MNLA and Partners Complete the Hudson Square BID’s Streetscape Master Plan

MNLA and their partners have completed the four key projects in the Hudson Square BID’s ten-year, $27M public realm master plan, marked by the recent ribbon cutting on a reconstructed Hudson Street. A partnership with the Hudson Square BID, NYC Department of Transportation, and the NYC Economic Development Corporation, the plan included far-reaching initiatives to create a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable network of spaces in this once-industrial downtown neighborhood. Today, it is an epicenter of the city’s dynamic creative industries, home to more than 60,000 professionals in communications, new media, and design companies.

Freeman Plaza West; New York NY | Image Credit: Elizabeth Felicella

The Hudson Streetscape Master Plan included the Hudson Street Reconstruction, Hudson Square Streetscape Standard, Spring Street Park and Freeman Plaza East & West.

“The Hudson Streetscape Master Plan fulfills our design concept of creating “personal parks” wherein people can find respite areas along the sidewalk buffered from the roadway by thick planting,” said MNLA Principal Signe Nielsen. “The new streetscape traverses the entire District, offering this amenity within easy access for many office workers.

Hudson Street Reconstruction
Transforming this vital street into a grand thoroughfare, this project extends sidewalks along the street up to five feet and adds new amenities along its seven-block corridor. Enhancing pedestrian, bicycle, vehicular traffic safety, transforming the corridor into a grand boulevard that will increase connectivity. Over 8,000 square feet of planting areas are filled with trees, shrubs, and perennials, and the application of the Hudson Square Standard for urban forestry, using continuous tree pits and permeable pavers to maximize stormwater capture and support healthier trees, was employed.

Hudson Square Streetscape Standard
This initiative provides a signature, sustainable streetscape for the district, comprising 500 trees, including both new and existing trees retrofitted using the HSS sidewalk tree planting system. Combining structural soil, porous aggregate, permeable pavers, and distinctive tree guards, both the trees and the city benefit from captured stormwater, increased biomass, and real estate values.

Image Credits: MNLA

Spring Street Park
The gateway to Hudson Square, this half-acre triangular open space was reimagined to accommodate a variety activities and active space for respite for area workers and residents alike.

Spring Street Park / SoHo Square | Image Credit: Elizabeth Felicella

Freeman Plaza East and West
Unused areas among the four Holland Tunnel approach routes were converted into spacious, sunlit green spaces offering many activities including lunchtime yoga, music events, a Noguchi play sculpture, a synthetic turf surface for events, and solar Wi-Fi charging stations. 

Freeman Plaza West; New York NY | Image Credit: Elizabeth Felicella

“The BID’s 10-year masterplan has been the driving force behind our continued efforts to create an attractive, safe, and inviting experience for people who work, visit, and live in Hudson Square,” said Samara Karasyk, President and CEO of Hudson Square BID. “We are grateful for MNLA’s inspired design work that has helped to transform our neighborhood from a place known for its car congestion near the Holland Tunnel into a vibrant and welcoming neighborhood for pedestrians, filled with creative energy. Building on the success of these innovative projects, we are poised to commence our next 10-year plan with a new slate of projects that highlight our fantastic neighborhood and build upon our rich past.”

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About Damian Holmes 5568 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/