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Build A Better Burb

Client Long Island Index / Rauch Foundation
Year of Completion 2011 (competition)
Location Long Island, NY

Responding to the stated statistical challenges for diverse housing provisions, car dependency and congestion reduction, public equity, and young and elderly needs, our proposal to revitalize Long Island is adaptive, incremental and at the same time revolutionary.

We move beyond labels of new and old, suburb and downtown, to focus on the conditions on the ground.  The proposal modifies emergent patterns and co-opts current predicaments as sustainably, economically and as flexibly as possible.  The proposal identifies a lightly built network of symbiotic densities in the underutilized territories of commercial and retail parking lots and links them to the existing downtowns by subsequent improvements to the infrastructure. Within this light network we are proposing the addition of flexible modular units that tread lightly on the parking surface and maximize the givens.  This addition provides complementary programs to these territories, engendering ecological systems where different programs – housing, commerce, retail, etc. – foster each other in closer proximity.  The downtowns, left behind by the spatial and infrastructural demands on the late 20th century, are in turn inscribed into this emergent network by means infrastructure – buses first, light rail next.