GSD 1403: Open Space East New York. Ken Smith
Open Space- East New York, Brooklyn” a Landscape Architectural and Urban Planning studio led by Ken Smith at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. This studio focuses on the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York, which is historically one of the poorest…
Open Space- East New York, Brooklyn” a Landscape Architectural and Urban Planning studio led by Ken Smith at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. This studio focuses on the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York, which is historically one of the poorest neighborhoods in New York City. East New York contains one of the City’s few remaining industrial districts with mixed manufacturing and transportation infrastructure as well as low scale residential neighborhood fabric and commercial corridors. The neighborhood is characterized predominately by low-rise buildings with many underutilized or vacant sites. It is also a neighborhood well served by several of the City’s subway lines, a regional commuter train line and the major transit hub at Broadway Junction. There is currently very little publicly accessible and usable open space in the neighborhood.
East New York is facing substantial redevelopment transformation due to two primary forces. First is market gentrification, which is spreading across all of Brooklyn. Second is the City of New York and its public policies targeting the neighborhood for Sustainable Communities rezoning aimed at increasing the City’s supply of affordable and mixed housing as well as a platform for new economic development and employment. The City’s Sustainable Communities program is a major initiative of the De Blasio administration and is aimed at fostering affordability, sustainability and equity in the City. Both market economic and public policy forces will increase density, redevelopment and fundamentally transform the neighborhood.
The studio focus will be on reclaiming existing public open space resources, reinvigorating underutilized open spaces and parks as well as reimagining and reprogramming sites that co-existing within the network of the transportation infrastructure. The studio seeks to find new design expressions in the contemporary conditions of infrastructure, landscape ecology and health, public open space needs and issues of equity and affordability. This will be a design-oriented studio focusing on strategic ideas and innovative programming coupled with attention to the physicality, making and expression of public open space design.
As a response to a site visit, students were to create a short video poem/ narrative that explores and communicates initial reactions and impressions of the realities, opportunities and constraints in East New York.