The Omnibus Roundup – summer in the city, public art and parks, new subway map, the census, and Manhattanhenge

Now that the Times Square pedestrian plazas are a permanent fixture, the Department of Transportation has selected a temporary installation for Broadway before the site gets a major makeover in 2012. Molly Dilworth, a Brooklyn-based artist known by many for her rooftop paintings, was chosen out of 150 entries for her proposal entitled “Cool Water, Hot Island,” set to be installed in mid-July. Based off of NASA’s infrared data of Manhattan, the project brings attention to the urban heat-island effect, while hopefully lessening the impact. By using cool blues and other lighter colors for the painted river, it will absorb less heat and reflect more light than typical pavement, making the plazas a more comfortable place for tourists and workers alike this summer.

Fast Trash! captured the curiosity of many Omnibus readers, but for those of you who missed our Roosevelt Island meet-up and never made it out to see the exhibition, you can at least get a taste of the history and operation of the pneumatic trash system in the video below:

We’ve heard about SCAPE studio’s plans for oyster flupsies along the Gowanus as one of the Rising Currents proposals, but now it seems that another threatened ecosystem will experiment with the natural cleansing power of the bivalve for real: oysters just might save Jamaica Bay.

Last fall we told you about the Design Trust’s Call for Fellows for Made in Midtown, their study of the Garment District and its impact on the fashion industry. Now, to celebrate the launch of their website, there will be a series of public events in a pop-up space at the Port Authority Bus Terminal on June 3rd. And if you happen to be free and willing to help out, volunteers will get an invite to their cocktail reception.

We’ve talked about the importance of the census and the inherent difficulties of counting urban populations, but some still wonder how answering those 10 questions will really impact them and their community. Our friends at Next American City can help you out – check out this podcast interview with the Brookings Institution’s Andrew Reamer tackling those very issues.

Part of why developers refused to accede to the demands of a well-organized living wage campaign for its proposed Kingsbridge Armory Project was that retailers would simply take their business elsewhere if the living wage were only mandated in a small section of the Bronx. But now two Bronx politicians are taking the fight citywide. The proposed bill – Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act – would require all public projects that receive more than $100,000 in city funds to provide living wage jobs, or $10 an hour with benefits or $11.50 an hour without.

With the next round of subway service changes starting at the end of June, the MTA has decided to update the NYC subway map (again). Changes this time include making Manhattan taller and wider, eliminating the service schedule, and improving the visual contrast. Or, if this new map still isn’t clear enough for you, take a cue from the folks at Kick Map and take the cartographic challenge that is the NYC subway system in their own hands.

The first official weekend of summer is here, and recently opened city parks — Hudson River Park, the High Line, Brooklyn Bridge Park, to name a few — are sure to be packed with visitors. But the Observer looks at the funding crises faced by these public spaces once  ribbons have been cut. Long-term maintenance plans are ill- or undefined, and city officials are noted as simply “betting that some unspecified solution will indeed materialize at some future date.”

If you are sticking around in the city for the holiday weekend, take your camera with you on Sunday evening for this spring’s Manhattanhenge.


Top image from the NYC Department of Transportation. The Roundup keeps you up to date with topics we’ve featured and other things we think are worth knowing about.

The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.