With New York City’s population on its way to nine million, the city’s infrastructure may be impressive, but it has its limits–including red tape and resource shortages–that will make it difficult to withstand the projected surge. Reminding us of the transformative innovations of Robert Moses–he of the big ideas and ego to match–Crains invited 12 firms who make their living wrangling infrastructure to hit us with some big ideas. Ahead of the upcoming summit, “Getting Ready for 9 Million New Yorkers,” they’ve shared these visions for future (bigger, better) New York from top architects, designers and real estate experts. Ideas include some that have already proven themselves (repurposing existing track beds) and some already in the works (Bushwick’s Rheingold brewery project) to others that Robert Moses might not love (shrinking the city’s highways).
Design Trust for Public Space
NYC-based design firm Buro Koray Duman has come up with a series of plans to use the under-utilized space beneath the BQE in a site near Sunset Park‘s Industry City, the massive waterfront industrial complex which itself has recently experienced a renaissance as a hub for designers and local manufacturers. The elevated highway separates Industry City from the rest of the neighborhood, and the proposed uses would connect the space beneath with the creative and commercial energy of the complex. According to Dezeen, the firm saw an opportunity to put the empty sub-highway space to good use and add “more color and convenience to the city’s daily life.”
Potential sites for the Under the Elevated project, via Design Trust for Public Space
The High Line may have revolutionized the adaptive reuse of the space atop elevated platforms, but what about that dead, dark space underneath? A new report from the Design Trust for Public Space in partnership with the Department of Transportation finds that the city has 700 miles of unused space under bridges, highways, and elevated subway tracks, much of which can be “transformed into valuable community assets such as small public parks, retail space and places for manufacturers to set up shop,” according to Crain’s.
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.