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Crown Heights Participatory Urbanism Rethinking the role of transportation infrastructure

Year:2011 Location: Brooklyn, New York Site: 15,300 ft2 of abandoned spaces along/beneath/beside the elevated Franklin Avenue shuttle train in the Crown Heights neighborhood. Program: Open air art spaces, urban agriculture and connections to public transportation. Project Type: Architecture, Urban Design and Community Design Status: Project Development Awards: 窶「 Architect-in-Residence , awarded by SUPERFRONT 窶「 Winner at the By The City/ For the City Competition, awarded by the Institute for Urban Design

M a n u e l テ」 i l a Architecture + Urban Design manuelavilaprojects.com

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Contents

Winner at the By The City/ For the City

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Introduction

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Participatory Process

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Participatory Process

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The Franklin Avenue Shuttle

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Site 1 Prospect Place Arts Garden

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Site 2 Prospect Place Cross -Block Pathway

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Site 3 St. Marks Avenue Cross-Block Garden

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Site 4 St. Marks Avenue Open Space

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Site 5 Bergen Street Community Garden

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Project Components

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Winner at the For the City/ By the City Competition

The Competition

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By the City / For the City, a competition, invited architects, designers and artists to respond to nearly 600 ideas submitted by the public addressing New York City’s urban realm. This design competition event took place this past September as part of Urban Design Week 2011, a week-long event organized by the Institute for Urban Design. Architects, artists and designers from all over the world responded to the design challenge, translating the initial 600 pool of ideas from New Yorkers into 150 design proposals from which 10 winners were chosen, Crown Heights Participatory Urbanism was one of the ten winners. The Institute for Urban Design published the 150 entries in a book called By the City/ For The City: An Atlas of Possibility for the Future of New York. The Jury The Jury was constituted of a panel of experts, including Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, Kate Ascher, Professor of Urban Development at Columbia University; Toni L. Griffin, Adjunct Associate Professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, among others*.

*The jury’s full list can be found at http://www. urbandesignweek.org/#1346124/Jury


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ツゥ Manuel

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Crown Heights Participatory Urbanism

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is a community informed design proposal for public space located in the Crow Hill neighborhood of Crown Heights. The purpose of the project is to provide a forum for the community to rethink residual spaces created by transportation infrastructure towards a new public space network. The project is founded on the idea of creating a common ground for residents, local community organizations, business owners, and governmental entities to discuss and initiate plural public spaces in the context of a diverse emergent community in Crown Heights.


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Participatory Process

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Crown Heights neighbors have been contributing their feedback about what they would like to see in these neglected spaces through three different venues: first, community meetings have provided a forum for proposing ideas about potential uses of the space. Second, via blog The community has been able to carry on a virtual conversation; and third, people have left comments in a few notebooks placed around the neighborhood in strategic locations, including laundromats, beauty salons and coffee shops. The designs presented are a reflection of the community’s ideas about how they want to use residual spaces along the Franklin Avenue Shuttle. They constitute a work in progress.


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green wall

I love the , but I'm wondering if this is just a brainstorming session or something that can actually happen? I thought that area was owned by the health center on the corner.

Park Pl stop

there is already a strip of grass I also want to point out that on the other side of the (owned by the MTA), but it's generally filled with trash. It's gated off, but I'd love to be able to clean that area up too. Anyway we could make that happen as part of this proposal?

By Ellen on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE? on 3/17/11 @Ellen - I love the green wall too - I'm not sure of the ownership status but even if the space can't be accessed it would be awesome to have something growing in there, it would totally change the atmosphere below...

about Seed Bombs?

What

By Anonymous on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE? on 3/31/11

playground/Sculpture garden

A Jungle gym/benches and so on...designed by artists = sculptural playground/ public space

By Eve on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE NOTEBOOK?

Farmers market availability

with

(WIC + F.S.)

payment

Arts Center + Garden

DEA

Community - Arts classes + mural projects for kids led by artists from the Monti - Small rotating exhibition space for artists and kids

Space available for rental

art events or parties > ($) .....But how do we keep the junkies out?

NS

for other

By Aaron on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE NOTEBOOK?

park extended further

Dog

I would like if the . Like all the way from Fulton to Eastern Parkway or beyond. The best use would be a green way with wide paths so people could walk and bike up to Eastern Pkway in a park rather than on the street. It would be really nice if we could

train

By Anon

bury the

ARK

or get rid of it all together. Have our own highline!

By Sean Lewis on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE? on 3/29/11 Low laying

green space

I’ve lived i

ST. M

school is r this area.

S AV E

By Tay o

would be great for this community.

A

By CHCA ...Stacey on ON THE GROUND on 3/1/11March 21, 2011 12:12 PM I'd be willing to build

benches

again.

GRE in.

PRO

By MikeF on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE? on 3/8/11 I know I already posted but I have another suggestion (maybe just for a small portion of the space),

By Anon

SPE

CT P

DOG-RUN

-

L

Me gustar

bien recre

mer

By Lana on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE? on 3/7/11

dumpster pools

bienvenida

By Karla

?

By Anonymous on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE? on 3/2/11

collage

of some sort would be really nice to look at.

IN A VE

A

By Anonymous on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE? on 3/2/11

I live right next to one of these spaces and have often thought that something productive should be done with them, if for no

Crow Hill Community Association meeting on March 15th, 2011

green

Dog owners, we are always out an that helps keep the community

market

so close by? I absolutely LOVE this idea!

By Lindsay on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE? on 3/2/11 I'd like to see a public space that can be adapted for weekly farmers markets, flea community functions.

markets

,and outdoor

By Lana on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE? on 3/2/11

MTA Safety Does the

.

know about this project?

concerns: Street lighting, emergency phones...We want to se proposal about safety I’m afraid of parking underneath. (i) worried a lot about the shuttle falling I appreciate you ask us for feed back Think about the

sculpture

safe

Pa

1. to Pros 2.

Ar

By Anon

FRA

benches

space with (there are many other greens paces close to traffic and/or trains that get lots of use). space so close by would really add something special to the neighborhood. And who wouldn't love a

NKL

other reason Prospect Park is close, but having some green than for easier access to the Shuttle. I love the idea of a

farmers or flea

DOG

By Anon

! There are so many dog owners in the area. I almost always run into someone from the block at Prospect Park, and I bet we would all like small a place more nearby. There is a group of people in the Jewish hospital building that have turned a small parking area into an impromptu dog run. And, when I did the 'Tiny Urban Park', there was a lot of interest in it being used as dog run as well.

How about

pa

By Anon

highline

I think an artist should figure out a way to rig a kinetic on Park/Prospect Pl. that could depend on magnets/wind/or a tap from the train to tell passersby which direction the shuttle is next expected from.

By Anonymous on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE? on 3/2/11

noise

I'm confused about the possibility of using this space given the extreme pollution from the shuttle train. Is it realistic that people would sit on benches there and eat lunch? Same question for the community garden idea. On the other hand, maybe skateboarders wouldn't care? (Or am I stereotyping youth?)

ST J

Anonymo

OHN

By Lucy on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE? on 3/2/11 There are already several community gardens in the neighborhood, but I think these parts could also use some plant life/trees.

I also like the idea of benches and tables so people can stay and enjoy the

Murals

Something that resembles the

garden

,read,talk,do work,etc.

Even the p

Rec

highline

to do with o space arou save that fo

By Karen on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE NOTEBOOK?

But I digres

are also great! I hope one day we could set up a little farmer's market in one of the spaces.

By Victoria on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE? on 3/2/11 I would love to see picnic

My two cen

S PL

benches

and open green space, something this neighborhood is lacking.

By Caroline on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE? on 3/2/11

sculpture

How about an outdoor community bordered by a wall--good place for two dimensional art as well.

LINC

OLN

February Liz Says:

Thanks fo

PL

March 2n

garden in one of the spaces? Also, since they are

By Paula on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE? on 3/2/11

stakeholders maintain Who are the

? Who owns this land? Why is it vacant? Who would

this space?

By Anonymous on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE? on 3/1/11 Community

garden

sounds awesome!!! Is there enough

sunlight

in the area?

By Smeghead on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE? on 3/1/11

skateboard ramps

A series of would be cool - the skate shop on Park Place sets up ramps for kids sometimes, but they aren't permanent. Also, some green space with picnic benches would be great - there are a lot of great take-out options in the neighborhood, so to have a place to eat the food that is outdoors and social would be

EAS

TER

N PA

RKW AY


ATLANTIC AVE

PAC IFI

MARCH 2, 2011 12:12 PM

C ST

Anonymous said... Theoretically, this is an interesting project. My concern with something like this in the "emergent" Crown Heights is that the implementa of the project will favor the perspective of certain members of the community over others. If the architect is planning to use his project to ap

expand hi participatory base beyond the Web for funding sources or otherwise act on individual suggestions, I'd recommend that he consider how to

ST

. He'd hav

raise awareness outside of blogs such as (much as I personally enjoy it) Ilovefrannklinave and NostrandPark.

I sometimes think we invest too much excitement in advancing technologies' ability to create and sustain community. Meanwhile a group Crow Hill Community Association that brings people together physically keeps us real.

g Park

with a couple of poop dispensers and trash cans. Soo many dogs in the neighborhood + they need a place to play

nymous on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE NOTEBOOK?

in here in Crown Heights ever since I was born and what I think we really need is a community pool, There’s a lot of Kids in the area and a

right there. It would be a good

after school activity

because there really is none in

on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE NOTEBOOK?

ark

Molly Neuman said... this is fantastic.

. We need a park

nymous on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE NOTEBOOK?

EEN SPACE

- Some sort of park with seating + maybe a small playground. There seem to be a lot of young families moving

MARCH 2, 2011 1:47 PM Lana said... I believe the artist is setting up notebooks and suggestion stands at various locations throughout neighborhood for this exact reason(they aren't in place yet, but are on their way). From what I know, he looking to locate them at LaunchPad, The Community Garden on Franklin Ave, and at local coffee shops. Y should post your concern on his website though, just to make sure he gets your message because it is a gr point! MARCH 2, 2011 4:07 PM Liz said... He spoke at the last Crow Hill Community Association meeting. Very cool ideas.

nymous on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE NOTEBOOK?

MARCH 2, 2011 6:23 PM MikeF said...

G PARK!

This isn't about getting everyone's input as much as it is getting permission from the (I assume MTA owns the spaces he wants to make "public".)

nymous on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE NOTEBOOK?

ría ver un

espacio comunal

que incluya un espacio para jardineros, espacio para niños... jugar (más

eacional), un lugar abierto, seguro y sano para todos los residentes de Crown Heights. También,podría ser un espacio para un

rcado

de agricultores o una cooperativa de comida (Como la que ésta en Park Slope) Me gustaría ver un espacio que le de la a a todo el mundo, sea relajante y creativo, y participen los miembros de la comunidad.

a on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE NOTEBOOK?

assage way/ walk way connecting the residents on St. Marks directly

spect Pl. Shuttle S (station)

rtwork installation under the shuttle railway.

nymous on WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE IN THIS SPACE NOTEBOOK?

local politicians (H. Jefferies, L. James, etc)

While an interesting project, unless he gets

and people with money on board, this th will just remain drawings....maybe a petition and some initial seed money is where the artist/planner should start.

MARCH 2, 2011 9:52 PM Anonymous said... Getting everyone's input is the cornerstone of the artist's project, what makes it unusual, and the reason w Nick highlighted it on ilovefranklinave. Sounds like Manuel is doing a great job at it too! He deserves pra for seeking innovative ways for community members to come together around an idea. That's how ideas a fostered and consensus is built before the hard work of implementation. Vision - and not funds - are need first. Good luck, Manuel! MARCH 3, 2011 12:14 AM MikeF said...

PAR K

I'm not sure that soliciting the public's opinion makes Manuel at all unusual, but do think that any vision must be backed up with some fu and/or political pressure. I wish this were a city where one could easy get the public to weigh in on such matters, or in which public opini were given greater value. So, until that changes, I'd approach those with power: Get them behind it. Get some money. Get momentum. Al

(CD8, CHCA, MTA

PL

the way, give the folks who like to be involved in such things

Like all realistic "participatory" projects, yours has a

ous said...

Brower Park St. John’s creation Center under utilized

public spaces that we have – like

)

etc.

an opportunity to weigh in,

may never be happy, and will need convincing via power. don't get bogged down with trying to make everyone happy: You'll also likely find people who want the spaces just to remain the way they are; they'll never be happy either.

nts. Of course, based on our own surveys here on NP, there is definitely a need for more public space in Crown Heights.

commentary

deadline for publi

. If you can get a core group behind your ideas, you are off to a good start. And, perhaps it doe need to be said, be able to show that you tried to involve everyone...this way if you do somehow get this created, you can know (in g conscience) that you tried to make as many people happy as possible when you get complaints from those who aren't happy.

and the courts around the

are . Heck, part of what we are trying our Destination Nostrand project is create usable public space in the neighborhood. (As an aside, the stoop is actually an important quasi-public und here, though I know from complaints I’ve read on message boards and blogs that some of the newer wave of residents don’t like it … we’ll or another post…)

ss. Weigh in with your thoughts about public space around the Franklin Shuttle

y 27th, 2011 :

for posting the link. He spoke at the Crow Hill Meeting but I didn’t get the website – thanks!

nd, 2011

MTA.

MARCH 3, 2011 1:12 AM Queer in The City said... MikeF - Some brilliant gems of suggestions in there. Very curious to observe, and participate when possible, this progress of this project. MARCH 3, 2011 8:15 AM Adam said...

"I wish this were a city where one could easy get the public to weigh in on such matters, or in which public opinions were given greater How would you imagine such a shift would happen? Might it happen from people actually coalescing around ideas and organizing from bottom up?

enough top-down

"just get those in power on your side" politics in this city as it is. We have Keep going, Manuel. Even if nothing comes of it, practice (or should I say praxis?) makes perfect. People need to flex their imagina muscles and re-learn people power.

MARCH 3, 2011 10:00 AM MikeF said...

While the ULURP process isn't perfect, it tries to balance the wishes and momentum of those in power with wishes of community reside http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/luproc/ulrule.shtml ....without it: -Builders and dreamers would always be bogged down in defending themselves against allegations of "ramming things down community's throat" -The public would actually have no voice -We'd left be a choice of "building nothing until we get consensus" or only "building what our elected officials and developers want".

Getting thru ULURP is hard enough.

Although I smoked my fair share, I've come to realize that creating consensus in NYC is largely a stoner's dream. Good luck avoiding those who insist "everyone must be represented and on board" before something is built, they are the demise of lot good ideas.


Initially built in 1887 to connect central Brooklyn with Coney Island and Manhattan, the Franklin Avenue shuttle’s elevated tracks now pierce through the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights. The shuttle, which in its current state is a truncated version of the nineteenth century project, connects Crown Heights to the neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Lefferts Gardens, making stops along the way at the C train on Fulton St. the 2, 3, 4, 5 trains at Eastern Parkway and the Botanical Garden and then finally stopping at the B, Q trains in Prospect Park. The neglected spaces alongside the elevated tracks are the focus of this project and are located between Park Place and Pacific Street and between Classon and Franklin Avenues. 012


SiTe 1 PrOsPect PLAce Arts gArDen

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SiTe 2

PrOsPect PL crOss -bLOcK PAthWAY AreA 3600

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SiTe 3 st MArKs AVe crOss-bLOcK gArDen

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SiTe 4 PrOsPect PLAce Arts gArDen

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SiTe 5 PrOsPect PLAce Arts gArDen

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By improving the access to public transportation -- creating a cross block path Shuttle train station on Prospect Pl -- and by programming a new network of pu project responds to the community’s concerns about public space in the Crow Hillresidents, and governmental entities.


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hway between St Marks Avenue and Prospect Pl. that connects to the Franklin Ave ublic spaces designated for urban agriculture and cultural expression. The CHPU -Crown Heights neighborhood working as a cross platform between business owners, ツゥ Manuel

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Crown Heights Participatory Urbanism  

Crown Heights Participatory Urbanism is a community-informed design proposal for public space located in the Crow Hill neighborhood of Crown...

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