Monday, May 16, 2011

"Green Gowanus": Columbia And Parsons Students Imagine The Future Of The Industrial Canal

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A model of the Gowanus Canal and development surrounding it.
The green and blue indicate the original streams and marshes of the area.
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Architect: Eun Ki Kang, Engineer: Brett Benowitz
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Architect:Hye Lee On, Engineer: Daniel Marasco, Planner: Sophonie Joseph
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Architect: Yihan Hao, Engineers: Yuri Niu, Sara Serachioli, Bianca Howard
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Architect: Hyunjae Nam, Engineer: Riashee Jain, Planner: Masahiko Haraguchi
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Architect: Nelly Chang, Engineer: Dario Feliciangeli, Planner, Alexis Perrotta
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architect: Ulyong Moon, Engineer: David Changa-Moon, Eric Hirani, Visiting Scholar: Zhoo Conghui
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Richard Plunz, Director of the Urban Design Program at Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture
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Christos Tsiamis, EPA Region 2 Project Manager for the Gowanus Canal
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Dan Wiley of Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez's office
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Parsons' Ellen Evjen and Richard Gonzalez of Columbia University
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"All cities exist by reason of their strategic relationships to resources and infrastructure; and to the production that they enable. The question of the re-invention of the Gowanus directly touches this consideration; and the reality that the Gowanus represents an irreplaceable resource that must not be casually discarded. The future of cities everywhere is connected to understanding the changing requirements for infrastructure and redefinition of resources, especially in relation to understanding long-term environmental impact and sustainability. For this studio, a large consideration was devoted to the question of new production-e.g. energy, food production-and how by restoring the local economy and investing in infrastructure could help to facilitate long-term remediation of the canal itself."
Introduction to Columbia's Advanced Studio V


What will happen after the Environmental Protection Agency is done with the Superfund clean-up of the industrial pollution in the Gowanus Canal? The Bloomberg Administration and developers are hoping to line the shores of the waterway with residential developments and big box stores. However, there are more interesting strategies which take into account the long-term sustainability of New York City's economy and urban climate issues.
Graduate students from Architecture Planning and Preservation at Columbia University with Columbia Engineering and The School of Art, Media and Technology within Parsons The New School For Design have imagined this future. Their highly innovative and progressive designs for the renewal of the Gowanus area were on exhibit in a show entitled "Green-Gowanus: Re-Envisioning the Gowanus Canal" at the Old American Can Factory on Third Street this week-end.

The students' approaches were refreshing and their proposals open up an interesting dialogue on the area's long term site remediation and re-development.

Besides Columbia and Parsons The New School professors, Christos Tsiamis, EPA Region 2 Project Manager for the Gowanus Canal, was on hand to listen to the students' presentation.

The show was sponsored by Friends and Residents Of Greater Gowanus (F.R.O.G.G.)


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