Meatpacking Unpacked: Future Streets Recap
September 13, 2020
The first episode of September’s Meatpacking Unpacked: Community Connected focuses on this weekend’s Future Streets program. We were joined by Fabian Jabro, Partner at Standard Architects, Jonathan Cohn, Associate Vice President + Transportation Architecture Practice Leader at AECOM, and Celine Armstrong, Project Executive at Little Island to discuss the three-day installation taking place on Little West 12th Street. See 4 takeaways from this episode’s guests below and be sure to tune in for upcoming guests in September.
What are Future Streets?
Future Streets is an ad hoc group of designers that have come together to help transform the city and open the streets up to pedestrians. Celine Armstrong said, “25% of the city’s landmass is street, we need to be turning this over to people and making New York a more sustainable place for people to comfortably walk and enjoy.” In 2014, they started Parking Day where the group takes over parking spaces and reimagines the spaces. Each year the program grows and this year the group is taking over and reimaging Little West 12th Street. Learn more about the Future Streets program from Celine here.
What’s wrong with our streets?
The city’s streets are overrun with private vehicles. Instead of looking to use streets in a variety of different ways, the city is still stuck in the mindset that cars are the way to go. “If we allow our streets to continue to be overrun by private vehicles, it really limits the potential that public spaces have to be more responsive to the real needs of our communities,” Jonathan Cohn said. Hear what else Jonathan, Celine, and Fabian had to say about the topic here.
Convenient, clean, and safe public transit makes our streets more accessible.
In order for public space to be pedestrian prioritized, focusing on public transit is an important piece to the puzzle. Convenient, quick, clean, safe public transit allows the city to not have to rely on the private vehicle. Watch here to hear more of the group’s thoughts.
Only 20% of the Meatpacking District is a safe space for pedestrians
Despite our expansive plazas, nearly 80% of the neighborhood is dedicated to cars. Through the Open Streets and Future Streets programs, the BID is working towards creating safe spaces for residents, workers, and visitors. Learn more here.
You can watch the full conversations here.