Mobility

Fellows ↓
Events ↓
On May 14, the Urban Design Forum and the Institute for Public Knowledge launched Onward, featuring contributing authors Shin-pei Tsay, Rebecca Bailin, and Jeffrey Shumaker in conversation with Greg Lindsay and moderated by editor Daniel McPhee.
On April 18, MOIA Acting Commissioner Bitta Mostofi delivered a keynote address about the City's work to support immigrant neighborhoods, and Forefront Fellows presented their original policy proposals and design interventions to empower New York City's immigrant communities.
On February 26, Forefront Fellows Anktia Chachra, Nse Esema, Jonathan Goldman and Matt McMahon invited civic and community leaders for an evening program exploring immigrant issues and perspectives in the New York Metro region.

Hot Air

Event ▻ Maintaining (2017)
On December 13, the Urban Design Forum invited Ken Fisher, Robert Paley, Joe Rose, Matthew Washington and Madelyn Wils to discuss creative proposals for how TDR can be utilized to maintain New York City’s public infrastructures.
On October 18, we were joined by Elena Conte, Susannah Drake, Margaret Newman, Jennifer Pehr and Nicholas Pettinati to hear original proposals for re-thinking New York City’s arterial roadways.
On September 6 we were joined by Tim Braine, Jonathan Cohn, John Falcocchio, Susan Fine and Eve Michel as they proposed new solutions to care for New York City's 472 subway stations.
On June 20, for the first Forefront roundtable of the year, we were joined by Doug Saunders, author of Arrival City, which inspired the German Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale and this year's Forefront program theme, and Max Hadler, Senior Health Advocacy Manager for the New York Immigration Coalition.
On May 1 we were joined by Eloise Hirsh, Sam Schwartz, Margaret Tobin, and Deborah Marton offered a retrospective on caring for New York City’s public assets from the fiscal crisis to today.
On February 21 six Forefront Fellows were invited to present individual projects on infrastructure and public space to their cohort and guest critic Miriam Roure, of Urban-X.
On November 7, the Urban Design Forum hosted its Fall Dinner, Momentum: New Mobility and the City. To celebrate our yearlong Onward initiative exploring new ideas to reimagine New York City’s streets and transit networks. we invited Jay Walder and Rohit Aggarwala to consider how new sensing, sharing, and cycling technologies are not only changing our streets but the city itself.
New York City's subway system is suffering from rising infrastructure costs, declining investment and record overcrowding. Superstorm Sandy and the pending L-Train shutdown remind us that our aging transit system is vulnerable to climate change.
On June 15, the Urban Design Forum invited Tara Pham, Co-founder and CEO of CTY; Oliver Schaper, Practice Area Leader in Planning & Urban Design for Gensler’s North-East region; Sam Schwartz, President, and CEO of Sam Schwartz Engineering; Claire Weisz, Founding Principal at WXY architecture + urban design, and moderator Jill Lerner, Principal at Kohn Pedersen More
On June 15, the Urban Design Forum invited Jill Morgenweck, Director of Regional Operations at Shyp; Makoto Okazaki, Partner and Principal Architect at Michael Sorkin Studio; Paul Salama, Zoning + GIS Lead at Envelope; Juliette Spertus, Co-founder of ClosedLoops; and moderator Greg Lindsay to debate the future of urban freight. Lindsay introduced the roundtable by More
On May 25, the Urban Design Forum invited Kate Ascher, Partner at Buro Happold; Margaret Newman, Associate Principal at Arup; Paolo Santi, Research Scientist at MIT Senseable City Lab; and Catherine Seavitt, Principal of Catherine Seavitt Studio, to participate in our second roundtable on the future of transportation in New York City. After a brief More
Join us April 25 for cocktails and conversation on the future of surface transit in New York. As New York’s population booms and subway construction costs skyrocket, city officials are turning to leaner solutions like bus rapid transit, bike share and ferry routes to move New Yorkers. But how can we connect the city’s burgeoning waterfront More
In January 2016, the Urban Design Forum led a hard hat tour of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub led by Robert Eisenstat, Chief Architect of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. The $4 billion, Santiago Calatrava-designed hub will connect 11 different subway lines and serve an estimated 200,000 commuters each day. More
New technologies are revolutionizing the way we move through cities. Car- and bike-share options are swaying more urbanites to ditch their cars. E-hail companies are enhancing ease and access across the five boroughs. Rapid delivery services are reducing trips to grocery stores and retailers. Autonomous cars and trucks are being tested on roads across America. How will these technologies shape our streets, transit networks, and public realm? Could private cars finally become obsolete?
On October 13, thirty Fellows of the Urban Design Forum participated in a members-only tour of the 7 Line extension and Hudson Yards construction site led by Beth Greenberg and Richard Dattner, Principals at Dattner; Shawn Kildare, Senior Vice President at MTA Capital Construction; Alexia Friend, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates; and Michael Samuelian, Vice President More
On July 30, the Forum hosted the Next New York Fellows Dinner to celebrate the culmination of the Next New York series. Daniel Doctoroff (Bloomberg LP) and John Zuccotti (Brookfield Office Properties) joined Julia Vitullo-Martin (Regional Plan Association) in conversation about new directions for the next mayor. What were the most pressing challenges facing New More
London is powering ahead of New York in its transport infrastructure provision with projects like Crossrail, high speed rail and underground upgrades set to have a transformative effect on the city.

Balanced Metropolis

Event ▻ NY-LON
On October 12, Forum Fellows met with New London Architecture members to confront the challenge of balancing investment in the city and its suburbs.
Spontaneous Interventions: design actions for the common good was first presented as the exhibition of the U.S. Pavilion at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale (Fall 2012). It documents the nascent movement of designers acting on their own initiative to solve problematic urban situations, creating new opportunities and amenities for the public. Provisional, improvisational, guerrilla, More
On November 2, the Forum convened four figures who have radically reconfigured the New York City urban landscape under Michael Bloomberg: Daniel Doctoroff, former Deputy Mayor for Economic Development; Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner of NYC DOT; Adrian Benepe, Commissioner of NYC Parks; and Adriaan Geuze, Principal of West 8 and Designer-in-Charge of Governors Island. Doctoroff opened More
Urban Design Week was a public festival created to engage New Yorkers in the fascinating and complex issues of the public realm, and to celebrate the streetscapes, sidewalks, and public spaces at the heart of city life. At its heart was By the City/ For the City, a crowdsourced design project that gathered more than More
In 2011 the Urban Design Forum invited architects, planners, artists, designers, and students around the world to participate in By the City / For the City, a collaborative re-imagining of New York City’s public realm.
The demolition of McKim, Meade & White’s original Pennsylvania Station in 1963 provoked historian Vincent Scully to write “One entered the city like a god. One now scuttles in like a rat.” Fifty years later, a Beaux Arts landmark by the same architects, the Farley Post Office, will become the West Side’s newest train hall. More
In conjunction with The Drawing Center’s exhibition of Paul Rudolph’s design for the Lower Manhattan Expressway on view through November 20th and hosted by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union, this panel examined the tenor of the times which led The Ford Foundation to commission Rudolph to react to Robert More
During the summers of 2007, 2008, and 2009, the Urban Design Forum and Storefront for Art and Architecture partnered to bring bike share to New York City. Years before the advent of Citi Bike, they invited New Yorkers to “imagine walking to a sidewalk corner and finding a public bicycle. With a cellphone call or More
Proposals ↓
Our historic subway stations are our most used public spaces in the city. We should partner with the private sector to give our stations the innovation and investment they need to thrive.

Reveal Penn Palimpsest

Proposal ▻ Onward (2016)
Penn Station is a symbol of our city, yet now stands a neglected opportunity. It should be a shared civic space for us all!

Grow the Green Line

Proposal ▻ Onward (2016)
We no longer need Broadway as a street. We should transform it into a linear park—a Green Line running through midtown Manhattan.
The Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook is notoriously difficult to access via public transit. Let’s explore new digital approaches to make the area’s transportation options visible to those who need them.

Revive Harlem Lane

Proposal ▻ Onward (2016)
St. Nicholas Avenue today is a largely unnecessary traffic corridor. Imagine it as a 3/4-mile long park running through Upper Manhattan: Harlem Lane reborn.
The Broadway Malls could become a significant green corridor, integrating cutting-edge technology to provide a safe route for pedestrians, cyclists, and local wildlife.

Plant the FOREX

Proposal ▻ Onward (2016)
Let’s expand the idea of the ‘street tree’ into a ‘street of trees’ to create a forest expressway.
The Brooklyn Strand should be a new gateway to the borough, connecting the waterfront with a series of parks, plazas, and greenways that will animate the thriving heart of Downtown Brooklyn!

Revamp the L Train

Proposal ▻ Onward (2016)
The L shutdown is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to upgrade one of our busiest subway lines to meet the needs of the future. We should invest in our stations today.
Queens is New York City’s fastest growing borough, but it lacks the infrastructure it needs. We must support Queens’ expansion with smart, sustainable transportation.

Ring Around the Harbor

Proposal ▻ Onward (2016)
We are just a few miles away from becoming the most bike-friendly region in the country. Let’s get there by completing a continuous route around New York Harbor!
New York City must strengthen our existing transit system beyond the Manhattan core to catalyze the untapped potential for development in underserved neighborhoods. We should invest in new, next-generation, elevated transit—the Halo Line—to serve all New Yorkers and build a strong future.

Reform the Curb

Proposal ▻ Onward (2016)
New York City is one of the most pedestrian-dense cities in the world, yet approximately 80% of our public space—our streets—is designed for automobiles. We must reform our curbside parking policies to create a more livable city.
The MTA is preparing to replace the MetroCard with a new mobile- and smartcard-based system. Now imagine it could be used for any transportation option, anywhere in the region—even driverless cars.
Freight is a planning afterthought, leaving our streets clogged with heavy vehicles. Why not consolidate deliveries at a neighborhood level to free up some space?

Deliver Goods By Subway

Proposal ▻ Onward (2016)
New York City can become environmentally self-sufficient if we repurpose and rebalance city streets and use the subway to deliver goods across the five boroughs.
As electric cars and the sharing economy become increasingly widespread, we have an opportunity to create a comprehensive mobility concept for New York City.

Recycle and Reclaim

Proposal ▻ Maintaining (2017)
With the introduction of automated vehicles on the horizon, we have the chance to reclaim our roadways—unlocking space for green corridors, neighborhood connections, and new development.
Arterials such as FDR Drive and the Sheridan Expressway are long overdue for a 21st-century transformation, which calls for equally innovative approaches to infrastructure design as well as public finance.
By capping two blocks of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway trench in Williamsburg, we can provide verdant open space for the neighborhood and build the better future the community envisions.
It is justifiable to require high-rise buildings to share the cost of the transit service they receive. They depend on rail and subway service, and improved reliability will yield increased worker productivity, the protection of worker wages, and better workforce recruiting and retention. It’s time to charge the true beneficiaries of rail transit, for a more equitable and economically efficient system.

Station Alliance

Proposal ▻ Maintaining (2017)
New York has a history of successful public-private partnerships for public goods: Central Park Conservancy, the High Line, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Business Improvement Districts to name a few. The Station Alliance believes that with support of and partnership with the private sector, we can give New York’s subway stations the innovation and investment that will make them safe, welcoming and inspiring.
The NYC subway system is a vital part of New Yorkers’ daily lives, but the public’s experience with it is too often ugly, brutish, and not short enough. While proximity to a great public realm in New York is the single most important factor for value in the city (location location location), the demeaning environment of most of our public transit infrastructure is alienating, and represents a missed opportunity to create an environment that is valued by the public and thereby well maintained.
Some of the greatest opportunities for new housing and development within a stone’s throw of Manhattan line the East River in Astoria and Long Island City. By creating a new light rail line in those neighborhoods, we could create an enormous opportunity for new investment.
Imagine new uninterrupted connections across the river, linking major destinations across the five boroughs. First, we could extend the Roosevelt Island tram in both directions, creating a new link from Queens Plaza to Central Park.
In Williamsburg, there is a tremendous opportunity to cap the trench of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and build an open space amenity for the South Side Williamsburg community. This is not a tunnel and not a “Big Dig.” Instead, it is a thin deck capping the BQE that could benefit over 160,000 people in the surrounding neighborhood, which is a primarily low-income and Hispanic area.

Dynamic Zoning

Proposal ▻ Next New York (2013)
The static nature of the zoning code can make it an ineffective tool in helping communities address changing needs and conditions in their neighborhoods. It’s time to create a more dynamic planning process that explicitly addresses community well-being, not just form.
A new rail connection could run express from the tunnels at Penn Station or Grand Central Terminal, via the new East Side Access Tunnels, through Sunnyside Yards toward the Hell Gate Bridge along the same right-of-way.

Level the Tolls

Proposal ▻ Next New York (2013)
Robert Moses built the bridges and tunnels where we pay tolls today within the five boroughs. Nelson Rockefeller, as governor, created the MTA in 1965 and took the excess revenue to pay for transit shortfalls. There’s no other rhyme or reason for it.
Bike superhighways, or ‘bike rapid transit,’ present a welcome solution to speed long-haul bike journeys in New York City. Already emerging in other world-class cities, bike superhighways are wide, continuous protected bike lanes with prioritized, unbroken rights-of-way.
The New York City streetscape should be designed for increased and evolving modes of transit. Think of it as Complete Streets 2.0: car-free streets with linear parks, protected bike lanes, and mass transit.
Pennsylvania Station must grow its capacity to serve 110 million passengers entering New York City annually—more than the three major metro airports combined. A new Penn Station will renew the competitiveness of the New York region in the global economy.
Let’s push the extension of the 7 Line to Secaucus and bring the subway to New Jersey. The possibilities are extraordinary. And Hudson Yards could serve as a booming new cultural heart for the city.
The New York Triboro Overground is a regional express rail for the outer boroughs. The Overground would utilize the railbed of the existing New York Connecting Railroad, which carries limited freight traffic and connects Port Morris in the Bronx through Queens with Bay Ridge in Brooklyn.
We need a real regional rail system. All three commuter rail systems—Metro North, Long Island Rail Road, and New Jersey Transit—currently operate as separate entities.
Publications ↓
News ↓
Forum News
We are thrilled to announce our third class of Forefront Fellows. The Forefront Fellowship promotes the next generation of urban leaders. This year's interdisciplinary cohort will explore how urban design can support homeless populations, engage host communities and end cycles of homelessness.
Features
Immigrant dispersion and suburbanization presents new challenges, as immigrants may be less likely to form critical masses for social support and political power, and small municipalities may be less capable to address immigrant needs.
Fellows in the News
Regina Myer writes that we need to include the construction of the Brooklyn Strand with the rebuild of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
Forum News
In the fall of 2016, the Urban Design Forum invited its Fellows and experts to help us craft a vision for the future of mobility in New York City. Within these pages, you’ll find an inventory of imaginative thinking on what our city’s transportation landscape could be.
Applications
Cities around the world are grappling with record rates of homelessness. How can we design shelters, intake centers and supportive housing to turn the tide?
Fellows in the News
Michael Replogle refutes claims that lower speed limits are dangerous for pedestrians by detailing the numerous benefits from NYC's Vision Zero initiative.
Fellows in the News
Sam Schwartz suggests that adding a ride fee on for-hire vehicles could encourage riders to use cheaper transit options and reduce congestion.
Fellows in the News
Rohit Aggarwala, Juliette Michaelson, Lucrecia Montemayor and Tom Wright released Regional Plan Association's 4th Regional Plan.
Fellows in the News
Henry Grabar explores Transport for London's usage of Wi-Fi data to better understand station and train crowding.
Fellows in the News
Arun Sundararajan explains that London's decision to not renew Uber's operating license is not about ride-hailing technology, but the company's failure to perform regulatory tasks.
Fellows in the News
Corinne Kisner calls for widespread integration of green infrastructure in our city's streets to control run-off and absorb pollutants.
Fellows in the News
Deborah Marton argues that expanding Citi Bike to the Bronx would create a more accessible and equitable city.
Fellows in the News
Polly Trottenberg is skeptical about the politics behind the proposed congestion pricing plan proposed by Move NY despite agreeing it is necessary.
Fellows in the News
Jed Walentas and Christopher Sharples celebrate the impending opening of 325 Kent Avenue, the first building to open at the site of the former Domino Sugar refinery.
Fellows in the News
Polly Trottenberg promoted the launch of ParkNYC in Queens, an app allowing drivers to pay for parking meters using their smart phones.
Fellows in the News
Ankita Chachra and Skye Duncan were on the GDCI Core Project Team for the Global Street Design Guide setting "a new global baseline for designing streets."
Fellows in the News
Tom Wright, Vishaan Chakrabarti, Andrew Lynn and Polly Trottenberg addressed the various infrastructure projects required in the region at the RPA Assembly.
Features
Three Forefront Fellows write on the current lack of public transit in Red Hook, Brooklyn and propose new ways for the City to utilize emerging technologies to improve neighborhood accessibility.
Fellows in the News
Tom Wright laments the latest train derailment as further evidence of the long overdue maintenance required at Penn Station and the Hudson Tunnel.
Fellows in the News
Juliette Michaelson and Tom Wright from RPA, with Guy Nordenson and Paul Lewis of Princeton University, are hosting a design competition to transform four corridor geographies within the NY-metro region.
Fellows in the News
Eric Fang, Class of 2016 Fellow, helped design Arverne by the Sea, the largest urban waterfront renewal site in the United States.
Call for Ideas
How can we use design thinking, creative financing, new technology, and community organizing to maintain our physical and social infrastructure?
Fellows in the News
Sam Schwartz devised the Brooklyn-Queens Connector - a much-needed connection for city commuters.
Fellows in the News
Martin Filler celebrates Alexander Gorlin's Boston Road Supportive Housing project, a lively affordable housing development in the South Bronx, as an encouraging model to confront homelessness in New York City.
Features
William Fain offers lessons that Los Angeles can teach on urban living today. Despite its sprawling and suburban reputation, its brand of urbanism may be influencing cities around the world as much as its older, Eastern US counterparts.