Freshkills Park Blog

South Park design public presentation tonight!

We’re very excited to present our most recent phase of design work, in South Park, tonight at the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island.  The Freshkills Park development team and park designers from James Corner Field Operations will be there to virtually guide the gathered crowd the first phase of South Park, which will host softball fields, hiking and biking paths, play areas, a parking lot and flexible event spaces. This phase will also be the first project allowing public access to the top of one of the mounds—the smaller of the two mounds in South Park—with its amazing views of Staten Island and the larger region.  It’s a really dynamic and interesting design that’s responded to a host of needs and requests from the local communities and still holds strong to the ideals of the 2006 Freshkills Park Draft Master Plan.  Hope you can come and check it out tonight!

Wednesday, April 7th, 7-9pm
at the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island
Joan & Alan Bernikow Building
1466 Manor Road, Staten Island NY

April 7, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , | Leave a comment

Adapting NYC to sea level rise, now at MoMA

Rising Currents: Projects for New York’s Waterfront opens today at the MoMA.  The exhibit features architectural proposals transforming New York City’s harbor and coastline in response to sea level rise.  Last fall’s architects-in-residence program at P.S.1 brought together five interdisciplinary teams to produce plans, models, drawings and analytical models that now make up the show.

Urban Omnibus offers an in-depth preview and primer on project focal points: industrial development that creates new marine habitat on the Kill Van Kull; oyster reef restoration on the Gowanus Bay and Buttermilk Channel; a partially submerged residential development in the Narrows; park expansion onto piers at Liberty State Park; carefully stratefied tower construction at the southern tip of Manhattan.

The show runs through October 11th.

March 24, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Solar Roadways

Engineers at Solar Roadways, a renewable energy start-up based in Idaho, have completed a prototype for a multi-layered, energy-generating road surface.  The company says that when installed, Solar Roadway would generate and store energy through photovoltaic (PV) cells, each cell capable of managing it’s own electricity generation, storage and distribution. The energy could be used to heat the road during a snowstorm, control lighting and displays via LED lighting, or help distribute additional signals such as phone and internet through a base plate layer featuring microprocessors. A translucent, high-strength surface layer would protect the electronics from the traffic and weather above.

There are lots of inevitable questions to follow up on the concept: sustainability aside, how cheap would PV panels and LED lights have to be to make this a cost-effective replacement for petroleum-based asphalt?  With each cell being an individual unit, how would maintenance and replacement work?  The ambition and optimism of Solar Roadways is impressive (see their list of benefits, proposals for use in military applications and global communications), though implementation seems a little hazy at this stage.  Still, it’s great that people are reflecting creatively on the sustainability of roads.

(via Inhabitat)

March 19, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , | Leave a comment

Times Square design competition call for proposals

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)

March 15, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , , | Leave a comment

New awards program for park design

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)

March 10, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , , | Leave a comment

North America’s greenest building?

The University of British Columbia is currently in construction of what it claims will be the “greenest building in North America”: its new $37 million Center for Interactive Research on Sustainability.  Making use of fuel cells, solar panels, solar hot water heaters, ground source heat pumps and biomass co-generation, the building will be a net energy producer and serve as a living laboratory for all of these technologies.  Its water system will operate without municipal plumbing or sewage connections, collecting and using only rainwater and stormwater for its water supply.  The research facility has been designed by Busby Perkins + Will.  Construction is expected to be complete in 2011.

(via Inhabitat)

March 5, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , | Leave a comment

Mark Brest van Kempen

An image of one component of Van Kempen's work on Seattle's Ravenna Creek Project.

Bay Area environmental artist Mark Brest Van Kempen makes work that reflects on the relationship between human and natural systems.  Since the 1980s, Brest van Kempen has combined architecture, infrastructure and ecology in a series of projects at varying scales.  At the gallery scale, his installation Cleaning System (2000) monitored the passage of laundry wastewater through a filtration pond with plants, tadpoles and fish before it was channeled outdoors to water plants.  At the public scale, from 2002-2009 he designed and implemented a multi-component public art project for the Seattle Department of Parks & Recreation‘s Ravenna Creek Project, tracing the historical and present-day flow of the Ravenna Creek under the city’s streets through the use of signage, viewing stations and daylighting vaults.

He is currently at work on two noteworthy public projects: a signage and sculpture project interpreting the ecology and history of the Rockridge-Temescal Greenbelt and Temescal Creek in Oakland, CA, and an interpretive artwork to complement public tours fo the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant.

(via ecoartspace)

February 24, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , | Leave a comment

Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 4 design

Pier 4 concept rendering by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation has released plans for Pier 4, one of six piers along Brooklyn’s northern waterfront that will be incorporated into the in-development Brooklyn Bridge Park.  The Pier 4 site, like the rest of the 85-acre park, has been designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. The plan includes reclaiming part of the deteriorated railroad infrastructure currently occupying the Pier 4 site as a public walkway, and another part as an island wildlife sanctuary.  The project is slated for construction in summer 2012 and is expected to be complete the next year.

Pier 1 was expected to open by the beginning of 2010 but is now anticipated later in the year, along with Pier 6.  Much of the rest of the park’s development still awaits funding.

February 18, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , , | Leave a comment

James Corner Field Operations to design the Beltline

Photo of the existing Beltline by Our Green Atlanta, via flickr.

James Corner Field Operations (FO) and Perkins+Will have been selected as the lead designers of the Atlanta Beltline, a 22-mile loop of parkland, trails and light rail to encircle the core of the city and revitalize derelict rail easements.  The $2.8 billion Beltline project purports to create and connect to over 1200 acres of parkland, underwrite the remediation of several brownfields, construct 5,600 affordable housing units and create 30,000 new full-time jobs over its 25-year course of development.  This is a huge project knitting together open spaces, transit, bridges, tunnels and historic preservation sites; the two firms will manage 19 others in the development of a comprehensive master plan.  FO, of course, has experience mapping out ecological rescue missions for undervalued urban spaces, the High Line and Freshkills Park both featuring prominently in their portfolio.

This is also not the only southeastern megaproject being designed by FO; it is also currently at work on a master plan for a comprehensive upgrade of Shelby Farms Park in Memphis.  At 4,500 acres of wetlands, fields and forests, Shelby Farms is one of the country’s largest urban parks.  Not unlike Freshkills Park, the proposed plan will incorporate new entrances, pathways and facilities, including renewable energy and plant nurseries, to amplify existing trails and infrastructure.

(via Creative Loafing)

February 16, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , | Leave a comment

Active Design Guidelines released

The City of New York has just released a new publication and policy initiative called Active Design Guidelines: Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Design.  The guidelines, which have been developed through an interagency effort in collaboration with professional and academic institutions, make simple and accessible recommendations about how design of built features in the City can and should address public health concerns related to obesity and physical activity.  Commissioned, essentially, by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the guidelines are to provide a public health overlay on the sustainability and livability initiatives already being implemented by the Departments of Parks & Recreation, Transportation, City Planning and Design, Development and Construction.  Recommendations are organized in checklists and by scale of design intervention, from large-scale planning down to architectural details.  Urban Omnibus offers a positive appraisal:

The recommendations are not just good for the environment or good design moves. They create a city whose infrastructure is designed to keep us fit, active, and healthy. They address pressing social problems through fairly innocuous and inoffensive measures that are understandable by everyone and can be implemented at all scales.

February 11, 2010 Posted by | FKP | , , , , | Leave a comment