Cycling Visionaries Awards – Project Details

Close the GapS

Close the GapS

The Project, Close the GapS came from the idea of closing the gap in Manhattan’s bike greenway infrastructure to allow bikers to continuously go along the East River. This led to questions about how New Yorker’s move through City, and if this proposal could open-up ideas to enhance not only the City’s alternative transport, but offer an entire paradigm shift on how New Yorker’s view the East River

Manhattan's Greenway bike path is a 32-mile long cycling route around manhattan and is separated from auto traffic. On an NYC-issued map, you instantly see a gap on the bike path 36th to 63rd street on the east side of Manhattan. The path areas are marked in bright red, it is here that you have to face NYC's most heavily trafficked streets With its warehouses and docks, NYC is not designed to offer access to the Waterfront, infrastructure like the FDR Highway add to the difficulty of coming up with solutions to close the bike path gap.

New York’s need for quality public space is vital, as in any dense city. This proposal initiates an intervention in not only in how the City moves, but how the City uses its East River bank. Close the GapS approach is to add new infrastructure that blends seamlessly with pre-existing ones as well as have this infrastructure address a quality of life point that Manhattan desperately needs: open space. The proposal also addresses how all this could be achieved through Green Energy, by tapping into an abundant natural source, hydropower.

Imagine a New York where you could bike to the East River to swim, bathe or surf on a hot summer’s day. Could this be possible? Changing the way people perceive, live and move through a City can be realized through a step-by-step process, but a sustainable improvement can only be achieved by closing more than one gap.

CONNECTION
The new River Park will be located on Midtown Manhattan’s East River bank, starting from 34th street, created on reclaimed ground. The Park connects neighborhoods on the riverbank and links to bike and pedestrian lanes for cross-town access, reactivating a formerly inaccessible part of the the City. An additional extension to River Park turns Roosevelt Island into the eastern-most point of the Manhattan landscape. The York Avenue Extension River Park extends York Avenue south and is a car-free public space offering a wide range of public uses. The River Park boulevard is wide enough for both cyclists and pedestrians to use at different speeds.

River Park continues along both sides of Roosevelt Island, creating a car-free zone around it called the Roosevelt Island Link, connecting Manhattan and Roosevelt Island through a green space.

SPACE
Close the GapS proposal introduces new spaces into New York City’s already diverse landscape. River Park, which rejuvenates the East River bank in Midtown Manhattan will feature The New Edge, a new harbor system that offers ample opportunity for docking Floating Modules. Floating Modules are self-sustaining units that range from floating public swimming pools, to concert halls, clubs or even floating stages. They are either custom- designed or recycled from emptied-out old barges. The Roosevelt Reservoir, is a new water way created on the East River Channel, that allows for swimming and a variety of other water sports. Defined areas in the reservoir feature waves for surfers and stand-up paddlers alike.

River Park: Midtown Manhattan’s East River waterfront comes alive with restaurants, cafes, playgrounds and open-air cinemas during the summer season, and with the New Edge Harbor offers a variety of sporting and entertainment activities.

ENERGY
Roosevelt Reservoir: on top of the East River is initially filled with water from the East River, which is purified through a natural process and then kept clean within a closed self-cleansing cycle.
Green Electricity: As the East River continues to flow underneath the Roosevelt Reservoir, it runs a system of multiple power generators utilizing the naturally strong currents of the East River. The river basin is excavated on both sides and divided into separate channels. The channels are opened or shut individually to generate the optimum current speed and control water overflow. The system is compartmentalized so that maintenance can be performed in one section without affecting the entire system.

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PLANET architects
Wien, Austria

Category: Urban Planning and Urban Design

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