Hidden in Plain Sight: Re-Appropriated Spaces

The projects depicted here re-use and re-appropriate public space, filling gaps in the built environment with parks, open areas, and pedestrian walkways.

March 13, 2016, 1:00 PM PDT

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc


High Line Crowds

Allison Meier / flickr

New York's High Line is only one example of the re-appropriation of heavy infrastructure and the spaces it leaves unfilled. This piece lists nine more projects: "What these types of retrofits mean for city dwellers: that any one of them has just as much a right to the use of their city's public space as do the large-scale, heavy-duty applications that previously had exclusive claim to it."

Ross Brady continues, "As for the designs of these new spaces, the evolution of this practice owes a lot to the theoretical emergence of landscape urbanism — that is, that a city should be defined by its open spaces and that its buildings should be understood as structures that simply occur around them." The projects reuse many kinds of spaces, and that reuse doesn't necessarily spell an end to original functions. Examples include:

  • Queens Plaza Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvement Project; Long Island City, NY
  • Times Square Reconstruction; New York City,  NY
  • Erie Street Plaza; Milwaukee, WI
  • Seattle Art Museum: Olympic Sculpture Park; Seattle, WA

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