Queensway Public Network in New York City

Timeframe: 2013–2014

Location: Queens, New York, United States

Area: 14 ha

 

Services:

– Urban spatial analysis;

– Cultural heritage research;

– Socioeconomic analysis

 

Clients: Friends of the Queensway, The Trust for Public Land, Emerging New York Architects (ENYA), Committee of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY)

 

Objective:

Present a development strategy for transforming an abandoned railway track into an active network of public spaces.

A 3.5-kilometre section of an elevated railway in the borough of Queens, New York, has been abandoned for over 50 years. Several non-profit organisations have initiated regeneration of the area to create a new public space network and expand local cycling and pedestrian routes.

 

Novaya proposed creating a cultural hub and transforming adjacent areas by embedding a cycling and pedestrian network that would connect the area’s main sites of social activity. Our aim was to encourage the development of local communities and cultivate vibrant public space.

 

The proposal involved using the railway track as an infrastructural framework for cycling and pedestrian routes. The public area integrated modules within existing and proposed sites. These spaces would be subject to change based on public input. Individual or joint modules might accommodate dining facilities, cycle rentals, community centres, or markets. A flexible management approach and modular design would allow for adapting the cultural hub to a changing socio-economic context while minimising costs.

 

The cycling and pedestrian network would also include the streets perpendicular to the elevated track, connecting new public spaces with key sites of local activity: universities, schools, shopping streets, and athletic centres. At points along these streets, motor-vehicle traffic would be limited to create safe and attractive public spaces.