The global design firm Gensler has developed ‘Town Square Initiative: New York’, a conceptual project that reimagines open areas in NYC. The redesigned urban spaces would protect the city and its inhabitants against storms and also capture natural energy.
The project is a candidate to win a Place by Design award at this year’s SxSW Eco conference. Gensler designers were challenged to design the city of the future and utilize the 5 million square feet of unused space.
They focused on three main ideas: resiliency, community and sustainability. As the city’s existing energy grid is connected one dimensionally and has been unchanged for decades, any disruptions in the chain spells disaster. The unused spaces have been designed as a means of generating alternative energy, thus supplementing the grid with multiple energy sources.
The designers imagine a New York even more connected with its communities, creating opportunities to meet, contemplate, and enjoy the outdoors. They combine lush greenery, cycling lanes, and seasonal amenities to create a diverse urban experience. A crowdsourced park enables visitors to determine its layout using a smartphone app with a menu of plug-in systems.
Plug-and-play modules serves a dual purpose, one for community activities and the other for harnessing nature. Compost, water collection and solar collection are incorporated, and linking the park to surrounding buildings allows resources to be shared in times of emergency. Click through to see images of Gensler’s design: