The Omnibus Roundup – Conversations on New York, affordable housing, the Domino Sugar Factory, getting arrested, and summer events

Photo credits from left to right: Kyle R. Brooks; Steven Yavanian; Frank Guittard; Jason A. Tax.

Be sure to join us on July 8th for the latest in the Architectural League’s Conversations on New York series of public events. This one features former Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Dan Doctoroff, who set in motion many of the most significant urban projects of the past decade, from the Olympic Bid to congestion pricing to PLANYC 2030. Doctoroff will be in conversation with Paul Goldberger, architecture critic for The New Yorker. (Thursday, July 8 | 7:00 p.m. | The Great Hall, The Cooper Union | 7 East 7th Street | 1.5 CEUs).

And that’s not all that’s going on next week. On July 7th, there are two stimulating panel discussions to choose from. Up in East Harlem, a panel discussion and tour of Tapestry, the new mixed-use, green building, will highlight affordable housing and sustainable design. If you’re more up for a debate on what housing in 2050 will look like, the Forum for Urban Design is hosting a moderated discussion of their own. With the American population projected to grow by another 100 million by then, you can listen to two men with very differing opinions talk about how they think the American urban and suburban landscape will have adapted by then.

Speaking of ideas about the future, Crains, in honor of their 25th anniversary, reached out to a variety of New Yorkers from all disciplines and has come up with 25 ideas to create a better, future New York City. These ideas include topics familiar to Omnibus readers, such as how to rethink Governors Island, how to develop the local food chain, and how deal with New York’s traffic.

Back on May 3rd, ground broke on the Via Verde project in the South Bronx, a new mixed-use development that will include a variety of living environments for a multitude of income levels, and is also slated to certified LEED gold upon completion. The project will also help the city get to Mayor Bloomberg’s goal of an additional 165,000 affordable housing units by 2014. Shaun Donovan, the U.S. Secretary for HUD was at the ground-breaking ceremony, was recently interviewed by Architectural Record to discuss the effects of the stimulus package on affordable housing, and the role that architects have in reshaping urban communities. With $13.6 billion in stimulus funds allocated to HUD, that money has been critical to the continued construction of multi-family homes, and both HUD and architects have an unique opportunity to create a new sustainable model for lower-income communities.

The former Domino Sugar refinery on the Williamsburg waterfront has long been the source of contention within the neighborhood regarding future plans for the abandoned site. This past Tuesday, the City Council gave its support for the $1.4 billion development plan to turn the site into a 2,000 unit residential development. With this approval, the project is expected to gain final approval from the City Planning Commission next month. 660 of the units will be for lower income and working class families, and the Community Preservation Corporation, the developer for the site, conceded to reducing the height of the two tallest buildings (although the total number of units will remain the same), and will keep the main refinery building and the 40 foot tall Domino sign intact. Shuttle buses to the nearest subway stop will also be provided, but with the large number of parking spots that are planned for, many fear that the development will not encourage sustainable living in any regard, and have a negative impact on the surrounding community.

Making Policy Public, a program of The Center for Urban Pedagogy, has released their latest poster, “I Got Arrested! Now What?,” the sixth in the series that explores complex public policy through graphic design; past topics have included street vendors and predatory equity. This one deals with the juvenile justice system, following “Chris” from his arrest through trial in court, explaining each phase of the process and even giving important tips.

Pole Dance - So-Il - PS1

Image by Iwan Baan via Fast Company

The Summer Warm Up begins this Saturday at P.S 1, featuring Pole Dance by SO-IL, winner’s of the Young Architects Program. Constructed of a large mesh net set on a 16’x16′ grid of metal poles, bungee cords connected to the poles allow visitors to manipulate the net and the yoga balls atop the net. Perhaps the most interactive (and fun!) of the past few installations, you can also manipulate the sound of the poles or watch real-time visualizations of the installation from its own website.

That sounds like a great way to kick off what for many New Yorkers is a three-day weekend. Fireworks are along the Hudson River again this year. Below, a time-lapse video of last year’s display on the Hudson:

If you’re staying in the city, take advantage of the summer weather, and check out Time Out’s guide to the long weekend. And for those that want to stay in Brooklyn, there are a few patriotic events there as well, including a bar crawl in Greenpoint that culminates in a “Most Patriotic” costume competition.

The Roundup keeps you up to date with topics we’ve featured and other things we think are worth knowing about.