Common Ground

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Submitted by

Julie Goodman and Kathleen John-Alder
Brooklyn, NY

Summary

This submission presents a framework for the colonization of the Grand Concourse. The accompanying diagrams and montages do not impose a single identity upon the street, but instead make room for the emergence of the social identities that ripple across the street from east to west and north to south.

Description

This submission presents a framework for the colonization of the Grand Concourse. The accompanying diagrams and montages do not impose a single identity upon the street, but instead make room for the emergence of the social identities of the neighboring communities that ripple across the street. Our concept responds to the needs of the people living and working in the community as well as the vested interests of the property owners adjacent to the street. The overriding ambition is to create a public realm where the actual and imagined, the official and unofficial can coexist.

The process begins with the closure of four lanes of traffic, which enables: 1) a symmetric sidewalk expansion; 2) an asymmetric sidewalk expansion; 3) or the creation of a central open space median. It is our contention that the resultant expansion of the open space will energize social growth by enabling the pleasures of the adjacent parks and buildings to spill outward into the Concourse. Even though we are aware that traffic lane closure will affect the movement of the people, automobiles, delivery trucks and mass transit servicing the area; we believe the public right of way is common ground that should not be dominated by the automobile.

The Progressive Ecologies diagram illustrates the positive social effect of the proposed scheme. The street sections illustrate possible lane closures as well as alternate side-of –the-street truck garden that utilizes American Ford and Chevy trucks. The montages coalesce theory and process into activity and form.

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