Tags: urban planning

‘The Olmsted Legacy’ to premiere at Prospect Park

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/13491802]

The Olmsted Legacy is a one-hour documentary about the contributions of urban planner and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, visionary designer of many of America’s first great parks.  It features the voices of Kevin Kline and Kerry Washington. 


Peter Harnik on innovative urban park development

Such a huge crowd came out to hear Peter Harnik speak in our Freshkills Park Talks/Uncommon Ground joint lecture last week!  We’re grateful to the many attendees, and to Peter, who made the trek up from Washington, D.C. and gave an interesting overview of projects happening nationwide to turn existing spaces within our cities into public parks. 


Spectacle Island, Boston, MA

Spectacle Island, part of the Boston Harbor National Recreation Area, was home to a horse rendering plant and a city waste incinerator from 1857 to 1937.  When the incinerator closed, the island served as a landfill until 1959.  Though the island’s original size was approximately 49 acres, landfilling increased its size to 85 acres (with an additional 28 acres in the intertidal zone). 


Dan Doctoroff: a legacy in conversation

Urban Omnibus recaps (and streams) an Architectural League discussion between Paul Goldberger, architecture critic for The New Yorker, and former NYC Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Dan Doctoroff.  The discussion covers a number of the controversial projects Doctoroff helped initiate before and during his tenure, including the City’s failed 2012 Olympics bid, the West Side Stadium project, the Atlantic Yards and congestion pricing


Next Freshkills Park Talk: Tuesday, July 27th

Next Tuesday evening in the Arsenal Gallery, our Freshkills Park Talks lecture series continues with a talk by Peter Harnik, Director of the Center for City Park Excellence at the Trust for Public Land.  He will be speaking to topics from his latest book, “Urban Green: Innovative Parks for Resurgent Cities,” about the reclamation of a variety of urban sites—landfills, railways, rooftops, cemeteries, schoolyards, highway decks—as parkland. 


Connie Fishman on Hudson River Park

Thanks to Connie Fishman and all who attended her talk in our Freshkills Park Talks series two weeks back.  It was an entertaining and educational look at the history and development of Hudson River Park, including a look at the never-realized Westway project and its legacy in the civic discourse about the park. 


NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan update

The New York City Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy (WAVES) is a citywide initiative, begun in January, to update the 1992 comprehensive plan for the development and preservation of the City’s 578 miles of shoreline.  There are two components of the initiative: the physical plan (Vision 2020: The NYC Comprehensive Waterfront Plan) the generation of which is being shepherded by the Department of City Planning (DCP), will focus on creating long-term guidelines for land-use along the waterfront; the Waterfront Action Agenda, a set of high-priority initiatives unfolding over the next three years, will be generated by a group of stakeholders and agencies led by the City’s Economic Development Corporation.


Public Space Potluck in Hudson River Park, 6/24

Just two days after Connie Fishman’s talk about Hudson River Park in our Freshkills Park Talks lecture series, the Design Trust for Public Space is holding one of their Public Space Potlucks in Hudson River Park.  This is a series of potluck dinners in urban spaces aimed at encouraging discussion about and communal use of public spaces throughout the City. 


Next Freshkills Park Talk: Tuesday, June 22nd

Our Freshkills Park Talks lecture series continues this coming Tuesday with a presentation by Connie Fishman, President of the Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT).  Since 1999, HRPT has overseen the planning, construction, management and operation of Hudson River Park, which spans 550 acres—including portions of the River—along the west side of Manhattan, from Battery Park to 59th St. 


Parque Atlantico, Santander, Spain

Vulgare runs another eye-popping photo feature, this time on the 200-acre Parque Atlantico (“Atlantic Park”) in Santander, Spain.  Situated in a thalweg called La Vaguada de las Llamas (“The Valley of Flames”), the site was once a marshy estuary fed by a stream from the Atlantic Ocean. 


Cooling art for Times Square hot spot

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). 


Exhibit on the last ten years of NYC development

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.


Exhibit on Roosevelt Island garbage system opens

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.


Governor’s Island Master Plan released

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. 


Sherbourne Park, another water treatment hybrid

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.


Next Freshkills Park Talk: Tuesday, March 30th

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.


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. 


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. 


New York City maps, rectified

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. 


NYC waterfront panel discussions

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. 


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