INTEROPERABILITY

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY | MSAUD | FALL 2012 | WITH: JANICE TAN, KRISTINA RICCO, ISHITA GAUR

[Adj.] The ability of diverse systems and organizations to work together.

THE ROUTE

The Bay Ridge Branch of the LIRR operates 21.4 miles of track passing through 3 boroughs. At the height of Brooklyn’s industrial era, four tracks operated 6,000 trains annually. Since its peak in the 1940’s, manufacturing in Brooklyn has been in decline, leaving behind the freight corridor as an under utilized right of way.

URBAN SYSTEMS

This corridor passes through some of Brooklyn’s most demographically diverse neighborhoods. In Canarsie, local population exhibits high unemployment rates across all levels of educational attainment and a high percentage of residents who work outside of their immediate neighborhoods. These conditions can be understood as consequences of under-investment in Brooklyn’s inland areas, made evident by limited access to public transportation, quality educational institutions and job opportunities.


A critical reading of these under-utilized infrastructures (both physical and social) reveals opportunities for expanding upon the existing disparate and mono-use systems of transportation, water, food and education to effect productive redundancies and diverse connections that foster urban resilience. The physical context of the rail offers opportunities to challenge the traditional nature of infrastructure by incorporating these opportunities directly into the physical threshold of the Bay Ridge Branch right-of-way, in turn extending its reach beyond the tracks. This project explores relationships and overlaps between a multiplicity of programs and spatial conditions which capitalize the physical stock available on site and the high potential human capital, in order to create a new inter-operable infrastructural system.

CANARSIE | A new net worked infrastructure: Ecology, Economy & social

Through the portion of the track passing through Canarsie, a sequence of systematic redundancies create a unified new infrastructural system, that not only provides transportation options, jobs and fresh food access, but also assists in relieving the pressure on the combined sewage system.

WATER, R&D AND AQUACULTURE

The strategic location of the tracks in terms of storm water collection creates an opportunity to relief the storm water runoff pressure from the frequently overflowing CSO’s. Therefore, The water along Rockaway Parkway is collected through a system of bioswales along the street scape. Following the steps specified below, the water is purified and collected, in order to timely release into Jamaica Bay.. If needed water is also channeled to the recreational Tilapia ponds and for the cooling of the systems used in the fish farming processes. This cycle of use of water creates economic, environmental and educational benefits for the under utilized human capital in Canarsie.

The Research and Educational facilities are clustered around the storm water infrastructure. The Research facilities provides a space for various institutions to carry out research pertaining to storm water through storm water management, and salt water from Jamaica Bay. The facilities will house several laboratories and equipment will be shared within the institutions. One important institute is the Brooklyn College, which is a premier in Aquaculture and Tilapia farming. The tilapia farming also affects the food system by providing fresh food to the neighborhood, while also providing jobs to the local people.

R&D ZONE

The project strategically clusters the research and development and educational facilities around the train station. This locations allows them to be well connected to public transportation but also allows them to be in close proximity to each other and utilize each others resources. These institutions also take advantage of the new water system that is implemented along the right of way and the close proximity to Jamaica Bay to further deepen their research on water related topics. While doing so these institutions create a positive impact on the local community in Canarsie.

FOOD AND TRANSIT HUB

The Brooklyn Terminal Market presently houses 33 vendors and is leased to full capacity. The primary form of transportation of goods to the vendors is through trucks, which leads to streets with heavy truck traffic within the Terminal Market. There is lack of pedestrian access within the market, and small scale production activities are hidden from the public. The project proposes to increase access to Canarsie and Brooklyn Terminal Market by means of the new subway stop connecting to the market. The tracks provide alternative transportation of goods and people to the area, while a vertical expansion of the market provides an expanded public realm and public interaction.

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