for the Staten Island Levee project. The news gives the green light for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to build a long-awaited 5.3 mile sea wall that would protect waterfront communities in Staten Island from future storms.

Good news for Staten Island

Greenpoint, Long Island City, Urban Design

Rendering via CRÈME / Jun Aizaki Architecture and Design

6sqft reported last May on a proposal for a civic design project aimed at reconnecting the neighborhoods of Greenpoint and Long Island City. Brooklyn-based studio CRÈME‘s concept, called Timber Bridge at LongPoint Corridor, calls for constructing a floating bridge made of durable timber that would span Newtown Creek and expand past it to the LIRR rail yard in LIC. Not only would the new bridge provide greater access to transit options, but, according to the design team, Timber Bridge would give cyclists and pedestrians a safer commute than the car-jammed Pulaski Bridge. The Brooklyn Eagle reports that this grassroots initiative is now just a bit closer to becoming a reality with the creation of a nonprofit and new support from local civic leaders.

Bridge love, this way

Downtown Brooklyn, Urban Design

downtown brooklyn

Image courtesy of Downtownbrooklyn.com.

Downtown Brooklyn Partnership announced today the selection of a joint proposal from design firms WXY Studio (WXY) and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG Architects) for a public realm action plan aimed at implementing long-term improvements to Downtown Brooklyn’s plazas, streets, and public spaces to keep pace with the neighborhood’s unprecedented growth. According to a press release, the two firms will conduct a comprehensive study and create an implementation plan for Downtown Brooklyn’s public realm and help “advance Downtown Brooklyn as a competitive, national urban center.”

Find out more

Meatpacking District, Urban Design

Image by Max Guliani, courtesy of the Hudson River Park Trust

The Hudson River Park Trust has unanimously approved a proposal by James Corner Field Operations—the same firm that brought us the High Line and Brooklyn’s Domino Park—to design a 5.5-acre public park on the Gansevoort Peninsula, located at the western end of Little West 12th Street and the only remnant of 13th Avenue. It will be the largest single green space in the four-mile-long Hudson River Park. The design will incorporate recreational areas and provide direct waterfront access for the public with a beachfront on the southern edge that will double as a protective barrier to combat flooding and storm surge. The beach might be best for sunbathers, though, as swimming in Manhattan’s murky west side waters is unlikely to be viable.

Get the details

Downtown Brooklyn, Urban Design

willoughby square, parks, downtown brooklyn

Rendering: Economic Development Corporation.

It appears that residents at Downtown Brooklyn‘s new Brooklyn Point development won’t be getting their “beautifully landscaped one-acre oasis” after all. Plans to add a new park atop a high-tech parking facility on Willoughby Street across from City Point in Downtown Brooklyn are officially off the table, Brooklyn Paper reports. The plan was set in motion a decade ago under the Bloomberg administration. City officials said Wednesday that a deal with the developer chosen for the job back in 2013 failed to close.

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Green Design, Lower East Side, Policy, Urban Design

Image courtesy of David Shankbone via Flickr
Last July, Rebuild by Design, a collaborative organization formed to address the affects of climate change, released an RFP for a stewardship partner for the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR), a reconstruction of the 64-acre, 1.5-mile East River Park. The project, a flood protection system conceived in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and budgeted at $760 million, was the first of three phases in a series of self-sufficient flood zones stretching from West 57th to East 42nd Streets. In October, the Mayor’s Office announced an updated $1.45 billion design that would begin in spring of 2020. 70 percent of the original design was updated, ostensibly to allow flood protection to be in place a year earlier, by summer 2023. But, as the New York Times reports, the new plan, which basically calls for burying the park beneath 8-10 feet of landfill and starting over–has left community groups who participated in the original plan feeling like they’ve been hung out to dry.

Find out more

Meatpacking District, Urban Design

pier 55, barry diller, thomas heatherwick

Rendering by Pier55 Inc/Heatherwick Studio

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State speech Tuesday included a $23 million pledge to go toward the completion of Hudson River Park. That nearly-hidden line item in the state budget represents the governor’s mediation efforts in a billionaire-vs.-billionaire feud involving Barry Diller’s 2.7-acre park at Pier 55 on the water near West 14th street (often referred to as Diller Park), Crains reports.

Find out more

Design, Urban Design

Mannahatta Plateau for Frederick Law Olmsted via John Beckmann, Hannah LaSota, Laeticia Hervy

The University of Pennsylvania announced this week five winners of its ICONOCLAST competition, a design contest that asked participants to reimagine Central Park following a hypothetical eco-terrorist attack (h/t NY Times). The contest attracted 382 entries from 30 countries, all competing for $20,000 and the chance to be published in LA+ Journal. Richard Weller, a jury chair for the contest, said, “From megastructures to new ecologies and radical ideas for democratizing public space, the LA+ICONOCLAST winning entries can move beyond the status quo of picturesque large parks and embrace the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.” Ahead, check out the designs of a recreated 21st-century Central Park from the five finalists.

See the designs

maps, Urban Design

Domino Park, Two Trees

View from Domino Park, photo by Daniel Levin

Fresh off the news that the city will invest over $250 million to connect and green 32 miles of Manhattan waterfront, it’s become easier for New Yorkers to access the existing waterfront spaces open to the public. The Department of City Planning has just released the Waterfront Access Map, a tool to help you find one of the 200 open spaces situated along the city’s 520 miles of shoreline. It was released to mark the 25th anniversary of a 1993 zoning change that mandated public access to the city’s shoreline whenever a waterfront property is redeveloped.

Check out the map

Green Design, Lower East Side, Policy, Urban Design

A previous rendering by Bjarke Ingels Group of ESCR, courtesy of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery & Resiliency

In July, Rebuild by Design released an RFP for a stewardship partner for the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR), a  reconstruction of the 64-acre, 1.5-mile East River Park, a flood protection system conceived in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. ESCR is the first of three phases in Bjarke Ingels’ Big U, a series of self-sufficient flood zones stretching from West 57th to East 42nd Streets. Under the city’s new mandate, construction on ESCR, which spans the loop from Montgomery Street on the Lower East Side to East 25th Street, will begin in spring 2020. Roughly 70 percent of the design will be updated, allowing flood protection to be in place one year earlier, by summer 2023, with the entire project wrapping up six months sooner. According to a press release from the Mayor’s Office, the updated $1.45 billion design will also “raise the entire East River Park, with the flood wall at the water’s edge integrated with the bulkhead and esplanade that does not obstruct views to the water.”

More details on the updated plan

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