A pedestrian improvement plan, initiated by the NYC Department of Transportation, will soon transform the network of streets in and around Astor Place and Cooper Square, reclaiming underutilized roadway to create new opportunities for public space. The design will develop a multi-purpose urban precinct through the creation of three new linked plazas along the axis of 4th Avenue.
Each is conceived as a unique experience with its own program and lighting, while a similar language of form and materials in all achieves a sense of identity. Elliptical shapes provide a flexible geometry and a consistent paving strategy connects the plazas with the adjacent city.
The newly coherent progression of civic spaces will reinvent the variety of local experience while implementing sustainability strategies. Many new trees and plantings in former streets and sidewalks will reduce stormwater runoff and provide shade.
With high performance materials such as high fly-ash concrete and structural soil, the use of permeable paving to allow stormwater to percolate into the water table, and bio-filtration strips to help cleanse runoff, the project addresses many of the goals of the NYC2030 plan.