The New York City Department of Transportation has announced the winner of its reNEWable Times Square design competition, aimed to temporarily “refresh and revive” the streetscape of newly pedestrianized Times Square while plans for permanent reconstruction proceed (construction is slated for 1012). Brooklyn artist Molly Dilworth‘s Cool Water, Hot Island was selected from 150 submitted designs for the pedestrian zones along Broadway from 47th to 42nd Streets. The piece is a large-scale painted installation abstractly interpreting—and mitigating!—Manhattan’s heat island effect. From NYCDOT’s release:
The proposed design’s color palette of striking blues and whites reflects more sunlight and absorb less heat – improving the look of these popular pedestrian plazas while making them more comfortable to sit in. The color and patterns evoke water, suggesting a river flowing through the center of Times Square, and they also provide a compelling visual counterpoint to the reds, oranges and yellows of the area’s signature marquees and billboards.
The Architectural League of New York has just mounted an exhibit called ‘The City We Imagined/The City We Made: New New York 2001-2010‘ about architecture, planning, and development in New York City since 2001.
This installment chronicles the transformation the physical city in light of the convergence of an array of powerful forces: the events of 9/11, the policies and priorities of the Bloomberg Administration, the volatility of global and local economies, advances in material and construction technologies, and a new interest among the public in contemporary architecture.
The exhibit consists of design proposals from the last ten years, a large collection of photos gathered from design professionals citywide, interviews and original video. New York Magazine offers a sort-of-review—more a reflection on stasis and change in the City’s landscape—in its most recent issue.
May 8-June 26, 2010
Location: 250 Hudson Street (Enter on Dominick Street)
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, Noon-7pm
Garbage on Roosevelt Island—the 147-acre strip of land lying in the East River between Manhattan and Queens—is disposed of through a remarkable system of underground pneumatic tubes that was constructed in 1975. The Island’s 14,000 residents empty their trash into a series of garbage chutes which are emptied into the pneumatic pipes several times daily, carrying it at 30 miles per hour to a transfer station at the end of the island. There it is compacted by the Department of Sanitation (DSNY), sealed into containers, and loaded on a truck for private export to a landfill outside the city. This Automatic Vacuum Collections System (AVAC) collects and exports more than ten tons of waste daily.
A month-long exhibit on the AVAC, its history and its value as a model for future waste management operations opens today at Gallery RIVAA on the Island, with an opening reception this evening. The show, called “Fast Trash,” has been curated by architect Juliette Spertus and the design firm Project Projects (which also designed the signage and visual identity of Freshkills Park). “Fast Trash” includes explanatory diagrams, video interviews with DSNY engineers who maintain the system, and a selection of drawings produced through a collaboration between the Center for Urban Pedagogy and students from the Child School, exploring what garbage collection might look like in a future without roads. The show will also celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1960 master plan developed for the Island by architects John Burgee and Philip Johnson. A related panel discussion at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service called “Comparative Garbage Collection Strategy and Urban Planning” will take place on May 6th.
FAST TRASH: Roosevelt Island’s Pneumatic Tubes and the Future of Cities
April 22–May 23, 2010
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 22, 6–9pm
Gallery RIVAA, 527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island
Through an agreement with the State, the City of New York now has sole custody of Governor’s Island and has released its park and public space master plan for the $220 million redevelopment of the 172-acre site. The tantalizing plan has been prepared by Dutch urban design and landscape architecture firm West 8 in partnership with Rogers Marvel Architects, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, SMWM and Urban Design+ and features a 2.2 mile waterfront promenade, picnic and event lawns, a grove of trees hung with hammocks, man-made marshes and steep, artificial hills that will help to create dramatic overlooks and vistas of lower Manhattan. Also part of the plan are two large-scale development sites for which a deal has not yet been announced (a satellite campus for NYU is one rumored possibility). The City has committed $41.5 million of the $220 million park and public space development price tag thus far. The first phase of construction is expected to begin in 2012.
275,000 people visited Governor’s Island last summer alone, even in advance of park development. This is going to be a hugely popular destination.
As part of its waterfront redevelopment plan, multi-governmental agency Waterfront Toronto is currently in construction of Sherbourne Park, a $28 million storm water treatment facility and public park, near the Lake Ontario shore. Much of the water treatment infrastructure will be visible to park visitors, making more transparent the purification process through features like an ultraviolet treatment pavilion, dramatic channelizing sculptures and biofiltration beds.
The facility’s design has been led by planning, urban design and landscape architecture firm Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg and illustrates, like Freshkills Park, the increased level of collaboration that is becoming more common around large infrastructure projects between engineers, landscape architects and planners.
There are two park sites in New York City that are also sited atop water filtration plants, though neither showcase water filtration quite as prominently: Riverbank State Park sits atop a wastewater treatment facility, and the in-construction Croton Water Filtration Plant in the Bronx’s Van Cordlant Park sites a golf course and green roof atop a drinking water filtration facility.
(via The Dirt)
The Freshkills Park Talks lecture series continues on Tuesday with a talk and slideshow by Nathan Kensinger, a photographer and filmmaker whose work focuses on the abandoned and post-industrial edges of New York City. He’ll be sharing stories of sites along the Gowanus Canal, inside the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and at Fresh Kills, among others, while walking us through his beautiful images. Nathan’s photos have been featured in the New York Times, the New York Post, New York Magazine, The Staten Island Advance, and other outlets and are currently on display as part of an exhibit titled “The Gentrification of Brooklyn” at Brooklyn’s Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts.
The talk will be co-hosted by the Metropolitan Exchange, an architecture, urban planning and research cooperative in downtown Brooklyn.
Tuesday, March 30, 6:30 p.m. @ the Metropolitan Exchange
33 Flatbush Avenue, 6th floor, Brooklyn
No RSVP is necessary
Now that the City of New York has decided to make the pedestrian plazas in Times Square permanent, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), in partnership with the Times Square Alliance, has issued a Request for Proposals for conceptual designs of short-term “refreshes” of the plazas. The alternate designs, once implemented, are expected to be operational for eight months, beginning in mid-July. Proposal submission deadline is April 16th.
The competition is taking place in tandem with a separate design process for a permanent reconstruction project, to begin in 2012 in partnership with the Department of Design and Construction and under the umbrella of the Mayor’s Greenlight for Midtown program.
(via Urban Omnibus)
The National Park Service has launched the Designing the Parks Annual Awards Program, aimed at honoring “the role and significance of public parks in community life and the importance of innovative, responsive, high quality planning and design.” Awards appear to be purely honorary but intended to boost awareness of and support for the NPS’s key principles of park design:
- Reverence for place
- Engagement of all people
- Expansion beyond traditional boundaries
- Advancement of sustainability
- Informed decision making
- An integrated research, planning, design, and review process
The call for submissions is open to built and publicly open parks throughout the world, administered by all levels of government. The guidelines also note that entries “must illustrate innovative and sensitive strategies applied toward resource preservation, energy conservation, sustainability, contextual design and mitigation of climate change.” The deadline for submissions is April 30th.
(via The Dirt)
The New York Public Library (NYPL) has unveiled a beta version of their map rectifier tool, a feature that allows users to digitally align or “rectify” historical maps from the NYPL collection with today’s maps and aerial photos. You can browse previously rectified maps or sign up for an account to align your own and add it to the browse-able archive. A 1907 map of the Fresh Kills area helped us understand a little more clearly the extent of filling in creeks and wetlands, and also the sense of private ownership that this land did, in fact, enjoy prior to the start of landfill operations–the entire site was carved up into privately owned parcels.
CUNY’s Institute for Sustainable Cities is hosting a four-part series of free public seminars starting this Wednesday, February 24th. Turning the Tide: New York’s Waterfront in Transition aims to address topics and issues related to the City’s relationship with its coastline and to review its history and future of waterfront development. The City’s waterfront has been its most contentious and most transformed frontier over the past ten years; with panelists from the Bronx River Alliance, the New York Restoration Project, Sustainable South Bronx and the Departments of Parks & Recreation and City Planning, this should be an interesting and active set of conversations. Registration is recommended–space is limited.
Wed. Feb. 24, 2010: “Opening Out Towards the Water”– The Big Picture
Wed. March 17, 2010: Waterfront Parks: Old, New, Green, Blue
Wed. April 7, 2010: Seizing Opportunities: Waterfront Works in Progress
Wed. April 28, 2010: Reviving the Estuary: Science, Politics, and Education