Gallery: Solar-Powered Garden Canopy Proposed For New York’s BQE

 
This past year the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYC EDC) hired New York landscape architects Starr Whitehouse to come up with a three concepts to improve the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, which currently carves a trench through a community. They recently unveiled their solutions, which help green the neighborhood, provide improved pedestrian and bicycle access and reconnect the divided neighborhoods. Community members were also involved in the design process and let the designers know they would also like to reduce noise from the road, mitigate pollution, and create a connection between the separated Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill and Columbia Street Waterfront neighborhoods. Read on for a look at each proposal!

Starr Whitehouse presented three final concepts in a public meeting to 35 neighborhood residents as well as representatives of city agencies and state and local elected officials. The three concepts propose various degrees of linkages across the trench, the planting of trees, noise reduction schemes, and additional park space. Each concept is progressively more involved (and more expensive), but provides more open space, noise reduction and pollution mitigation.

The first concept, called Maximum Green, proposes to reconfigure the existing bridges to provide planter space and stormwater retention in swales for irrigation use. The trench would be surrounded with a plexiglass or artistic wall to cut down on noise from the highway. The second concept, called Connections, proposes the same as the first concept, but adds a series of 5 new prefabricated bicycle and pedestrian bridges at cross-streets that were severed by the BQE.

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  1. solargardens December 28, 2010 at 8:40 am

    This is a perfect example of how we can integrate distributed renewables into the built environment… In Colorado we now have the Community Solar Gardens Act, which allows for shared ownership of solar energy. This would work well with the sort of design shown here.

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