Monday, October 17, 2011

By the City / For the City

Answering the Call

I submitted a couple of ideas, including the Queens Highline when the Institute for Urban Design launched their Ideas Competition to Imagine the Future of NYC: By the City/ For the City where they sought to "gather up everyone's ideas: from local parks and squares to citywide issues like transit and pollution, what needs a re-design?" And offered a virtual space where we could "explore, discuss, and debate everyone's ideas."

By AAPremlall, Oct 2011

#284 Wouldn’t it be great if...The old, abandoned LIRR running from Forest Park to Rockaway Beach was turned into a simpler version of the HighLine with native plants, an edible garden, along with a bike and pedestrian path?

Where: 99th Street from Forest Park to Howard Beach (actually the unused part only goes to the intersection of Rockaway Boulevard & Liberty Avenue).

So that people could...enjoy more safer green spaces, reduce traffic across Queens, garden and spend time with the community through public programs. We could definitely use a park in this neighborhood!

Because I want the city to be...more bike and pedestrian friendly and safer over all. The area under these tracked are filled with makeshift garages, the surrounding area doesn't look very safe or welcoming for anyone walking or jogging. This area is highly underutilized and could make the neighborhood more beautiful.

#283 Wouldn’t it be great if...there were more organic, edible community gardens as they are far and few in neighborhoods I grew up in. If they can be on rooftops that would be awesome and would utilize unused space.

Where: South Queens (Richmond Hill, South Richmond Hill,Forest Hills/Kew Gardens, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Jamaica, South Jamaica, Far Rockaway)

So that people could...enjoy fresh affordable produce, connect with their communities, the earth, save money and live healthier lives.

Because I want the city to be...nourishing & flourishing, with food devoid of GMO's and harmful pesticides. As you can see from the attached links, we have very few community gardens in South Queens.

#445 Wouldn’t it be great if...No Trace Left Behind was incorporated into all public spaces? (Oops that should be Leave No Trace, but you get it).

Where: All of New York City

So that people maintain parks by learning to clean up after themselves though required service for using these spaces; use less single-use items (disposable plates, cups, utensils), and to compost organic waste so that we can ALL enjoy the beauty of our parks without being bombarded with trash, plastic bags, styrofoam and other garbage interrupting the landscape. It's really heartbreaking to those who do participate in beach/park clean-ups regularly and see how they're ruining our public spaces.
Because I want the city to be...beautiful, cleaner and contribute less trash to landfills; to be welcoming to all visitors, an example of how nature thrives in urban settings.

And here are a few honorable mentions:

#446 Wouldn’t it be great if...we had more CLEAN, public bathrooms that anyone can use

#447 Wouldn’t it be great if...there were more art studios and galleries

#577 Wouldn’t it be great if...all pubic schools were retrofit with green infrastructure, including a green roof and edible learning gardens?

You can view various reports from IfUD including the borough breakdown:

Queens residents shared 87 ideas for their borough (18% of the total). With 24 of those ideas relating to Recreation (31.5% of all ideas in that category), this was one of the only issues where an outer borough captured the largest percentage of ideas across the city. The top five categories across Queens were: Transportation; Green Space; Streetscapes; Recreation; and Culture/Public Art.

How would you improve on these ideas? What are yours?


  1. Great work, Anandi!

    I'd like to see the city get behind more greywater infrastructure and CSO mitigation through porous pavers (instead of concrete) and other greening initiatives. Depave & daylight the soil! Like these folks in Portland, OR:

  2. I love your suggestions. My children will thank you for your efforts to preserve the planet for them.

  3. Thanks for the info Liz! I'll definitely pass that info onto the designers & developers!

    I do what I can RS :) Thank you for your support!