May 1, 2011

GrowingCities to Participate in NYC Festival of Ideas

GrowingCities is pleased to announce that we will be participating in the the New Museum's Festival of Ideas for the New City, this Saturday May 7th. We have been invited to the event, along with 11 other teams of designers, through our involvement with the SubSeries design charrette series, organized by Baukunst Studio, and which asks of its participants to re-conceive of the spaces of existing NYC subway stations. What are the most optimistic strategies for reclaiming this urban territory? How can a subway station contribute in new ways to our daily urban experience of the city?

Although our design for the new 125th St. 1-train station is still in progress, we are happy to present our work in its current state. After all, this is a festival about ideas, and we
have plenty of those! The Festival of Ideas for the New City, May 4-8, 2011, is a major new collaborative initiative in New York involving scores of Downtown organizations, from universities to arts institutions and community groups, working together to effect change. A first for New York, the Festival will harness the power of the creative community to imagine the future city and explore the ideas destined to shape it. It takes place in multiple venues Downtown and is organized around three central programs: a three-day slate of symposia; an innovative StreetFest along the Bowery; and over eighty independent projects and public events. The Festival will serve as a platform for artists, writers, architects, engineers, designers, urban farmers, planners, and thought leaders to exchange ideas, propose solutions, and invite the public to participate. GrowingCities will be in the SubSeries booth of the StreetFest, all day Saturday. For a more detailed location, check the map below.

Map of Festival of Ideas StreetFest, with SubSeries Booth highlighted

As transportation hubs, millions of people pass through New York City’s many subway stations every day. Whether commuting to and from work or touring around the city, we see great potential here to integrate fresh, healthy food into the lifestyles of urban residents.

Our proposal explores the idea that New York’s subway system can provide a new infrastructure for the transportation of food into the city - bringing locally-grown produce from the Bronx down into Manhattan and fostering a new network of public markets along the city’s many train lines.

We believe that a comprehensive network of subway station green markets - stalls supplied by the subway itself - will not only increase access to fresh and healthy food, but will also reduce the heavy strain on city roadways by decreasing the rate of truck delivery, which would in turn greatly reduce air and noise pollution. The market system would especially benefit neighborhoods in desperate need of fresh food sources, such as our design site in Harlem, as well as many sections of the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn.

Below are two "sneak-peak" images of the design proposal that we are presenting at the Festival of Ideas this weekend.    Please visit us at the SubSeries booth all day Saturday to learn more about our design ideas for the 125th St. 1-train station, as well as the designs of the other SubSeries teams! And keep up with our blog to see how the design develops in the future.

Detail of our Festival of Ideas poster showing early schematic design of our proposal for the 125th St. 1-Train Station in Harlem.

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