Who Is Shaping New York’s Subway Redevelopment?
Critical education project investigates who controls the places where subway stops are located.
Artists Alexandra Woolsey Puffer and Jeff Maki recently organized Fast-Tracked via The Center for Urban Pedagogy, where a group of students from New York’s New Design High School investigate the macro influences shaping NYC’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Investigating included conducting interviews with various influencers, work sessions, and field notes (that doubled as mini-protests). Alexandra and Jeff, who are also Principal Collaborators at Publicworks Office, connected with 9th and 10th graders through College Now, a progressive initiative by CUNY:
By analyzing where subway stations are located in their own neighborhoods, how they are used and how they impact their surroundings, the students recognized the importance of efficient, reliable public transportation in everyday life.
These ‘Urban Investigations’ are shaped by a 15 week after-school project, researches the decision-making process behind MTA’s extensions on the 7 line, which travels from Queens into Times Square. The line is being extended into Hudson Yards which is a quieter part of Manhattan.
The project juxtaposes the fact that such a construction project creates jobs but there is a suspicious absence of ‘the public’ in MTA’s decisions. This fact has led the students to analyze the financial and commercial pressures governing New York’s public transportation.
At its final stage, the team held a presentation at The High Line and conveyed findings in newspaper form. Download a PDF of the newspaper here. We highly recommend you read the full process of the project on Urban Omnibus.