Tags: landscape architecture

2015: An Amazing Year

Discovery Day

It’s been an amazing year at Freshkills Park.  We have accomplished so much!

2015 by the numbers

Over 10,000 people experienced Freshkills Park this year, whether visiting the park during our new Discovery Days, special events, and programs or participating in presentations around the City.

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From Behind the Mounds: Summertime in the Salt Marsh

Freshkills Park wetlands

2,200 total acres. 990 acres of former landfill. Last garbage barge in 2001. 150 million tons of garbage. Located along the Arthur Kill, Great Fresh Kill, Richmond Creek and Main Creek.

No, it didn’t matter how many facts I tried to memorize in preparation for my internship with Freshkills Park, because nothing can really prepare you for your first site visit.

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From Behind the Mounds: Walking the Line

During a clear and comfortable late July morning, the staff of Freshkills Park was given a behind-the-scenes tour of one of Manhattan’s most popular destinations: The High Line. With Vice President of Park Operations Martin Nembhard and Director of Horticulture Tom Smarr as our guides, we were treated with a glimpse into their new office building as well as a detailed accounting of their landscape design and management strategies.

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Mierle Laderman Ukeles and Maintenance Art at Freshkills Park

If you’ve been to Sneak Peak, perhaps you’ve noticed your own reflection in the side of a Department of Sanitation garbage truck.

This 20 cubic-yard garbage truck faced with hand-tempered mirror is The Social Mirror by artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles. The Social Mirror debuted in the grand finale of the first NYC Art Parade in 1983 and was most recently exhibited at the 2007 Armory Show.

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London’s Olympic Park features ecologically-based design approach

Though the 2012 Olympic Games have come to a close, the landscape of London’s East End has been dramatically transformed for the long-term utilizing a ecologically-based design approach that has much in common with the Freshkills Park master plan.

According to The Dirt, nearly 250 acres of formerly-industrial land were turned into a beautiful setting for the Olympic venues inspired by Victorian and post-war English pleasure and festival gardens.

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Dallas’ newest park to be perched atop a highway

After the success of The Highline in New York, it seems that every city is now attempting to transform abandoned or underused public spaces into lush urban parks. Treehugger has reported on the recent developments in unusually located parks, the latest being the Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, Texas.

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What if the Olympics had come to Staten Island?

If you, like us, are currently immersed in the London 2012 Summer Olympics, it is fascinating to imagine if the games were instead taking place in our own backyard… More specifically at Freshkills Park!

As WNYC has reminded us, during New York City’s bid for the Olympics back in 2005, Staten Island and Freshkills Park were featured as a prominent site for large scale sporting events.

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Company turns plant waste into free mulch for urban farming

A San Francisco company is spurring local urban agriculture by turning organic waste into mulch, and giving it away for free. Bayview Greenwaste collects plant waste for a fee, grinds it into mulch, then gives it away to any organization that wants it, including nonprofits, municipalities, private citizens, schools, and power plants.

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Free LAGI Event on Saturday, July 28

The Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) will be holding a FREE public event at 105 Water Street, Staten Island on Saturday, July 28th. Visitors will have a chance to preview the site-specific submissions to the 2012 LAGI NYC design competition, while also learning more about the interaction between renewable energy technologies, land art and public art.

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Scotland’s Innovative Plans for “Climate Change Parks”

Across the pond, the nonprofit organization greenspace scotland, in partnership with Scottish National Heritage, has created a fascinating new e-resource called  “Creating Climate Change Parks.” The resource provides important design guidance for both the retro-fitting of older parks with climate change-friendly updates, such as tree planting schemes, green roofs and water management techniques, as well as guidelines for newly designed parks.

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New smartphone app tracks invasive plant species

Recently, UK scientists and environmental organizations teamed up to create a smartphone app that allows users to track invasive plant species. PlantTracker “tells people how to spot invasive plants and lets them snap geo-tagged pictures of the species and submit them to the organizations to better help them manage the populations.” This crowd-sourced tool was developed by the UK’s Environment Agency, along with the Nature Locator project at Bristol University and the National Environmental Research Council’s Center for Hydrology and Ecology.

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Vertical Gardens in Mexico

In an attempt to draw attention to the dearth of greenspace and poor air quality in the region, the nonprofit VerdMX has constructed three ecostructures throughout Mexico City. One such structure is a vertical garden of over 50,000 plants.

Formerly notorious for its poor air quality, Mexico City is now an example of successful campaigns by policy makers, environmentalists, and various other groups to improve the city’s air.

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Imagining an NYC park in an underground vestige

With landscape architects riding a wave of creative post-industrial reimagination in New York City–rail lines, concrete plants and landfills are all turning green–it was perhaps inevitable that underground park spaces were next. And so it goes that a team of design speculators have taken on the challenge of re-envisioning the Lower East Side’s former Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal as a sun-lit subterranean park, dubbed “The Delancey Underground.”  Dan Barasch of  PopTech, James Ramsey of RAAD Studio, and R.

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Tour Freshkills Park with an expert this Sunday

Over the course of the various stages of its history, a wide range of professionals have spent time working on or thinking about the Freshkills Park site: sanitation workers, engineers, equipment manufacturers, scientists, policymakers, architects, designers, artists, philanthropists. There are countless layers of expertise to mine in understanding the site. 

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Field Operations’ Race Street Pier now open

Last month, the City of Philadelphia celebrated the opening of Race Street Pier, a new waterfront public space designed by landscape architecture and urban design firm James Corner Field Operations, who are also the designers of Freshkills Park and the High Line.

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Dutch-themed plaza fronting ferry terminal now open

On our trips through the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in Lower Manhattan over the past two weeks, we’ve been happy to pass through the recently completed Peter Minuit Plaza.  The 1.3-acre plaza fronts the ferry terminal and serves as a nexus of transportation modes and public space at the tip of the island: ferry, subways, buses, bikeways, benches and outdoor tables and chairs are all present here. 

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Graphic interventions on the “Wall of Sormano”

The incredibly steep slope of northern Italy’s Muro di Sormano (“Wall of Sormano”, a mountain road perceived as a “wall” by many determined cyclists) was a part of the course for the Giro di Lombardia from 1960-62, and is considered to be one of the most difficult cycling tracks in the world.

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Tomorrow! New Springville Greenway Open House

The Freshkills Park development team at the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation is in the process of designing a 3.2-mile off-road bicycle and pedestrian path running north-south along the eastern edge of the future Freshkills Park site.  We are hosting an open house tomorrow, Saturday May 14th, to talk about the project and to answer questions about it. 

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Reusing building materials in park construction

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/18507807 w=500&h=300]

Another animated video in the American Society for Landscape Architects (ASLA)’s sustainable design series demonstrates how to sustainably reclaim building materials for use in new park construction.  The clip highlights ways to convert a former building site into a new open space while minimizing waste and maximizing use of recycled materials.

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Adriaan Geuze talks Governors Island Park design

Design Observer runs an interview with Adriaan Geuze, principal of landscape architecture firm West 8, on its approach to designing Governors Island Park.  He discusses the master plan for the park and how it accentuates the island’s natural attributes, location, and views, and how topography plays a pivotal role in the vision. 

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