Submerged Green Space (New York) (Future & Past)

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Interesting article online at the New Yorker in which city planner imagine the greening of Lower Manhattan. The idea is to buffer the city for the kind of flooding that blighted that part of the City during Hurricane Sandy, and the kind of flooding that city planners expect in the Age of Global Warming.

Mention in the article was made of the so-called Viele map, whose original name was the “Sanitary and Topographical Map of the City and Island of New York.” Published in 1865, it superimposes the Manhattan grid over the indigenous fields, streams, marshlands and waterlines of the City (I’m stealing this from the Wiki entry for Viele).

I like in the article how water plays with the sense of time, binding a spongy vision of the past, open and porous, with the vision of the future with its eye on the right now.

It’s interesting, the way in which the City was understood 150 years ago or so to be a kind of submerged green space, and the way in which some city planners today want to imagine the kinds of transitioning that could  turn the contemporary city into a more hybrid urban-natural form.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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