- City - REWired -
Yale School of Architecture | Spring 2018 | Keller Easterling
Second Year Urban Studio: ‘City Interrupted’
Partner: Olisa Agulue
After 2012, the impact of Hurricane Sandy triggered a number of initiatives to revamp New York’s transit, communication, and utilities networks in order to make the city more resilient to flooding and stormwater events. One of the many pieces of infrastructure that were damaged by Sandy was the Canarsie tunnel, which allows the L train to connect Manhattan and Brooklyn. Though currently operational, the MTA has determined that a full 18 month reconstruction of the tunnel in 2019 will be required to make the line robust enough to withstand future storm events. Students in the Yale School of Architecture’s 2018 Core Urban Studio studio were encouraged to research across multiple scales, situations, and timelines to define their own sites and programs and propose projects that have a physical, spatial impact.
History of elevated rail
Due to the L Train closure in 2019, the MTA projects a steep increase in commuter traffic at transfer stations in Brooklyn. Projecting increased subway ridership along the elevated rail above Broadway St, developers have responded with a barrage of city-commissioned neighborhood assessments and rezoning proposals led by civic entities from the NYC Department of City Planning to the NYC Economic Development Corporation. Resisting a masterplan approach to neighborhood redevelopment efforts often synonymous with gentrification, ‘ReWired’ suggests a series of low-impact sustainable efforts along the section of elevated rail between Broadway Junction and Myrtle Ave stations. Financed by various municipal incentive programs and implemented within the 18 months of the L closure, these efforts are aimed at reviving, recharging, and reconnecting an historically over-passed neighborhood.
evolution of Broadway Junction
Current station Layout
The Contextual Analysis of the urban condition along the datum of Broadway focuses on five social themes pertinent to the Rewired’s project argument for a robust yet minimal intervention between the neighborhoods of Bedford - Stuyvesant and Bushwick. The first is an analysis of the income level of residents as well as business enterprises within the boundary of our site. The second analysis locates historical landmarks nearest to public transportation along Broadway. The third contextual analysis focuses on the use and annual consumption of electricity in kilowatt per hours. The final analysis map indicates the location of abandoned lots, as well as dead end streets and under-utilized park areas along Broadway. Maps which try to communicate quantitative information should be read from left to right.
Current Rezoning Efforts
New Zones (effective 4.20.2016)
Working with the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission and using nearby Atlantic Avenue Historic District as a precedent, we have highlighted a number of existing and potential historic sites along the Broadway and Bushwick St. Establishing the Bushwick/BedStuy Historic District, we aim to preserve the unique cultural heritage and diverse history reflected in the rich vernacular of neighborhoods surrounding the Broadway elevated rail corridor.
Tapping into resources allocated by the New York State Government towards projects which facilitate the emergence of sustainable local economies, we have proposed the use of a microgrid, transferring the ability to distribute electricity from a central provider to individual consumers within Bushwick and Bed Stuy. Electricity produced by the microgrid is stored and traded within the community as well as directed back into the central grid when excess energy is produced. By participating in the microgrid, you are boosting the growth of locally developed technologies that results in economic and environmental benefits for Brooklyn.
Currently, only a small percentage of subway riders along the Broadway corridor exit five elevated station platforms along the corridor into the surrounding neighborhoods below, adding to the disjointed nature and sense of neglect between the elevated rail and its urban context. Taking advantage of empty lots adjacent to the elevated stations, we propose a system of ADA accessible ramps that connect each station to re-adapted parkspace below, inviting passengers into the neighborhoods they so often ride past.