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LICNYC: Site City Future

With HQ2 canceled, what’s next?  Well before Amazon proposed its 14-acre campus on the Queens waterfront, Long Island City was the fastest-growing neighborhood in the country. With thousands of new residential units and millions of commercial square footage, the neighborhood was primed to attract new industries to New York. Rapid growth has positively impacted street life, commercial activity, and local cultural institutions, but has also driven up housing prices and strained the capacity of local schools and transit. HQ2 quickly became a proxy for the relationship between new development and citizens’ priorities, and while HQ2 is no longer on New York’s horizon, LIC will continue to grow.

As we reflect on the heated debates of the past few months, LICNYC: Site City Future asks, how can the city design for livability while competing in a global economy? In what ways can design support the essential values that make New York a great city? What planning and design policies can promote a more inclusive approach to growth?

LICNYC: Site City Future will explore the impacts of future development on both the city’s physical character and the well-being of citizens through three lenses:

The Site: Connection to Place
The City: We Live on an Island
The Future: The Role of Design

Getting There and Back and Around
Sunday, March 24th, 2:00 p.m.
Exploration

Queens Plaza
Long Island City
$10

With the continuing construction boom of both residential and commercial space, Long Island City is projected to house another 20,000 residents by 2020. Can New York City’s already crowded transit system handle the influx? From Queens Plaza, we’ll walk in the shadows of the 7 train along Jackson Avenue down to Vernon Boulevard. Guided by transportation journalist John Surico, participants will be challenged to envision how the surrounding infrastructure and streetscapes might change as they tour the area. Following the walk, the group will get local refreshments and discuss how design can maintain pedestrian safety and equity for all users and modes of transport, as the city adapts to serve growing and unknown needs.  

John Surico covers city life for The New York Times and its transit for VICE. He also teaches undergraduate journalism at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, and is a research fellow for Center for an Urban Future, a NYC-based policy organization.

This event is eligible for AIA credit.

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LICNYC: A Design Perspective / PT2 LIC
Wednesday, April 3rd*, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Roundtable Discussion

SculptureCenter
44–19 Purves Street
Long Island City

*New date

Well before Amazon proposed its 14-acre campus on the Queens waterfront, Long Island City was the fastest growing neighborhood in the country. From Court Square to the waterfront, new development and new residents have been settling around and within well-established communities, altering everything from the affordability of housing to the character of the neighborhood itself. Join designers, historians, planners, and community residents as they consider how design might help harmonize the old with the new and improve the quality of life amidst the surge of private development, and the everyday stress that comes along with rapid growth.

This discussion will be moderated by Emily Nonko, an award-winning freelance journalist covering real estate, architecture, design, and urbanism, in the Wall Street Journal, Next City and Curbed New York. She has also written for The Atlantic, New York Magazine, Entrepreneur, Village Voice, New York Post, Observer, and CityLab.

Panelists:
Margie Ruddick, Principal of Margie Ruddick Landscape and Design
Stephen Petrus, Historian at La Guardia and Wagner Archives, La Guardia Community College
Zachary Hecht, Policy Director at TechNYC
Frank Wu, President of the Court Square Civic Association
Sheila Lewandowski, Founding Executive Director of The Chocolate Factory

This event is eligible for AIA credit.

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Designing Inclusive Growth: A Conversation Series
Tuesdays, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Conversation Series

Van Alen Institute
30 West 22nd Street
Free with registration

Designing Inclusive Growth is a monthly dialogue on the future of development in New York City. In intimate conversations with leading urbanists and thinkers, we’ll examine what’s propelling New York City’s growth and development, why some have benefited while others have been left behind, and ideas for supporting greater inclusion and shared prosperity through design.

These events are eligible for AIA credit.

April 9th: Designing the Future of Work

While the city’s unemployment rate is currently low, longer-term prosperity is threatened by rising housing costs, stagnant wages, and limited resources for education, infrastructure, and critical public services. In this talk, we invite experts to examine these challenges and share their knowledge of the rapidly changing landscape of work — from the role of automation, e-commerce, and other disruptive technologies, to programs that support working people and the city’s ongoing efforts to fold emerging industries into New York’s existing fabric.

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Tale of Two Cities: High Rise /Low Rise
Sunday, April 14th, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Exploration

Long Island City
$10

The 2001 rezoning of 34 blocks in Long Island City gave rise to a development boom and brand new skyline that stands in stark contrast to the existing industrial and low-rise neighborhood streets. What does it feel like to be in the shadow of your own neighborhood?  During this walk, we will engage with LIC from an architectural and psychological viewpoint. Participants will take a fresh look at both the built surroundings and their emotional reactions to the new landscape. After the tour, we will meet for drinks and a conversation on the surprising ways the city affects our bodies and minds.

This event is eligible for AIA credit.

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Crossroads Conversations
Thursday, April 18th, 4:00–7:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 9th, 4:00–7:00 p.m.
Public Engagement

Queensboro Plaza
Long Island City

Crossroads Conversations is a public program series hosted in iconic public spaces that invites passersby from all walks of life and political convictions to engage in thoughtful dialogue on some of the most pressing issues of our time. Facilitated by journalists and subject area experts. Participants are invited to join in 10-minute conversations with a fellow passerby. On April 18, join Van Alen Institute at Queensboro Plaza, a site that highlights the importance of LIC as a hub for all NYC, but where congestion has many worried about the future of its infrastructure as the area grows.

All Crossroads Conversations events are free and open to the public. Advance registration is not required.

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Upcoming Events. Check back for More Information and Registration Details

Points of Convergence
Saturday, May 11th, 1:00 p.m.
Tour and Envisioning Design Workshop (invitation only)
Long Island City

Designing Inclusive Growth: A Conversation Series
Tuesday, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Conversation Series
Van Alen Institute
30 West 22nd Street
May 14th: Designing for the Historically Marginalized

MADE in Queens
Saturday, June 1st, 1:00–6:00 p.m.
Exhibition/Variety Show
Long Island City

Designing Inclusive Growth: A Conversation Series
Tuesday, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Conversation Series
Van Alen Institute
30 West 22nd Street
June 11th: Universal Design meets Inclusive Growth

Past Events

LICNYC: A Design Perspective / PT1 NYC
Wednesday, March 6th, 7:00 p.m
Roundtable Discussion

Van Alen Institute
30 West 22nd Street
Free with registration

The competition among cities to be the site for Amazon’s HQ2 illustrated how modern industry and private enterprise are primary drivers of economic growth. The implications for urban planning are far-reaching. If business districts, public spaces, and waterfronts are increasingly shaped by corporate interests, what is the role of design within this framework? How can design help ensure that future development truly results in better lives for all of our city’s residents? With a roundtable of leading architects and planners, we’ll take on these challenges from a design perspective.

This event is eligible for AIA credit.

Panelists:
Amy Chester, Managing Director, Rebuild by Design
Susannah Drake, AIA, FASLA, principal and founder, DLANDstudio
Jonathan Marvel, principal and founder, Marvel Architects
Andrea Steele, AIA, Partner, TEN Arquitectos
Jay Valgora, AIA, AICP, LEED AP, principal and founder, STUDIO V Architecture
moderated by Amy Plitt, Curbed

VIEW EVENT

Designing Inclusive Growth: A Conversation Series
Tuesdays, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Conversation Series

Van Alen Institute
30 West 22nd Street
Free with registration

Designing Inclusive Growth is a monthly dialogue on the future of development in New York City. In intimate conversations with leading urbanists and thinkers, we’ll examine what’s propelling New York City’s growth and development, why some have benefited while others have been left behind, and ideas for supporting greater inclusion and shared prosperity through design.

These events are eligible for AIA credit.

March 12th: Competitive Development and NYC
Last year, over 100 leading urbanists, economists, and policymakers signed a petition asking cities to resist the competition to attract Amazon’s HQ2, and instead “compete on the underlying strength of their communities.” In this talk, we invite signatories of that petition to share their thoughts on the best recipes for urban growth. What makes communities strong? When and how should incentives be used? How can city leaders, business, and communities work together constructively and equitably?

Panelists:
Moshe Adler, adjunct professor, Columbia GSAAP
Vishaan Chakrabarti, founder, Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU)
Cara Eisenpress, Crain’s New York Business
moderated by Sydney Franklin, Associate Editor at Architect’s Newspaper

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These programs are made possible through our Program Leadership Council, co-chaired by Andy Bernheimer (Bernheimer Architecture), Sara Grant (Murphy Burnham and Buttrick Architects), Matthew Moss (Think Construction), and Joel Sanders (Joel Sanders Architect).

Thank you to council members Ramona Albert, Elliot Berkowitz, Jennifer Bolstad, Matthew Bremer, Chip Brian, David Briggs, Jerry Caldari, Philipp von Dalwig, Kevin Erickson, Lisa Frazar, Jared Gilbert, Chris Hughes, Scott Hughes, Andrew Kotchen, Drew Lang, Amy Lau, David Leven, Gareth Mahon, Michael Manfredi, Philippe Meyersohn, Michael Plottel, Ted Porter, James Ramsey, Suchi Reddy, Juergen Riehm, Carol Swedlow, Michael Szivos, Kyle Twitchell, Jonce Walker, Marion Weiss, and Stephen Yablon.

Van Alen Festivals are supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. LICNYC is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.