Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gowanus Canal Lowline Design Competition

High Line, Manhattan
New York City's heralded "High Line" (City of New York photo) has touched off a recognition that unusual public space and placemaking projects that reconnect people and place to what had been abandoned industrial infrastructure (an above ground freight railroad line in this particular case) can be incredibly transformational.

The Gowanus Lowline Connections Design Competition sponsored by Gowanus By Design, aims to bring a similar kind of focus, intensity and rebirth to the area around the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. The registration deadline is in early April; the design submission deadline is April 17th.

Gowanus Canal, Looking_north_from_Union_Street_bridge[1]
Gowanus Canal, looking north from Union Street bridge.

The project, although on a much bigger scale, reminds me of a not dissimilar idea as part of the Open City Challenge sponsored by the Urbanite Magazine in Baltimore. In "The Urbanite Project 2010" "Architect Gabriel Kroiz and environmental lawyer Eliza Smith Steinmeier propose daylighting Harford Run, a stream that runs under Central Avenue, and turning it into a lively community recreational space."



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