Urban Design

Green Design, Major Developments, Queens, Urban Design

WXY Studio Architecture + Urban Design, dlandstudio, QueensWay, Friends of the QueensWay

A new feasibility study, which is set to be released today by the Trust for Public Land, maps out the plan for the QueensWay–the High Line-esque linear park and cultural greenway proposed for a 3.5-mile stretch of abandoned railway in central Queens.

The study points to the likely $120 million price tag and the park’s benefit to the local economy. Through new renderings it also shows access points, exercise stations, food concessions, outdoor nature classrooms, bike paths, and an “adventure park,” among other amenities.

More on the study here

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, Landscape Architecture, New Yorker Spotlight, People, Staten Island, Urban Design

Eloise Hirsch, Freshkills Park

Similar to Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s grand ideas for Central Park, there is a vision for the 2,200 acres of reclaimed land at the former Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island. Where trash once piled up for as far as the eye could see, the site is now a blossoming park full of wildlife and recreational activities.

The Park Administrator overseeing this incredible transformation is Eloise Hirsh. Eloise is a major force behind the largest landfill-to-park conversion in the world to date. In her role as Freshkills Park Administrator, she makes sure the park progresses towards its completion date in 2035, and regularly engages with New Yorkers to keep them informed and excited.

6sqft recently spoke with Eloise to learn more about Fresh Kills’ history, what it takes to reclaim land, and what New Yorkers can expect at the park today and in the years to come.

Read the full interview here

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, History, Urban Design

ruin porn

In the internet hierarchy of “things the internets like”, we’d argue that ruin porn sits wedged somewhere between Buzzfeed quizzes and cats. Images of decaying architecture conjure up unsettling feelings of tragedy and loss, but somehow manage to grip us with its intangible beauty. Whatever the cause for this may be, the thrill and enjoyment we get from looking ruin porn is palpable.

The term ‘ruin porn’ is said to have been coined by blogger James Griffioen during a 2009 interview with Vice magazine in which he criticized photographers who scouted down-trodden Detroit for provocative photos. While ruin porn is the trend at hand, decades before its arrival there was something called ‘ruin value’.

learn more about ruin value

maps, Neighborhoods, Urban Design

nyc city planning map 2014

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.

You can explore the new map digitally here or see a PDF version here.

[Via CO via WSJ]

Brooklyn, Manhattan, Polls, Transportation, Urban Design

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

Brooklyn, Manhattan, Transportation, Urban Design

east river skyway, gondolas, nyc gondolas, roosevelt, dan levy, city realty, nyc gondolas, east river skyway dan levy

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.

Find out more about the proposed project

Green Design, Technology, Transportation, Urban Design

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.

More on the new venture here

Featured Story

Battery Park City, Features, History, Major Developments, Midtown, Urban Design, Williamsburg

nyc master plan, master plan of manhattan, master planning new york

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.

We take a look at planned communities that historically changed the fabric of the city, as well as those on the horizon

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, History, Morningside Heights, Upper West Side , Urban Design

Morningside Heights Bloomingdale Road NYC, historic morningside heights

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)!

The incredible story of Morningside Heights, from past to present, this way

Green Design, Urban Design

Could You Live on a 9 x 18 NYC Public Parking Space?

By Dana Schulz, Thu, August 14, 2014

9 x 18, parking lot ideas, Institute for Public Architecture, NYC parking laws

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.

More about the new ideas

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