One year ago, Superstorm Sandy devastated New York neighborhoods and changed life in the city in profound ways. How can we begin to align our politics, our finances, and our designs to reduce the risk from future storms? Join Alexandros Washburn, author of The Nature of Urban Design: A New York Perspective on Resilience and New York’s chief urban designer, as he leads a discussion with four design, infrastructure, and environmental policy experts working in the post-Sandy trenches to improve New York City’s resilience in the face of future storms: Marc Ricks, former chief of staff to Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff, who left the private sector to return to the Bloomberg Administration to help lead the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency; architect Thaddeus Pawlowksi, who began his career creating computer models of hurricane strikes and then was thrust to the frontlines of reality with the Housing Recovery Office; Dr. Nancy Kete, Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation – a global leader on resilience – who develops strategies and practices for infusing resilience thinking throughout the Foundation’s work; and Kate Orff, the landscape architect who had exhibited her ideas in the Rising Currents exhibit at MoMA and is now a finalist in a HUD competition to naturally strengthen our coastlines.
Co-sponsored by The Architectural League of New York, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and Island Press and presented in conjunction with Rising Waters: Photographs from Sandy.
In the final part of the series on “Art, Design and the Urban Environment,” panelists will discuss the construction of the Second Avenue Subway as a starting point for a conversation on transportation infrastructure. How can urban design and public art transform street-level spaces to be more functional, and beautify below-ground levels on a grand scale?
Sandra Bloodworth, Director, MTA Arts for Transit; Mitchell Joachim, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Director of Research, Terreform ONE; Cesar Pelli, NA, architect; Moderated by James Russell, architecture critic, Bloomberg News
Carlton Brown, Chief Operating Officer, Full Spectrum of NY/Full Spectrum South has been at the center of several progressive initiatives that promote affordable housing and mixed-use development in New York City, Jackson, Mississippi (his hometown), New Orleans and Africa. He is a graduate of Princeton University’s School of Architecture and an expert on sustainable design. Major New York City projects include the LEED-Gold Kalahari mixed-use affordable and market rate housing in the heart of Harlem praised by Mayor Bloomberg as a new design model for the city for sustainable and affordable housing. Brown was the only developer appointed to the Mayor’s Sustainability Advisory Board to address the important environmental issues facing the City, and has taken part in the Clinton Global Initiative as a panelist. Referencing his experience with post-Katrina housing and sustainable design in New Orleans, he will also address post-Sandy housing challenges facing the metro area.
2013 Architecture & Design Film Festival
54 Varick Street
“Erecting a building is like making a movie….both processes involve blending light and movement into space and time. A model is like a script: at best it’s a promise and at worst it’s a safeguard. And, as with a script, a moment comes when you have to test your model against reality. You must start shooting the film, start erecting the building.”
—The Interior Passage
We can see these starts when the two art forms come together in the 4th annual Architecture & Design Film Festival at the Tribeca Cinemas where 25 films will be screened through October 20. This year, the trend is toward process films that chronicle movements and initiatives (planning, education, preservation), portraits of buildings more than individuals, and Modernism referenced even when it’s not the direct subject.
New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) just faced another hurdle in its controversial plan, known as its “infill strategy,” to lease swathes of land in public housing developments to private developers. The deal would allow for the construction of new market-rate apartment buildings, along with a handfull of affordable housing units, in eight projects throughout Manhattan. But New York City Council and a group of tenants filed a lawsuit on Thursday to prevent the plan from moving forward. This past spring, the struggling agency issued a Request for Proposal seeking ideas from developers. The lawsuit slips in right before NYCHA’s November 18th deadline for proposals. The New York Times reported that the plaintiffs said that the agency failed to include City Council on the “decision-making regarding the plan to build on public housing grounds.” And moreover, government officials pointed out that the Bloomberg administration didn’t follow the standard protocol, which requires that agency officials go through City Council for approval.
In a statement to Times, NYCHA said: “It’s unfortunate that the City Council is attempting to block a proposal that would generate significant revenue for the New York City Housing Authority — money that would go directly into developments and repairs for residents.”
What are strategies to make urban waterfronts more resilient to increasing coastal hazards?
What is New York City pursuing in its plan for recovery and resilience?
How can communities throughout the region use scenario planning to evaluate approaches?
Join us for the first public presentation of the results of a year-long study, Urban Waterfront Adaptive Strategies: Coastal Climate Resilience, by the New York City Department of City Planning funded through a HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant. This guide to potential strategies for increasing the resilience of urban communities to coastal flooding and sea level rise was already underway when Hurricane Sandy arrived. We will hear about Mayor Bloomberg’s plan, A Stronger, More Resilient New York, and how the Special Initiative on Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR) built off Urban Waterfront Adaptive Strategies to develop a multi-layered plan to protect the city from coastal storms and climate change. Since then the New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities Coalition, under the direction of the Regional Plan Association, has also explored how to use scenario planning to analyze strategies in the larger region.
Sponsors: NY Metro Chapter, American Planning Association (APA)
Regional Planning Association (RPA)
Speakers: Mary Kimball, AICP, Project Manager, Urban Waterfront Adaptive
Strategies, New York City Department of City Planning, Waterfront
and Open Space Planning
Michael L. Marrella, AICP, Director, Waterfront and Open Space Planning,
New York City Department of City Planning
Robert J. Pirani, AICP, Vice President for Environmental and Energy
Programs, Regional Plan Association
Daniel Zarrilli, Director of Resilience, Mayor’s Office of Long Term
Sustainability and Planning, City of New York
Moderator: Bonnie A. Harken, AIA, APA, President, Nautilus International
Development Consulting, Inc. and NY Metro Chapter APA
representative on the Urban Waterfront Adaptive Strategies
Earlier this week, Manhattan Borough President and City Controller candidate Scott Stringer announced his $1 million pledge to restore a historic Harlem fire watchtower at the heart of Marcus Garvey Park. In the 19th century, the 47-foot tower served as a lookout point and the bell was raised in case of imminent danger. Today, the tower no longer protects the community but threatens it, showing substantial signs of decay and neglect.
Running a tight race against Eliot Spitzer, Stringer lags behind the former governor in terms of African American votes and is thus seeking to salvage one of the community’s most valued landmarks. The past few days, he has generated good publicity from his ability and desire to fund this restoration project.The $1 million provided by Stringer, along with the $1.75 million contributed by Councilmember Inez Dickens and $1.25 million by Mayor Bloomberg will be used to preserve the tower. The project includes a full restoration of the tower’s cast-iron structure, the removal of deficient parts, and the additional construction of a stainless steel support system.
It has been several years in the making, but now the industrial strip along Brooklyn’s polluted Gowanus Canal will finally be transformed into a lush and porous green space aptly named The Gowanus Canal Sponge Park that will soak up and filter rainwater to help improve the overall water quality along the waterway. This $1.5 million project, a collaboration between the Gowanus Canal Conservancy and landscape architecture firm dlandstudio, will finally get off the ground with the help of city, state, and federal funding.
On the roof of a construction site in Greenpoint, Brooklyn Monday, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced the release of a new report outlining 69 rebuilding strategies designed to both help Hurricane Sandy–ravaged communities and to serve as a model for coastal regions across the country that are vulnerable to storm surges and rising sea levels. Close to the waterfront, the site overlooked the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant—one of the few sewage treatment facilities to survive Sandy intact. It was a fitting place for Secretary Donovan, who also serves as chair of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, to introduce this bundle of new recommendations that address both immediate and long-term needs of coastal communities, including resilient and region-wide approaches to rebuilding and infrastructure investment. A number of the initiatives in the report, such as HUD’s “Rebuild by Design” competition, are already underway.
Spreading out across 10,000 acres of parkland, Jamaica Bay in Queens, New York will now serve as the focus of a new science and resilience institute spearheaded by the City University of New York (CUNY) to understand how urban ecosystems respond to changing weather patterns and global warming. The CUNY-led research consortium, temporarily housed on Brooklyn College’s campus, will collaborate with other leading New York institutions to study the efficacy of natural flood protections, such as dunes and salt marshes, in safeguarding New York’s coastline. These findings will benefit and be applicable to other cities and regions that are vulnerable to flooding as sea levels rise and storms become more frequent and powerful.
Last fall, new data revealed that Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, revered since its 2010 opening as one of the most sustainable skyscrapers in the world, is actually a bigger energy hog than similar New York City buildings. As the first skyscraper to earn a LEED-Platinum certification, the BOA Tower, designed by COOKFOX, was praised by press, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and former Vice President Al Gore, who is currently a tenant. Yet, despite its superb rating and efficiency promises, Sam Roudman of The New Republic reports that the high-rise “produces more greenhouse gases and uses more energy per square foot than any comparably sized office building in Manhattan,” including its similarity with a lower LEED rating, the Goldman Sachs headquarters.
Last week, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn announced an $8 million achievement of capital funding for the East River Blueway proposal for redevelopment of the Brooklyn Bridge Beach. The proposal, set by President Stringer and Assemblyman Kavanagh in collaboration with WXY architecture + urban design, will redesign and improve the stretch of East River greenway in Lower Manhattan from East 38th Street to the Brooklyn Bridge.