Yale School of Architecture
Critics: Pier Vittorio Aureli + Emily Abruzzo
In 2008, NYC DCP identified decking over rail yards and corridors as among the few remaining opportunities for urban development at a large scale. Forty-eight acres of new ground above the defunct Bay Ridge Rail corridor in South Brooklyn provide a site to refigure the relationship between New York City, third sector develpers, and tenants. To develop this corridor, the city will maintain ownership of the deck but leases its air rights. Rather than losing long-term revenue by giving tax relief through 421a, the city provides short-term construction subsidies to third sector development organizations.
Built at the scale of large public housing projects but at the coverage of a garden apartment, the plan includes 12,000 bedrooms across over 4,000 units at a land coverage of 32%. Development of urban villas along the corridor allow for housing to be built at a large scale while maintaining access to green space and without creating a segregated housing estate. Undecked areas and their regular maintenance allow the rail corridor’s sunken landscape to thrive, putting “ground floor” apartments and the pedestrian boulevard in the canopy of the urban forest growing below.