Under the Elevated: Reclaming Public Space Below Transit Infrastructure

New York, NY

In 2013, Susannah Drake was selected as the Under the Elevated Urban Design Fellow by The Design Trust for Public Space and the NYC Department of Transportation. She joins a team of four additional Fellows (Graphic Design, Policy, Participatory Design, and Photo Urbanism) to reimagine and transform underutilized space below the city’s elevated transit infrastructure. The project engages numerous stakeholders, including community leaders, planners, architects, artists, city agencies, civic leaders, and cultural organizations. The project aims to develop strategies to improve the function, use, and experience of millions of square feet underneath New York’s bridges, elevated highways, subways, and rail lines.

DLANDstudio looked extensively at elevated typologies, possible programmatic solutions, and potential green infrastructure opportunities. Seven sites in the five New York City boroughs were analyzed for their spatial, cultural, and jurisdictional opportunities and constraints. Following this analysis, short-term and long-term design strategies were proposed for each site.

Visit the designtrust.org for more information and to purchase the book