Udeležili smo se idejnega natečaja za preoblikovanje slavne 42. ulice na Manhattnu iz prometno obremenjene ceste v pešcem in kolearjem prilagojeno ulico. Ulice Manhattna so povsem podrejene avtomobilskemu prometu, a z zaprtjem najbolj ikonskega kosa Manhattna za promet (Times Squarea) se odpirajo nove možnosti za razmišljanje o mestu kot prostoru za enakopravno obravnavo njegovih uporabnikov in uporabnic. Predlagali smo rešitev, ki 42. ulico spreminja v t.i. shared space, na katerega so glede na okoliške pogoje nanizani mikro parki ali pa na delih postane ulica trg. Več o predlagani zasnovi si preberite v obrazložitvi v angleškem jeziku pod slikami.
The focus of the 42nd Park proposal is to present a design solution that would bring together people and businesses with their different interests behind the Visions42 proposal for an Auto-free 42nd Street. To create a multi-purpose public space which is open to everyone, and easy to build and manage. The proposed plan meets this criteria by paying close attention to the principles of shared space, diverse traffic demands, and Manhattan-specific landscaping in a way that fosters communal use of the available space while creating a new identity, specific to 42nd Street.
The Design for 42nd Street proposes continuous paving between buildings along the length of the street. While the irregular larger scale pattern reflects the large scale of the street and its diverse character, the triangular smaller scale pattern introduces predictability and human scale. Continuity of the pattern is an important feature of the shared space, as it raises the attention of the users to one another.
To ensure maximum practicality, versatility, and foremost the safety of all users, we structured the shared space in such a way that does not impede its open character and traversability in all directions. The space is divided into three sections: 1 – an entirely unobstructed pathway between the buildings and the row of large trees; 2 – an area for permanent and temporary use between the large row of trees and the biking lane; and 3 – areas for faster moving traffic (light rail, cyclists, skaters). While being only subtly divided by rows of trees and a gutter, these lanes clearly hint at the various ways in which they could be used. They also enable easy management of the way the street is used, for example the stalls and bars with their tables can be positioned between the gutter and the row of large trees; the area between the trees and buildings must be left unobstructed for emergency vehicles.
Due to its length the street needs to provide room for both strolling pedestrians and faster moving cyclists, as well as offer good visibility for light rail conductors. The proposed plan achieves this by introducing a sense of shared space and raising awareness among all groups of users, as well as by subtly structuring the space itself. The faster vehicle lanes are positioned side by side so the pedestrians cross their path in one go. By turning the users’ attention to the bicycle lane in front, it also acts as a safety zone next to the light rail path.
A large area of paved, unobstructed space could provide a more versatile space suitable for accommodating more people, though this would lead to an uninviting public space. In order to create a public space of high quality we propose to divide it into several small, carefully designed parks, which would serve as settings for various activities. They could be used as areas for lunch breaks, places for relaxation among the green surroundings, play or rest. The appearance of the street is further diversified by including several different paving patterns, and by varying the density of trees in places of special importance or use such as in front of the Grand Central Station and the entrance to the Chrysler Building.
The street design in its entirety adheres to the existing landscape layout of Manhattan, which includes clearly defined areas of greenery, following the Manhattan urban grid. Because of this the proposed solution also creates a clear and unified green line traversing the entire width of Manhattan – from the Hudson to the East River. This will not only ensure an additional green area for Manhattan, but will also serve as a strong point of reference for locals and visitors alike. Manhattan has outstanding potential to become a great pedestrian and cyclist friendly city. 42nd Street could most certainly serve as the green starting line.