New York City
The Queens Plaza Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvement Project transformed a tangle of elevated trains and bridges, spread out over a sea of roadbed and parking lots, into a lush, green refuge. The design integrates intense plantings, storm-water management and public art to make Queens Plaza less dangerous, more welcoming and livable for the surrounding neighborhoods. Queens Plaza was one of two pilot projects for New York City’s High Performance Infrastructure Guidelines, and features a constructed wetland as well as 489 native trees and grasses that naturally filter pollutants from storm water. The project also mitigates the noise and pollution from traffic on and off the Queensborough Bridge, and the sound of the elevated trains as they whirled around Queens Plaza, a sound that had come to be known as “the screech.”
The park has transformed not only the neighborhood but the city, linking well used bikeways in Queens and Manhattan, and rounding out the city-wide bicycle system that is changing the way people move within New York.
with Marpillero Pollak Architects, Michael Singer Studio, and WRT
2008 Merit Award, AIA NY
2009 Citation for Integrated Transportation and Open-space Planning, Boston Society of Architects
Size: 13 acres
Budget: $45 million