Reconnect the Urban Surface --- By Making Landscape and Infrastructure

Ming Gao

Description/Abstract

Today in the post industrial city, the connection between different places relies mostly on transportation by way of automobiles, public buses, and subway. By walking or biking, people are able to talk with nature directly. However, by modern transportation, people are confined in a close machinery space which prevents them from experiencing nature directly. They are separated from nature by consciously choosing to use modern transportation during their daily lives, and they get less and less direct access to nature. Nowadays, nature experienced space within walking distance int he city is limited to the tiny front yard garden, where landscape designers plant grass, trees and place sculpture or where the architects celebrate their interior and exterior space flow of a building. even if a real natural area like natural parks is within walking distance it is separated from the neighborhood by vacant, waste, non-program area. In order to get to those parks, people have to rely on cars, buses, and trains. The vacant land between neighborhoods becomes an unwalkable isolation gap across which only highways, subways, and railways are established. However, there is a potential landscape chance in this vacant area. My intention is to make those places revival and offer people opportunities of direct nature experience It is a study of how to make a landscape transition space instead of a linear transportation system on that dead urban land.

Willets Point and Flushing Downtown (Queens, New York) is a location that already has the conditions described above. The aim of the project is to solve the problems of the isolation gap and connect these two neighborhoods according to Landscape Urbanism theory. In this thesis, landscape should be able to integrate with infrastructure, buildings, and open spaces to stimulate connections between different neighborhoods or communities, to provide a landscape experience that is both spatially and visually interesting, and to juxtapose the culture and economy in an urban surface.