The Omnibus Roundup – Festival and 50 Ideas Update, Census Count, Using Central Park, and Foreclosed at MoMA

50 Ideas for the New City at Brooklyn Flea, Williamsburg

50 Ideas for the New City at Brooklyn Flea, Williamsburg

Well folks, we’re only a few days away from the Festival of Ideas for the New City. The buzz is heating up, and the poster campaign that we launched to coincide with the festival has hit the streets. And while these posters are, for us, about inserting a physical object into public spaces to encourage passersby to consider their surroundings a little differently, there’s also an online component, a distillation of some of the best ideas ever featured on Urban Omnibus and a chance to add your own ideas about what the city needs now. Check it out and spread the word.

The City’s distressed response to the 2010 census results have led to much speculation about how the numbers could have been so wrong. Well, Queens College Sociology Professor and New York Times demographer Andrew A. Beveridge offers another opinion — maybe they’re right. In a piece for Gotham Gazette, Beveridge lists four reasons to have confidence in the census count, such as a financial crisis-prompted decrease in immigration rates, a significant uptick in vacant housing after the recent building boom and the very real possibility that New York City was overcounted in the 2000 census.

Central Park | Photo by Flickr user posixeleniCentral Park | Photo by Flickr user posixeleni

How do you use Central Park? You may have been one of the 3,300 people asked that question between July 2008 and May 2009 as part of the research for the recently-released Report on the Public Use of Central Park, an ambitious survey of park use conducted by the Central Park Conservancy. Data from thousands of exit interviews, entrance counts and observation surveys was collected, analyzed and interpreted, and the findings are available for perusal in this 96-page PDF. Some tidbits: Central Park sees 37-38 million visits annually by approximately 8-9 million different people; daily visits range from 40,000 on a winter weekday to 220,000 on a summer Sunday; 85% of users report participating in “subdued activities that generally include observation or passive enjoyment of one’s surroundings;” and a whopping 75% of visitors enter through the southern half of the Park, a discovery that has prompted the Conservancy to develop programs to increase use of the Park’s northern end.

Following on the heels of the powerhouse 2009 exhibition “Rising Currents,” MoMA has announced the second in their series of Issues in Contemporary Architecture shows: “Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream” [PDF]. Five interdisciplinary teams of architects have been commissioned to participate in a four-month series of workshops and symposia during which they will develop projects that “challenge cultural assumptions concerning homeownership and associated settlement patterns, such as suburban sprawl, and assist the public in contemplating a potentially different future for housing and cities.” MoMA launched the series to expand the notion of what an exhibition should and can be and to encourage public dialogue and debate surrounding the selected topics. The five team leaders and their assigned cities (and related “megaregions”) are: Amale Andraos and Dan Wood of WORKac, Salem-Keizer, OR (Pacific Northwest); Michael Bell of Visible Weather, Temple Terrace, FL (Southeast); Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang, Cicero, IL (Midwest); Hilary Sample and Michael Meredith of MOS, The Oranges, NJ (Northeast); and Andrew Zago of Zago Architecture, Rialto, CA (Southern California). The workshop phase launches May 7 with a public symposium at MoMA PS1 featuring the team leaders. Open Studios at MoMA PS1 are scheduled for June 18 and September 17, and the exhibition of the resulting ideas and proposals will be on view at MoMA starting in January.

Archinect v3.0 Launch: Tonight, Friday, April 29th, 6pm. Drinks and socializing at the Samsung Experience space in the Time Warner Building (10 Columbus Circle) for a celebration of the launch of Archinect v3.0 and the announcement of a new alliance formed by Archinect, Designer Pages, OpenBuildings and Otto.

The Listening Tour: Proteus Gowanus hosts an early morning “rehabilitation of our urban-abused sense of hearing,” Sunday, May 1, 6am at the Grand Army Plaza entrance to Prospect Park.

Pantheon: A History of Art from the Streets of NYC: This is the final weekend to see the street art exhibit installed at the former Donnell Library space on W. 53rd St. between 5th and 6th Avenues.

World Science Festival: Tickets are now on sale for the 2011 World Science Festival, this year held from June 1-5. Events include “From the City to the Stars,” “Illuminating Light” and “From Dust to…” Many events sell out early, check out options soon.

…and the Festival of Ideas for the New City!!

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.