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The Design Trust For Public Space: The Latest Architecture and News

Design Trust and Farming Concrete Release World’s First Public Urban Agriculture Database

08:00 - 30 October, 2015
Design Trust and Farming Concrete Release World’s First Public Urban Agriculture Database, Hells Kitchen Farm Project, Hell's Kitchen, Manhatttan. Image © Rob Stephenson for the Design Trust for Public Space
Hells Kitchen Farm Project, Hell's Kitchen, Manhatttan. Image © Rob Stephenson for the Design Trust for Public Space

The Design Trust for Public Space and Farming Concrete have released the Farming Concrete Data Collection Toolkit: the first public platform for gathering, tracking and understanding urban agriculture production and the benefits of community gardens, urban farms and school gardens. The result of a six-year initiative, Five Borough Farm, the Toolkit features a user-friendly manual with simple methods of generating and collecting data at each garden and farm, with accompanying instructional videos; Barn, an online portal for farmers and gardeners to input and track their production; and Mill, a public database providing access to numbers, reports for practitioners, researchers, policymakers, funders and anyone with interest in urban agriculture.

Tapping into the Potential of New York's “Lost” Underpasses

00:00 - 21 June, 2013
Broadway in Harlem; Kevin Harber via Flickr; Licensed via <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/'>Creative Commons</a>
Broadway in Harlem; Kevin Harber via Flickr; Licensed via Creative Commons

The Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE) cuts through myriad neighborhoods on its route between Queens and Brooklyn. Sometimes it takes the form of an elevated six-lane highway with nothing but dark parking lots below; sometimes as a deep trench that segregates neighborhood pockets. The Cross Bronx Expressway in the South Bronx similarly creates boundaries, isolating neighborhoods from each other.  

Projects such as these, built under the heavy handed politics of Robert Moses in the mid-20th century, show little regard for community development. The effects of these projects can be seen today; the spaces below the highway overpasses of New York City tend to be dark, dingy places that we avoid or rush past. They’re perceived as "lost space" within the city, yet they have an innate potential to be much more.

The Design Trust for Public Space, a non-profit dedicated to promoting public space, sees that potential. With their new project, Under the Elevated: Reclaiming Space, Connecting Communities, they hope to take these “lost” spaces and turn them into safe and exciting venues that will, at long last, reconnect long-separated communities.

More on this exciting program, after the break.