This Thursday, Tricia will be participating in an interactive panel discussion at the New York State Design Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY. Her session, “Transforming El-Space Across New York State,” will explore the opportunities and challenges of reimagining the underutilized spaces beneath elevated infrastructure. Building on the theme of interconnected relationships between a range of design professionals, she shares the stage with Susan Chin of the Design Trust for Public Space, Neil Gagliardi of NYCDoT, and Leni Shwendiger of Arup.
Elevated infrastructure divides communities across New York State, from train lines in the Bronx to highways in Syracuse. The negative impact of this infrastructure is well documented, but less well known are nascent attempts by nonprofits and municipalities to reclaim this ‘el-space’ for the public. Creative design and extensive cooperation between design disciplines and government agencies can transform these unique urban sites into safe, attractive, and environmentally friendly connections between communities.
Join the Design Trust for Public Space, Design Trust Fellows, and the New York City Department of Transportation, for an engaging conversation on the challenges of el-space design. The session will focus on the lessons learned from Under the Elevated, a comprehensive analysis of the space beneath New York City’s elevated infrastructure, and El-Space pilots, a series of neighborhood-based tests of strategies. The rich design possibilities inherent in el-space will be discussed, along with successful multi-agency collaboration strategies and meaningful community engagement ideas. Innovative urban design, lighting, and green infrastructure solutions will also be shared.
For the full schedule and more information about the conference, click here.
WE Design is pleased to have been chosen by the NYC Community Garden Coalition (NYCCGC) to develop a feasibility study for the design and construction of green infrastructure in 47 community gardens located throughout the Lower East Side. This project, “Gardens Rising,” combines community participation with urban planning, landscape architecture, and engineering to increase the permeability and stormwater capture in these gardens, the majority of which are located within an area that was severely impacted by Superstorm Sandy, as well as adding native plants to support habitat and beautify the neighborhood.
We’ve had a blast getting to know the gardeners and their gardens at each of the 47 sites, and are now evaluating the potential for green infrastructure through research of existing and relevant documentation, onsite fieldwork, and extensive community engagement. Based on information gathered from this first stage, we will develop an outcomes-based approach toolkit that matches specific existing garden conditions with various green infrastructure strategies. Working closely with the client and community, we will then develop criteria for evaluating priority sites on which to test the toolkit, creating concept designs for the most at risk gardens.
This extensive project has the potential to demonstrate, through specific hydrological metrics, the critical role community gardens can play in any city’s climate change resiliency plan.
New imagery for our Brownsville, Brooklyn Superblock Retrofit project will be featured in Cooper Hewitt’s fall exhibition, “By the People: Designing a Better America“ as part of the “Live” theme. The project is a collaboration with Terrapin Bright Green, Community Solutions, and the Brownsville Partnership.
“The third exhibition of Cooper Hewitt’s series devoted to humanitarian design will examine how design is challenging social and economic inequality across America. Curator of Socially Responsible Design Cynthia E. Smith conducted over two years of field research—traveling to shrinking post-industrial cities, sprawling metro regions, struggling rural towns, along our border, areas impacted by natural and man-made disaster, and places of persistent poverty—in search of collaborative designs for more equitable, inclusive and sustainable communities. Sixty design projects from every region across the U.S. will be organized into the themes of Act, Save, Share, Live, Learn, and Make to showcase the innovative and impactful actions generated through design.”
On July 1st, Tricia traveled to Hungary to present a New York perspective on Landscape and Greenway Planning with “Greenways as Resilient Infrastructure: The Brooklyn Greenway Case Study.” The peer-reviewed paper was part of a larger publication titled “Landscapes and Greenways of Resilience“ (Jombach et al, 2016). Tricia shared the stage with panelists from Colorado, Washington, Poland, China, and Serbia.
“The Fábos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning is held every three years to bring together experts who are influencing landscape planning, policy making and greenway planning from the local to international level. It is intended to highlight recent trends and expand the literature about landscape and greenway planning. The aim is to explore how landscape architects and planners from different countries have approached greenway planning and to understand how greenways have been tailored to each county’s unique geographical, cultural, and political circumstances.”
More information here.
We are pleased to welcome environmental designer Taylor Drake to the WE Design team. With a dual degree in Product Design and Environmental Studies from The New School, Taylor is passionate about research and design for environmental systems. He works to address social and ecological resilience using media ranging from technical 2D and 3D design outputs to digital information systems, data visualization, and project research. Water systems, as a multi-scale global challenge, have been a specific focus in much of his work.
On March 16th, Tricia Martin and other leaders in parks design, policy, planning and community engagement participated in the Regional Plan Association’s “Resilient Waterfront Parks Summit.”
According to the RPA, “The goal [was] for participants to collaboratively explore issues and engage in cross-cutting, in-depth conversations about the challenges and opportunities for New York City’s waterfront parks – and the communities of which they are a part – in the face of climate change.”
Watch Tricia’s lightning talk “Greenways as Resilient Infrastructure” online for a 5 minute introduction to the ways in which greenways can protect and enhance their surrounding communities, using the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway project as a case study for resilient infrastructure.
We are pleased to welcome Coe Hoeksema, Marketing Manager, as the newest addition to the WE Design team. She brings over a decade of experience in marketing, digital media, and architectural photography, working at FXFOWLE, Rafael Viñoly Architects, and Perkins+Will. Coe is excited to help us grow our business through outreach and communications.
WE Design and The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative presented The Brooklyn Greenway: An Agent for Green Infrastructure, Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency at the Brooklyn Borough President’s Press Conference.
Tricia presented the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway’s Design Guidelines for Green Infrastructure, Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency at the Gowanus Design Summit in October. The Summit brought together a dynamic group of design-oriented professionals who are shaping the future of the Gowanus Canal Watershed, with the goal of fostering dialogue, collaboration and innovation. Because of Tricia’s work on The Brooklyn Greenway, she was asked to participate as a panelist and engage in an active Q&A.