Every few years the New York City Department of City Planning releases a new map to document changes in demographics, geographic profiles and neighborhood boundaries. The maps have been produced since 1994, and following its 2010 update, the City has just released a 2014 version. In addition to offering some insight into the current socio-economic makeup of our city, this brand new release is also topographically correct, drawn up to reflect everything from hills to rivers and reservoirs. Some new notable neighborhood additions include Allerton, Kingsbridge Heights, Erasmus and Fox Hills; while Fresh Kills Landfill and Downtown Flushing have been rechristened “Freshkills Park” and simply “Flushing”, respectively.
Yesterday, Dan Levy, the president and CEO of CityRealty, presented his proposal for the ‘East River Skyway,’ an aerial gondola system that would run along the Brooklyn waterfront and into Manhattan, bringing commuters over the river in just 3.5 minutes. Now, we want to know what you think about the idea.
Images: East River Skyway, courtesy of CityRealty (L); NYC subway, courtesy of Wiki Commons
There’s no stopping the Brooklyn development boom, but getting to and from the borough from Manhattan will increasingly become a nightmare with thousands of new residential units hitting the market in the coming years. If you’ve commuted from Brooklyn to Manhattan (and vice versa) you know that the subway system is already taxed. But as more and more homes are added throughout the borough, it’s surprising that no plans have been made to alleviate the transportation stress that will soon come with it. Until now.
Today, Dan Levy, the president and CEO of CityRealty*, will present his proposal for the ‘East River Skyway‘, an aerial gondola system that would run along the Brooklyn waterfront and into Manhattan, bringing commuters over the river in just 3.5 minutes.
Every day the NYC subway carries more than 1.3 million riders to all corners of our fair city. A feat yes, but if you’re a rush hour commuter, you know the hellish conditions that can arise when trying to pack several hundred (though it can feel like thousands) of people into a line of sardine cans. If you’re one of the many who constantly curse the MTA, try not to get too green-eyed as you read on.
As it turns out, our neighbors in grid-locked Secaucus, New Jersey are gearing up to test a out new form of solar-powered public transit called JPods. This innovative new system uses a combination of light rail and self-driving car suspended above roads, and unlike the NYC subway, you can leave your running shoes at home. This rail network is designed to get you as close to your final destination as possible.
We often think of the street grid as New York’s greatest “master plan.” Officially known as the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811, this put in place the original, gridded street pattern that we still know today. But there have been several other master plans that took shape on a smaller scale within the linear configuration of Manhattan. These planned communities were largely conceived to transform blighted or underutilized areas into suburban enclaves or peaceful oases within the big city. And just like the neighborhoods that grew organically among the street grid, these master-planned areas each have a unique character. They’ve also influenced a new crop of developments, currently under construction on the West Side and in Brooklyn.
Bloomingdale Road (now Broadway) and 114th Street in 1895
Today, it’s hard to imagine Morningside Heights without the flurry of students hurrying to class at Columbia University. It may be even harder to imagine it without some of its signature architecture: the gothic Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the largest cathedral in the world, Riverside Church, with its former bowling alley, or Grant’s Tomb along the Hudson River. But Morningside Heights got an exciting start in the history of New York City (and America, as it turns out)!
Earlier this year, the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) unveiled new ideas for public housing–in a parking lot on its Atlanta campus. SCADpads, as they’re called, reimagined the common public park space as a solution to the growing need for sustainable, efficient housing worldwide.
Now, a team of architect-fellows at the Institute for Public Architecture are building on the same idea, proposing ways to turn unused public parking spaces in New York City into housing, co-working spaces, bike-share stations, playgrounds, and farmers markets. The group is called 9 x 18, the size of a typical parking spot, and they have reevaluated the current zoning laws surrounding parking and affordable housing, using the Carver Houses in East Harlem neighborhood as a case study.
Ever walk by an area with park benches, plantings, or public art, and think that something’s missing… oh yeah, there’s no people. Though positive in theory, some urban public spaces don’t engage their communities and aren’t efficiently designed. To address this issue, the Design Trust for Public Space held a competition, The Energetic City: Connectivity in the Public Realm, that requested project proposals to seed and develop projects that redefine New York City’s public space. Four winning ideas were selected, and their implementation will begin immediately through a design prototype, pilot intervention, public artwork, and research, planning, or public outreach stages.
Earlier this year, AIA New York’s ENYA (Emerging New York Architects) Committee held its biennial design ideas competition, focusing on the elevated viaduct portion of the QueensWay, a community-led project that seeks to transform a blighted, 3.5 mile stretch of abandoned railway in Central Queens into a linear park and cultural greenway. The winners of Queensway Connection: Elevating the Public Realm were announced in February, and are now going public tomorrow, July 17th, with an exhibition at AIANY’s Center for Architecture.
There were 120 entries from 28 countries for Queensway Connection, from which four winning entries and an Honorable Mention were selected. The jury included architecture, landscape architecture, public space, and transportation infrastructure professionals who reviewed the designs based on how well they created an effective and welcoming transition between the street and greenway. Other factors included community involvement, preservation of the existing infrastructure, and use of ecologically sustainable elements.
As New Yorkers we’re constantly on the go and our movements are very much the pulse of the city. A new smartphone app developed by Human is tracking these movements and turning them into an incredible map that beautifully visualizes how we navigate our streets. Are you part of the pack?