Tim Tompkins – Time Square Alliance Interview by Streetsblog

Streetsblog San Francisco recently had an interview  with Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance to see what they could learn about Times Square public spaces.

Tim Tompkins have a few interesting thoughts such as

What I see is that what’s been happening is part of a larger movement in terms of the revitalization of cities. It’s kind of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, where you need to take care of the basics of comfort and security first before you can even think about anything else………


I think the biggest change is that now, especially with the introduction of Duffy Square, which opened in October 2008, [we redefined the] expectations for Times Square as a public space. Until we actually had Duffy Square as a kind of a concrete, tangible paradigm, it was all theoretical, and people couldn’t really experience it.


to read the full interview go to the [SOURCE: Streetsblog San Francisco]

Viñoly-designed New York architecture school opens

Building reports

Newly renovated New City College of New York Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture opens today

The City College of New York’s Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture has reopened, after a complete overhaul by Rafael Viñoly Architects.

On the building’s periphery, Landscape Architect Lee Weintraub’s design accentuates the main entrance, creating another accessible congregation point for students.

SOURCE: BuildingViñoly-designed New York architecture school opens

Urban farms springing up on rooftops

All across Manhattan urban farms are springing up across one of the densely built cities in the world. Urban Farms (community gardens) are nothing new but recently they are moving up onto the rooftops across the world as urbanites want to grow their own food and cool down their buildings.

The Washington Post has an article about the Urban Farms in Manhattan and how as the city has boomed with Community Gardens being sold for development gardens have moved up onto rooftops.

Read and See more at the Planting Roofs takes off in New York – Washingtonpost

NY landfill parks could be open to the public next spring

New York’s two landfill parks at Fountain Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue could be reclassified as safe for public access by next spring according to a spokesperson from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The parks are currently closed as they are classified as a “significant threat to the public health or environment”.

The parks have undergone a transformation since 2004 when the first seeds were planted on the safety soil cap of the two landfill sites which were closed in 1985. Leslie Sauer, a founder of Andropogon Associates divided the parks into islands of different ecological niches with plantings representing different areas of the region with up 93% of the planting surviving.

The local residents envision various activities in the sites such as bicycle riding, performances in an amphitheater and fishing. The project has cost $200 million including the capping and planting of 33,000 shrubs and trees.

Information SOURCE: New York Times

Planting the landscape from 400 years ago

A stylised native woodland is being planted at Schwartz Plaza at New York University by George Reis, N.Y.U.’s supervisor of sustainable landscapes. The Manhatta project inspired Reis to propose the landscape using plants from before settlement of Manhattan. The design was completed by Darrell Morrison after Reis won the funds from the class of 2008 legacy fund. Recently  Reis and Morrison, along with the help of some students, began planting 2,000 plants that were all thriving on Manhattan from the 1600’s.

SOURCE: New York Times

Unveiling NY400 Pavilion in Battery Park


On Wednesday September 9th the official unveiling ceremony of The New Amsterdam Pavilion with the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands will take place.

The New Amsterdam Plein and Pavilion, is a gift from the Netherlands to New York in honor of 400 years of friendship. Part of Battery Park’s Peter Minuit Plaza will be renamed New Amsterdam Plein. The unveiling ceremony and the Pavilion can be viewed from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal terrace however the plaza will be closed until the construction is completed later in the year.

The Pavilion and street furniture for the surrounding plaza are designed by Ben van Berkel of UNStudio. It will serve as an attractive gathering place for New Yorkers, commuters and tourists, as well as a tribute to our common history and shared values. The Pavilion is situated on Peter Minuit Plaza at the Battery, one of New York’s main intersections, with 75,000 people passing through each day.

The New Amsterdam Plein & Pavilion will be located within The Battery’s Peter Minuit Plaza, named for the enterprising Dutch Director-General who in 1626 consolidated the early settlements at the tip of Manhattan – a grouping that came to be known as New Amsterdam. This destination is, in the words of architect Ben van Berkel, ‘the ideal site for a permanent commemoration of 400 years of Dutch history in New York, because it is steeped in a sense of a shared past and looks directly toward the harbor where Henry Hudson sailed, but is also entirely focused on the future by virtue of its role as a modern transportation hub within the constantly changing scene of Lower Manhattan. This is a site where history meets the future.’


IMAGES : UN Studio & Richard Koek

Biking ‘fastest growing’ way to get around NYC

Newsday.com reports

Despite the dangers, biking is New York City’s “fastest growing mode of transportation,” says City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who herself bikes to work in lower Manhattan, about a mile from her Greenwich Village home.

The number of cyclists has jumped by 80 percent in the past decade — to 185,000 among the more than 8 million city denizens.

[SOURCE: Newsday – Biking ‘fastest growing’ way to get around NYC]

IMAGE SOURCE: Flickr – xurde

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