Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jane Jacobs Atlantic Yards Report Card #25: Convert Borders to Seams? NO

This is evaluation item #25 (of 47) of the Jane Jacobs Atlantic Yards Report Card

Convert Borders to Seams? NO

Jane Jacobs suggested that borders could be converted to “seams” and would not have to function as borders if along their edges there were frequent invitations that would bring users across the border. Atlantic Yards does not seem to have any lively cleverness in its design that would accomplish this though some corrections might one day get fitted in to correct some of it problems. Corrections will be more difficult in some areas like where the arena presents large blank walls more than a block long. Further, as the megadevelopment will take decades, perhaps three to four, there will be decades where with acres of parking lots and a still open cut for the rail yards little or no correction will be possible.(Above: The seven-story tall back of the proposed arena which, straddling a closed-off street, will be nearly two blocks wide. It is likely to face acres of parking lots and open rail yards for decades.)
(Rendering by the Municipal Art Society showing the parking lots and open rail yard cuts the teardown of the neighborhood the Ratner project plan involves. At this point, even some of the replacement buildings shown above next to the arena probably won't come in the near future either. -Original Aerial Photograph by Jonathan Barkey.)

JJ Cites: [. . but making the partnership connections between them, explicit, lively and sufficiently frequent. . . The principle here has been brilliantly stated, in another connection, by Kevin Lynch, associate professor of planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the author of The Image of the City. “An edge , may be more, than simply a dominant barriers, . . . writes Lynch, “if some visual or motion penetration is allowed through it- - - if it is, as it were structured so some depth with the regions on either side. It then becomes a seam rather than a barrier, a line of exchange along which two area are sewn together.” p. 267]

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