NYC’s Soft Side: Transforming City Sidewalks
New York is a pavement pounder's paradise. With so much to see and do, the only thing left wanting is a place to take a break when there's not a stoop in sight. Enter Softwalks: the Brooklyn duo re-envisioning the functionality of the humble footpath.
Construction scaffolding is an eyesore at best, but the amount of perennial building sites in the Big Apple take the "work in progress" look to the next level. Over 189 miles of sidewalk sheds straddle New York City walkways in total, and lined end-to-end, this skeletal tunnel would stretch all the way from Manhattan to Baltimore!
In a green design crusade, Howard Cambers and Bland Hoke of Softwalks took to realizing the full potential of these shared spaces.
Let this short intro to the project sweep you off your feet:
Softwalks' DIY kit of modular furniture pieces latch onto existing scaffolding beams to create impromptu sidewalk hangouts. Their foldout chair and coffee counter clamp onto the exposed outer structure of the sidewalk shed, allowing pedestrian traffic to continue its flow while the weary pull up a pew next to the newly gentrified gutter. To further soften the edges of this classically uninviting city space, hanging planters add a floral flourish to the makeshift framework, while specially designed lampshades reflect the nocturnal glow of fluorescents.
Like the sidewalk sheds themselves, these fittings are designed to be modular, ready to be transported from one construction site to the next. More fixtures in the pipeline include a decorative trellis, benches, and communal game boards to incite community interaction. And while the project was designed with New York City in mind, these pop-up parks are fit to adorn street corners at any corner of the globe.
Which urban innovation project do you have a soft spot for? Let us know in the comments!
After twelve years and 300,000 kilometres, Wim from the Netherlands is thoroughly fulfilling his long-time dream of owning the road with his own MINI. See how he got there on MINI Space.
The MINI International Vol. 43
What happens when the brains of two brilliant, visionary-minded men collide? The MINI Clubman Vision GT, a brand new MINI concept car for video game sensation Gran Turismo, is born.
Parked 2200 meters above sea level in the frozen Swiss Alps, a MINI Countryman stands as an unlikely art installation. See the creative twist Geoff McFetridge put on the 2015 Burton European Open.
Lizzy Mae and Valentina clocked up 15,000 kilometres on a winter trip in their MINI Cabrio "Chippy", passing the Swedish Royal Palace in Stockholm, completing a quick lap of the Red Square in Moscow and crossing the Bosporus Bridge in Istanbul. Find out more about this epic road trip here.
The Go Boundless design competition asked the MINI Space community to see where the extra mile might take them. The evidence of adventures has been reviewed and the winners are in.