Another (quick) Take On The NYC Trip

by Jon Vimr

Of the many ideas that sprang up from Saturday’s outing, one of the things that most stuck me was the heavy focus put on multiple uses and experiences within a contained space. This was most evident at Pier 1 of Brooklyn Bridge Park, but could also be seen in the High Line. I cannot actually know how influential Koolhaas and Mau’s 2001 Tree City plan (which included, among other things, 1000 crisscrossing paths of different materials and settings to create an inexhaustible supply of new routes) was in each case, but intentional or not there were obvious parallels.

As the day went on the (BIG) question of whether or not we would treat the Civil War Defenses as one site or a collection of many kept recurring and the notion of multiple uses was ever-present. I know the topic has been discussed before, but the trip to New York reinforced my belief of differentiating the 19 sites (or at least groups of them) through experiences offered. If it was not obvious enough in the past it is now clear that the 19 Civil War Defense sites we are responsible for can and should be more than just historic points along a recreational trail. Rather they could be made to better serve their various social/cultural contexts, invigorate neighborhood communities (such as the perhaps soon to be oft-mentioned dog walkers), create multiple, distinct natural settings, and even capitalise on financial opportunities through recreational and/or restaurant facilities. This possible revenue could then be one means of supporting park maintenance and expansion.