Something special is happening in Corona, Queens.
Last week, Streetfilms visited Corona Plaza - the city's newest car-free space - and found it already flourishing and occupied by bunches of families, children, and shoppers taking a moment to sit down and relax in a space that previously had no public seating whatsover. It has a vibe that seems to go beyond the typical pedestrian plaza due to its high volume of youngsters, to watch parents sit calmly while their kids run around and have fun would have been unheard of before the de-mapping of the street.
The plaza, which has been in the works for many years, is unique in that volunteers are locking up the amenities at night and cleaning the space themselves.
Andy Wiley-Schwartz the Assistant Commissioner for the NYC Department of Transportation tells us why they use these materials and what is to come in the future:
We're planning long term for what we call a Capital Reconstruction - where we would build this plaza out completely with concrete and pavers and fixed seating with permanent plantings in the ground and really make it into a beautiful, permanent plaza. But for the moment we can capture this space by putting things on the surface. So we re-paved the over the asphalt with epoxy gravel - loose gravel that is glued to the ground to make it look like a public space. We moved in planters to green and beautify the space. We have moveable seating that people can move in or out of the sun and also the umbrellas. And blocking off the space with granite blocks so that cars cannot drive in it. That way we can create this space for a few years while we are planning and constructing the Capital portion.