Coming to New York City. The city is always changing. One thing that stays the same is the exciting new civic projects engineers bring to the public every couple of years. These projects usually start in the depths of a dreamer’s heart, before a plan is forged, and often visualized with the help of a small team. Some plans are submitted to design contests, and often, even if they make it to a finalist round, actualization is no guarantee.
The following is a collection of projects we’ve heard about through the grapevine — can you guess which ones have been approved?
A Floating Pool in the East River — + Pool
“New York is an incredible place to live. You can do almost anything here. Anything, except swim in the river.”
Pronounced “Plus Pool.” Shaped like a plus, named after a plus, the whole thing sounds like a plus to us. The best part of the plan is that it will use filtered water from the East River, and then recycle it back out. You may have heard of this, or donated to its Kickstarter page a few years back and wondered what ever happened to it, or if it’s even happening. Well, what do you think?
Status: Oh, it’s happening. This lil’ crowdsourced gem is set to hit the streets as soon as it gets the funding. As for right now, the only hard date we have is this pool party.
But That’s Not the Only Thing That Might Be Floating in the East River — Underwater Aquarium “Aquatrium”
Inspired by a clam shell, the aquatrium is a perfect mix of experience and exhibit. The best part — at night the underwater aquarium would turn into a planetarium. How. Cool.
Status: This one isn’t confirmed yet. But we hope to see it on the list, as it looks like a great addition.
The World’s First Underground Park — The Lowline
Speaking of underground. You’ve heard of the High-Line, the park built onto an above-ground. This is the opposite. You with us?
NYC is at it again with the repurposing of old train stations. Imagine a beautiful low-lit garden, with just enough light filtering through the fake tree tops to keep the plants below happy.
Status: Confirmed and coming soon.
A No-Car Broadway — The Green Line
Replacing 2.5 miles of traffic with a public park down Broadway sounds like a great idea to us. We hope they add a bike lane — how much safer would it be to travel the city if 2.5 miles of bike lanes were redirected away from cars? We also hope they replace Times Square with a water fountain and lots of rocks to climb.
What about emergencies? Emergency vehicles would still be able to use the park — but only emergency vehicles. AND, there’s the added benefit that city groundwater would return to cleaner days, making a healthier habitat for animals in the Hudson and East rivers.
Status: Not confirmed. Just an idea. An expensive one at that. Probably not happening any time soon.
Free WiFi and Charging Stations for All! — Link NYC
The word on the street is that the city is replacing hundreds of old phone booths with internet hotspots. Pretty awesome, right? Now, add that with this WiFi sharing tool that gives you free wifi passwords and hotspots all across the city and you’re going to have no trouble at all getting to the www. Stay connected, NYC!
Status: It’s already happening. PS You have to watch this video: Ding Ringer
The Windier City
The largest offshore wind farm ever might be coming to NYC, and is expected to be one of the key components of Gov. Cuomo’s plan to make 50% of NYC’s energy renewable by a set date.
Status: This project in particular should be in full swing by 2022. The future… is now.
In Case You Missed It, An Ice Cream Museum
This doesn’t entirely fit on the list, we admit. But we simply couldn’t leave it out.
Status: A pop-up shop is already up at 100 Gansevoort Street.
And While We’re Waiting…
If you’re stoked about all of these public spaces coming to NYC but have the patience of a 4-year old child in a nail saloon, there’s hope in POPS. What are POPS. you might ask? Privately-Owned Public Spaces, AKA the skyscraper developer’s ticket to build. There is an agreement between developers and the city to provide POPS in order to relax certain restrictions set for building. Believe it or not, there are over 500 of these such spaces currently in the city, albeit some are certainly better-designed than others. Check out this nifty POPS tool that gives you the addresses of the entire collection.
Other Things We Wish Were on the List:
Public bathrooms. Just. Bathrooms.