Two ideas for New York

The demands of urban life mean that the city must always reinvent itself; Diana Balmori weighs in on ways to save NYC

As an island, New York has always been responsive to climate. Accelerating changes and a shortage of space call for creative strategies; some entirely fresh, and some inspired by history.

WHAT IF THE BROADWAY MALL, along the main thoroughfare, were transformed into a linear park uniting neighborhoods, greening the city? A continuous ecological corridor has benefits for people and other living creatures beyond the block by block effect: in sustainability, air cleaning, water absorption, support of all biota.

With the support of the Broadway Malls Association and NYC Design, a vision was proposed for making Broadway a continuous green corridor, from Columbus Circle to 168th street, and one which the public can walk for its whole length.

This is the idea in a nutshell:

Diana Balmori

WHAT IF NEW YORK MADE FLOATING LANDSCAPES to buffer the coast from angry seas, create new spaces for wildlife and the public, and grow crops for the new wave of farm-to-table restaurants in the tradition of agriculture since time immemorial, as in the case of Mexican chinampas and the Bangladeshi baira.

...which protected the coast, like floating MARSHES. Marshes on the ground won’t work anymore since the sea level keeps going up. Made as green mats to attenuate waves, they can be built out of aquatic plants bound together.

Diana Balmori

... into a WILDLIFE REFUGE, building special places for different species and allowing occasional visits by the public, reaching them by boat.

Diana Balmori

... that earn their keep by having some CROP of high value for high-end restaurants grow on them, as many agricultural cultures do since time immemorial, the Mexican chinampas, the Bangladeshi baira.

Diana Balmori

... that can be used as PUBLIC SPACE in good weather, and which means making it permanently accessible.

COMPUTING INFORMATION on the forces at work in the water in a specific spot can give us the best shape for the islands.

Diana Balmori

WHAT IF?

WHAT IF?

WHY DON’T WE?

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