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Hunts Point, Bronx, NY

-re-creating common ground urban operator -constructive interference urban constellation

Urban Design Summer 2006

-conflict of coexistence perfromative map

columbia university, gsapp

urban design studio I

conflict of co-existence

By investigating the components of these two processes and corresponding urban systems, contrasting elements emerge:

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performative map

It is ‘the point’ of consumption that generates the process of food distribution and waste discharge. Ironically, these two conceptually opposing processes (clean vs dirt) are concurrently operating in Hunts Point.

Food Local Produce Night Intake

vs vs vs vs vs

Waste National Consume Day Discharge

Urban systems serving the above processes are mapped to geographical locations, time line and other forces. The result is a performative map specific to Hunts Point that through its construction represents the inherent characteristics generated by contrasting elements. Unfolding the map reveals the tensions among systems, the interstitial spaces and the edge conditions created. One can notice the seemingly opposing processes caught in a continuous loop. The multifaceted map with different combination of adjoining faces helps us to explore new conditions in a manageable and personal scale. One can unbound Hunts Point by linking it to the broader national scale at the adjoining face while simultaneously see the crossing of food and waste systems. This comprehensive diagram allows the user to understand the complex relationship among contrasting elements and systems in one clear, concise map.

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OD FO miles


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conflicts of coexistance_part_II life of an orange

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hidden journey

performative map

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moving vacancies

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urban grain

Hunt’s Point is driven by cycles that govern the utilization of space. To understand the character and operations of Hunt’s Point, we first must understand the role that Hunt’s Point plays at several levels and then examine them through their respective time schedules and cycles. The overlap of their cycles begins to reveal opportunities for public space to emerge in the voids. The allocation of spaces in Hunt’s Point currently does not allow optimal use or opportunities for public space. Although hunt’s point is a nexus of activity through out the twenty four hour cycle, the feeling is that of inactive and vacant spaces. wide roads to accomodate the heavy truck traffic, collision of different edge conditions, connections to the site and socio-economic forces are all contributing to create the space of Hunt’s Point. How can the spaces created through moving vacancies be used to give hunt’s point the public space it needs?

cycle of use/vacancy

cycle of consumption






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foo d

manh attan

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discard consume

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it trans

urban grain

transi t


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pen nsy lva


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conflicts o

24 hours of hunts point

re-creating common ground The urban operator arrives in Hunts Point at the crossing between the urban actors (industry) and its residents. It is in this common ground that a change must occur. Through modifications to the edge between these two dissimilar users a balance can be achieved and areas otherwise seen as transition spaces become destination spaces. Move 1: Lafayette Ave is a main east/west axis road through Hunts Point. Focus is given from Hunts Point Ave (high point) to its termination at Riverside Park (low point). The street is narrowed and shifted at various spots to allow for larger public spaces than the current sidewalk provides. Traffic speed is lowered and storm water is captured into planting beds at bends in the road. Move 2: Longfellow Ave intersects Lafayette in the middle of the section from Move 1. This seemingly forgotten street has residences on one side and a solid brick wall of an industrial building on the other. Again the street is narrowed, the side walk expanded and a ‘front yard’ is created. Where Longfellow meets Lafayette a large, outdoor community space is placed in an underutilized parking lot. Here events such as markets and cinema take place.

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urban operator

Move 3: Riverside park sits at the end of Lafayette street and borders the Bronx River. This narrow lot is surrounded by a recycling plant to the north and truck parking for Hunts Point Market on the south. It is here that the urban actor dominates the existing public park. Riverside Park is expanded, rising over and above the adjacent neighbors: blocking the unsightly garbage piles of the recycling plant and covering 18 wheelers of the food distribution center. The later serves as a filter for idling trucks waiting to make their deliveries. Move 4: Currently the only method of getting to Soundview Park across the Bronx River is to travel 25 minutes by bus or 35 minutes by foot. Move 4 connects Riverside directly to Soundview via a pedestrian bridge.

foot bridge accros bronx river, plan of urban operation

avenue, lafayette avenue

urban operator

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Public space is not only a place for democratic public amenity, gathering and socialization; it is a complex multi-layered organization of utility (filtering) elements to improve public and environmental health, facilitated by public/private economic partnerships. The interferences between amenity, utility, and public/private economic partnerships amplify the benefit of public space.

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urban constellation

conflict of co-existence

An urban constellation is formed across 4 sites in the NY/NJ Metro Area: Secaucus, Newtown Creek and Hunts Point. Through interventions at these locations a constructive method between the public/private realm is played out. Illustrated here is the interference at one of the Hunts Point sites. At Riverside Park the public space is exploited to perform better for its users while providing benefit to its adjacent neighbors; in this case Sims Recycling Group and Hunts Point Terminal Market. Sims Group: Seeks to limit the impact of operations, thus large ‘recycling bins’ are created to frame the scraps and act as urban art. This also frees up space along the waterfront which is returned to public. Terminal Market: Seeks to handle increased number of deliveries and keep its perishable produce cool. Idle Air technology allows for electrical hook-ups to power trucks keeping product fresh and truckers happy. The park is extended above the parking lot creating a park above and shelter for the 18 wheelers below. Refrigerated storage space and a truckers lounge are also located below the park.

plan of riverside park, seasonal uses of

urb. constellation.

urban constellation

msaud sum2006 exploded axon, sectional axon, model diagram

MSAUD: Summer Studio 2006  

Construtive Interference: Hunts Point, Bronx, NY