Visions for an Urban National Park
Jamie Hand, Kate Orff
Publication date 10/18/2011
11 x 9.5 inches (27.9 x 24.1 cm), Hardcover
224 pages, 349 color illustrations
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Gateway National Recreation Area is one of the most diverse and underused parks in the national park system. Spreading across the coastline of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and New Jersey, it includes wildlife estuaries, bird-nesting areas, salt marshes, historic military forts, beaches, and NYC's first municipal airport, to name just a few of its exceptional features. It also contains sewage treatment plants, sewer outfalls, landfills, and acres upon acres of "black mayonnaise." Due to neglect and misuse, this extraordinary natural and national resource is at risk. Ninety percent of the salt marshes in Jamaica Bay--one of the most biologically productive habitats in the region--will have disappeared by 2011. This book presents the collaborative efforts of the Van Alen Institute, the National Parks Conservation Association, and Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation to investigate and document the diverse ecology of the park and re-envision a more sustainable future for it.
Jamie Hand is the former program director at Van Alen Institute.
Kate Orff is a registered landscape architect and assistant professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. She is the principal and founder of the landscape and urban design studio SCAPE.
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The Atlantic Monthly (online):
"The complexity of renvisioning Gateway is staggering.... Van Alen, together with Princeton Architectural Press, also produced a gorgeous companion catalog to the effort."
The New York Times:
"No one view of Gateway captures its full essence as a park, write Alexander Brash, Jamie Hand and Kate Orff, the editors of Gateway: Visions for an Urban National Park (Princeton Architectural Press). But their book succeeds in capturing the potential of the more than 26,000 acres that surround Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn and Queens and are under the jurisdiction of New York City and State and the National Parks of New York Harbor."
"The park's complexity is what makes it such a compelling topic for the design competition... If the National Park System has traditionally evoked transcendence through spectacular natural beauty or historic narratives, Gateway could be something different. "
"Throughout the research, competition, and reflection, the culmination of voices and ideas may feed hope and determination among landscape architects. As Christopher Hawthorne writes, the task of turning an abused brownfield site or a stretch of forsaken waterfront into a striking piece of landscape architecture seems endlessly trickier, richer, and more revealing than the regimented and ritualized design process of the architects world."
"Gateway: Visions for an Urban National Park gives it all to you. The background and the history of significant portions of the park, theories associated with the park, and designs for a better Gateway are all cleanly presented, chapter by chapter. The combination of what Gateway has been for the last three decades, the thorough explanations of what it unfortunately is now, and what it can hopefully be, clearly sends the message sewn into this volume Gateway can dynamically jostle our New York metropolitan area if it is approached with innovative minds... an intriguing read."
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