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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.
January 30, 2013, 7am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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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."

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Published on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 in The Atlantic Cities
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