IPA located our 2018 Residency in Queens, the largest and most diverse borough in New York City. Across this mixed-income borough the pressures of new development are changing the affordability and character of many of its vital neighborhoods. Given the dramatic rezoning and subsequent building boom in Long Island City, the proposed rezoning of Willets Point, and the constant stream of building proposals brought to community boards across the borough, the IPA aspired to democratize the conversation and engage the Queens citizenry, institutions and stakeholders around future development. Specifically, our Fellows utilized and make accessible community district data, as-of-right zoning, and other relevant mapping research for the neighborhoods surrounding Flushing Meadow Corona Park. Using this information, combined with the leveraging of under-utilized neighborhood assets and untapped spatial opportunities, the Fellows worked with community members to create innovative and appropriately scaled design responses.
Through the IPA’s collaboration with the Queens Museum, our Fellows had direct access to the invaluable urban planning resource of The Panorama of the City of New York, a 1”-100’ scale model of all five boroughs originally conceived for the 1964 World’s Fair by ‘master-builder’ Robert Moses. This City of Promise served as the backdrop to the cohorts’ research and design work: to visualize development opportunities, either through 3D graphic imagery or actual scaled building models, that address community aspirations, strengthen public interaction, and more fully reflect the diversity and vitality of its residents.