Tag Archives: el space

NYCxDESIGN Interviews Design Trust Fellows

NYCxDESIGN interviewed El Space II fellows Tricia Martin, Quillian Riano, and Leni Schwendinger about the innovative 36th Street pilot project and working with the Design Trust. They discuss their roles, how the project can reconnect neighborhoods, engaging with the community, collaborating across disciplines, and their favorite unused spaces in the city.

Click here for the full interview.

El Space: A World Changing Idea

El-Space: Creating Dynamic Places Under the Elevated was selected as a finalist in the Urban Design category as part of FastCompany‘s 2017 World Changing Ideas Awards! The Sunset Park pilot project at 36th Street is already underway, with more to come in The Rockaways–creating greener, safer, healthier spaces under elevated transportation infrastructure.


El Space Project in Crain’s New York

Crain’s New York recently highlighted 10 “think big” projects that could help address New York City’s skyrocketing population increase, including The Design Trust and NYC Department of Transportation’s El Space Project. The concept, transforming unused space under elevated infrastructure into welcoming public plazas, would reconnect communities split apart by poorly lit, often dangerous underpasses, with integrated green infrastructure to address frequent flooding from highway runoff. Tricia Martin (WE Design), Quilian Riano (DSGN AGNC), and Leni Schwendinger (ARUP) are the Design Trust Fellows for this pilot project, which will provide a replicable lighting, green infrastructure, and circulation model for use throughout the five boroughs.

What’s The Big Idea? (Crain’s New York, 10/30/16)



Tricia to Discuss El-Space Project at AIANYS Design Conference

AIA NYS Design Conference 2016
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.

Pop-Up Under the Elevated

Students participate in design charretteThis past spring, students from Sunset Park High School got a taste of what it’s like to be a landscape architect while reimagining the underutilized leftover space beneath the Gowanus Expressway on 36th Street, just around the corner from their school. In four after-school sessions, six students explored the process of site analysis, schematic design, and defending their design before a larger group of stakeholders.

Upon completion of the after-school sessions, Tricia and her fellow Design Trust design fellows presented the schematic design to city agencies and the community during a three-day pop-up workshop. Some of the ideas generated by the students will be incorporated into building the pilot project, including moveable planters (pictured under grow lights) that maximize flexibility of the space, and a larger area for public gatherings and events.