Community: Coney Island
Instructors: Deborah Gans
This studio is the second in a series of four studios that directly engage New York City neighborhoods in rethinking coastal development in an age of climate change. Together they are the architectural component of an inter-disciplinary program including planning and green infrastructure entitled RAMP (Recovery Adaptation Mitigation Planning) with funding from the Kresge Foundation that will allow for supplemental lectures and research.
The course investigates the technical, social and cultural implications of environmental change for the residential fabric of Coney Island, in particular The New York City Housing Authority Coney Island Houses and Gravesend Houses. An environmental crisis often reveals other long-standing economic social and physical dysfunction that made a territory vulnerable to crises in the first place. The studio goal is the development of strategies that address pre-existing problems simultaneously with the new post-storm ones, and, consequently, produce a more robust vision for the future.
We will develop physical and socio-economic proposals that can be leveraged in relation to one another. The premise is that the individual property benefits through its integration into this larger order; and, conversely, that the urban order benefits from an intermediate scale that capitalizes on existing social and physical infrastructures. This “neighborhood” scale has not been sufficiently developed in urban thinking. It does not appear as a physical entity or area of concern in formal codes although; post-Sandy it has become a matter of public discussion. The studio will explore this intermediate scale of social behavior, urban thinking and design.
While our neighborhood focus is on the residential campuses of NYCHA, our study takes place within the larger narratives of Coney Island past and present. Coney Island’s complex building stock of grand public modern works begun by Robert Moses exists as a counter- utopia to a magical culture of amusement and relaxation. These dueling cultures are our largest site of consideration.
Coney Island, Fall 2013
Architecture, Community Planning, Coney Island, Spring 2014
Architecture, Community Planning, Coney Island, Red Hook, Rockaways, Spring 2014
Community Planning, Coney Island, Spring 2014