Town Square Initiative: New York
06.10.2013
Eric Tan in Planning & Urban Design, Reimagining Cities, Reimagining Cities, The Town Square Initiative, Town Square

This project, called “Reframing the Spaces Between: From Blight to Bright Reimagining the Allen Street Pedestrian Mall,” is a candidate to win a Place by Design award in at this year’s SxSW Eco conference, and we’re looking for your vote! Please click here to vote, and note that you can vote multiple times for a single entry.

The Town Square Initiative is a yearlong volunteer effort in which Gensler designers set out to unearth and re-imagine unexpected open space in cities around the globe. All 43 Gensler offices were invited to participate in the conceptual project, in which we challenged our designers to identify open space in the city and reimagine it as a town square.

Gensler New York’s design of their future city.

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There are over 5 million square feet of unused space in New York City...

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... WHY WASTE?! Can these spaces be better utilized? We think so!

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We focused on THREE MAIN IDEAS: resiliency, community, and sustainability.

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The future of New York City must be designed for resiliency!

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Our existing energy grid is connected one dimensionally and has been unchanged for decades. Any disruptions in the chain spells disaster, as demonstrated by Hurricane Sandy.

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Why not design those unused spaces as means of generating alternative energy? Thus supplementing our existing energy grid with multiple energy sources!

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We see a future New York even more connected with its communities ...

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... bringing people together by creating opportunities to meet, contemplate, and enjoy the outdoors. Our design for these new public spaces combine lush greenery, cycling lanes, and seasonal amenities to create a truly diverse urban experience.

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This will be the world’s first crowdsourced park! Using a simple smartphone app, the community determines the layout of the park from a menu of plug-in systems!

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Transitioning from a car-based city ...

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... into a community-oriented one!

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Designing for the future also means designing sustainably.

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Imagine a New NEW YORK, one in which sustainability is seamlessly incorporated into public space design.

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Every plug-and-play module serves a dual purpose: one for community activities, the other for harnessing nature!

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Incorporating composting, water collection, solar collection ...

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... linking the park to surrounding buildings ...

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... allows resources to be shared in times of emergency ...

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... while creating a cleaner and more efficient city for everyone.

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Imagine a New NEW YORK!

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Eric Tan one of Curbed Magazine’s ‘Young Guns 2013,’ is committed to developing innovative, socially responsible, and sustainable design solutions for a rapidly growing world with diminishing resources. Contact Eric at eric_tan@gensler.com.
Article originally appeared on architecture and design (http://www.gensleron.com/).
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