Edtior’s Note: The vision of the triumphant Cornell-Technion University plan is teeming with lofty ambitions: tens of thousands of jobs created, millions of square feet in shining, sloping facilities that will completely recoup the campus’s own energy use.
It’s certainly not the first time Roosevelt Island was planned with semi-utopian ambition. Will a tech campus accomplish just what Philip Johnson and John Burgee’s 1969 plan could not—endow the island with an identity beyond a clever housing scheme and integrate it into the everyday lives of New Yorkers?
For this month’s Roll Call, we sought out three contributors to capture the city’s newfound optimism and challenge the island to go further: Theodore Liebman, who helped develop the Johnson-Burgee plan from the ground up; Gina Pollara, who is currently at work finishing the final piece of the 70’s plan puzzle, a park and memorial designed by Louis I. Kahn; and Laxmi Ramasubramanian, who spearheaded a recent study to evaluate the needs of Roosevelt Islanders.  –DM