The latest phase of the park on Governors Island opened to the public this July—20 years after planners voiced vague ideas for its development and 20 years before future visitors assumed the landscape had been there forever.
Jane Jacobs wasn’t bullish on urban parks. She preferred active sidewalks. In her classic urban planning (sociology?) book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, she noted that parks created “borders,” that often result in blighting or “slumming” along their edges. She attributed this circumstance to a lack of diversity of uses, a lack […]
In my previous post, I addressed some assumptions author Vishaan Chakrabarti makes in How Density Makes Us Safer During Natural Disasters. I don’t mean to single out Mr. Chakrabarti – many of his points are well-taken. Among them the reduced energy consumption of urban dwellers, balanced by his acknowledgment that “[r]egardless of the inherent environmental advantages of […]
In How Density Makes Us Safer During Natural Disasters by Vishaan Chakrabarti, the author uses the example of Hurricane Sandy’s effects within New York City to highlight urban resilience: …higher-density neighborhoods—from downtown Brooklyn and Battery Park City up to Harlem—were up and running within a week. By contrast, lower density areas like Staten Island and Breezy Point—with their […]
I am walking 30 feet above the ground, through buildings, eye-level with billboards, rubbing shoulders, it seems, with all the tourists in New York City. I am surrounded by plants that poke out from the railroad tracks that are remnants of New York’s industrial past.