Mapping the City That Might Have Been

Driven by "the fantasy of the almost-reality," hobbyist mapmaker Andrew Lynch gives new life to plans that never happened with hypothetical maps of the city that almost was.

Eric Jaffe profiles the 28-year-old Lynch, realtor and visioneer of the urban "what if?", who "posts an eclectic array of urban design work at his website, Vanshnookenraggen....His creations over the years include a Google Map rendering that depicts the unbuilt Lower Manhattan Expressway and a hypothetical subway map of Boston."

"Lynch traces his interest in bold-but-unfinished plans back to Albany," where he was raised by an architect father and historic preservationist mother. "On the one hand, he gained a respect for grand projects like [Albany's] Empire State Plaza. On the other, he saw unrequited plans up close, with the city's many unfinished urban highways (particularly the Dunn Memorial Bridge, which ends partway across the Hudson)."

"He hopes his 'almost-real' maps will remind a few almost-ready urban planners to think big."

"There was a generation of planners who were very forward-thinking, and all that energy moved over to the highways, and now we're going to have to move it back a little bit," he says. "We lost a vision or something."

Full Story: Mapping the Almost-Real City

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from six cities with red or blue trim.
$55.00
DVD Cover of The Story of Sprawl

The Story of Sprawl

See how America changed shape in this collection of historic films that visually document how sprawl evolved.
$29.99 for 2-DVD SET