We’ve been steadily making progress on the 5th and 6th Forward campaign with Transportation Alternatives.
Two meetings this week with a quick recap, summed up for you by our fabulous project manager Lauren Wang:
Tues, Apr 2 | Let’s Hack Park(ing) Day ii
OpenPlans at 7:00 PM, 148 Lafayette Street, PH
Tuesday is another Planning Hack night at OpenPlans. We’ll bring construction paper and play with concepts for the Park(ing) Day charrette. Should our props be specific or generic? Realistic or imagineered? How do we tell our story?
Thurs, Apr 4 | Planning Corps speaks at the T.A. Volunteer Meeting
T.A. at 6:30 PM, 127 West 26th Street, Suite 1002
We’ll be at T.A. on April 4 to meet with T.A.’s volunteer committees. Comments are welcome on Steven’s draft presentation, and feel free to pop in, if only to meet the committees.
The Quick Recap:
- Leave-behind materials: We’re developing a fact sheet that introduces the campaign and the districts to key constituents. The template/inspiration is up on Trello. Take a look, let us know if you can help.
- Park(ing) Day: We think the big challenge will be to design an activity that brings people over and engenders smiles — something photogenic and social media-friendly. Can any experienced Park(ing) Day-ers chip in?
- Trello/msg me for the slow recap.
And again, some useful links:
T.A. Meeting – draft presentation
Park(ing) Day Charrette – come play with construction paper
Leave Behind – any designers out there?
Check out the Shareabouts site and leave your comment or idea for how 5th and 6th Avenues improvements.
We’ll return to our once weekly meetings after this week. Hope to see you!
Atlantic Avenue BID executive director Josef Szende accepts a NYC SBS BID Challenge award
Better late than never: We are so proud! Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District executive director Josef Szende decided late last summer that he wanted to go for the Department of Small Business Services BID Challenge Grant, where up to $75,000 would be awarded to an innovative, replicable BID project in New York City. Though the timeline was tight, we convened Planning Corps for some strategy and brainstorming sessions, weighed the ideas, and came up with FUNderpass, a way of improving the elevated segment of the BQE that remains a stubborn barrier to the flow of pedestrians from Brooklyn Bridge Park to Atlantic Avenue.
The competition materials centered on this visionary image of what the underpass could be. Eric Galipo made it, and integrated all the wonderful ideas from the planners. We also created presentation slides, developed the project timeline, and other supporting materials for the submission. As a result, Atlantic Avenue BID won the full possible amount, $75,000! The final project team is still being developed, so details to come about the project’s execution. We can’t wait to see it in completion and walk down to the park from Atlantic Avenue.
FUNderpass rendering by Eric Galipo
Here’s some press on the project:
Brooklyn Heights Blog
NY Daily News
We’ll be convening a working session next Tuesday February 5 at 6:30 PM at H3 Architects to continue on the Move 5th and 6th Aves Forward project. A couple of links for the project, compiled by the awesome project manager, Lauren Wang.
Streetsblog write-up about the project
Project Overview where we dump ideas, notes, and resources
We’re looking forward to the launch of Re-Envision 5th and 6th Avenues this Saturday, December 8, 1-5 PM.
We’ll meet inside the Parker Meridien, where there’s a privately operated public space, at 118 W 57th Street at 1 PM on Saturday. After a brief introduction, we’ll split up into 4 groups, each one staffed by a Planning Corps member.
We’ll split up into 4 groups, do our walk and make our observations. By around 4 PM, we’ll meet up again at H3 Architecture, at 902 Broadway, 19th Floor to warm up and de-brief. Refreshments will be available.
To get you in the mood, we’ve collected some of the best videos of observations of people and the street. Join us! Please RSVP.
William H. Whyte: The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces – The Street Corner from MAS on Vimeo.
Gehl Architects – Streets and mobility for people from Gehl Architects on Vimeo.
Fifth Avenue and 59th Street
We’re ramping up our collaboration with Transportation Alternatives and its 5th and 6th Avenue campaign. Planning Corps is getting together with the volunteer committees in December to walk 5th and 6th Avenues in Manhattan from 59th Street southward in its entirety. We’ll make observations and build our collective understanding of how well (or not) these major corridors perform. Campaign strategies will be developed from this important step. Join us!
Saturday, December 8, 1-3 PM
Meet at Parker Meridien, 118 W 57th Street (between 6th and 7th). We will divide into 4 groups and walk the length of 5th and 6th Avenues.
A bunch of us are prepping for the walking event, you can see what we’re up to on our project board.
We’ll test out a couple of tools on Dec 1 too, before we subject the volunteer committees to the exercise. Saturday Dec 1, 11 AM, meet at Speedy’s, 32nd Street and 6th Ave.
We hope everyone is well and weathered Sandy OK.
We have two upcoming meetings this month to work on an exciting new project with Transportation Alternatives.
Tuesdays, November 13 and 20, 6 PM
902 Broadway, 19th Floor
T.A.’s new campaign will re-envision major thoroughfares. The goal is to build public and political support for these major streets – such as 5th and 6th Avenues in Manhattan – to accommodate all modes of travel.
We’re going to kick off the brainstorming session next Tuesday, November 13. Time to get creative! In addition to brainstorming, we hope to find someone who will take on the mantle of Planning Corps project leader for this campaign from now to April 2013. Please spread the word!
On Tuesday, November 20, we’ll take the brainstorming ideas and turn them into itemized tasks and benchmarks for the next several months, filling out a timeline.
Please RSVP. Hope to see you!
Transportation Alternatives launched a new campaign that asks New Yorkers to imagine all streets designed for all people. Accompanied by the above photo simulation developed by Planning Corps, it challenges New Yorkers to think big and different, especially on avenues which might have already developed their own iconic identity like Fifth and Sixth Avenues in Manhattan. You can support the campaign by signing on here.
Speaking of support, you can support the future of another wide street, Queens Boulevard. The Queens Volunteer Committee are building public support for changes on the street as part of the integrated regional plan of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, which is the New York City region’s metropolitan planning organization. Sign on here.
Stay tuned for announcements on upcoming sessions.
Huge thanks to Allen Jacobs and Great Streets
It was such a moment of pride to see our work on Queens Boulevard at the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale during the opening in August. A huge thanks to the people who worked on this project and to Allen Jacobs and the canonical Great Streets, without which our meta-analysis wouldn’t have been possible.
The story isn’t over, the Queens Committee is still on the case of winning changes for the street. Having since been given the opportunity to walk on a few of the great streets that Allen Jacobs included in his book, I wanted to share a few thoughts from his introduction to Great Streets.
Kurfurstendamm Strasse, Berlin
“Streets are more than public utilities, more than the equivalent of water lines and sewers and electric cables…; more than linear physical spaces that permit people and goods to get from here to there. … Streets moderate the form and structure and comfort of urban communities. … In a very elemental way, streets allow people to be outside. … And streets are places of social and commercial encounter and exchange. They are where you meet people – which is the basic reason to have cities in any case. … As well as to see, the street is the place to be seen. … At the same time, the street is a place to be alone, to be private, to wonder what it was once like, or what it could be like. It is a place for the mind to wander, triggered by something there on the street or by something internal, more personal, a place to walk while whatever is inside unfolds, yet again.”
Here are some photos of the exhibition and of Venice.
I’m excited to be representing Planning Corps at the Venice Biennale opening next week – looking forward to learning more about everyone’s work on “design action for the common good.” The U.S. contingent will be holding panel discussions at the U.S. Pavilion courtyard from 10- 6 Tuesday and Wednesday August 28 and 29. I’ll be on a panel discussing The Image of the City on Wednesday at 11:30 AM. Please come by!
Thanks to everyone for turning up last night. We’re in the home stretch to meet the deadline for the BID’s submission. It’s already making news! A nice summary of the Atlantic Avenue BID project, though it should be known that Eric didn’t give that last quote. Specifically, the word “transitory.”