Freshkills Park Blog

Current landscape and waterfront exhibits

Superstudio's "The Continuous Monument: On the Rocky Coast" (1969), on view at the MoMA.

A couple of exciting exhibitions and projects featuring the built and natural environments are currently underway at the MoMA and P.S.1.  The MoMA exhibition, “In Situ: Architecture and Landscape”, opened last April and will be running through February 22nd.  A small but succinct show, it’s worth visiting.

P.S.1’s recent program “Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront” included a studio residency for Architecture Research Office (ARO), which developed designs for “adaptive ‘soft’ infrastructures” to address rising tidewaters in New York and New Jersey, taking into account the needs of both the metropolis and the coastline ecology.  An exhibit of models, drawings and analytical materials produced during the residency will be opening at the MoMA March 24th.  In the meantime, the Rising Currents Blog continues to offer interesting reflections on the intersections of urban and hydrological systems.

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February 5, 2010 Posted by | events, FKP, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ecoartspace in NYC

ecoartspaceInterdisciplinary environmental arts organization Ecoartspace has opened a physical space in Soho.  Current featured exhibit is “habitat”, an artist studio shed built of reclaimed materials.  The space will also host discussions, screenings, panels, readings and performances centering around art that concerns itself with environmental issues.

Ecoartspace assembles some great projects–their show Environmental Performance Actions at Exit Art last year was a terrific and expansive look at a host of environmental issues seen through artistic lenses.

(via sustaiNYC)

April 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Gas powered, naturally

This is pretty inspiring: Ohio Valley Creative Energy (OVCE) is trying to build art studios for glass, ceramics and metal work, powered by landfill gas.  They’re focused on public education about sustainability through artwork and big-idea design, and they worked with a group of art students from Meyzeek Middle school in Louisville, KY to create this stop-motion animated video demonstrating how methane gas can be used as a renewable energy source for use by arts facilities.

Like the Ohio Valley’s landfill, Fresh Kills has infrastructure in place to collect landfill gas generated by the anaerobic decomposition of organic materials, and the gas at Fresh Kills is also used as source of renewable energy. Approximately 10 million cubic feet of landfill gas is collected each day, and the purified methane extracted from it is used to heat up to 22,000 homes per day.  You can read more about landfill infrastructure systems at Fresh Kills on the official park website under the “About the Site” tab.

March 13, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

North Brooklyn’s new waste transfer station

When Fresh Kills Landfill closed, the Department of Sanitation began exporting the city’s garbage to private landfills. The long-haul trucking required for that export has been costly: waste disposal rose from 40 to 100 dollars per ton and has contributed to congestion and air pollution. The city’s 2006 Solid Waste Management Plan has tried to lessen these burdens through a gradual shift to barge/rail garbage export.

Mayor Bloomberg at the opening of the Varick Avenue Waste Transfer Station on Tuesday.

Mayor Bloomberg at the opening of the Varick Avenue Waste Transfer Station on Tuesday.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports that Northern Brooklyn has opened its new rail-based waste transfer station last week. The Varick Avenue I station, whose passenger service was discontinued in the 1920’s, was retrofitted to process the trash, packing tons of solid waste into shipping containers. The Bushwick freight line will carry the load as far as Fresh Pond Yard in Queens, where the cars will be relayed to CSX trains heading out over the Hell’s Gate Bridge and down south to a Waste Management-owned and operated landfill in Virginia.

The Bronx and Staten Island currently export all of their solid waste via barge or rail.

On a related note: Want to design your own solid waste management plan? Check out the Gotham Gazette’s Garbage Game!

March 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Looking back, seeing art

In 2001 the Snug Harbor Cultural Center’s Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art launched an exhibition as a response to the closure of the Fresh Kills Landfill.  19 artists and artist-teams responded with “Fresh Kills: Artists Respond to the Closure of the Staten Island Landfill,” a collection of paintings, sculpture, photographs, videos and conceptual works, some of which are directly about Fresh Kills while others deal more generally about environmental issues.

A small sample of work taken from the exhibit can be found on our flickr page.

Alexis Rockman BARN OWL, 2001 Leachate and polymer on paper, 9 x 12 inches

Alexis Rockman BARN OWL, 2001 Leachate and polymer on paper, 9 x 12 inches

March 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

From footprint to blueprint

alazharpark6In the early 1980s, Cairo was experiencing the developmental crunch of growing population and limited civic resources.  A 1984 study found the green space per capita in Cairo to be roughly equivalent to a human footprint.  In the mid ’90s, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture began construction on Al-Azhar Park on the derelict Darassa site, a 500-year-old, 74-acre mound of rubble located in the heart of the city. Bordering historic areas like the 12th Century Ayyubid city and the 15th Century Mamluk (City of the Dead) as well as the artistic center of Darb al-Ahmar, the park was built as a model for environmental restoration and cultural reconnection.

The PBS series E2 has devoted an entire episode to the project. A podcast and trailer can be found on their website.  Lots of other interesting short segments about green architecture and planning initiatives in that podcast series.

(via City Parks Blog)

March 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

NYC’s potential tax on plastic bags

More details about Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to tax plastic bags and the revenue the tax will generate.  Independent of revenue, this seems like an easy issue to assume environmental righteousness about, but as New York Times City Room blogger Jennifer Lee points out:

Some have noted that environmental equation on reusable versus disposable bags is not so clear-cut. The more durable bags require an order of magnitude of more energy to produce. The anti-plastic campaign has drawn a sharp defense from the American Chemistry Council (every product has a constituency). The council argues that a drop in disposable plastic bags means an uptick in the purchase and use of other bags, like garbage bags, since plastic is still needed for trash and pet waste. The council has enumerated what it calls plastic bag myths.

February 2, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

The Sanitation Artist

Meirle Laderman Ukeles is a Percent For Art Artist whose work will be integrated in the development of Freshkills Park. She has been the Artist-in-Residence at the NYC Department of Sanitation since 1977 and, following the ideals of her 1969 Manifesto for Maintenance Art, has executed numerous maintenance and sanitation-related artistic projects over the last 30 years.  She was an active part of the Freshkills Park planning process.

An image of Mierle Ukeles' 1993 project "Respect," a ballet of garbage collection vehicles.

An image of Mierle Ukeles' 1993 project "Respect," which included a ballet of garbage collection vehicles.

January 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Just launched: Urban Omnibus

Urban Omnibus is an online project of the Architectural League that explores the relationship between design and New York City’s physical environment: revealing the choices shaping the city, encouraging conversation, inspiring innovation.

If you’re interested in the factors shaping Freshkills Park, you might be interested in checking out some of the stories this new publication is covering.

January 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Art at the new South Ferry station

As regular travelers on the R train to South Ferry, we’re excited about the new South Ferry 1 train terminus (which connects to the R-W station) and the artwork that will be on display there.

December 14, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment