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I N T E R N A T I O N A L

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A R C H I T E C T U R E

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PROJECTS

Urban Space

K L AU S T P F E R THE SUSTAINABILITY OF CITIES

2007

JA N G E H L PUBLIC SPACES AND PUBLIC LIFE DES NATIONS

B E I R U T SAMIR KASSIR SQUARE

G E N E VA PLACE

S A N T I AG O D E C H I L E P L A Z A D E L A C I U DA DA N A

S P L I T THE RIVA

L O N D O N BANKSIDE URBAN FOREST

KRAKW AND SIBIU

REGENERATION OF THE INNER CITY

N E W YO R K C I T Y THE SEARCH FOR URBAN SPACE

M O R O C C O, K E N YA A N D V I E T N A M STRATEGIC URBAN

S H A N G H A I NEW PUBLIC SPACE

C R A I G P O C O C K C A R B O N F O OT P R I N T

A N G KO R M E D I E VA L S P R A W L

URBAN SPACE

EDITORIAL

Robert Schfer

Most of humanity lives in cities. Although cities with enormous sprawl existed even in the Middle Ages, as documented by this issues article on the Cambodian city of Angkor, the megacities of our time sometimes go beyond the limits of the imaginable and the manageable. People crowd into cities in their search for work; many of them have no other choice if they want to survive. Climate change, food supply and the lack of water call for intelligent strategies, as we have attempted to show in Topos 60. Beyond such thoughts on the ecology and economics of the city, which we can call ecovalue, we should not forget to design the city itself so that it can handle its responsibilities in the first place. The tasks are manifold. While cities in countries such as Germany are shrinking and thus subject to transformation, cities from So Paulo to Seoul are literally exploding. The infrastructure and organisation of public life are not always developing harmoniously and effectively. Above all, all cities seem to be swelling according to the old, actually superseded growth pattern. The buildings tower upwards; the canyons between them are mostly freed up for motorised traffic. Probably the worst heritage of Modernism is the city sacrificed to the automobile. It is a model that has no future viability, not only because of the rising cost of oil. People are not born to be car drivers and yet they all patiently

let themselves get trapped and obey fate. But now the time has come to reconsider because imminent challenges will bring new mixed uses, new management and different organisational forms of everyday life. A noteworthy study from Great Britain may provide food for thought in this regard. Because many children are becoming obese and inflexible due to lacking exercise (and incorrect nutrition), urban spaces should be designed in future so as to encourage exercise, to make going through town on foot a pleasure, not only for window shopping but also on the way to school or work. This simple proposal nevertheless seems utopian to some. Yet city life should not mean breathing bad air, teetering on the narrowest of pedestrian paths, trying to find ones way by zigzagging between motorways. The quality of urban space includes many things, from a pleasant microclimate to which plants, particularly trees, make an essential contribution through spaces for public uses to places where people can form community, which is after all what is responsible for the functioning of a city district, city or urban agglomeration worth living in. Improvements can often be achieved even with little means. Only there must first be an intention to change.

Cover: Plaza Dal, Madrid Design: Francisco Jos Mangado Beloqui (architect), Francesc Torres (artist) Photo: Miguel de Guzmn

36 The Riva: Splits waterfront adjacent to the Palace of Diocletian, a World Heritage Site, is one of the citys main public squares. At night, the Riva becomes a bright promenade.

23 Samir Kassir Square, Beirut: the design


of the square revolves around magnificent fig trees and a pool. The pool separates the square from the busy street.
Scott Eastman

Geraldine Bruneel

46 Sibiu, Romania: Piata Mare, the Large Square, is one


of the newly renovated squares in the historic centre of the Transylvanian city.

Sandro Lendler

URBAN SPACE

TABLE

OF

CONTENTS

JAN GEHL

BRUNO DE MEULDER, KELLY SHANNON

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Public Spaces for a Changing Public Life


Universal elementary quality criteria for urban open spaces

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Contested Sites and Strategic Urban Projects


Morocco, Kenya and Vietnam: urban design as a tool for negotiation

Alain Granchamp/Town of Geneva

MOHAMMAD AL-ASAD, FEDERICO ALVAREZ ARRIETA

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Samir Kassir Square in Beirut


Urban open space in the Lebanese capital
KLAUS TPFER

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BRAULIO EDUARDO MORERA

The Sustainability of Cities


Design of cities, urban agglomerations and megacities for future viability

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Plaza de la Ciudadana, Santiago de Chile


A public squares vocation for urban integration

CRAIG POCOCK

31 Place des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland:


coloured light underlines the different parts and elements of the square.

ANNE VONCHE

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The Carbon Landscape


Carbon footprint and landscape architecture

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The New Place des Nations, Geneva


Switzerland: a symbolic square in front of the UN building

SCOTT HAWKEN MARTINA PETRINOVIC

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The Riva of Split, Croatia


Contemporary urban waterfront in a historical context

Angkor: Sprawling Forms of a Medieval Metropolis


Research in Cambodia help explain low-density cities

ANNA SKRZYNSKA

NADINE GERDTS

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Witherford Watson Mann

Urban Space in Krakw


Poland: landscape design in a historical setting

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Landscape Architecture in the United States


Series: The state of the profession around the world

IOANA TUDORA

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New Urban Life for a World Heritage Site


The restoration of squares in Sibiu, Romania

Currents 6 104 110 111


News, Personalities, Competitions, Projects Calendar, Reports, Reviews

KEN WORPOLE

50 Bankside quarter, London: the re-use of


viaduct arches supports the regeneration strategy of the southern banks of the Thames.

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The Bankside Urban Forest


Public space strategy for Londons Bankside quarter

Authors Credits/Imprint

PETER STEGNER

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Beyond the Familiar


The search for urban space in New York City

ADAM REGN ARVIDSON

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Landscape Architects to the Stars


Minneapolis: collaboration between star architects and local landscape architects

STEFANIE RUFF, NANNAN DONG Olin Partnership

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Dancing Triangles
New public space in a residential area in Shanghai

97 New Yorks Bryant Park: the Manhattan


landmark regained its former beauty and popular use after comprehensive restoration.

CURRENTS

NEWS

NEWS

Hand-built in four months by the architects Anna Heringer and Eike Roswag, as well as craftsmen, pupils, parents and teachers, the primary school in Rudrapur uses traditional construction methods and materials but adapts them in new ways.

Aga Khan Trust for Culture

LE:NOTRE project goes global


The LE:NOTRE Thematic Network Project in Landscape Architecture, which had its fifth anniversary in October 2007, can now celebrate this milestone with the success of a new funding application. Like Topos, LE:NOTRE is going global. Under the title of LE:NOTRE Mundus the European Union has approved a grant of some 250,000 euros to extend the projects scope beyond the boundaries of the otherwise eligible countries in Europe. Besides extending the geographic and cultural reach of the Network, the new LE:NOTRE Mundus Project will continue to involve all the existing 100 European university members in the joint development of new international teaching material on two important global topics to which landscape architecture has a vital contribution to make: urban landscapes in the context of the global phenomenon of growing cities and the worlds threatened cultural landscapes. The 23 new member universities are in Canada, the USA, China, South Korea, Thailand, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Israel, Palestine, Iran, Iraq, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Australia and New Zealand. The first meeting of the new extended LE:NOTRE Network will take place in Brussels from 13 to 16 March 2008, hosted by the Erasmus Hoogeschool. After the European Union funding agencys request to present the project website (www.le-notre.org) to the Network Coordinators of the other 38 Thematic Network Projects funded by the Erasmus Program, developing the website has by no means come to a halt. Perhaps the most important initiative at the moment is the development of a Europe-wide eLearning platform. Although still at a very early stage, it points the way to a future in which the true potential of international collaboration making full use of electronic communication can be exploited. Within the European context too, the Network plans to expand by opening up access to the project, and in particular to the website, to a wider range of stakeholders. These will include landscape architecture students, landscape practices and municipal authorities and their landscape teams. If you wish to register on the LE:NOTRE Project website and get a password, please contact the Network Coordinator (richard.stiles@tuwien.ac.at) or your nearest LE:NOTRE Network member university. Last but not least, cooperation between LE:NOTRE and its partner organisations is to be intensified. In addition to EFLA, IFLA and ELASA, LE:NOTREs partner organisations include Topos as the official media partner. Richard Stiles

Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2007


Nine projects were awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in early September. One of the winning projects was Samir Kassir Square in Beirut by Vladimir Djurovic landscape architects of Lebanon (see page 23). Two urban design projects were also granted awards. The motor for these rehabilitation projects was not buildings preservation but the creation of new economic and social structures that will restore the citys vitality. The Nicosia Master Plan Project treats the city as a unified entity, implementing works in both parts of town. New architecture and conversion projects serve as catalysts to revive the city centre. Further awards went to the Central Market in Koudougou, Burkina Faso; the University of Technology Petronas in Bandar Seri Iskandar, Malaysia; the Moulmein Rise Residential Tower in Singapore; the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; a school in Rudrapur in Dinajpur, Bangladesh; and the restoration of the Amiriya Complex in Rada, Yemen. The Aga Khan Award is granted every three years by the Aga Khan, the Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims. It distinguishes projects that set new standards of excellence in architecture, planning, historic preservation and landscape design in societies where Muslims have significant presence.
Award winners: Samir Kassir Square, Beirut, Lebanon: Vladimir Djurovic (landscape architect), Solidere (client) Rehabilitation of the City of Shibam, Yemen: GTZ Technical Office and GOPHCY (architects), Ministry of Culture, Yemen, German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation, Local community, Shibam (clients) Central Market, Koudougou, Burkina Faso: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)/Laurent Schaud (architects), Koudougou Municipality (client) University of Technology Petronas, Bandar Seri Iskandar, Malaysia: Foster + Partners, UK, GDP Architects Sdn Bhd, Malaysia (architects), Institute of Technology Petronas (client) Restoration of the Amiriya Complex, Rada, Yemen: Selma AlRadi, Yahya Al-Nasiri (conservators), Government of Yemen, General Organisation for Antiquities, Museums and Manuscripts (client) Moulmein Rise Residential Tower, Singapore: WOHA Architects/Wong Mun Summ, Richard Hassel (architects), UOL Development Pte Ltd, Singapore (client) Royal Netherlands Embassy, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Dick van Gameren, Bjarne Mastenbroek (architects), Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands (client) Rehabilitation of the Walled City, Nicosia, Cyprus: Nicosia Masterplan Team (architects), Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot Communities of Nicosia (client) School in Rudrapur, Dinajpur, Bangladesh: Anna Heringer, Austria, Eike Roswag, Germany (architects); Dipshikha/METI nonformal Education, Training and Research Society for Village Development (client)

NEWS

CURRENTS

ECLAS, European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools (ed). JoLA, Journal of Landscape Architecture. Autumn 2007. Callwey Verlag, Munich 2007. www.info-jola.de

International Urban Landscape Award IULA 2007


It was the second time that the International Urban Landscape Award was granted by Eurohypo AG in cooperation with the two journals Topos and Architektur& Wohnen, a German residential design magazine. The distinction went to Parc Central de Nou Barris in Barcelona, designed by the architects Andreu Arriola and Carme Fiol. Topos reported on the winning and nominated projects for the IULA 2007 in Topos 60. The certificates were presented at a gala event in Frankfurt am Main to representatives of the City of Barcelona and the architects on 5 October. The prize money of 50,000 euros will benefit the park. The City of Barcelona will use it to help finance the conversion of a former agricultural building on the park grounds. The plans call for it to be set up as an environmental education centre. The patron Klaus Tpfer gave a ceremonial address on the subject of Cities and Sustainability. The subsequent podium discussion on megacities demonstrated the imponderables of urban development, particularly with regard to climate change and the scarcity of energy and resources. An International Urban Landscape Award IULA 2008 is planned. Themes and eligibility will presumably be announced in Topos 62.

JoLA 4 published
The new issue of JoLA, Journal of Landscape Architecture edited by ECLAS features contributions from Asia, where urban development is driving the need for a landscape approach to urbanism. Kelly Shannon and Samitha Manawadu examine Sri Lankas reservoir system while Singapore is the focus of Richard Weller and Steven Velegrinis paper. Marieluise C. Jonas writes about informal flowerpot gardens in Japanese urban landscapes, and Bianca Maria Rinaldi focuses on the Cheonggyecheon linear park in Seoul, which replaces a motorway. With this issue, JoLA demonstrates the importance of intercultural exchange and looking beyond borders. JoLA has already secured itself a firm position among specialist professional publications and is top-notch as far as layout and presentation are concerned. Anyone dealing with the subject of landscape in teaching and research cannot afford not to subscribe to it even now.

The award ceremony for the 2007 International Urban Landscape Award (IULA) took place in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, on 5 October. The patron Prof. Dr. Klaus Tpfer presented the award to the first-prize winners Carme Fiol and Andreu Arriola of Arriola&Fiol, Barcelona, and to the representative of the City of Barcelona.

ECLAS Conference 2008: Call for Abstracts


New landscapes new lives new challenges in landscape planning, design and management will be the theme of the 2008 ECLAS Conference, which the European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools will hold at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Alnarp between 11 and 14 September 2008. Proposals for oral or poster presentations on the following topics: design in new urban contexts, new regional and global perspectives, cultural heritage of future landscapes, planting design, construction and management, communicative approaches and stakeholder participation, and new approaches to teaching landscape architecture, may be submitted until 21 January 2008. Please send abstracts (max. 500 words) by email to eclas2008@slu.se. For continuously updated information on the conference, see: www.ltj.slu.se/eclas

Torsten Silz/Eurohypo

Jan Gehl

Public Spaces
for a Changing Public Life
Public life and urban spaces have undergone dramatic changes corresponding with changes in lifestyles and society. Simple, but rather universal elementary quality criteria help to analyze, evaluate and assess squares, streets and other urban spaces. Protection, comfort and enjoyment are essential for open space design.

During the year 2005 a cross section of public life in the City of Copenhagen was surveyed and documented in the book New City Life. The study documented the character and volume of public life in various parts of the city from inner city squares and streets to outlying districts and new towns. This survey was the fourth link in a series of major public life surveys conducted in Copenhagen over four decades (1968, 1986, 1995 and 2005). With these surveys it has been possible to document how the character of life in the public spaces has undergone dramatic changes corresponding with changes in lifestyles and with the society situation in general.

Previous patterns where streets and squares were primarily used for activities people had to do, had by 2005 been gradually changed into new patterns of activities where recreation, cultural activities and enjoyment played a major role. Also in this context it was documented how the quality of the public spaces has gained increasing importance. In a society situation where public life is dominated by necessary activities the quality of the public spaces is not an all-important issue. People will use the city spaces regardless of quality because they have to. This pattern can be seen all over the world in countries with less devel-

oped economies. In a society situation where use of public space becomes more and more a matter of interest and choice, the quality of the spaces becomes a crucial factor for the death or life of modern cities.

Wanted: lively, safe and sustainable cities.


After many years of one sided focus on traffic and automobile issues, quite a few cities, such as Copenhagen and Melbourne, have by now introduced new planning principles placing priority on inviting people to walk and bicycle as much as possible in the cause of their daily patterns. This reorientation towards the people in the

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WILL OCCUR ONLY IF HIGH QUALITY IS PROVIDED ACTIVE

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES (URBAN RECREATION) PASSIVE NECESSARY ACTIVITIES

1900

1910

1920

1930

1940

1950

1960

1970

1980

1990

2000

WILL OCCUR REGARDLESS OF THE QUALITY PROVIDED

CAR INVASION PUBLIC URBAN SPACES PEDESTRIAN STREETS TRAFFIC CALMING

cities places strong demands on the planning and design of old and new districts alike. Careful planning for walking and bicycling is a noble cause in itself, but will evidently serve a much wider agenda. In a time where lively, attractive, safe and sustainable cities, with healthy individual lifestyles have become important political issues, sending a strong invitation for walking and bicycling to the citizens will be an obvious way to meet such a policy. So obvious is this route that it may be difficult to find anyone, citizen or politician, who in the present day society, will not want a lively, attractive, safe, sustainable and healthy city.

The graphic illustration shows the dramatic changes in the character of city life during the 20th century: essential work-related activities dominate around 1900.The streets are crowded with people, most of whom have to use city space for their daily activities.The picture has changed appreciably by the year 2000. Essential activities play only a limited role because the exchange of goods, news and transport has moved indoors. In contrast, elective recreational activities have grown exponentially. Where the city once provided a framework almost exclusively for work-related daily life, the city hums with leisure- and consumer-related activities in 2000. Recreational activities set high standards for the quality of city space, and can be roughly divided into two categories: 1) passive staying activities such as stopping to watch city life from a step, a bench or a caf, and 2) active, sporty activities like jogging and skating. The timeline also shows when the car invasion hit Denmark in the mid-1950s.The pressure of car traffic and functionalistic city planning in the 1960s triggered a counter-reaction to reclaim attractive city space and a useable public realm. In the following 40 years this reaction was reinforced, and developed nationally and internationally in an ongoing process.

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Mohammad al-Asad, Federico Alvarez Arrieta

SAMIR KASSIR SQUARE IN BEIRUT


Samir Kassir Square received this years Aga Khan Award for Architecture. It is part of a series of urban open spaces in the centre of the war-torn Lebanese capital. Like any other city, Beirut needs urban spaces that respond to all sorts of peoples needs.
eirut is in the process of reinventing itself after decades of war and devastation that have erased a significant part of its urban fabric. The area of the Beirut Central District was once one of the liveliest and most emblematic quarters of the city. In this sense, the Beirut Central District has the potential of becoming a host for truly successful public spaces where all sorts of people, regardless of religious or political backgrounds can feel comfortable, making these spaces their own. Like any other city, Beirut needs urban spaces that respond to all sorts of peoples needs, be it for leisure, commercial, cultural, or political purposes. Also, the need to recuperate some kind of symbolic space that roots and represents the people of Beirut, their lifestyle and customs, is of the utmost importance. There is a longing for the city that Beirut once was. This does not mean that the Beirut Central District should try to recuperate its old physiognomy, but it definitely should try to provide Beiruti representative qualities.

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Ken Worpole

THE BANKSIDE URBAN FOREST


The regeneration of Londons Bankside quarter, most famous for the Tate Modern, is being accompanied by a public space strategy with an ecological approach.The Bankside Urban Forest is a proposal for a wholly new concept of urban green space networks and linkages.

Bankside is a densely populated and historic quarter on the southern bank of the River Thames in London.The area is being regenerated, with about 50 projects currently under consideration. Several illustrative projects (dark green) have been proposed to help bind the public space network together.

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his proposal imagines the Bankside public realm strategy as an urban forest rather than a park. There is an important difference. The term park originates with the Latin parricus or French parc, both meaning enclosure. The early English deer-parks were royal hunting grounds and strictly policed, for instance, whereas the forest has always been regarded as a place of liberty and without distinct boundaries. Over time, forest space has acquired a set of architectural and topographical associations with a sense of open-endedness and permeability, a place that can be entered or exited at any point at its edges, and which visually changes and re-configures itself as the traveller moves through it. Because of their organic origins, forests offer a multiplicity of paths, routes, changes of direction, as well as clearings, copses, streams, rides and alles. A person should be able to walk through a forest on the way from home to work, the architect Alvar Aalto once said. In his book, Forests: the Shadow of civilization, the American literary critic, Robert Pogue Harrison, has similarly made cultural claims for the forest as an abiding element in human experience, even when transplanted into modern conditions: If forests appear in our religions as places of profanity, they also appear as sacred. If they have typically been considered places of lawlessness, they have also provided havens for those who took up the cause of justice and fought the laws corruption. If they evoke associations of danger and abandon in our minds, they also evoke scenes of enchantment. In other words, in the religions, mythologies and literatures of the West, the forest appears as a place where the logic of distinction goes astray. Thus, there were great strengths in respecting the existing labyrinthine set of streets and settlements, which inspired the idea of the Bankside forest. Local residents interviewed for this study have confirmed the importance to them of the distinctive irregular street patterns of the area, together with the many courtyards, railway arches, viaducts, bridges and alleyways. Though the forest idea introduces elements now associated with greening the city, and largely determined by ecological imperatives to counter CO2 emissions, to lower ambient temperatures, to increase surface water retention and avoid flooding there are equally important social and economic imperatives in the forest strategy too. By adopting a more ecological approach to urban space strategies, there are greater opportunities to

From top: the forest framework is formed by scattered historic places and small open spaces. Ongoing projects begin to connect the public space network. As the forest matures, significant spaces will be re-used and the intertwining of the forests network will create opportunities for the diverse users.

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In 1970, the artist Robert Smithson conceived his Floating Island to Travel Around Manhattan Island. In 2005, Minetta Brook, with the Whitney Museum of American Art and Balmori Associates, realized the landscaped barge which traveled up and down the Hudson and East Rivers in September that year.

Beyond the Familiar


The Search for Urban Space in New York City

Peter Stegner

In light of a rising demand for new open space in New York City, a flurry of projects ranging in scale from the multimillion dollar High Line to low-budget community centered projects show the manifold opportunities being offered, or waiting for discovery, within the dense urban fabric.

y 2030, New York Citys population is expected to grow by almost a million to a total of over nine million residents. This development is considered both a success story as well as a major challenge putting enormous pressure on the citys outdated infrastructure and existing open space system. Mayor Bloombergs NYCPLAN30, which was introduced in 2006, is articulating a vision for a greener, more sustainable metropolis. One goal declared in NYCPLAN30 is that every New Yorker should have access to green open spaces within 10 minutes walking distance from his or her residence. This goal requires new strategies and visions for identifying, developing, financing, and maintaining potential open spaces: an idea that seems to fall on fertile ground just as New Yorkers have in the past tapped into new territory in searching for, redefining and reclaiming of urban open space. Urban space in all five boroughs of New York City Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island is under constant transformation by both highly visible and prominent projects undertaken by the city, state and powerful developers, as well as lesser known initiatives and interventions developed by dedicated citizens, community groups or nonprofit organizations running often on very tight budgets or with uncertain outcome. Sometimes both groups of players join together and an idea or desire expressed by highly motivated and engaged citizens evolves into a multimillion, city and corporation sponsored development with huge economic and physical impact on whole neighborhoods. This process is currently happening with the construction of the linear park on top of the preserved High Line in Chelsea.

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