How would a park of the future look like, knowing that our cities will keep on growing and keep on getting denser? I tried to answer that question, with the need to experience greenery in busy cities.
[Images from graduation show presentation]
In my thesis I try to find an answer to the underlying question: How can green improve an urban living environment? For which in this research I specifically take a look at New York, a metropolis with high density that will keep on growing rapidly over the coming years. NYC plays a leading role in the field of green development. My main question reads: which lessons can be drawn from the innovative green projects in New York City.
To be able to answer my main question, I first took a step back. I did research about what a city actually means, how the process of urbanization took place, which problems it produced and why these issues are considered problems. After this the young trend Landscape Urbanism is studied. These ideas focus on new ways of shaping an urban design, according ‘horizontal landscapes’ instead of ‘vertical building’.
De High Line, "Miracle above Manhattan" New Yorkers float over busy streets in an innovative park, Paul Goldberger voor National Geographic.
De High Line is bedacht door Joshua David en Robert Hammond. Twee buurtbewoners met een hart voor de verlaten spoorlijn die in 1999 de non-profit organisatie ?Friends of the High Line' opzetten, en zo het initiatief namen tot de ontwikkeling van de oude treinrails..page 31/32 of thesis
My research consists out of three parts. First the problems of urbanization are analyzed, making use of the created historical context. The pioneers of greener cities will be discussed. Next to this the subject infrastructure, livability on street level and food supply are discussed.
The second chapter shows a series of solutions how green is used to regain peace and space in the city. Also is described how this added greenery could improve the urban ecology at the same time.
The last part focuses on case studies in New York. The research method is based on fieldwork and interviews with related people at the spot. I looked into what kind of influence the projects had on the city and its inhabitants and what examples other cities adopt.
I made research models out of ceramics. Like in the final design concept, living plants form the structure in this earlier intuitive models. After keeping them inside over the wintertime the young trees started growing. This experiment shows in smaller scale how growth takes over, allowed to complete the design.
“not the excess of people but the lack of green is what threatens the mental health of townspeople“.
With this knowledge the people of New York commit themselves, supported by a strong governmental policy, to make their city greener and more livable. This is what makes the trend that helped the ‘Big Apple’ change into a ‘Green Apple’ so interesting and relevant: The approach both top-down and bottom-up at the same time. This is an innovatory model that fits well within the current economical recession, because the city is not only developed on governmental initiatives and financing but there is also searched for other possibilities and money sources.