My latest post is online at City Journal. Called “Under the Elevated“, it’s a look at a study of the same name by the Design Trust for Public Space and the NYC Dept. of Transportation exploring how New York City could make better use of the 700 miles of space underneath its elevated transportation infrastructure – the equivalent of four Central Parks work of space. Here’s an excerpt:
The report’s researchers created two “pop up” parks—one in the Bronx and one under the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown. The Chinatown project included a community bulletin board, a series of chalkboard panels allowing visitors to respond to questions left by the design team, new lighting featuring red LED lights (considered a lucky color in Chinese culture), and seating. The addition of seating was serendipitous, says Neil Gagliardi, the DOT’s director of urban design. The team was surprised that anyone would want to sit and linger in such a noisy location but decided to add chairs when they noticed how popular the temporary seating was at the opening event. The installation also had an unforeseen benefit. “It kept the graffiti away,” Gagliardi says.
Click through to read the whole thing.